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Archive for the ‘Horse Books’ Category

My Life at Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Children’s book author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne recently contacted me about reading and reviewing her latest release, My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses. Now this book is quite different to her other children’s fiction horse books. My Life at Sweetbrier tells Deanie’s story with horses as she grew up.

My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

My Life at Sweetbrier A Life Changed by Horses by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Her life started out in an unexpected way, with having difficulty learning to walk. Eventually the doctors concluded that she wouldn’t be able to walk, due to having cerebral palsy.

Deanie’s dream as she grew up was to ride horses but it looked like mastering walking would be her first challenge. Her father refused to acknowledge the doctor’s conclusion. He eventually decided to teach Deanie to ride horses to strengthen her legs. And so the long journey began!

Between lots of falls and persistence, Deanie learned to ride on ponies. In time she decided she wanted to jump; this led to a lot more falls and her father deciding to wait a further year before continuing with jumping on horses.

This story is a beautiful one of persistence and never giving up on your dreams. The fact that it is based on her real life is sure to inspire readers. As it says in My Life at Sweetbrier, Deanie wants children to remember never to give up on their dreams because anything is possible if you don’t give up. This book is an updated edition of Tails of Sweetbrier.  It includes some great photos of the people and horses in the book.  My Life at Sweetbrier is a delightful read that is sure to inspire and encourage.

Author – Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
http://childrensbookswithlifelessons.com/
Non-fiction – motivational, biography, children’s
In my library – as an eBook, yes!
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

Doing my typical online search for free kindle books under the category of horse, I recently came across another book in the Magical Pony Adventure series by Angharad Thompson Rees. This particular short children’s book is titled The Ugly Pony.

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Ugly Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Ugly Pony is a wonderful retelling of the children’s tale the Ugly Duckling. Except this time the animal in question is a pony instead of a swan. This young pony grows up on a stud farm where ponies are bred for the show ring. They are recognised for their beautiful coats, rich colour, high stepping trot and pleasant conformation. These are all things that this particular pony seems to be lacking.

She has unusual – or even horrible – conformation. She is a dull white colour and has a funny bump on her forehead. As she grows older, these things don’t lessen, but instead seem to increase in visibility. The other ponies on the farm make fun of her.  In fact, even her mother is embarrassed by her appearance.  This in turn leads to the pony concluding that she doesn’t belong on the farm.

The Ugly Pony has a unique twist to it as well as a wonderful moral: that we need to appreciate our own uniqueness. Author Angharad Thompson Rees encourages all readers to embrace the person that they are and to love themselves. This is a great lesson for young readers as well as older readers! The Ugly Pony is a lovely retelling of the classic that is sure to captivate young readers and horse fans alike.

Author – Angharad Thompson Rees
Fiction – children
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.” ― Missy Lyons

Dude Ranch by Bonnie Bryant

Dude Ranch is the sixth book in the Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant. In this novel, Stevie, Carole and Lisa are off on an adventure. They have been invited to visit Kate Devine’s family dude ranch.

Dude Ranch (Saddle Club 6) by Bonnie Bryant

Dude Ranch (Saddle Club 6) by Bonnie Bryant

Here the girls will put away their English style of riding and embrace western saddles, herding cattle and also roping stock. It’s a trip they’re all looking forward to. There is one downside for Stevie however – she’ll be missing her normal birthday celebrations with her twin, Alex.

Although Stevie is disappointed by her friends’ lack of sympathy for her birthday situation, she is delighted to learn many new things in the saddle and to even meet some new friends. Kate is made an out of town member of the Saddle Club and the three girls find themselves unexpectedly befriending another local who rides – but always without a saddle.

When you mix herding cattle, five horse crazy girls, a surprise birthday party and a run in with a rattle snake, you get the general idea of this book. Stevie, Carole and Lisa once again show their passion for horses and their joy for riding and learning.

Dude Ranch is an enjoyable read in a different setting to the usual Pine Hollow stables. The western focus helps to enlighten readers about another type of riding. On top of this, it’s nice to see a couple of other young women added to the story.  This is in the form of Kate and Christine who make future appearances in the series.

Author: Bonnie Bryant
Fiction – pre and early teenage years.
In My Library? Along with many others in the series!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Horse Crazy Lily by Nancy Rue

At some point I picked up Horse Crazy Lily in an op shop. The young girl with the horse on the cover drew me. Reading it recently, the fact that it is a Christian book also has appeal!

