The Equiery Library

2016 Book and DVD Releases

Blue Blue Sea Finds His Cape by Miranda N. Prather, illustrated by Hayley Mullins
Shoo-Fly Publications

Blue Blue Sea Finds His Cape is a children’s book that has it all! The lyrical writing style from Marylander Miranda Prather accompanied by bold, exciting illustrations from Kentucky artist Hayley Mullins is sure to capture your attention and fire up your imagination.

Add to that the meaningful message of ups and downs, triumphs and defeats and persevering to find your purpose as well as to help others, and it all wraps up to make this book a winner!

By Emily Nessel, Equiery Classified Ads

Brightly Shining: The Horse That Nobody Wanted by Joanne Beusch

This true story is about a little Thoroughbred mare whose story is not unusual. She was bred to race, but had no talent. She was moved around from barn to barn, and lost her trust in humans. Finally, she was shipped to auction, where her future seemed grim. But Brightly Shining was discovered by a man whose experience was in retraining Thoroughbreds as show horses. Against the recommendation of the people who had been handling her at the auction, Mike Keech took a chance, bought Brightly Shining, and brought her home to his farm. The story chronicles the next two years of Brightly Shining’s training and horse show career, with Mr. Mike and rider Annie.

Author Joanne Beusch (Fairplay) knows Brightly Shining’s story firsthand, as she is part of the team who helped transition an unwanted ex-racehorse into one of the most successful show hunters in Maryland. This is a wonderful children’s book with a fairy tale ending, that adults will enjoy, too. Beusch writes lovingly about her horse, who seemed to never stop giving her all from the day she was given a second chance. Her story comes with a few great life lessons as well, about how one reaps rewards from hard work, that pride comes from always doing your best, even if you don’t win, and the importance of being a good sport, no matter how you do.

By Jennifer Webster, Equiery Associate Publisher

Emma’s Chance
Sony Pictures

This film follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl who gets in with a bad crowd and makes some mistakes that ultimately land her at a horse rescue farm to do community service. It’s lots of fun to watch as the horses and trainers teach Emma to stand up for herself and the farm as she grows attached to the farm and her new friends. The farm is in financial trouble and Emma and the injured assistant trainer decide to try to win a $10,000 prize to save the farm. The riding and training are not really up to par but the story still works and it has a fun and happy ending.
by Carolyn Del Grosso, Equiery Bookkeeping
Hip Hop Tales – A Bit of Sugar by Deborah A. Wilson
Dog Ear Publishing

Maryland author Deborah Wilson artfully tells the story of Laura Maynor, a young girl who yearns for a pony of her own, but whose mother won’t allow it, because of the broken heart she suffered when her own childhood pony tragically died.

With some convincing by her husband and her own parents, however, Rose Maynor gives in, and the story of “Sugar” and her baby, “Hip Hop,”unfolds in a most unusual and heartwarming way. Children of all ages will enjoy this book, based on a true story of the author’s own childhood experiences. And parents who remember their own horse-crazy youth might not be able to get through it with a dry eye!

By Jennifer Webster, Equiery Associate Publisher
Tall Tail by Rita Mae Brown
Penguin Random House

I am a huge fan of Rita Mae Brown’s fiction, and I jumped at the chance to review her latest book, Tall Tail. As with much of her fiction, the animals play a large role in this book, and have speaking parts. If you cannot get past the talking animals, don’t pick up a Rita Mae Brown book. But if you don’t mind that, Ms. Brown’s books are always well-researched and carry the flavor of her Charlottesville, VA, area home. In this book, I discovered how the popular horse show facility “The Barracks” got its name (I really had always wondered!).

Tall Tail features two separate, but entwined, story lines, one set in 1784 and one in 2016. The novel begins when Susan Tucker’s grandfather’s nurse/caretaker crashes her car and dies in front of amateur sleuth Mary “Harry” Haristeen. But she didn’t die because of the car accident.

The 1784 story tells the story of wealthy landowner Fransisco Selisse, who is murdered, an escaped slave, Moses Durkin, and the lady’s maid Sheba. Former inhabitants of The Barracks prison camp, who have married sisters, the daughters of another wealthy landowner, agree to help Moses escape to Pennsylvania. Their actions put their families at great peril.

As someone reading this book in 2016, I was uncomfortable with how the matter of slavery, and the treatment of the slaves was handled. Typically, this would have been a light and fluffy beach read, and I would have glossed over the handling of the slaves. The Selisse family were portrayed as cruel and hard on the slaves, but the other 1784 characters acted like the slaves were their next door neighbors who cooked and cleaned for them. I don’t expect an historically accurate depiction of slaves and slave owners, but I found the approach to the subject completely ridiculous, and a little off-putting.

The novel bounces back and forth between the two stories, and we slowly learn of the connection between them. Susan and Harry stumble upon a secret worth killing for, and suddenly their lives are at risk.

When the killer comes after Harry and Susan, the dogs and cats help save their people, and catch the killer. Ms. Brown deftly explains why some would kill to keep the secret quiet, and how something that happened in 1784 could still affect someone in 2016.

If you are looking for a good vacation read, the Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie Brown books are always a good choice. The characters are engaging and interesting, and the pace is page-turning. I’m always ready to read more from her.

By Tracy McKenna, Equiery Ad Manager
The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts
Random House

The Perfect Horse, written by Marylander Elizabeth Letts, is the true story account of a rescue mission to save priceless pedigreed horses from the Nazis during WWII. Letts also penned The Eighty Dollar Champion.

