Courtney Maum has launched a new book called ‘The Year Of The Horses,’ a page-turner that she fondly calls a “memoir with benefits.” “Readers can come for my personal story, where I reckon with my past and upbringing,” she describes. “But they can stay for the education they’ll receive about the sport of polo and women’s relationship to horses throughout history.”
She has previously opened up about her return to polo with POLO LADY, but this newly published piece offers a bigger narrative of her decision to rekindle her love for horses. The book follows her path as a 40-year-old who turned to horseback riding after a three-decade break. It also finds her discovery of the wonderful world of polo—how these experiences helped her battle an insomnia-fueled depression.
“Ultimately, readers will see me turn to polo, where I learn that facing—and engaging with—my fears is the most powerful way to master those same fears,” Courtney muses.
In this honest tell-all read, the writer put down her walls and just shared a story like she would a friend. She describes it further as a “book full of compassion for myself and other people” and “of healing in real-time.” And even if you’re just beginning to leaf through her work, you’ll find yourself relating to her words—whether it’s remembering your first time on the field or the moment when you thought that giving up was the only option in front of you. Only, you realize—and the book will remind you as well—that it isn’t.
People who had already finished the book had sensed clarity and joy upon closing down the last page. And it’s easy to see why—the authenticity and careful creation of the book lends a huge chunk of inspiration. The writer also put on a brave face and shared the draft with the individuals who appeared in the story. “This kind of intimate sharing is totally new to me and my process, and not comfortable at all,” Courtney says. “Ultimately, though, sharing the book with my family before publication made this a richer, truer draft.”
When asked about the greatest takeaways readers will get from the book, she thinks that it ultimately calls for uncovering the truths from deep within. And that it’s okay to accept and embrace it wholeheartedly. “It is okay to pursue something just because you love it. You don’t need to have a God-given talent to enjoy something. You can do it—even something that takes a lot of time and resources—just because it brings you joy,” the polo player shares.
She adds, “I think readers will also have their eyes open to the silent network of helpers that I call “firefighters” in the book: the people who help us through the hard times, sometimes behind the scenes. And that these firefighters aren’t always who we think they are.”
‘The Year Of The Horses,’ more importantly, celebrates preserving one’s inner wildness; making sure that adults have something that is “ours and ours alone.” “It could be anything. But it should be just for you,” she ends.
‘The Year of the Horses’ is now available in bookstores—find more information on this new read at CourtneyMaum.com.
Photographs by Kenzie Fields Odegaard
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.