All posts by Christine

I'm a 1984 Australian female who is passionate about horses and education.

Chaos Horses Read Souls by Anna Rashbrook

Anna Rashbrook was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to read the next of her horse novels.  This one is titled Chaos and further delves into the complicated lives of Molly and Chris. The two are no longer in a compromise of living together but instead are trying to find themselves out in the world with some horses thrown in.

Chaos by Anna Rashbrook | Equus Education (Click to buy - affiliate link)
Chaos by Anna Rashbrook | Equus Education (Click to buy – affiliate link)

Chris is still determining who he is and how he feels about his gender identity and finds himself unwillingly involved in helping out in a stable while he is away getting a break from the family farm.  As he comes to get to know the people, the stables and the work they do, he finds himself intrigued by the art of vaulting on horseback and the disabled students that take joy in standing up on a horse’s back whilst it circles around an arena.

Molly is back at the farm and has found herself suddenly the short term carer for some turbulent teens.  They are from the same school where she was educated. After their visit, Molly is surprised to find an unexpected visitor in the form of one of the nun’s from the same education facility.  Throw in dealing with the loss of her father and a very difficult mother and Molly’s life appears to be in chaos.  So what’s one more horse to deal with?

Contacted about taking on a neglected and abandoned horse, Molly is surprised to find herself the new carer for a horse that truly comes across as pink in colour.  The unusual roan is a rangy heavy horse and Molly finds herself drawn to the colt.  So it seems is the cantankerous stallion Keith.

Chaos by Anna Rashbrook

As Molly tries to work out her views on the Christian faith, spend time with the man she is drawn to and work out where she fits in the scheme of life, Chris too is trying to work out what he wants or more specifically, what he doesn’t. Chaos once again explores the difficulties that many go through as they try to work out their way in life, their value and ultimately what on earth they are here for.  I really enjoyed the way this story wrapped up, especially considering the various different events that occurred throughout.

Author – Anna Rashbrook
Fiction – adult
In my library – as a digital copy.

Free Horse Biosecurity Course

I have shared about the free online horses courses from My Horse University before.  Recent I undertook the biosecurity course, knowing that it would be something that would build on an area of weakness for my knowledge.  This was especially beneficial for me as I needed to update documentation for my work as an equine teacher.  On this document I am required to outline the units that I teach across various horse qualifications.  From here, I need to identify the skills, knowledge, industry experience and qualifications that match to those units that I assist in teaching and assessing in.  The free horse biosecurity course by My Horse University was perfect to fill in a gap for biosecurity specific units – perfect!

Free Horse Biosecurity Course

This course contained a lot of valuable information and outside links to read up further on particular aspects.  Issues of biosecurity relating to horses and how they can be effectively managed are highlighted in the course.

Free Horse Biosecurity Course | Equus Education
Free Horse Biosecurity Course | Equus Education

You can complete it at your own pace and are able to take a quiz/test at the end to test your comprehension of the topic.  For those who achieve 70% or higher on this test, you are rewarded with an electronic certificate from My Horse University that you can print off.

The test is able to be taken multiple times and is easy to utilise.  The content in this online course is easy to navigate and follow, set out in decent sized sections to work through.  You’re able to undertake one free course through My Horse University, so this one worked perfectly for me.  If you’re looking to upskill yourself and for a certificate to prove the time and effort you’ve invested, I encourage you to look into the free courses available through My Horse University.

Corey’s Secret Friend by Bonnie Bryant

In the 12th book of the Pony Tails series titled Corey’s Secret Friend, young Corey Takamura finds the dynamics of her household suddenly changed.  With newly divorced parents, Corey isn’t so sure about the idea of her mother dating.  Worse still, her mother is insistent she comes on a date to get to know the man – and his daughter – better.

Corey’s Secret Friend by Bonnie Bryant | Equus Education (Click to buy - affiliate link)
Corey’s Secret Friend by Bonnie Bryant | Equus Education (Click to buy – affiliate link)

Corey finds Alice Lee to be many things that she dislikes: non communicative, rude and not a fan of animals.  She even has the audacity the express her dislike for horses in particular.  The date ends with Corey vowing that she does not like Alice Lee one little bit.  In time as Corey relays the evening to her friends, the three girls find themselves liking Alice less and less.