In the final days of WWII, it was discovered that over 300 horses were held at a Nazi stud farm just outside of enemy lines in Czechoslovakia. Hitler’s secret mission was to breed the perfect horse to fight for the Nazis. With danger rapidly approaching, Hank Reed, a career officer who saw the last days of the U.S. cavalry, with help from others went on a rescue mission to save the horses from their feared ultimate death in April 1945. The story unfolds very rapidly as it became urgent for these soldiers to take action to save the horses, which kept me turning page after page.

Letts wrote an amazing book that tells the brave and true story of the mission to save these priceless horses. If you are a history buff like I am, you’ll enjoy and appreciate the story Letts told in such detail. It was as if you were right there with these soldiers on their secret mission.

By Leanna Bostrom, Equiery Intern

You Make My Heart…Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson
HarperCollins Publishers

First of all, and trying hard to not give anything away, Swing Sideways by former Marylander and longtime Equiery contributor Nanci Turner Steveson made me alternately laugh out loud, slam the book closed with anger and shed so many tears I sometimes had trouble reading the words on the page. And in my opinion, any piece of writing (or film, or photograph, or artwork) that can pull that much of an emotional response from the reader is simply brilliant.

At first glance, Swing Sideways is a story of a city girl who meets a country girl and the adventures the two get into. But deeper, it is a story of friendship, parental love, loss and growing up. Steveson’s way with words makes this book a quick read and her transitions from one chapter to the next make you want to keep reading. I found myself having a hard time putting it down, wanting to find out just what these two girls would get into next.

My only complaint, or warning, really, is that I am not sure what age group this book is intended for. As an adult, I found it engaging and a quick entertaining read. However, some of the subject matter and characters (a soon-to-be eighth grader with anorexia and panic attacks, a daughter and father pulled apart by a death in the family, a mother with extreme OCD tendencies) might be too mature for the average young reader.

Overall, a great read but be ready for an emotional roller coaster.

By Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery Managing Editor/Art Director

2015 Book and DVD Releases

Churchill and Colonist II: The Story of Winston Churchill and His Famous Race Horse by Fred Glueckstein

Many have heard the famous quote by Sir. Winston Churchill, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” But I wonder how many know why Churchill felt that way. In the book Churchill and Colonist II: The Story of Winston Churchill and His Famous Race Horse (published in 2014 by iUniverse LLC), author Fred Glueckstein tries to answer that question. Why did Churchill love horses so much and what did horses do for Churchill?

Although the book is full of interesting tidbits and racing details, I found myself wanting more. Much more. Churchill as a topic himself should certainly take more than a 79-page book and I admire Glueckstein’s attempt at shortening this historical figure into a quick read by focusing specifically on Churchill’s post-World War life and his interest in horse racing. However, I feel that what Glueckstein hoped to convey, as stated in the prologue, that horses and Thoroughbred racing helped Churchill overcome some defeats in his political life, was not achieved.

Instead, the reader is presented with a series of short essays versus a complete historical account of this period of Churchill’s life. Well written for the most part (there are sentences throughout that are a bit repetitive, making me wonder if the book was in fact completed in sections and not as a whole), these short essays present a fantastic glimpse into the world of racing in England at the time, but not so much a look into Churchill’s personal or political life during the same time. Dates, horses, races, people are clearly well researched. And the first-hand quotes from Churchill’s telegrams and letters give validation to the story. But there is a disconnect between the racing details and how they shaped Churchill’s personal life and political career.

I was particularly happy with the chapter on Le Pretendant, a half-brother to Colonist II, who was shipped to the U.S. to compete in the Washington International. The race was held by invitation of John Schapiro of Laurel Race Course (note to the author: Schapiro changed the name of Laurel Race Track to Laurel Race Course when he took over in 1950) and featured top horses from around the world vying for a purse of $100,000. Churchill’s Le Pretendant ended up finishing last in the 1956 race. Despite the undistinguished finish, the recap presented by Glueckstein with quotes from The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and telegrams between Churchill and his stud manager Major Carey Foster is excellent.

I also enjoyed the chapter on Churchill’s effort to bring stranded military horses back to England after World War I. That chapter seems to be the only one that truly gives you an inside look at the more human side of Churchill, the compassionate man as opposed to the tough war hero.

Overall I find the subject matter of this book very interesting and would love to learn more about Churchill and his string of racehorses.

By Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery Managing Editor

False Gods by L. R. Trovillion
Hippolyta Books

This well-written, fast-paced book by Maryland author L. R. Trovillion (Cooksville) covers a wide variety of social issues including bullying, bulimia, drug abuse, parental divorce, performance anxiety and animal cruelty, just to name a few.

The main character, 16-year-old Cory, has just moved to Maryland with her sister and mother following the messy divorce of her parents. Her struggle to fit in and her fear lead her away from trying for the cross-country track team and the school band. When her dog ends up at the horse farm down the road, and she is sent to retrieve him, she meets Vee, a jumper trainer, and Jack, her “employee” caring for the many horses on the farm. They offer Cory, who had some hunter experience from her days in Boston, a job helping out with the care of the horses, which she accepts so she can help pay for some of her music lessons. Eventually, Cory gets lessons on a schoolmaster in exchange for working. The job is a welcome haven from her deteriorating home life with her bulimic sister, pill-popping mother and troubles with teachers and bullies at school.

The sale of one of the horses in training to the mysterious and dark Angela requires that they deliver the horse to the Washington International Horse Show. There Cory sees some quality riding and horses, and her dream to ride at WIHS one day is born. A search on the internet for horses and some background on Vee turns up some interesting stories about a marriage, a fall and a fear of competing again.

Eventually Cory finds a horse she would love to have named Epiphany, but the mare costs $45,000 and is way out of her price range. A trip to the auction for hay leads Cory to the kill pens where a scruffy grey mare, that seems the same size and color of Epiphany, saves Cory from harm by an angry horse. The bidding goes beyond the budget but clever Jack helps them get the horse in the end. Training begins but an angry confrontation with Vee and fear pull Cory away from the barn.

