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Archive for the ‘Horse Books’ Category

Missionville by Alex Brown

Recently Equus Education had the opportunity to profile Alex with regards to his career as an exercise rider. He has newly released a horse racing novel titled Missionville.

I was rapt to be able to receive a copy of this book to read before it’s release. Missionville tells an interesting tale of behind the scenes of racing. It is an intriguing mystery, written by someone obviously in the know about the racing industry.

The reader is first introduced to Pete Wright, a struggling trainer at Missionville, the local Pennsylvania Racetrack. Pete is in the business of claiming horses as cheap as he can for his one owner. He then trains the horse, races it to hopefully win and sells it on again in another claiming race, turning a quick dollar.

Missionville by Alex Brown | Equus Education

Missionville by Alex Brown | Equus Education

Although Pete had grand ideas about being a top racehorse trainer, he has found himself struggling to make bread and butter. In time he accepts a job through local track pony rider, Jake. The job is the lowest of the low in Pete’s opinion. It involves delivering horses to slaughter. Once was enough for Pete and he vows never to do it again, no matter how desperate for money he is.

Cue Amanda, successful bank manager and keen horse lover. Amanda spends her weekends at the track, building up connections. She is working to make the after racing life of thoroughbreds more promising. She hates what is happening in the slaughter world. When Amanda learns of Pete’s connection to driving the horses to slaughter, she realises she has an in that could help to bring the whole sordid industry to an end.

In time Pete and Amanda work together to stop the overt slaughtering of racehorses. When Pete realises something is fishy with one of the other horse owners – who just happens to own the racetrack – he knows he needs to investigate further.

Missionville is a great mix of horses, mystery and romance. It’s also a delightful look at the behind the scenes of racing on a small country track.

Author – Alex Brown
Fiction – adult
In my library – as an electronic copy it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

The Young Black Stallion by Walter and Steven Farley

Many people are familiar with Walter Farley’s series The Black Stallion. Perhaps even reading the first book in this children’s series, the question was raised: how did the Black come to be on the ship in the first place? Written with his third child Steven, Walter explores the origin of the young black stallion named Shêtan.

The Young Black Stallion by Walter and Steven Farley

The Young Black Stallion by Walter and Steven Farley

Bred for great things, it seems that the Arab sheik who has bred Shêtan has to work hard to keep him. Not only is a rival tribe out to secure him, but a wealthy Arab that now lives in Europe sees the value in owning him – however that may come about. And so starts a battle to capture and keep the young black stallion.  This horse appears to be far superior to any of his paddock mates.

Set in the high mountains of Arabia, Shêtan finds his usual life of eating, drinking, playing and sleeping with paddock mates rudely interrupted one day. A raiding party is there to secure the black colt. Wary of humans, Shêtan runs until he can do so no longer.  It is then that he turns on the men who are trying to secure him.

A pawn in a battle between two strong sheiks, young Rashid finds himself suddenly abandoned.  This is even though he was taken on to track the horse. Knowing if he is found by those that cared for Shêtan, that he will be killed, Rashid escapes on foot.  He believes all he can do is head for his home in the desert.  And so starts a long, lonely journey.

The Young Black Stallion is told from the point of view of Rashid and Shêtan as they work to survive on their own in the wilderness of Arabia. A battle to get away from those chasing him and to find enough food to survive leads Shêtan many miles. Eager to get home – but not to be spied by those who left him for dead – Rashid has to often retrace his steps and find another way out of the mountains.

The Young Black Stallion is an interesting read that throws a new element into the Black’s life before he knew Alec Ramsay. It also highlights the incredible bond that develops between the boy and the stallion, considering his previous handling. This book is the start to the young black stallion series by Steven Farley.

Authors – Walter and Steven Farley
Fiction – children
In my library – definitely is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

The Runaway Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

Those who have read the Girl and Her Pony, will already be familiar with Princess Sophia and perhaps even her perfectly behaved, grey pony. In the Runaway Pony, Sophia is amazed to find herself astride her grey pony Sky, in another world.

The Runaway Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Runaway Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

Sick of the lack of privacy and restrictions placed on her as a part of the royal family, Sophia longs to escape it all. She finds she has this in common with Sky and the two decide to escape the rules even if only for a little while. Little did they realise that their adventure would last longer than a quick gallop away from the king’s guards.