Corey doesn’t like the fact that her parents are divorced.  But she does appear to be happy with her life.  She has a beautiful pony that she adores and helps her mother to feed and care for him and other animals that they look after for clients.

In amongst all of these chores, Corey finds it hard to balance school homework.  Over time she finds that the tasks she is required to do are being done for her by some secret friend.  Corey is convinced it must be May and Jasmine but her two best friends are insistent that it isn’t.

As Corey continues to vent her frustrations about Alice, the three girls get carried away complaining about her.  They are surprised – and dismayed – when they discover that Alice has overhead every single word.

Corey’s Secret Friend is a great look at horse ownership and care, but more importantly it looks at not judging someone on face value.  Corey learns the importance of giving everyone a go and realises that Alice, too could be a friend if she would just let her.

Author: Bonnie Bryant
Fiction – pre teens / middle grade
In My Library? It is, along with many others in the series.

Extension Horses Free Courses

I am currently undertaking a free course by My Horse University and there was a link to eXtension’s HorseQuest Learning Lesson: Equine Pasture Management.  I’m always up for more free horse courses!  Checking out the link, it turns out that there are about half a dozen free horse related courses that are on offer through eXtension Horses.

To undertake any of these courses you’ll need a Moodle account and Flash.  Further educating yourself about horses and their care and management is always worth investing in.  Doing so with a short course that you can put on your resume or maybe even gain a certificate from is that much more appealing!

Extension Horses Free Courses | Equus Education
Extension Horses Free Courses | Equus Education

Free Horse Courses through Extension Horses

You can check out the different lessons through the eXtension Horses page.  They cover:

  • horse management:
    • manure management strategies
    • second chances for horses
    • sales fraud in the horse industry
    • horse’s best chance during disasters
  • horse diseases: EHV-1
  • horse diseases: pasture associated laminitis
  • preparing to become a professional horse show judge

These topics cover quite an array of different horse areas.  In whatever capacity of the equine industry you are working – or plan to work – gaining further knowledge in areas can be beneficial.  Of course, if the topics above link with your desire to learn more about managing horses, horse health, equine pastures or competition horses, then the above will be even more beneficial.

As an added bonus, for those who complete the courses with a minimum score, they will receive a certificate as well as a digital badge for their Mozilla Backpack.  Of course, certificates and course completion dates can look great on a resume!  I always love free horse stuff, so why not benefit from this resource that I’ve recently come across?

“Great dressage demands more than skill; it engages a rider’s inner wisdom and his ability to communicate with a mount in the silent language of horsemanship.” ― Elizabeth Letts

Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan

I recently downloaded Danni Roan’s Carousel Horse Christmas for free on Kindle.  This novella is a sweet, romantic read with horses featuring throughout.  Party planner Audrey Alberton is surprised but pleased to find she has received an anonymous gift for Christmas.  The beautiful horse figurine is stunning and beautifully crafted.  It brings a smile to Audrey’s lips.

Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan | Equus Education (Click to buy - affiliate link)
Carousel Horse Christmas by Danni Roan | Equus Education (Click to buy – affiliate link )

What’s surprising about the gift is that Audrey has a run in with her friend Lisa with a horse that looks exactly like the gift she has received.  The owner of the horse – an attractive cowboy named Holden Bays – ends up chasing up Audrey to make sure she wasn’t hurt by the car accident.

In time, Holden is the only person that Audrey knows to be able to help a client with a horse party request.  As Audrey explores the attraction that seems to be mutual, she questions whether a relationship with a cowboy that lives hours away is something she could feasibly fit into her life.

Carousel Horse Christmas is an entertaining read that has a nice horse element to it. Although there is minimal horse information, there are plenty of horse scenes with the two main characters.  The interest between the two main characters also builds nicely although the happy ending to the story occurs over a very short timeframe.  For those looking for an enjoyable, quick read with a Christmas focus, Danni Roan’s novella will do the trick.

