I was contacted by Carol McCarthy, a publicist from Publishing Works, Inc. out of New Hampshire, about a horse book. It sounded interesting - different from other horse books - so I told her I'd be glad to do a review.
The media package includes a synopsis that in part states:
"When Liz Mitten Ryan took a leap of faith seven years ago to dissolve her old life, leave her job and relocate with her architect husband to a remote 320-acre ranch she had no idea where it would lead. Never would she have imagined that the silence and secluded serenity would enable her to access a higher consciousness that turned her from world-renown artist to author with her first book, One With the Herd: A Spiritual Journey."
I read it between a busy show schedule at HITS Ocala for the past six weeks. As a fellow horse lover, I understood the emotions the author shares with the reader as she immerses herself in a complete horsey lifestyle. For that is what it is - a lifestyle choice.
In this autobiography, besides her background and how they began their Gateway 2 Ranch in British Columbia, Canada, Liz provides stunning photographs and awesome paintings of horses, landscapes, sunsets and seasons changing. She shares her training methods and horsemanship ideas, and, although her insights were not new to me, she explains them with childlike amazement that is endearing.
But what really astounded me was the living conditions for Liz and her husband. They purchased the 320 acre "parcel" of land, and set up a wall tent with a wooden floor and walls. It had a wood stove and basic furniture, and a sleeping bag as their bed!
Even after their solar home was built (after the barn of course!) they now survive without radio, TV or newspapers. Sorry, I love living on a horse farm but I can't live without a microwave, PC and cell phone! And I look forward to reading USA Today and Writers Digest magazine as well as equine publications.
Liz describes here horses and other animals as she would characters in a book. In fact, many of the photographs have "quotes" by the horses.
Visit Liz and the herd on DVD at http://www.onewiththeherd.com/ or http://www.lizmittenryan.com/. This hardcover, coffee-table book can also be ordered at Amazon.com.
"One With the Herd is capturing hearts all across North America. It was a finalist in the New Age category of the U.S. National Best Books 2007 Awards. Funds raised from book sales benefit Hugs for Homeless Animals and Thoroughbred Charities of America. Mitten Ryan will also consider donating book sales funds to any animal group who would like to use the book as a fundraiser."