A clever and caring school counselor helps Cory find her “desire” and her way back to the barn. Many twists and turns lead her through the Baltimore show circuit in her quest to qualify “Epi” for WIHS. A happy but unexpected ending leads her to realize she and her family and friends were seeking “false gods” but that her true calling and desire could be achieved. This is a great read and would make a great gift for horse lovers of any age and discipline.

- Carolyn Del Grosso, Equiery Bookkeeping
Russia and her Orlov Trotters – Volume 1 By Judith Robinson

Last December, The Equiery published an excerpt from a draft of Judith Robinson’s (Sykesville) upcoming book about the Russian Orlov Trotters and now, the first volume has finally been published after years of research and writing! Robinson’s Russia and her Orlov Trotters – Volume 1 is more of a prelude to what is to come than the complete story. It gives readers both a rich historical look at Russia during the time of Catherine the Great’s rise to power as well as painting the background of how the Orlov Trotter came into existence and why the breed is so important to Russia and the author.

It is clear that Robinson loves these horses and her writing comes across in a romantic style. Words flow onto pages in a lyrical sort of way, with historical tidbits about Russia and the history of the Orlov breed intertwined throughout. And also throughout is Robinson’s own history. Her own story. Her love affair with the breed and specifically, the story of four horses: Proval, Unipol, Samorodok and Bora.

It should be noted that the chapters about these horses are presented in a stand-alone sort of way, as each chapter could be its own independent book or article. This does cause for a bit of repetition in some of the history but one tends to look past that as each horse’s story unfolds.

Complete with fantastic photography and artwork, this book is a must-have for any history buff, though it should be warned… you might find yourself wanting more!

- Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery Managing Editor
Second Chances: A Woman’s Story of Survival by Rita Boehm

Unpredictable, tragic, surprising – all are words that perfectly sum up the crazy and exciting roller coaster ride Lindsay goes on in Rita Boehm’s novel Second Chances: A Woman’s Story of Survival.

Boehm, born and raised in New York and now living in Olney, has always had a love for books, and when she retired in 2014, she dove into writing. Boehm is also an avid dressage rider and photographer, and Second Chances is her first book.

The story follows the life of the young and shy Lindsay Talbot. One night at a cocktail party, something unexpected yet exciting happens to her: a dashingly handsome and, of course, charming man approaches her, every girl’s dream. The two begin to hit it off and he gets her a glass of champagne; little did Lindsay know that her life would never be the same after that.

The night of the party became the beginning of a scary and unpredictable life that she would come to experience but have no say in. From then on, we follow Lindsay on this wild ride not knowing what is going to happen next. She meets new people and travels to new and sometimes exotic places. As exciting as it sounds, though, she feels trapped.

Readers are consistently left with cliffhangers that make you want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. If you are looking for a suspenseful story, then Second Chances may just be the book you are looking for!

- Katie Anger, Equiery Intern
50 to 1
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

50 to 1 is not your typical racing movie. But then again, Mine That Bird was not your typical racehorse. A three-year-old gelding with no wins in the U.S., he captured the world’s attention with his 50-1 win in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. He went on to place second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont. So what makes his story worthy of a major motion picture put out by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment? The people behind the horse.

This movie is more about Mine That Bird’s owners, a misfit group of New Mexican cowboys who previously had only raced Quarter Horses, the horse’s fairly unknown trainer Chip Woolley and the Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel, who took to the irons on Derby Day, than it is a movie about the horse himself. And it is these people’s story of family and belief in one horse’s big heart that make it a worthwhile movie to watch.

The film stars Skeet Ulrich as Woolley, Christian Kane as owner Mark Allen, and appearances by William Devane, Todd Lowe and Madelyn Deutch. And appearing as himself is Calvin Borel. Directed by Oscar winner Jim Wilson (1990 Best Picture,), the cinematography puts you right there on the track, in the barns and everywhere else the story takes you. Plus, you get actual race footage intermixed with the Hollywood stuff.

This film is funand entertaining and its long-shot happy ending will leave you with happy tears. Borel’s reenactment of his historic win will make any racing enthusiast smile and cry at the same time. Borel steals the show!

Parents beware, however; the film is rated PG-13 for language and is not intended for young audiences. And at times, the underdog persona and the way certain people (i.e., trainer Bob Bafford) are portrayed are a bit over-the-top.

I highly recommend watching the documentary “The Making of 50 to 1,” which is included in the DVD. The documentary is full of historic tidbits and fun facts as well as insights into how and why the film was made.

- Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery Managing Editor

Dante of the Maury River by Gigi Amateau
Candlewick Press

When Dante was born, there were automatically high expectations. He was expected to be a magnificent racehorse, but that was soon proven wrong. After his failures on the track, Dante is sent to a TB rescue facility before being adopted to Maury River Stables. He soon finds friendship in horses and riders, and his skills are put to the test in the ring. Narrated from Dante's POV.

Rider+Horse=1: How To Achieve the Fluid Dialogue that Leads to Harmonious Performance by Eckart Meyners, Hannes Muller and Kerstin Niemann
Trafalgar Square

This book provides riders with tips and ways to improve the connection between horse and rider. Some items include balancing exercises, the use of aids and their importance, bending and more.This book provides riders with tips and ways to improve the connection between horse and rider. Some items include balancing exercises, the use of aids and their importance, bending and more.

The Art of Liberty Training for Horses: Attain New Levels of Leadership, Unity, Feel, Engagement, and Purpose in All That You Do with Your Horse by Jonathan Field
Trafalgar Square

In the novel by Field, he explains that Liberty is about moving and communicating with your horse and create a smooth and seamless dance. Developing this relationship with your horse benefits all that you do. With this book, you learn to have a better feel with rewarding your horse sooner and timing your aids to receive the correct response desired.

