Archive for the ‘Horse Books’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
The concept of Gourmet Horse Treats Recipe Cookbook: 40 Horse-Approved Homemade Treats is great. Author Lisa Travens explores various home made recipes for horses. Recipes include snacks that are suitable for young, developing horses. There are also ones for older horses that may have issues chewing and more delicate digestive systems.
There are also treats that are high in energy, while others focus more on roughage. Common ingredients include items that are known to be suitable for horses. These include oats, lucerne (alfalfa), carrots, apples and molasses. Some ingredients suggested were questionable to me, including peanut butter and pumpkin.
The introductory chapter that covers the digestive system helps to show that the author is serious about giving appropriate feedstuffs to horses – in the appropriate amounts. I would have liked to see that the author had a degree or some such qualification relating to horses and science, or particularly nutrition. I’m not sure I’m comfortable taking recipe advice from someone who is solely going on what their horse has ‘enjoyed’ eating.
On top of this, it is an assumption that it has been enjoyed, because it was eaten. There was a lot of anthropomorphising in the book which I wasn’t so keen with. An example is comments relating to things that horses appreciate – I don’t know that I feel they can appreciate things. This is just a personal belief, however and not something wrong with the usefulness of the book.
The author did a good job of indicating how long to cook things for, but sometimes forgot to indicate at what temperature. And in all cases, the unit of measurement (which I assume to be Fahrenheit) was excluded. This would be beneficial particularly to people that utilise Celsius.
The book overall was made up of an interesting collection of recipes. The main ingredients were common, making it easy to make most of the recipes. The titles of the recipes were also fun and catchy. For those wanting some unique treats for their horses, Gourmet Horse Treats Recipe Cookbook may be of interest.
In the twentieth book in the Saddle Club series, Snow Ride, Stevie Lake has been invited to head over to Vermont to spend time with a friend, Dinah. It turns out it’s the sugaring-off event at her local riding club. This is where sap is collected from maple trees and turned into syrup and sugar.
There is a competition between the junior riders to collect the most. Whoever does gets to have their pick of riding mounts for the following summer. Stevie is rapt to be able to take part in the competition with Dinah. Better yet, they are able to seek out appropriate trees whilst in horse and harness, pulling a sled through the snow.
As Stevie enjoys her time in Vermont, she is rapt to be able to go out riding with Dinah. The local trails are banned because of the snow and safety reasons. And yet, Stevie and Dinah are able to work things so that they can go out and enjoy the beautiful location. But a quiet ride soon turns dangerous and the girls aren’t sure if they can keep their actions a secret. Dinah is insistent that they must, but with her injuries Stevie is sure they will be caught out.
In Snow Ride, Stevie learns the importance of doing what is right – in spite of the consequences. The reader is also introduced to the world of skiing from the eyes of a novice and the process of creating maple syrup. This Saddle Club book has some interesting events outside of horses, whilst still managing to incorporate the equine species well into the story. An enjoyable read.
In the first book of the Willow Bay stables, Change Rein, London Daniels finds herself quickly falling. A hopeful for the Olympics on her beautiful Dutch Warmblood, Achilles War, her life is turned upside down with an accident. An accident that many blame on her horse. Yet London is adamant that she bailed on the ride to protect her beloved equine.
Unfortunately, the fall has resulted in her questioning whether she will have a horse riding career in the future. With her return home, London finds that the family farm is in trouble, too. In a bid to save the financial future of the farm, her father agrees to house some horses’ short term. They are owned by a wealthy young man who has his eye on London.
London isn’t sure what to make of Branson at first. She cannot deny her attraction to him. That doesn’t make her sure that his interest is anything beyond superficial, however.
As the two work out what they want in life – and from each other – London comes to find what she’s been missing in life. It was easy to focus on her career at the expense of all else. But when that is taken from her – even if only for the short term – she finds a gaping hole in its place.
Branson seems to be perfect for her but he has a secret of his own. Although his attention starts off a little strong, London realises he’s playing for keeps. In time London realises that when life throws you something unexpected, you may just need to change rein and keep going.
Change Rein by Anne Jolin is a romance about two ambitious people who realise love comes at a cost. But just maybe that cost is worth it.
This is the second book by Angharad Thompson Rees I have been able to download to read. The Galloping Pony is another short story aimed at children. It has a delightful moral to it, too.
Second in the Magical Adventures and Pony Tales series, this book focuses on young Warmheart, a cob pony who loves to run. As he grows up, he enjoys nothing more than pitting himself against the farm’s work dog, Bob. Although Bob always wins, Warmheart feels that he is getting closer and closer to winning.
Life is grand on the beautiful Pennydale Farm where he lives. He spends his days frolicking in the field with his mother and enjoying the company of Bob and the other farm animals.
The whole farm of animals cause their owner Farmer John concern one day when they react to the goings on next door. It seems that the wealthy neighbours are having a track put in for their prize thoroughbreds. Warmheart is excited about being able to race alongside the sleek thoroughbreds once the track is put in.
When this occurs however, the young cob realises he’s not as fast as he thinks. When some bad news reaches the animals about the farm’s future, they are all downtrodden. It is only when Farmer John recognises Warmheart’s love of running that he feels he’s found a way to save the farm – and all the animals on it.
