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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Mirror Horse

A Memoir

by (author) Tamara Williamson

Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Personal Memoirs, Horses, Equestrian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

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English/Canadian indie musician Tamara Williamson offers an unbridled account of a life in the world of horses.

From her first clever little bay pony, Stroller, to brilliant ribbon-winning Fletcher, Tamara Williamson recalls the many significant horses in her life, grappling with what it means to be horse-obsessed and what drives this desire to connect with horses. As Williamson discovers, during the tumultuous years of relationships with people and horses, these complicated equine creatures reflect back to us our best and worst selves.

Woven throughout the stories of individual horses in Williamson’s life is her own story of a creative, chaotic, challenging and adventurous life. Raised by an eccentric family, with a distant mother who disappeared into alcoholism and a charismatic father who left one sunny morning with a younger woman, Williamson struggles with dyslexia and a sense of increasing detachment. Horses, and the exacting sport of dressage, provide her with opportunities to connect, sometimes imperfectly. Her drive for accomplishment in equestrian sports, whether as a trainer or a rider, is regularly at odds with the fear that lingers from a traumatic childhood riding accident.

While reckoning with the financial and psychological expense of training and competition, and with the multitude of industries that benefit from horses, Williamson never loses sight of the enormous burden of responsibility she feels toward horses and the respect she has for their individual characters, memories and instincts. On the surface, Mirror Horse is a book about horses—but beyond the bridles and braided manes, Williamson crafts a complex story about courage, family, and the unexpected places where we find a reflection of our souls: As a rider you can confuse yourself with being the teacher, but horses are constantly showing us something important. They are holding up a mirror.

A percentage of the author's royalties from the sales of this book will go to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

About the author

Tamara Williamson is a multidisciplinary storyteller, musician, songwriter, producer, playwright, multimedia artist, podcaster and equestrian. She has toured internationally as a musician, recording albums as a solo artist and with her band Mrs. Torrance. Her award-winning alternative musical-theatre debut The Break-Up Diet received rave reviews. Williamson is a lifelong horse enthusiast and equestrian coach. She runs a business creating music for dressage performances. Born and raised in London, England, she now lives in Uxbridge, ON. For more information, visit

Tamara Williamson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Mirror Horse is about an equestrian life, but it's also about an examined life: about what our relationships with animals teach us about ourselves, about the lessons the world is trying to teach us when we don't even realize it. Williamson is an engaging writer, telling a personal story with universal resonance.”

Michael Barclay, author of <i>Hearts On Fire: Six Years That Changed Canadian Music 2000-05</i>

“The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition was offered a first glimpse at Tamara’s wonderful book Mirror Horse in 2021. It was an immense pleasure to read her reminisces and the life lessons that her love of horses instilled in her. Tamara writes with expected passion, but it was the honesty of her words that spoke; without guile, her prose is sincere and not masked with overt sentiment. Mirror Horse will naturally appeal to horse lovers of all ages, but it should also appeal to a wider audience interested in the animal-human bond and how this bond shapes our lives. We applaud Tamara’s first book and sincerely hope this is the first of many more.”

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

“An exquisite and unique book about growing up and living in an equine world, told with the intimacy of a whisper.”

Dave Bidini, musician and author

“Honest, humorous and full of wit and wisdom, Mirror Horse is a life’s journey of self-discovery told through horses. Tamara Williamson takes courage and aims right at the heart of how these creatures can be frustratingly difficult to understand and yet so deft at holding up a mirror to our souls. Whether you’re an equestrian or not, these horse tales will keep you hanging onto the reins.”

Marie Caloz, journalist

“It’s time to select your summer reading material for those long days at the barn or show, and the memoir Mirror Horse, by Canadian-British rider, artist, and musician Tamara Williamson, is a perfect place to start. Filled with emotion, humour, and passion for all things equine, her story is also packed with memorable characters, especially the ponies and horses who have passed through Williamson’s hands over the years. While being an insider’s look at the sport (full disclosure, I edited an earlier version of the manuscript), Mirror Horse is also a deeply moving portrait of one woman’s journey to understand herself through the animals she loves.”

Kim Izzo, <i>Horse Canada</i>

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