Wendy Murdoch's 5-Minute Fixes To Improve Your Riding by Wendy Murdoch
Trafalgar Square Books

Wendy Murdoch orvides solutions to transform riding position in this 60 minute DVD. She also teaches how to perform these solutions in a safe and correct manner as well as explaining why each method works.

Wendy Murdoch's 5-Minute Jumping Fixes: Favorite Solutions For Better Jumping Performance in No Time by Wendy Murdoch
Trafalgar Square Books

In this DVD, Wendy Murdoch teaches how to improve your jumping position over fences, how to perform each task safely and correctly and why each quick fix works and helps turn bad habits to good ones!

Over Under Through: Obstacle Training for Horses by Vanessa Bee
Trafalgar Square Books

When considering common obstacles that might scare a horse, you usually find they require the horse to go over something (like a brigde, threshold, or log), under something (such as a tunnel, low branch, or flags), or through it (as in a gateway, ditch, or heavy brush). Sometimes there can be a combination of all three elements!

To deal with such challenges, Bee has provided Six Blueprint Exercises to lay the foundation of skills you need to teach a horse to go over, under, and through just about anything. Plus, 50 a walk through of 50 common scenarios.

The Message From The Horse by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling
Trafalgar Square Books

In the form of a wandering, lyrical, autobiographical narrative, world-renowned horseman Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling exposes the inner turmoil, the fear, the doubt, and the darkness that sends him off the roads most traveled in search of answers. His quest for meaning takes him to lonely spaces high up in the mountains where a mysterious old monk pushes the impetuous young Hempfling to question his grasp of self and other, of perception and reality. When Hempfling fails to understand the angry heart of an abused and starving stallion, he is sent on to find and follow an elusive band of wild horses, an exhausting journey that beckons with illumination–but only at great cost.

2014 Book and DVD Releases

3-Minute Horsemanship by Vanessa Bee
Trafalgar Square Books

60 amazingly achievable lessons to improve your horse and yourself when time is short.

40 5-minute Jumping Fixes by Wendy Murdoch
Trafalgar Square Books

40 different ways to help create better balance in the saddle, improved body control from head to tow and increased influence with your seat. Focus is on rider position for over fences.

Believing in Horses, Too by Valerie Ormond
J.B. Max Publishing

Valerie Ormond’s Believing in Horses, Too, continues the adventures of 13-year-old Sadie Navarro. Although Sadie is quite mature, and adults entrust her with tasks and duties far beyond her young years, she also suffers from the crushing insecurities of the average teenage girl. Toss in the local mean girl, and a father stationed in Afghanistan, and Sadie has a lot to deal with.

In Ormond’s previous novel, Believing In Horses, Sadie rescued ten horses bound for slaughter. Now about a year later, Sadie is following up on the placements of the horses, and checks in on one who was adopted by a local therapeutic riding program. After seeing how equine-assisted therapies work, Sadie decides to learn more about the programs, and even though she is too young to volunteer, she finds ways to get involved. One of the first organizations she goes to work for uses horses to help wounded veterans, which Sadie finds intimidating. Knowing that her father was in the military and thinking she might find it interesting, Sadie’s mentor arranged for her to spend time at the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs. Sadie doesn’t want to let her mentor down, so she soldiers on, and hopes that her fears won’t get in her way.

Sadie also finds time to show her horse Lucky, and earns enough points to be in the running for the season-end championship honors, but an accident takes her horse out of the running. Working with the wounded veterans proves easier for Sadie than coping with the local mean girl and horse show rival, but wise-beyond-her-years Sadie eventually clues into her rival’s issues and learns how to deal with her. Sadie endures her own problems and insecurities, and remembers the words her father told her, “Never give in,” and her other mantra “I believe,” and when tested, falls back on these pillars.

Parents of young readers will approve of Sadie, she is smart, and she is kind. In addition to all the problems of a 13-year-old, Sadie also copes with having a military father stationed far away, a theme that will resonate with many Marylanders. There are many teachable moments in the novel, and valuable lessons in understanding others, the importance of hard work and persistence, and the value of forgiveness.

Ormond weaves real Maryland organizations and people throughout the novel, so local readers might have fun seeing who they know. Even the popular Caisson Platoon horse Klinger makes an appearance. Ormond believes passionately in the military (and the enormous debt we owe our troops) and in horses, and it shines through in her writing. The lessons her characters learn and teach never get old, and should always be reinforced--the importance of hard work, friendship, kindness, self-reliance, and family cannot be repeated often enough.

- Tracy McKenna, Equiery Ad Manager

Bramble and Maggie: Spooky Season by Jessie Haas with illustrations by Alison Friend
Candlewick Press

In this third book in the Bramble and Maggie series, the pair explore teh fall season ending with a fun trick or treating adventure.

Building a Life Together by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon with Agnes
Galletier Trafalgar Square Books

Authors Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon have strived to live their lives in perfect partnership with their horses. They toured the world as part of the original cast of Cavalia from 2003 to 2009 (which made a stop in nearby VA.... the 2013 tour stopped in MD). This book welcomes readers into their home/farm in France to learn from example how to bond fully with your horse and gain their trust.

Chincoteague Pony Identification Cards 2 by Lois Szymanski
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

This is the second set of identification cards by Maryland author Lois Szymanski and The Equiery loves the idea! Each card displays a photo of one of the Chincoteague ponies on one side and information about the pony on the other. Information includes a description of the pony as well as the pony’s lineage, year of birth and banding. A fun game to play with your kids would be to get these cards, go to the island and see who can ID the most ponies! Sort of like bird watching for wild horses.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery editor

Creative Dressage Schooling by Julia Kohl
Trafalgar Square Books

The goal of this book is to provide practical exercises to keep you and your horse busy and to provide ideas for using movements and schooling figures in different ways.

