Friday, December 22, 2017

Rides That Way by Susan Ketchen

Rides That Way by Susan Ketchen is more about teenage drama than about riding. Although the first chapter is at a three phase event, the rest of the story is about Sylvia's health issue, family, friends and her pregnant riding instructor.

But don't let that stop you from reading this well written novel. It is educational, quite interesting, realistic and often laugh out loud funny - especially the end!

This is the fourth book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. See the author's site to learn more about her and her books:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

All Hands on Pets!

All Hands on Pets! by Susan E. Davis is a wonderful resource for those interested in the pet health care industry or who have a senior or injured dog or cat. Injuries and therapies for them are explained in technical language but still understandable for the non-professional. The personal stories as examples highlight each section as well as several tales in Chapter 10.

As a mobile groomer, I like that it shares information on prepping a puppy for being vetted and groomed. It also describes exercises to build strength, endurance and agility for all ages of pets, with section for each ages of the pet.

I think many of the massage and other techniques could be also used on a horse and other farm animals as mentioned in the book.

It has a great list of professional resources at the end.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Paisley the Pony by Cindy Freland

Paisley the Pony by Cindy Freland is about a special pony on Assateague Island off Maryland's Atlantic shore and an Indian girl named Kanti. When a Spanish ship crashes there in 1750, the Indians help the crew and horses survive. Kanti received Paisley as a gift for her 8th birthday. The story describes the work the Indians did as well as the games such as horse racing.

The story is somewhat confusing at times, especially in the beginning. It starts in first person with Alyssa (a grandmother telling the story to her granddaughter), then switches to third person. And the horses have dialog with each other as well as the humans. The transitions could be smoother.

Overall, a delightful story and gorgeous artwork!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Diablo - Buyer Beware!

Diablo - Buyer Beware! Written by Fallacious Rose and set in Australia, this horse book will be enjoyed by readers who have learned the hard way about buying and managing their first horse! Or for young horse lovers wanting a horse!

Kim, 11 years old, desperately want her own horse, especially after a pony they leased ended up with founder. So her "mum" and new stepfather go horse hunting. After several passes on unsuitable equines, they choose Diablo. A quick trial ride goes well but that ends when they take him home. Kim can't even lead him; forget about riding him!

Kim seeks out advice on how to handle this stubborn horse - first bad advice, then some good - and finally learns horsemanship and riding skills. She also realizes that she can use some of these techniques on her older, annoying brother! Diablo actually saves her brother in the end.

The story is written in first person, and on the first page the young girl speaks to the reader. She explains that she "chats" with Diablo. That is, she translates what his body positions are saying. So there is dialog from the horse. An interesting concept, but it is written well with great insight into family relationships as well as horse training. Very comical in places!

It would make a great gift for young horse-loving girls.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Defining Gravity by Genevieve Mckay

Defining Gravity by Genevieve Mckay is about a high school teen named Astrid who who is sent to a stable to work as a punishment. Of course, she is enlightened about the wisdom of horses after getting to know them.

This is a well written book with a gorgeous cover. The plot and characters were interesting, but I guessed that Astrid would get hurt again and I was disappointed in the ending. Nothing seemed to get resolved: Astrid was still getting into trouble, her dad still had business problems and her riding instructor was still sick. While Astrid seemed to learn a few of life lessons, she didn't seem to learn from her mistakes. I know this is a series, but I would have liked  a more satisfying ending.

Visit the author's website at

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Spell of the Horse

The Spell of the Horse by Pam Billinge is a non-fiction account of her personal experience as well as her clients. She shares her profound bonds with a variety of horses that healed, inspired and taught her through spiritual connections. She now has a business teaching others how the horse can help them - both individuals and corporate leaders - in her rural farm in England. Visit her site at

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bramble and Maggie Spooky Season by Jessie Haas

Bramble and Maggie Spooky Season by Jessie Haas is a wonderful book for young riders, especially if they have had their first fall off a horse or pony.

In this story set in Autumn, Maggie and Bramble discover the scary side of the fall season with the crunching of leaves, dropping acorns and strange scarecrows. But neither Maggie or Bramble let Autumn stop them from riding, especially on Halloween.

Great story and lovely artwork by Alison Friend.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

When the Stars Lead Home by L.W. Douglas

When the Stars Lead Home by Laura Weigel Douglas is an exciting adventure story about a twelve-year-old girl named Tizzy who wants to stay where she grew up, at Green Hills Adventure Camp in the Pacific Northwest. But after her parents die, her two aunts arrive to run the summer camp, maybe for the last time. Tizzy must prove to her aunts that it will be worth their while to change their lifestyle and return to their hometown to continue the summer horse camp.

The setting and camp life is realistic, and the characters are well rounded and interesting. Green Hills has Western style riding and I loved the ending with the aunts displaying their horsemanship skills.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Keeping Captain by N. L. Sharp

Keeping Captain by N. L. Sharp is a great book for horse lovers of all ages.

Carly and her horse Captain have been champs at the local barrel racing circuit. Until she finds out they will be moving and her dad has promised to sell Captain to a schoolmate. So Carly's plan is to have Captain lose his races so maybe they won't want to buy him. But her plans fall apart, and in the end she learns what is really important for Captain.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Murder Western Style by Rayna Morgan

Murder mystery, light romance and an equine setting, what more could you want? This is a fun story with a surprising ending. A galloping good read!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Misty Zebracorn by Russ Towne

Misty Zebracorn by Russ Towne is an adorable story about a special equine: part zebra, part unicorn!

She goes to the beach, but forgets to put on sunscreen so she turns red. A good lesson for kids! She makes new friends and soon she has her black and white stripes back.

This "magical mare" will surely delight youngsters.