Thursday, February 3, 2011

If Wishes Were Horses

If Wishes Were Horses by Robert Barclay is a nice Christian romance set on a horse ranch near Boca Raton, FL (not Colorado or another western state so an interesting setting!)

Wyatt Blaine meets Gabby Powers in an unusual way – the local minister sets it up in hopes of saving Gabby’s teenage son from a self-destructive life. Horses save the day, of course!

Conflicts abound but the ending is satisfying.

I had a few issues: First, the author may not be a horse person but did thorough research. One exception – a halter is for leading, a bridle is for riding. The broodmare would not be wearing a bridle when stalled. The main characters visit her in the foaling stall and “Wyatt walked up to Sadie and took hold of her bridle.” Page 136

Next: Page 176, Ram dismounted twice in one scene without remounting.

Another issue was the multiple viewpoints during the same scene, same page. It was very confusing getting into the mind of one character, and then suddenly switching to another, and a third. I often had to read the scene again to understand it. This happened throughout the book.

The major issue I had - It’s the American Quarter Horse – not quarter horse.

History from AQHA site:

The story of the Quarter Horse begins long before Texans started tying their ropes and hard and fast to the saddle horn. The origins of the breed can be traced to Colonial America. When our forefathers weren’t dumping tea in the Boston Harbor and fighting Indians or Redcoats, they did enjoy a horse race. In the beginning, they ran the English horses with which they plowed and rode every day.

It wasn’t long before the Colonial farmers down in the Carolinas and Virginia began to trade for a faster horse that was being bred by the Chickasaw Indians. These quick Indian ponies were Spanish Barbs, brought into Florida by early Spanish explorers and colonists. This was the same horse ridden by the conquistador Cortez in the conquest of Mexico; the same that Coronado rode in his search for the golden cities in the American Southwest. This was a type of horse produced from the cross of the North African Barb and native Spanish stock following the Moorish invasion of Spain, which began in the year 710.

There is evidence that the Spanish Barbs obtained from the Chickasaws were crossed with the Colonists’ English stock as early as 1611. Over the next 150 years, the product of this breeding would come to be known as the “Celebrated American Quarter Running Horse.” The term “Quarter” refers to the distance, a quarter of a mile, most commonly run in Colonial racing, often on the main streets of small villages.

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