Author – Danni Roan
Fiction – adult / romance
In my library – on Kindle

“A horse which stops dead just before a jump and thus propels its rider into a graceful arc provides a splendid excuse for general merriment.” ― H.R.H. Prince Philip

The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen

I downloaded this novella recently on Amazon after a search for some more horse reads.    The main characters of Alissa Callen’s The Purple Hills are an audiologist returned to her country town due to an ailing father and a single father, horse chiropractor.  I enjoy reads set in the country, I guess quite often because that’s where the horse stories are.  And of course, reading stories about people who have horse careers always interests me!  Then add in the promise of romance and I’m sold on the idea of the book in question.

The Purple Hills

The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen | Equus Education (Click to buy  - affiliate link)
The Purple Hills by Alissa Callen | Equus Education (Click to buy – affiliate link)

The Purple Hills had all of these appealing qualities and was an enjoyable, short read.  Horses did feature in the story, but not in quite enough detail for me.  I loved how the first chapter started with a miniature pony streaking past a window.

But although this pony Jelly Bean was a constant in the story, there didn’t appear to be a lot of horse focused moments.  And even though the main female character has a horse Cloud, he only really features in one scene.  Add to this the fact that the main male who is a horse chiropractor, I think this story had a lot of potential to feature horses in a way that wasn’t just a reference to them.  As a horse fanatic, unfortunately I cannot say that this was the case!

That said, the story is an enjoyable read and the characters realistic and easy to come to like.  The Purple Hills is a novella worth reading and I believe could have only been built on by making the horse aspect a descriptive part of the story, rather than a simple addition.  The story focused more on the human relationships – which were enjoyable to read – but I would have enjoyed additional information in the story about the horses, especially from the side of Hugh whose profession was that of horse chiropractor.

Author – Alissa Callen
Fiction – adult / romance
In my library – as an eBook it is.

Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland

Whilst reading Jean Halley’s Horse Crazy, there was a reference to hobby-horsing.  Apparently this sport has built from fantasy horseback riding.  It now appears to be a sport where people ride around on props that are essentially sticks with a horse head on top.  And these are utilised with riders going over jumps and even carrying out dressage tests.  How unique!

Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland | Equus Education
Hobby-Horsing as a Sport in Finland | Equus Education

Even more incredible is the fact that a horse business has arisen from this hobby sport.  Eponi creates and sells custom made stick horses that sell for 100-300 euros in price.  This is equivalent to $160 – $480 Australian dollars.  The collection online is incredible!  https://eponi.hobbyhorse.fi/#/

I had never heard of hobby-horsing before reading this non fiction works.  And yet, exploring a little online and I am amazed.  I love that a sport can be created by horse enthusiasts that don’t necessarily have a horse of their own.

And I especially love that from this, a new horse sport has developed and people are able to establish a horse business to help cater to this sport.  The equine industry really is exploding in so many areas that I am amazed at.  If you have a passion for horses and want to make a career out of them, be sure to think outside the box.  Many people have made their passion much more than a hobby and are living from an income they have earned through a unique horse business.  Incredible stuff.

Saving Grace by Amanda Wills

I recently downloaded a copy of the short story Saving Grace by Amanda Wills.  This story features Poppy McKeever of the Lost Pony of Riverdale series.  In this novel, Poppy finds a black and white cob filly on the side of the road, hit by a car and left for dead.

Poppy is relieved when the vet comes to tend to the filly but this relief soon turns to dismay.  The vet will not treat the filly unless she knows that someone will cover the bill – and it won’t be a cheap bill.  How can a teenager raise thousands of pounds to help save a young horse?

Saving Grace is a great story that is wrapped up nicely.  Poppy works with the whole community to try to save the horse.  She learns about setting up and running an event and the novel highlights all that is involved in running a horse show.  It also focuses on the issue of equine flu and how an infectious horse disease can impact a whole community where horses are kept.

Saving Grace features many of the Lost Pony of Riverdale Series' characters | Equus Education
Saving Grace features many of the Lost Pony of Riverdale Series’ characters | Equus Education

Poppy’s best friend Scarlett features in the novel as well as Poppy’s family and other friends.  For those familiar with the Lost Pony of Riverdale series, they’ll enjoy this short story that encompasses the usual characters.  Saving Grace is an enjoyable read that is also factual about horses and horse care.  Highly recommended.

