Monday, March 22, 2010
The Horse That Wouldn't Trot by Rose Miller is half memoir and half equine history of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
Written by an obvious horse lover, the anecdotes are told simply and with great passion. Miller had many fascinating experiences in breeding the Walkers and showing them. Each horse she describes as if one of her children, the good with the bad, but all with much love and affection.
She shares the plight of the Walker breed from the cruel methods used to make them "walk" with more style, to the rough training methods. Miller also explains what she did to revolt from such extremes, and how her stallion, who was left natural, still managed to win championships.
If anyone wants to buy a Tennessee Walker Horse, this is a must-read! Even if you are not in the market, this is a great story for someone who understands the special bonds between humans and their animals.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Mystery at Silver Key Stables by Alexandra Joy Gritta
This fictional horse story is interesting, exciting, realistic and emotionally satisfying. And the Oregon author, Alexandra Joy Gritta, is only 13 years-old! This debut book is part of her Charity Book Series, which benefits charitable equine organizations. See http://www.alexandragritta.com to learn more.
The teen protagonist, Kelly, has just moved from Montana to Oregon and is having trouble fitting in – both at school and with the damp weather. Her saving grace is a local stable where she leases a horse. There, she meets other young horse lovers and all the equine residents.
Silver Key Stables not only offers lessons, leasing and boarding, but also has a sanctuary for wild horse herds. On a trail ride with a new friend, Kelly sees the stallion, Black Magic, and learns that it was once owned by the stable owner. The horse was unable to be ridden, however, and let loose with the mustangs. When the horse becomes injured, it is seen by a vet at the stable and nursed by Kelly, who develops a magical bond with the stallion.
Kelly also learns a horrible truth about the stable that changes the future of the riding program.
Although there were a few things that I found fault with (again, children and stallions are not the norm, and I think the author meant “cross rails” not “cross ties” in the jump ring) the overall story was very appealing because the teen voice provided a viewpoint that an adult writer could not achieve. Plus, the young author’s goal of making reader’s aware of the plight of stolen horses is quite admirable.
The artwork and descriptions of the horses at the end of the story is a wonderful addition.