Dressage Movements Revealed by Jim Masterson
Trafalgar Square Books

A two-disc DVD set with author Jim Masterson, USDF medalist Betsy Steiner and author/artist Susan Harris. The DVD demonstrates how the modern dressage horse moves and what riders can do to improve the horse's ability to perform the movements required at each level of dressage.

Dressage Solutions: A Rider's Guide by Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg with Andrew Fitzpatrick
Trafalgar Square Books

A practical and comprehensive guide for dressage riders starting with lungeing and backing and moving on through the rider's seat and aides.

Games for Kids on Horseback by Gabriele Karcher
Trafalgar Square Books

16 ideas for fun and safe horseplay. These games help promote balance and overall riding skills while having fun. Many of the games featured are included in USPC rallies and 4-H gymkhanas.

Good Horse Bad Habits by Heather Smith Thomas
Trafalgar Square Books

Practical solutions to problem behavior in the barn, under saddle and out in the world. The ultimate reference featuring more than 130 common problems.

Horses of the Dawn: The Escape by Kathryn Lasky
Scholastic Inc.

The Horses of Dawn are rounded up and shipped across the ocean but on the trip, the humans have to make the ship lighter so they toss the horses overboard. A filly guides the horses to safety and takes charge of the herd.

Just Paul by Ingrid Klimke
Trafalgar Square Books

Just Paul, one of Olympian's Ingrid Klimke's young dressage prospects is the focus of this documentary and training DVD. Part 1, released this year, is called The First Year of Training, and follows the 3-year-old Oldenburg gelding through his first lessons under saddle.

Kids Riding With Confidence by Andrea and Markus Eschbach
Trafalgar Square Books

More easy to learn lessons in natural horsemanship for kids. The second book for Andrea and Markus Eschbach on the topic of natural horsemanship language to communicate.

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo with illustrations by Chris Van Dusen
Candlewick Press

The first book in this new children's book series features spin off character's from Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson books including Leroy, Stella, Frank and Mrs. Watson.

Suffering in Silence by Jochen Schleese
Trafalgar Square Books

How proper saddle fit influences the horse both physically and mentally.

The Riding Doctor by Beth Glosten, MD
Trafalgar Square Books

A prescription for healthy, balanced, beautiful riding, now and for years to come, through use of anatomy that makes sense and exercises that make a difference.

The True Story of Quintilius by Lois Szymanski
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

Maryland author Lois Szymanski has written 27 children’s books, mainly about the ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague islands. In her newest book, The True Story of Quintilius, we meet Marylander Caroline, who has saved all her money to be able to purchase a pony at the annual auction. She also volunteers her time to the Feather Fund and meets Quintilius while helping the Saltwater Cowboys tag the foals for auction. Sadly, Quintilius is tagged to be returned to the island but Caroline can’t get the pony out of her head and figures out a way to purchase him. This true story is a bit of a tear-jerker and the connection between pony and kid is heartfelt.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery editor

Triple Cross by Kit Ehrman
Poisoned Pen Press

A crime/mystery novel focused around the Kentucky Derby.

Sgt Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton
Regnery History

The story of Sgt. Reckless, the equine Marine who served during the Korean War, is a one that The Equiery loves, especially as presented in a new book by author Robin Hutton. But a firm rule about Equiery book reviews requires a Maryland connection, whether author, publisher, subject, location, plot line, photographer, some thread, however minor, that ties it to the state. Sometimes there’s nothing: Reckless never set hoof here, her biographer lives in California, the book was published in New York, and even the statue standing in her honor is in Virginia, not Maryland.

But sometimes, if you dig deep enough, you can find a nugget. So before we offer our review of They Called Her Reckless, here are some obscure bits of trivia linking the mare to Maryland.

Until his death in 2013, Col. Richard Rothwell, who promoted Reckless to Staff Sergeant, lived in Catonsville. Rothwell, the Commanding Officer of the 5th Marines, presented the promotion to the mare for “attention to duty, devotion and loyalty to the Marine Corps.” Her elevation to Staff Sergeant is an honor not given to any animal before or since. During the promotion ceremony, Rothwell also promoted Reckless’s then two-month-old foal, Private Fearless, to Private First Class.

When Native Dancer was sweeping away opponents and making headlines, Reckless’s platoon issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to the pride of Glyndon, Maryland. The marines wrote to owner Alfred Vanderbilt, suggesting a “Rice Paddy Derby match race,” to be run over 1½ miles of hills and rice paddies, with a weight of 192 lbs, or the equivalent of eight rounds of ammunition. The horses never competed, but Reckless’s fans were certain that even the magnificent Grey Ghost would be no match for the little sorrel mare.

The tale of Sgt. Reckless first caught the attention of Robin Hutton almost eight years ago, when she spotted a chapter in the pages of Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul. Hutton, a longtime writer in the entertainment business, was hooked by this almost-forgotten bit of history from the so-called Forgotten War. Intrigued by the diminutive mare who carted ammunition for Marines in combat, she began researching to learn more.

Just as time has blurred the war stories of our fathers and grandfathers, so had Reckless’s chronicle largely faded into the past. Hutton wanted to bring a fresh perspective to the story, educating a new generation about this real-life “war horse,” a practical warrior who helped with physical labor and also boosted the spirits of her human colleagues with her seemingly fearless behavior.