Finding themselves in the land of Faerie, Sophia and Sky question what is most important to them. This comes to mind as the question is raised by an unusual talking snake in the land of Faerie. As horse and rider try to work out this upside down land they’ve ventured into, they soon find themselves in trouble.  And they are unsure how to get out of it.

Their adventure consequently turns into trying to find a way home and solving the snake’s riddle.  And along the way, ultimately they learn about true friendship.

The Runaway Pony is a delightful tale for young readers with a great moral. The fact that one of the main characters is a pony adds to its appeal. This is yet another great read by Angharad Thompson Rees. If you’re looking for some horse themed books for your youngster, be sure to check out the Magical Adventures and Pony Tales.  It contains all 6 horsey adventures in one!

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

Running Free (Midnight Dancer #3) by Elizabeth Lindsay

Running Free finds young Mory desperate to prove the worth of her pony Midnight Dancer.  After some unexpected jumping opportunities arise, Mory is adamant that her pony is a brilliant jumper.  Mean girl at school Caroline Spencer wants Mory to prove it by entering the local show jumping competition.

Running Free (Midnight Dancer #3) by Elizabeth Lindsay

Running Free (Midnight Dancer #3) by Elizabeth Lindsay

Although Mory knows her beautiful mare is brilliant, she isn’t so sure about her own jumping skills – she is still learning to ride effectively.  Whilst Mory is out riding on the hills, she discovers a dog running free.  In time, a dead sheep is found and Mory’s uncle Glyn is furious.  He is adamant he will shoot any dogs on sight if they’re near his sheep.

Mory is fearful for Ben, a new dog that her friend Lionel has acquired.  Although Mory doesn’t believe Ben killed the sheep, she knows that he was in the area at one point.  Uncle Glyn is certain it is either Lionel’s young dog or a local woman’s dog.  Mory is unsure how she can prove it was neither!

In time Mory is goaded into entering the show jumping competition at Penyworlod.  Most of her energies go into training her pony and learning to sit well on Dancer.  Alongside this she suddenly has to deal with another dead sheep – this time a young lamb.  Lionel has also run away and Caroline is suddenly going out riding with Mory’s cousin Cara.

Running Free focuses on a great mystery that young Mory has to work to solve before an innocent dog is killed.  It is also a perfect story for young horse enthusiasts.  The horse information rings true, is educational and the story is an entertaining read.  This third book in the Midnight Dancer series I am sure would be a hit with pre-teen horse enthusiasts.

Author – Elizabeth Lindsay
Fiction – children
In my library – along with a few others in the series!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Defining Gravity by Genevieve Mckay

Recently Genevieve Mckay provided me with a copy of her latest release, Defining Gravity. I really enjoyed reading this horse novel for young adults and believe others will, too.

Defining Gravity by Genevieve Mckay

Defining Gravity by Genevieve Mckay

Young Astrid is an extremely talented archer. It seems that she lives for the sport that she excels at. It’s the one thing that makes sense to her as a teenager. She struggles with her self image and her weight. Her father is a stranger that seems to view her as an annoyance. She has a crush on a boy who barely recognises her and even her closest friend is brutally blunt.

Attending a party at the Ling’s home, Astrid feels things might finally be falling into place. Thomas Ling is actually talking to her and it seems that he may like her. Or perhaps that’s the punch talking. With a little too much in her system, Astrid feels bold and finds herself behaving in a way that she wouldn’t have the courage to otherwise. And this is her downfall. Her boldness leads to an accident that puts her archery career on hold and could even end it.

Missing the sport that feels as necessary as breathing to her, Astrid feels she’s been punished enough. Her father disagrees and Astrid finds herself suddenly with a job at a stable, surrounded by large, imposing horses. A fill in job to pass the time – and develop discipline – suddenly opens a door of possibilities.

Defining Gravity is a great look at the horse performance world with a focus on dressage. The characters are varied but all human with different flaws and insecurities. As Astrid works through the disappointment of not being able to play her favourite sport – and of having let down her father – she learns what true friends look like at the stables. She also discovers the need to stand up for herself. Defining Gravity is a great coming of age story with horse information that rings true and is educational. It’s a great look at the horse world from a beginner’s point of view as they get consumed by the industry and take in all that they can.

The story moves along at a good pace and has some characters you’ll love to hate. Astrid’s character is believable, likeable and grows into a young woman as the story develops. The horse events work well to build the reader’s knowledge about the industry and Astrid’s riding lessons are really interesting to read about. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of Defining Gravity.