The Galloping Pony is a delightful tale of the underdog. It provides kids with the clear moral that they should never give up. All that is needed is a love for something and perseverance to bring about a positive result.
Children’s author Deanie Humprhys-Dunne has recently done a revised edition of Charlene the Star. This delightful children’s story has a wonderful life lesson. It explores the concept of finding what you do well – and that which you enjoy – and pursuing this.
This is the first book in the Charlene the Star series. Charlene is a beautiful chestnut filly with a rich red coat. She is a thoroughbred with a family that has performed well on the track. Although she grows up in a beautiful home and is well cared for, Charlene questions if there might be more to life than running. She just doesn’t seem to have the heart for it.
Following her mother’s wise advice, Charlene decides to give racing a go. After all, it is anticipated that she will do it well – and enjoy it. When this doesn’t seem to be the case, Charlene remembers another piece of advice from her mother. She was told to try her best but if she didn’t like racing, then to find a way to let her trainer and exercise rider know.
Charlene the Star
Charlene is under the care of some observant handlers. When they realise that her heart isn’t in racing, they consider what else she could do.
Charlene the Star is a short story made up of some delightful characters. It is beautifully illustrated by Deanie’s sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj.
For those who are looking for horse books for their young readers, you can’t go past Deanie’s books that are for children, with life lessons. There is always a moral to the stories and they are positive. At the end of this story is a set of questions to test reader’s memory and comprehension of the book.
Carole, Lisa and Stevie have been offered an incredible opportunity in Pack Trip, book 18 of the Saddle Club series. Their friend Kate Devine has called with a request for them to join her and Christine on a pack trip in the mountains.
The first obstacle is to determine how they will afford the trip. When they are able to find a solution to this problem, it is then a question of Stevie convincing her parents that she can go – and that she’ll get on top of her homework before the end of the trip.
There are three other riders who will be going on the trip also and it seems that they’re each matched to the Saddle Club! Stevie has found a fellow trickster in Amy, whilst Lisa is drawn to Amy’s brother, Seth. Carole is rapt to be able to consistently talk horses with John.
As the trip progresses, Amy gets more impulsive. This then causes the others to question if she is fun or just plain dangerous. Seth is desperate to protect his sister and Lisa finds herself drawn into their drama as she works to help Seth. Stevie recognises the issue before anyone else and calls a Saddle Club meeting – it’s time to intervene! But can the other girls convince Lisa to see reason – and before Amy does something that puts them all in danger?
Pack Trip is an action packed novel by Bonnie Bryant that is full of adventure and horses, of course. It’s nice to find Kate and Christine in the picture again and the trip is well described. An interesting and also entertaining read.
The first book in the Sonrise Stable series, Rosie and Scamper was downloaded for free from the Sonrise Stable website. This series focuses on horses and the Christian faith. It is aimed at pre-teens.
Rosie and Scamper takes a journey over a couple of years. The reader is first introduced to young Rosie and her adventures with her grandmother who owns and loves horses. Rosie loves her grandmother’s pony Jet and is excited at the prospect of Jet having a foal. When Scamper comes along however, the situation is far from pleasant.
Rosie learns to work with Scamper whilst he is young, improving his ground manners and training. A couple of years later she is even able to get on his back and learn right along with him. During this journey, Rosie becomes acquainted with the neighbours’ foster daughter, Carrie.
Although they have a rocky start, the two become firm friends and Carrie learns to ride and love horses, too. Rosie and Scamper looks at horse ownership and care and the Christian faith. Rosie’s grandmother has many bible verses and stories to help explain things in life. She is a very loving and knowledgeable character.
Carrie learns in time how wonderful Rosie’s parents, cousins and aunts and uncles are, too. As she comes to love Rosie’s family, Carrie is delighted by a request of theirs at the end of the story. Rosie and Scamper is a beautiful tale for young readers with a lot of horse information, plenty of bible verses and much adventure. The book is concluded with an interview with a horse trainer and details about horse hair jewellery that was referenced in the story for readers to learn about.
This is a non fiction horse book that I recently downloaded for free on Kindle. Finding Your Equine Soul Mate: A Guide to Buying Your First Horse is an easy to read guide for first time horse buyers. It is broken up into the areas of getting started, finding a horse trainer, determining your budget and what you want in a horse. After this, the reader learns about horse shopping, the purchase process, bringing the horse home, horse auctions and some final thoughts.
I believe this book to be of value particularly because it is written by someone who is in the know. Michele has a background with horses – owning, competing, training and instructing others. She is therefore able to guide first time buyers about what to look out for when purchasing their dream horse.
Interspersed through the chapters are stories from other people about purchasing experiences. Some of these are incredible and scary – there are some not nice characters in the horse selling world!
When looking at what the buyer would like in a horse, different disciplines are explained. For those who want to know more, various books and websites are provided as reference points for the reader. This was a nice added bit of value.
The book seemed to me to have a particularly American focus, when I feel the topic is relevant to anyone around the world. It didn’t however detract from the information in the book; there were just some terms or assumptions that indicated buying a horse in the United States. Finding Your Equine Soul Mate by Michele Cook is an easy to understand book with valuable information for those looking to invest in their first horse.