Horse Crazy Lily by Nancy Rue

Horse Crazy Lily by Nancy Rue

The 11th book in the series, Horse Crazy Lily focuses on a time in her family where things are changing drastically. Lily has an older as well as a younger brother.  Her parents have decided to adopt a 9-year-old girl on top of this. Tessa is a troubled child, not having anyone in her life that she can depend on. Consequently she reacts to most situations poorly.

Before Tessa is a part of the family, Lily is at a friend’s birthday party. They are all going out horse riding. Although Lily’s first ride is daunting and starts out somewhat scarily, she is soon hooked. She is convinced that horse riding is her skill for life and she owes it to herself to learn all she can – and get a horse of course! She just has to convince her parents. With a well researched argument and presentation, she is sure they’ll be swayed to say yes.

What she didn’t factor in was her newly adopted sister. Tessa has a lot of needs and many of these are expensive.

Lily finds that alongside her newfound love of horses, her usual routine with her close girlfriends is suddenly broken. The family needs to invest a lot of time and energy in Tessa and also help her to settle. Young Lily finds herself feeling resentful toward the even younger girl, as her life is turned upside down.

It isn’t until tragedy strikes and her friends step in to help that Lily realises how important Tessa is – and that they need to show her. Horse Crazy Lily has the lovely added aspect of horses, although they don’t feature as heavily in the story as I would have liked.

The focus on proving to someone their worth – as well as sticking with them – is a great topic to weave into the story. The book was easy to read although having read other books in the series would have shed more light on Lily’s friends, who were assumed to be known to the reader.

Author: Nancy Rue
Fiction – children’s, Christian
In My Library? That it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Horse Training with Bilger by R J Bilger

I recently received a copy of Horse Training with Bilger to read and review. I was surprised to read from the author that the book is one that can fit into your back pocket. Also, it is a quick read – 45 minutes from cover to cover!

Curious, I sat down one evening and did indeed progress through it quickly. Horse Training with Bilger outlines certain tasks with horses – in a particular order – that should be undertaken by all who want to be safe riders. It has a focus on establishing ground work and a safe working relationship with the horse.

Horse Training with Bilger by R J Bilger

Horse Training with Bilger by R J Bilger

As the handler achieves one aspect of safe handling, it is then able to move onto another. Bilger has created a simple book that is well explained. The tasks outlined are defined, so that it is clear why things are done and in the order he puts forward.

For ease of reading, I did struggle with the particularly long paragraphs. That said, the book is broken into a number of small sections and these are easy to read through. Readers are first introduced to the horse’s flighty nature and their use of body language. Once this is explained, the concept of handling the horse and working in a round pen is introduced.

Bilger then goes on to explain simple tasks that the handler should work to get the horse to do in a calm and safe manner. Once this is achieved, the focus moves from free lunging to in hand techniques. Once the ground work is complete, tacking up the horse is then addressed and from here, the opportunity to mount the horse and finally, to ride.

The order of the tasks is logically sequential. Once riding the horse in an enclosed, familiar area is addressed, it is then time to consider riding out alone. A separate word on horses that panic – and why they do – is offered to the reader. Although this is a short read, it is packed with simple, but effective ways to improve your working relationship with the horse and above all, to stay safe.

Author: R J Bilger
Non-Fiction – horse training
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Riding for Redemption by Bev Petterson

Now this is a book where the cover caught me – I really like its design! Two or three photos have been fit nicely together, showing a gorgeous property, horses running and a couple embracing. The cover is beautiful and the story a delight. Riding for Redemption is a truly enjoyable horse story for the mature age reader.

Riding for Redemption by Bev Petterson

Riding for Redemption by Bev Petterson

Scott Taylor runs a successful investigative business. He has a great team and is good at his job – things are going great. On his last task however, he got hurt as he was protecting an innocent young boy. And so Scott finds himself with an overprotective assistant who makes him take some time off. This just happens to coincide with a time where a friend needs his help at a school he runs for jockeys, exercise riders and stable hands.

Knowing his reputation and background from the police force will help his friend Garrett, Scott eventually agrees. Although he can’t think of anything more distressing than time away from his business, he is thankful that there are at least horses for him to ride.

