Archive for the ‘Horse Books’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.