Author – Genevieve Mckay
Fiction – young adult
In my library – as an eBook it is!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Take the Reins by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

I was able to download this book for free in June and was interested to read another non-fiction book that had a horse focus. In Take the Reins 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership, business coach Shari Jaeger Goodwin shares tips and processes to be a successful leader in business. She puts a unique spin on this in her Alpha Horse Leadership Training for HUMANS.

If you are familiar with the behavioural habits of horses, you may know that there is often an alpha horse or mare in a herd. This is the head horse that makes decisions about what is best for the herd’s survival. This horse needs to be sure of what they want and to display this to the rest of the group.

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Take the Reins! 7 Secrets to Inspired Leadership by Shari Jaeger Goodwin

Likewise, humans who are in management or leadership roles need to be assertive about what is expected of their team. If they cannot lead with confidence, conflict and issues will arise; also the team will not meet its performance goals.

Shari uses workshops with a horse roaming free in an arena. Individuals or teams are then asked to complete a task – a small obstacle course – getting the horse to move through it. The catch is they have to do it together and they also cannot touch the horse. For the teams who are made up of individuals that know their respective roles and work together, the task is often successful. For those who are less sure or who don’t communicate effectively, they may struggle with the task.

Take the Reins!

Whether or not the task is completed successfully, team members are able to reflect and identify their weaknesses. This is key, as they can then address the areas that are causing them to fall short. In Take the Reins, Shari uses examples from her workshops.  This is combined with helpful points to guide the reader on how to better engage individuals, project what their goals are and also achieve personal and business goals. The book is an interesting and informative read.  It is sure to inspire many to go out there and achieve the goals they so desire in life.

Author – Shari Jaeger
Non Fiction – adults and management
In my library – electronically!
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Recently I was contacted by Elizabeth Alexander to see if I would review a copy of her young adult equestrian fiction, Team Up. No surprises on my answer!

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up by Elizabeth Alexander

Team Up follows the lives of a group of young teenage show jumpers in Australia. Most of them ride because they love their horses, the thrill of jumping and being able to compete and challenge themselves. This is definitely the case for Hetta, JJ, Marcus and Theo. It could even be said of their close friends Chance and Ruby. However, Savannah’s motivations to ride appear to be from another world. Horses are all about prestige and blue ribbons.

This wouldn’t be an issue for the others.  Except of course that there is a limit to four people on the school’s show jumping team. And it seems that Savannah is determined to get on the team.  This is in spite of her lack of ability or a suitable mount.

The likelihood that she will succeed in qualifying is of no concern to the others.  Why should it when they’ve been on the winning team twice, qualified as the emergency rider or been on the second team representing their school. This year however, the rules have well and truly changed and Savannah’s determined to get her wish.

As the qualifying rules are changed and Savannah acquires a new mount, Hetta and JJ find some things don’t add up. When show horses start getting stolen and sold on to unsuspecting new owners, they find another mystery in the show jumping competition world. Team Up is a great look at teenagers working together for a common goal, dealing with bullying and learning to find the whole story. An added bonus is the authentic horse information as the story unfolds. The story has a wide cast of adults and teens and features horses heavily.

Author – Elizabeth Alexander
Fiction – young adults
In my library – as an eBook it is.
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

 

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

A heads up! Angharad Thompson Rees has a collection of six short stories for children that feature horses. The collection of tales from Magical Adventures & Pony tales will be free for download this month! Head along to Amazon on August 16th and 17th to acquire your free copy 🙂  Included in the six tales are The Painted Pony, The Girl and Her Pony, The Galloping Pony, The Runaway Pony, The Desert Pony and The Wooden Pony.

I have most recently read The Girl and Her Pony, which is the second tale in this collection. Young Franny is a poor labourer’s daughter. She delights in watching the royal procession as it parades through town. The horses are gorgeous – proud moving, shiny and sleek as they make their way past the commoners of the town.

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

The Girl and Her Pony by Angharad Thompson Rees

One day Franny is out walking in a field with grass not much shorter than herself. Whilst out exploring, she stumbles across a pony running wild and free. Ever patient, Franny notices the pony’s timidity. She resolves to sit, waiting to see what the pony will do. In time – after a number of hours – the chestnut mare is standing before Franny, nuzzling her hair.

It is with delight that the young red headed girl runs home, knowing the day is at its end. Little does she realise that the red headed mare is following her.