Megan Jones is undertaking the exercise rider course. It’s not exactly how she pictured her life – especially when she has a flourishing jewellery business of her own. But it’s the only way for her to do a little undercover work and find out what happened to her younger brother Joey. Knowing he had a history with drugs, Megan is suspicious of his sudden disappearance. The fact that the police have written him off as just another junkie has left the young woman feeling frustrated and not knowing how to progress.

As Megan is making her way back to the academy one afternoon, she is shocked to see a vehicle driving recklessly in front of her. It results in another driver being run off the road.

Megan pulls over to help and finds herself amazed at the attraction she feels toward the driver – Scott Taylor. It seems the feeling is mutual. As she helps him tow his vehicle, Scott grabs her details and they plan to catch up for dinner.

The date feels so far away and yet Megan finds she bumps into Scott a lot sooner than expected. Their growing attraction quickly develops, despite Megan’s secrecy at the riding academy. As she learns more about the people in the school and discovers more about Joey’s disappearance, Megan questions if Scott can help her. He is a private investigator, after all. But the fact that the school is run by his closest friend Garrett is a hindrance.

As the two work out where their relationship is headed, they are caught up in a unique mystery in the horse industry. Megan is desperate to clear her brother’s name. Scott is adamant he won’t get caught up with drug addicts – not again. Riding for Redemption builds well and has a delightful ending. The characters are realistic, the horse information rings true and the romance captures you.

Author: Bev Petterson
Fiction – adult
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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Faris and Jack by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Do you know about the Free Horse Books List on Goodreads? If not, check it out! This is a list of books that are always free on Amazon. Cool, huh? Now this specifically relates to Amazon.com and I buy from .com.au, which meant that I couldn’t access Faris and Jack by Melanie Cusick-Jones for free. Thankfully someone commented on the list, indicating where I could still download it for free – score!

So recently I’ve downloaded and read this fantasy children’s story. Faris and Jack is about a 9-year-old boy called Faris and an unusual horse named Jack. Or perhaps I should say that Faris is the unusual one.

Faris and Jack by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Faris and Jack by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Young Faris lives in a home for unfortunate orphans. To the outside world, it appears that the owner/facilitator Mr. Grimbaldi is a caring soul, who takes in many a young boy without prospects. The opposite in fact is true; the boys are made to work gruelling hours and are given the bare minimum – not even toothbrushes for hygiene.

Faris dreams of the day he will leave the place. He senses deep down that something incredible is going to happen and he will then be able to go free. Faris isn’t wrong. The way things come about however, are more than a little surprising.

One day Faris is carrying out the usual daily toil, the next he is on a wild adventure with an unusual horse that he can talk to. He is also joined by a figlia faerie that can change forms when necessary.

For a young boy who wasn’t privileged to attend school, Faris finds himself on a steep learning curve. It seems that the world as he knows it isn’t the only one and there are greater forces at work. And better yet, Faris is needed to help Jack fight against an evil source.

Faris and Jack is a unique tale that features people who can talk to horses – as well as other hooved animals. There are other mythical creatures, too. The ugly and not so bright Spriggans and powerful Figlia faeries. This is a short story that is sure to capture the imagination of young readers and it’s nice that the focus animal is the horse.

Author: Melanie Cusick-Jones
Fiction – children
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

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Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Anne Paterson

There’s a list on Goodreads that identifies horse books that are always free – score! Love and Muddy Puddles was on the list, so of course I tottered over to Amazon to download and read it.

Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Anne Peterson

Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Anne Peterson

Coco Franks is turning thirteen soon and it seems that life might suddenly be turning out ok. Coco feels she has been living in the shadow of her twin, Charlie. Charlie is athletic, makes friends easily and is good at school.

Coco feels that her only worthy skill is dressing well and highlighting her beauty through the appropriate hair and makeup. She is rapt when it is noticed by the coolest girls in school – Saffron and Tiger Lily. Coco becomes a part of their group in time, although it means distancing herself from her best friend, Samantha. Both girls agree it’s for their common good – in time maybe Coco can help Samantha rise in popularity status.

And just as soon as things are looking up, they take a dive downwards. An unexpected announcement from her father leaves Coco reeling. The family are moving from the hustle and bustle of the city. They’re moving to Budgong, New South Wales where they will live on an acreage – in a shed whilst their house is built.

Although this is a horse story, horses don’t feature until about halfway through the book. Coco’s character is a very superficial, self absorbed person who genuinely doesn’t realise it. As she is forced to make new friends in the country, she does a lot of growing and changing.

