Madison, Mississippi native, Sarah Hickner, has been an avid horse rider since she was a young girl. In 2020, she sat down to begin writing her memoir, a story full of life lessons learned through the art of horseback riding.
Instead, Stories from the Barn Aisle came to life, and she considers it a teaser to her memoir that she is still working on.
Always a storyteller and an adventurer, Hickner’s favorite books as a child were from the Thoroughbred series. In a sense, these same stories would later inspire her to leave her home state of Mississippi to gallop racehorses in Kentucky.
“I had a wonderful scholarship at Mississippi College, and life was good. But it was my dream to gallop horses, so I left my scholarship and my family in Mississippi, put my horse on a trailer, and my dog in my car, and moved to Kentucky to follow my dream,” Hickner said.
Shortly after Hickner arrived in Kentucky, she had a rotational fall with her horse, which flipped her life upside down. Two weeks later, as she was still recovering from the crash, her horse was stolen.
“Here I was, broken and searching for my horse while also searching for God and my faith. Nothing made sense,” she explained. “My story is a lot about the search for who we are.”
Hickner talks of all the people who supported her during this challenging time. Like all trials and tests of faith, this became a part of her story.
“We’re all storytellers. We all have a story to tell,” she said.
Fast forward to a different chapter of Sarah Hickner’s life, and she is currently living in Virginia with her husband, children, and two horses. She still loves to ride and now does author visits to riding camps in the summer and schools during the school year.
Stories from the Barn Aisle prompted two additional writing guides for children and adults to “unlock their inner wordsmith.” Story Teller, on the other hand, is for any aspiring writer at any age to record their stories and offers advice and writing prompts to help get their story started. My Stories from the Barn Aisle is geared more toward children who ride horses and allows them to write and brainstorm about their experiences.
“The most powerful lessons we learn are through stories,” Hickner said. “My purpose for writing this book and creating the writing journals is to teach readers about horses and life lessons without them feeling like they are being taught.”
Hickner’s Stories from the Barn Aisle invite readers into the saddle of a horse, even if they’ve never ridden one, while reminding them that their story is ready to be written and read too.
To learn more about Sarah Hickner, find her on Instagram @liveridelearn or Facebook on her Sarah Hickner, Author, page.