Hutton follows the horse from her birth at a Korean racetrack and transition from potential race winner into full-fledged Marine. No official training existed for an ammunition pack horse, but the red mare seemed a natural after becoming accustomed to the sound of shellfire. Twice wounded in battle, Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Organized into short, highly readable sections such as “Hoof Camp Begins” and “The Work of Ten Marines,” the book is spiced with accompanying photos from Reckless’s career, providing a timeline that stretches from battlefield to ceremonial appearances to retirement, motherhood and an unmarked final resting spot at Camp Pendleton. Hutton writes in a conversational style, sketching a vivid portrait of a special horse whose presence affected those around her. She researched extensively, interviewing those who knew Reckless and delving into Marine Corps history. Her efforts generated enough interest to fund and dedicate a monument to Reckless, a lifelike bronze statue now standing at Quantico, Virginia.

The author thoughtfully includes a detailed index, as well as a page of detachable “trading cards” of Sgt. Reckless, complete with lifetime statistics even Derek Jeter couldn’t match.

- Kathy Blumenstock, Equiery contributor

They Called Her Reckless: True Story of War, Love and One Extraordinary Horse by Janet Barrett
Tall Cedar Books

Reckless's story also resounded with Connecticut author Janet Barrett, who first heard of the mare in 1992 while covering thoroughbred racing in New York. Instantly hooked by the tale, she began reaching out to those in the Marine Corps community, especially those who had known the horse, and was rewarded with photos and fond recollections.

Her 2013 book "They Called Her Reckless" follows much of the same territory as readers encounter in Robin Hutton's "Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse," from her rather unofficial 'recruitment' into service, through battles as an artillery packhorse and the two Purple Hearts she earned, and finally her arrival in the U.S. in 1954. Courtesy of many individuals, Barrett includes previously unpublished photos that depict Reckless and "the guys," as she refers to those who served with and worked around the mare in Korea and at California's Camp Pendleton.

In her epilogue, Barrett drops some intriguing tidbits: a film about Reckless starring John Wayne and Vic Damone had been in the works before Wayne's death, and Charlie Murphy, the New York Racing Association employee who first mentioned the horse to her, succeeded in getting a race named for Reckless in 1989. Murphy also tried to get Reckless into Saratoga’s Racing Hall of Fame, but Barrett admits she is unsure how or when Murphy encountered Reckless. At just 177 pages, "They Called Her Reckless" is a quick read that introduces a once-forgotten war hero whose appeal spans the ages.
- The Equiery

When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics by Beth Baumert
Trafalgar Square Books

Author Beth Baumert is a writer and editor for Dressage Today (which is based in Gaithersburg, MD). This book describes how both the horse and rider work as individuals and what needs to be done to have them work as a pair with a focus on dressage.

2013 Book and DVD Releases

American Gold by The Chronicle of the Horse, Inc
The Chronicle of the Horse, Inc

The story of the Equestrian sports in the 1984 Olympics. Includes Maryland-bred Touch of Class. Plus forward by Marylander Peter Winants and photos by Marylander Cappy Jackson.

Arabian Inspection (DVD) by HSUS
YesVideo Inc

Inspection footage of the Queen Anne's County Arabian seisure from 2009

Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey and America's Horse by Dorothy Ours
St. Martin's Press

If Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey and America’s Horse sounds a little like Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling Seasbiscuit: An American Legend, read on. For, despite a familiar format and tone, Battleship is a horse of a different color. It seems only fitting, on the 75th anniversary of his historic triumph in the English Grand National, to celebrate this son of Man o’War, who was not only the first American-bred and American-owned horse to win this daunting steeplechase, but at 15.1-15.2 hands, one of the smallest to do so, and with the youngest jockey (Bruce Hobbs, then 17 and over 6’ tall). Battleship is also the only horse to have won both the English and the American Grand National steeplechases. While his tale is the stuff of legend, Dorothy Ours’ fresh perspective makes for delightful reading. Straight from the gate, this is a well-researched exploration of Team Battleship, as well as a colorful snapshot of an era when horses could still be national heroes. Ours’ peek inside the life of Battleship’s owner, Marion duPont Scott, addresses issues from the heiress’ love of cockfighting and her abandonment of show ring competition to her relationships with her first and second husbands, and the quiet “unlocking” of her dreams with help from celebrated equestrians Noel Laing and Carroll Bassett. Scott’s trailblazing ascent to the top of the owners’ charts and the development of her world-class breeding program are all duly chronicled, along with Trouble Maker’s cautionary tale and the transformation of Scott’s historic Montpelier estate into a major training center. Yet as she moves from strength to strength, we glimpse her human, even vulnerable side. Battleship also examines the world of teenaged jockey Bruce Hobbs, who, born and bred to tackle the English Grand National, takes the 11-year-old longshot’s reins for the ride of his life. Repeatedly overfaced by his demanding father from an early age, Hobbs rises above his past to pursue his own goals his own way. A sensitive rider, he has almost magical faith in his mount, whom he views as a clever, courageous jumper blessed with a “fifth leg.” And if the buildup to Battleship’s own story seems prolonged, it only mirrors the time it takes for Scott and her team to acquire the faltering flat horse and hone his talent over fences. Through the injuries and setbacks, Scott never gives up, and Battleship continues to mature. There are unexpected pleasures, like accounts of the stallion’s conditioning in the Virginia mountains and his championship year tackling brush courses up and down the circuit. In England, the “Pocket Battleship” proves tougher still, though it takes time to regain his speed and prove himself to his English trainer, Bruce Hobbs’ father Reg. (Doubtful of Battleship’s ability, he tries repeatedly to persuade Scott to scratch him.) There are plenty of poignant moments, including the tragic loss of the gifted man (Laing) who’d introduced Battleship to steeplechasing. And Ours’ breathtaking account of Battleship’s miraculous Grand National—a trip that nearly doesn’t happen, despite years of preparation—is well worth the price of admission. (Not bad for a horse the English consider a “halfbred”!) Vignettes throughout the narrative lend historical context to Battleship’s story. Look, too, for riveting accounts of classic Maryland Hunt Cup runnings, the construction of the original Fair Hill course and other points of local interest. All in all, Battleship is a moving read by a talented writer, and a worthy addition to any sporting library.
- Laurel Scott, former Equiery editor

