If you work in publishing in Toronto you’ve probably met Felicia Quon. If you haven’t, I’m sorry, but you are missing out so hard. I met Felicia when I was lucky enough to have her as the publicist for my Alice books. Now she’s the Vice President of Marketing and Publicity at Simon & Schuster. She is one of the most ineffably cool people I’ve ever met. Her style is cutting edge and always exactly right and she’s one of those rare people who will get all your best jokes. She’s a free thinker and her approach to life is worthy of study. If the world was fair, I would just lay around in her office all day, propped up on pillows, trying to come up with ways to make her laugh. If you don’t follow her horsey adventures on Instagram (@felquon), you really should. I was hoping Felicia would write about a piece of her riding attire and she did. This woman. People just don’t get any better.
As a child, I was obsessed with The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley and furtively copied the illustrations over and over again in class, until our teacher, Miss Kelly, told me to quit doodling and pay attention to my multiplication tables. There was no opportunity for riding lessons in a dinky little northern town, but my passion never waned. Fast forward many decades later, and here I am pursuing my childhood dream by part-boarding (meaning I lease a horse from my coach) at a barn north of Toronto.
These tall Ariat riding boots transformed a sheltered, shy, and risk-averse young girl to someone who can confidently hop on an unpredictable, thousand-pound animal. They’ve allowed me to travel around the world on some truly unforgettable horseback riding adventures, and opened my eyes to new experiences I never thought possible.
Riding is my yoga, my meditation. The inherent risk of being tossed off a skittish beast (it’s happened) merely adds to that zen feeling. I’ve learned to focus on the here and now, and leave the distractions at the door. Anxieties, worries, the nightmare that is Trump…everything fades away the minute I zip up these boots. I’m constantly being pushed beyond my comfort zone, and challenged mentally and physically. And I know there will be good days and days that are shite. Kind of like life.
By the way, I’ve stopped doodling, but I’m still crap at math.