The snow is flying, even down south, the temperatures have dropped, we’re finally well into winter and all it offers. There are still show circuits and events going on in warmer locales, but for many of us, it’s a slower time of year. We’re giving our horses a break, often taking one for ourselves, resting and refreshing for the upcoming year’s activities. While we may not take the season completely off, in the downtime if affords, I do love curling up with books to occupy my time and restless mind…
12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, by Doug Stanton
The movie is in theaters now. I haven’t seen it yet but I plan to. I’m usually drawn to military/historical themes anyway, and the fact that this reminds us that horses being ridden into battle is still a very modern method, if not always in our country, it just a bonus.
12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.
Chosen by a Horse, by Susan Richards
The horse Susan Richards chose for rescue wouldn’t be corralled into her waiting trailer. Instead Lay Me Down, a former racehorse with a foal close on her heels, walked right up that ramp and into Susan’s life. This gentle creature—malnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infection—had endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seemed fated that she would come into Susan’s paddock and teach her how to embrace the joys of life despite the dangers of living.
A Horse for Kate, by Miralee Ferrell (1st in the YA Series Horses & Friends)
For our younger audience, who in my opinion, cannot be encouraged enough to read actual books rather than whatever they’re reading on their smart devices, get them hooked on a great series to keep them busy in a great way whenever they have downtime.
A horse of her own would be awesome. But Kate figures that might be a long way away, especially since she had to give up riding lessons and move to her late grandfather’s farm. Besides, it would be a lot more fun to have a best friend to ride with. When Kate discovers a barn on their new farm that’s perfect for a horse, and a dusty bridle too, she starts to think that her dream might come true. Then she meets Tori at school, who is totally the best. So when they discover a thoroughbred that appears to be all alone, could it be the answer to her prayers? Maybe. If she can convince her dad … and figure out what’s going on with that horse.
The Language of Hoofbeats, by Catherine Ryan Hyde
New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry.
Any title by Cherry Hill, author of a long list of instructional books
Cherry Hill has been a well known name in the landscape of horse-related books for as long as I can remember. Her titles offer a great variety, catering to all disciplines and levels, there’s a little of something for everyone. If you feel you’re at a plateau with your horse or self, there’s bound to be a book she’s written to help you over the hump.
If you aren’t finding any new reading material interesting, there’s no shortage of classics, and new magazine issues every month to help you get through the winter months. Make your downtime stimulating, as tempting as it might be, don’t let your mind turn into a vegetable with your body, keep both busy and keep reading!