Belair from the Beginning by Shirley V. Baltz
City of Bowie Museums

In the early days of colonial Maryland, hundreds of tracts of land were patented to the settlers and planters who flocked to its shores. After centuries of sales, splits and mergers, only a small number remain identifiable today. One of the few is Belair. BelairfromtheBeginning

Belair Stud by Kimberly Gatto
The History Press

In the center of a 1960s development in the heart of Bowie, MD, there sits a grand brick Georgian manor home known as Belair. In recent years, the building has served as the Bowie City Hall, and as a conference center. But why is it there?

Kimberly Gatto's
Belair Stud is the biography of a great estate that has sheltered Maryland governors, presidents, nobility, industrial tycoons, and some of the greatest horses the world has ever known. Through many owners, the common thread for the estate was the Thoroughbred and racing.

Thoroughbreds began to take hold in Maryland in the mid 1740s, former Governor Samuel Ogle imported Spark and Queen Mab from England to his home, Belair. These two horses were the first English Thoroughbreds imported to Maryland. They would not be the last. After Ogle's death, another important Thoroughbred was imported to Belair, and her arrival would leave a lasting impression on racing in America.

Colonel Benjamin Tasker, Jr., caretaker of Belair after Ogle's death (Ogle's heir was too young to manage the estate), quickly recognized that in order to produce the best horses, you needed to breed the best to the best. So he imported Selima from England. Anyone who knows anything about Thoroughbreds can list the three founding sires of the breed - the Darley Arabian, Byerley Turk, & the Godolphin Arabian (or Barb). Selima was a daughter of the Godolphin Arabian. Even today, Selima is remembered in Maryland, with a room at the Bowie Library, which holds a collection of books, periodicals, clippings and more, devoted to Thoroughbred racing & breeding, with a special emphasis on Maryland's contributions.

After arriving in Maryland in 1750, Selima began racing, and winning. A wealthy Virginian (who expected to win) put out a call for a race over 4 miles, with the winner taking all the entry fees (each entrant supplied an amount that would "furnish a mansion"). Tasker entered Selima, and she was ridden the entire way to course (about 150 miles). The other horses were all local, and only traveled a few miles. When Selima won the race, the petulant Virginia establishment decreed that Maryland horses could no longer race in Virginia. Crafty Marylanders got around this prohibition by foaling out their mares in other states. The Belair juggernaut continued until about 1829 when succeeding generations of Ogles could no longer afford breeding and racing.

Over the years, the fortunes of Belair would rise and fall depending on the fortunes of its owners. In good times, the lands would increase, and when the owners needed quick cash, acreage would be sold. The estate would shrink and swell between 500 to 1500 acres over the centuries. Although still in Ogle hands during the mid 1800s, the family struggled to maintain the property which was ultimately divided into two parcels, one with the mansion and some acreage, and the remaining acreage. In 1871, the mansion and 550 acres were sold at public auction. It would be resold several more times, and continue to decline, until New York banker James Woodward purchased what remained of the estate (about 371 acres), in 1898.

An Anne Arundel County native, James Woodward was just what Belair needed. A man of vision, and more importantly, a man of means, Woodward set about to restore and improve upon Belair's former glory. In the ten years he owned Belair, James Woodward, purchased back about 800 acres, modernized the home, and built new stables that would house the horses that would return Belair to racing glory. Woodward's death in 1910 would move Belair into the hands of his nephew, William Woodward, whose goal was to win the Epsom Derby.

Under William Woodward's stewardship, Belair horses won the major American horse races regularly. Gallant Fox won the 1930 Triple Crown (he was the second horse to do so, and it was after his victory, that a reporter dubbed the series the "Triple Crown". Until 1932, the Preakness was held before the Kentucky Derby.) In 1935, the Gallant Fox son Omaha would take home those honors. They are only father/son winners of the Triple Crown to date. Fans of Thoroughbred racing might recognize some of the other great Belair Horses: Fighting Fox, Foxbrough, Johnstown, Vagrancy, and Nashua.

In 1953, William Woodward died, leaving the estate to his son William Jr., or Billy. In the begining, Billy was not all that interested in racing, but his wife Ann loved the glamorous life in the winner's circle. By 1954, Billy too had caught the racing bug, and Belair seemed poised to win a third Triple Crown with Nashua, a horse Billy had seen grow up in the fields at Belair, the product of his father's methodical breeding. Sadly, Nashua failed to win the Kentucky Derby, losing by a length and a half to Swaps. Nashua would prove his worth by winning the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown. The public so loved Nashua that there was even a Match Race between Nashua and Swaps, a do over of the Derby for just them. Nashua won.

The end of Belair as a great estate was quick and tragic. On October 30, 1955, Billy and Ann Woodward dined at the home of friends on Long Island at a dinner in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. During dinner, the conversation turned to the reports of a prowler in the neighborhood. After dinner, Billy and Ann retired to their separate bedrooms, each armed with a gun for protection. At some point in the night, Ann heard a noise, and went into the hallway. Although Ann was an enthusiastic big game hunter, she was not accounted a good shot. When she saw something in the hall that night, she took a shot, and though she missed her target, the bullet bounced, hitting Billy Woodward, killing him instantly. The police and a grand jury judged Ann innocent, but Society judged her guilty, even after the prowler who was on the roof of their home that night confessed. (Ann and both of her sons would all die by suicide.)