Franny’s father desperately seeks the owner, knowing that as each day passes, the bond between his daughter and the beautiful pony strengthens. It is finally determined that the pony is of royal breeding, but was considered unrideable. In time however, the king’s daughter recognises the beautiful mare and Franny’s ease at riding her. She determines to have the pony for herself. It seems the King will not refuse her, either.

Franny is devastated to learn that her beloved mare Sonnet is to be renamed and rehomed – with the spoilt princess. When she learns the news, Franny races to the paddock where Sonnet is kept. She arrives in time to see the spoilt princess ordering the pony to be tacked up. But Franny has never ridden with a saddle or bridle! The ensuing battle between the proud young princess and the fiery chestnut mare results in the best possible outcome for all.

The Girl and Her Pony

The Girl and Her Pony is a delightful short tale for horse enthusiasts. It looks at the bond between a horse and their rider and how correct care and love can overrule prestige and money. A delightful read.

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

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorrhaine Eckhart

In The One (Wilde Brothers #1), Margaret Gorden has returned to her home town after losing her job as a surgeon.  She now just wants to lick her wounds and enjoy spending time with her horse. The Egyptian Arabian is the only honest thing in her life. However, it seems the bond with her horse is known in town. Margaret is amazed to find an old crush turn up on her doorstep, demanding that she look at his son’s unmanageable horse.

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorhainne Eckhart

The One (Wilde Brothers #1) by Lorhainne Eckhart

At one time Margaret may have convinced herself Joe was the one.  His looks and physique completely captured her attention as a teen. But his ruthless teasing of her left her feeling inadequate, embarrassed and a social loner.

It seems that fifteen years later, Joe hasn’t changed. And Margaret’s reaction to him hasn’t either. The fact that he is still able to manipulate situations to get what he wants is a frustration also. Margaret finds herself agreeing to assess the horse and even take it on. This is in spite of the fact that she doesn’t like the idea of being around the extremely attractive but bullying hulk of a man.

In time, Joe and Margaret discover that their attraction is mutual.  However, this doesn’t seem to change the way Joe speaks to Margaret. She learns to stand strong and get her point across in challenging situations and this seems to endear her further to him.

Although this story is an interesting romance, with a focus on horses and how they read people, it seems to be lacking a few things. Margaret’s childhood and incessant teasing from Joe are touched on a few times. And yet, this is not discussed or resolved as they are drawn together as adults. It seems too, that Joe’s gruff attitude toward her could be explained further, so that he doesn’t come across as an angry bully who takes what he wants.  Book one in the Wilde Brothers series was enjoyable, but with a few gaps.

Author – Lorrhaine Eckhart
Fiction – adult
In my library – Yes, as a Kindle version 🙂
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

Dark Fire (Horse Guardian #1) by Angela Dorsey

Young Lisa is devastated by the fact that her family has lost their household estate in the first book in the Horse Guardian series, Dark Fire. This included a beautiful manor, land and stables full of horses. When her father was unable to make repayments, they lost everything.

Dark Fire, Book 1 in the Horse Guardian Series by Angela Dorsey.

Dark Fire, Book 1 in the Horse Guardian Series by Angela Dorsey.

Lisa’s only sense of satisfaction is in knowing the elderly gentleman who inherited the estate. Through developing a friendship with him, she is able to help out at the stables and look after her beloved Jupiter. Little does she know that trouble lurks.

Lisa doesn’t get along with Mr. Pickering’s nephew, Jimmy. She has little choice to be around him though, seeing as he is looking after his ailing uncle. When Jimmy tells her she’s no longer welcome at the manor, Lisa determines to sneak out at night and look after the horses. She knows he isn’t tending to their needs.

Jimmy’s desperation to inherit his uncle’s estate causes him to act in a way that Lisa doesn’t believe possible. As she finds herself – and the horses – in danger, she is both surprised and thankful to meet Angelica, a teenage girl who appears out of nowhere.

Lisa knows there is something different about Angelica, but she isn’t sure what it is. Either way she is thankful for the new friend who is able to help her solve the mystery of Mr. Pickering’s murder, why Jimmy hates her horse and what he plans to do with her.

Dark Fire is an interesting read with relevant horse details. It has the added angle of magic thrown in and is sure to entertain young horse and fantasy fans.

Author – Angela Dorsey
Fiction – teen
In my library – Yes, as a Kindle version 🙂
Want it? Get it now on Amazon.

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