Author: Amanda Wills
Fiction – teen
In My Library? As an eBook!

TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers

I recently had an issue with my author email and control panel of my site.  I could update my website, but not login to the panel to see if I could problem solve the email account issue.  And so I went to my webhost to see if he could fix the problem.  He suggested I download TeamViewer so that he could look into the issue for me.  And after this experience, I wonder if this free program could be a beneficial tool for someone wanting to manage horse clients that utilise computers.

Once I’d downloaded a copy of TeamViewer, I was able to give my host a login name and number that correlated with my particular computer.  Over the internet at the same time, he could then login and access my computer.

TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers | Equus Education
TeamViewer for Horse Client Computers | Equus Education

I could watch as he edited settings on the email account that wasn’t working.  It wasn’t too long before he’d resolved that issue and emails were sending and being received.  Then he was able to reset the contact details for the control panel of my site so that I could then receive the email regarding resetting the password and he left me to it.  Easy!

So I got to thinking, why couldn’t someone utilise the likes of TeamViewer and the internet to carry out tasks for clients on their computers?  Many things they could do remotely, but others they could do… remotely on their computer.  It may be a handy tool for those who do computer work for equine businesses.  Food for thought.

“He’s of the colour of the nutmeg. And of the heat of the ginger…. he is pure air and fire; and the dull elements of earth and water never appear in him, but only in patient stillness while his rider mounts him; he is indeed a horse, and all other jades you may call beasts.” ― William Shakespeare

Horse Crazy by Jean Halley

Pony books for horse crazy girls are an incredible genre.  I write within this genre in the twenty first century, having both a series for middle grade readers as well as one for young adult readers.  I also write various novels for adult horse book fans and find that all of these books are read, though the middle grade series is the most read.  And it seems this has been the case for many young girls since the 1930s, as Jean Halley’s book Horse Crazy explores.

How the horse-girl relationship can empower children, young adults and even adults is explored throughout the chapters of Halley’s book.  What I found alarming – and cannot say that I relate to here in Australia – is the large amount of women that appear to struggle in the US and find their freedom often in horses.  Horses are an incredible animal that provide freedom to those who struggle with disability, a lack of social skills, language barriers or other issues.

I was surprised to find that Halley was referencing or quoting texts that put women as more likely to fall into poverty than men in the US.  There was reference to them earning 79 cents for every dollar than men earned.  And for the single mother, life was harder as she worked to earn for, support and keep the family functioning.

Horse Crazy by Jean O'Malley Halley | Equus Education (Click to buy)
Horse Crazy by Jean O’Malley Halley | Equus Education (Click to buy)

I’m not sure if it’s my ignorance in these areas in Australia, or if this is a more wide-spread issue in the US.  But one thing is certain; horses can provide a freedom from these responsibilities and problems like no other thing can.  That was the theme throughout this book.

This book explores the frailties of humanity and shows how horses can be an escape from that.

Halley pulls examples from her own life where her childhood was filled with fear and violence and her pony was her only escape.  In the latter chapters of her book, the devastating world of slaughterhouses and the process involved is explored.  This was an eye opener for me with regards to the process carried out… the book is perhaps lightened well in the final thoughts focusing on men who love ponies and a group of adult men known as ‘bronies’ who love My Little Pony.

Horse Crazy is a topic that has horses well and truly at the heart of peoples’ lives and things that they hold dear.  It is a book that appears to address a lot of issues that many may not be willing to think or talk about.  I feel very blessed – and perhaps sheltered – as a tomboy who grew up loving horses to not have felt like a minority or someone who was being pushed to conform to what society considered ‘acceptable.’  To me, a love of horses has been a gift from God and one that was encouraged throughout my childhood, became my career and is something I am now involved in teaching others who have the same passion.  Horse Crazy is an interesting, somewhat controversial and enlightening read.

Author – Jean O’Malley Halley
Non Fiction – sociology
In my library – as an eBook