And ultimately it is first a horse that is misunderstood by others that helps her to do this. In time Coco realises that her friends back in the city are truly mean and superficial – not worth having at all. This is with some help with her brutally honest twin and a straight talker named James who lives next door.

Love and Muddy Puddles was a really enjoyable read. In spite of Coco’s obvious flaws, she was a realistic character and a likeable protagonist. The way the horses were woven into the story worked nicely, too.

Author: Cecily Anne Paterson
Fiction – teens
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony by Ellen Broadhurst

This is one story that I am sorry to say has taken me so long to read! It is a hilarious read told from the point of view of the $700 Pony’s owner.

The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony by Ellen Broadhurst

The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony by Ellen Broadhurst

In the Further Adventures of the $700 Pony, we are introduced to a husband and wife pair early one morning as their dream property is being worked on. The couple have two children under the age of five, an awful lot of chickens, ‘Psycho-mutt’ – a lab-cross canine and a $700 Pony who is often referred to as Herself.

In time the $700 Pony is relocated to their slice of heaven after the issue of confinement is solved. This in itself is a rather amusing story as the $700 Pony’s owner determines appropriate fencing to confine two children under five and at other times a pony. When you consider that the fencing can be electrified, does it cause concern for you, too?

The reader is quickly introduced to how the $700 Pony came to be and the grand plans for her riding career. Of course, this requires travel, which is a lot of fun with a directionally challenged owner –

‘Basically, I’m one of those people who still has difficulty with the “left” and “right”, let alone east, west, south and whatever the last one is.’

Introduce in time a second horse – or rather, pony – for the non interested children, and things increase in amusement. There are tales of failed showing, eventually successfully loading up a fat, Houdini pony into a trailer, and a town parade on Halloween with said Houdini pony, affectionately know as the Wee Spotted.

The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony is a very amusing tale. It focuses on farm life with a family of four and their exploits whilst owning and caring for animals. There are a lot of amusing tangents.  The story teller takes the reader on many a round about trip through her train of thought. This is a great read for those who love horses, can relate to horse owning and caring problems.  It is also good for those who just plain want a laugh.

Author: Ellen Broadhurst
Fiction – adult
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

One Frosty Christmas by Laura Hesse

I was rapt to recently receive a free copy of One Frosty Christmas by Laura Hesse. You can get an electronic copy free, too over at InstaFreebie.

Young Hannah Storey is struggling to come to grips with a move to a new town. She’s a survivor of a car accident and the nightmares haunt her still. She lost her grandmother in the accident. On top of this, she lost half of her leg.

One Frosty Christmas by Laura Hesse

One Frosty Christmas by Laura Hesse

Although she is an amputee, this didn’t bother Hannah. She has a supportive family and caring friends. But the move to River Bend finds her the victim of bullying. Determined not to cry, she works hard to ignore the taunts from local bully Penny Paddington.

River Bend doesn’t boast much that is appealing. Hannah is lonely and bored. There aren’t malls to go shopping. The local kids don’t embrace her.

In the cold winter months, Hannah finds her attention drawn to another outcast. An emaciated, angry looking grey pony she has nicknamed Mr. Frost lives in a paddock that is on her bus stop. Each day as she goes to and from school, Hannah sees the dejected pony.

In time, a plan forms to feed him and to rescue him from the neglect of his angry owner, Ole Man Levy. Hannah focuses first on gaining the pony’s trust. It’s hard to acknowledge that even if she manages this, she doesn’t have a clue of where to keep the pony – or how to look after him.

Hannah is pleased to find herself with an unexpected accomplice. But even as her new friend helps to feed Mr. Frost, Hannah knows she still needs to learn about horse care. A solution comes in a local riding school that offers therapeutic lessons for disabled people.

Johnny Joe, Hannah’s friend from school may also be able to solve the housing problem for Mr. Frost. As plans are made to rescue the pony, Hannah questions if they will indeed succeed. When Penny Paddington gets involved, Hannah doesn’t see how they can proceed. Can they trust the girl? Or is it all a set up?

One Frosty Christmas is a delightful read for young readers that looks at the life of a neglected pony as well as a young girl recovering from the loss of her grandmother.  Hannah’s character is strong and honest, whilst Johnny Joe helps to throw in some horse knowledge in the story. The end result is a delightful tale that brings the local community together. Worth the read.

Author: Laura Hesse
Fiction – children
In My Library? As an eBook.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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