Billy Woodward had not updated his will to include Belair, and so instead of passing it to his two young sons, the trustees decided that Belair and the horses would all go up for auction. Nashua was sold to Spendthrift Farm, and the broodmares and foals would be scattered to other farms, and the estate was sold to developer Willam J. Levitt. The once rich fields of Belair were turned into a housing development, and the grand brick mansion was the developer's headquarters. Once the neighborhood was finished, Levitt gave the mansion to the city of Bowie with the provision that the mansion could only be used for public purposes. Levitt also gave the stable to the city, which now houses a museum.

Belair blood still flows in many of today’s horses, but it is only a whisper of generations past. There are still races named after Belair and its denizens: the Selima Stakes; the Gallant Fox Handicap; the Vagrancy Handicap, the Nashua Stakes, and even the Woodward Stakes. Gatto’s book is rich in the history of racing, and racing in Maryland, and is a fascinating look at the history of one home through the centuries. When we think about the great Maryland racing estates, Sagamore almost always comes to mind, but the greatness that was Sagamore could never have happened without Belair. For more about Belair, read the city of Bowie’s
Belair from the Beginning by Shirley V. Baltz, and for more about Belair’s final family, read Susan Braudy’s This Crazy Thing Called Love, or Dominick Dunne’s fictionalized version, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.
-Tracy McKenna, Ad Manager

Chincoteague Pony Identification Cards by Lois Szymanski and Linda Kantjas
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

Maryland author, Lois Szymanski, with photographer Linda Kantjas, created a set of Chincoteague Pony Identification Cards. Spend the day on Assateague Island matching up the pictures on the cards with the ponies you see on the beach! Learn the pony's names and find out a bit about each one's history. These will be tons of fun for children and adults alike!
-Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads

Equine Beauty: A Study of Horses by Raphael Macek teNeues

Two hundred and seven pages of pure perfection, Equine Beauty: A Study of Horses by Brazilian photographer Raphael Macek is a must have for any photographer whether you are a horse lover or not. Each equine subject is thoughtfully photographed with the composition, lighting and uniqueness of each horse’s personality exquisitely depicted in print. Macek has this incredible gift for capturing each horse in a way that shows his or her power and grace. The photographs themselves seem to stare right into the souls of the viewer and command that you linger on each page. Soak in the richness of each photograph, as I am sure they will forever be ingrained in your head.
-Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

Essential Principles of Horsehoeing by Dr. Doug Butler, Jacob Butler and Peter Butler
Doug Butler Enterprises, Inc.

For beginners to experienced farriers seeking to perfect their craft, this book equips individuals of all backgrounds with the best techniques to accurately trim and shoe horses.

Healthy Stables by Design Hardback by John Blackburn with Beth Herman
images Publishing

Buy this book if you love barns. Buy this book if you love architecture. Buy this book if you love horses. If you love all three, you will buy this book of pure eye candy and be in absolute heaven.

Buy the book if you love getting a sneak peak into some of the most fabulous private equestrian facilities in the United States. Buy the book if you collect anything and everything having to do with Maryland’s own iconic Sagamore Farm.

Don’t buy the book if you turn your nose up at modern architecture. Don’t buy the book if you are an old barn snob and you think only an old barn is a good barn.

Or heck, DO by the book and learn something! Because in this book you will see how world-renowned, Washington, D.C.-based architect John Blackburn successfully melds the traditional craftsmanship and principles with modern science and technology – all for the betterment of the horse.

If you are considering building or salvaging a barn, buy this book, not just for the beautiful pictures but for the fascinating stories which accompany each project. Each project narrative is structured like any good story, with a beginning, middle and end, or introduction, body and conclusion. We are introduced to each project by learning how the client and Blackburn came together, the history, geography and municipal challenges of the site, as well as the purpose, design and construction challenges. The crux of each narrative is the actual building of the barn, complete with details such as roof pitch, materials, and how the final choice interacts with the local microclimate.

As with all good story, the body of each narrative contains dramatic tension. Not all of Blackburn’s high profile clients have shared his design priorities or principals, including Under Armour’s Kevin Plank, owner of Maryland’s historic Sagamore Farm. In Blackburn’s narrative, he navigates the reader through the inevitable creative clashes with clients, diplomatically deferring to his clients and how the priorities of his clients not only may have challenged him but took the project to a higher, even more satisfying level.

And if you are going to build a barn without the benefit of an architect, then this is a good reference source for both client and barn builder, as you may just pick up a useful tip or two!

-Crystal B. Kimball, Equiery publisher

Horse Racing Photography by Arthur Frank, Essay by Joe Drape
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

Award-winning photographer Arthur Frank holds nothing back in this riveting photographic story of Thoroughbred horse racing with over 180 pages of simply photographs. The only text is a brief introduction by Frank and an essay by New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape. The rest is pure photography at its best. This is Frank’s second photography book, his first being Cowboy Up. In this book, Horse Racing, Frank mixes photos from several U.S., Irish, and French tracks including Laurel Park in Maryland.

Although there are no captions, there is a very clear story from the beginning of the book, which features horses in paddocks, to the paddock, starting gate, actual race, winners circle and post race horse care. You can literally feel the horses stretching across the pages, feel the excitement as you look at the crowds’ reactions and find yourself flipping the pages faster and faster just to see who wins. The photographs easily speak for themselves without captions, however I do wish there was some sort of glossary of who’s who at the end of the book as I feel that some of the history that is being depicted is lost. Some of my favorite pages are actually the ones of the people behind the scenes such as a farrier putting on a shoe, jockeys and trainers chatting before and after races, and spectators anxiously waiting for the race to start. By far however, the photo in my opinion that really says “Horse Racing” is not of any horse or person. It is the empty starting gate on page 99. The photo, taken with the gates open, looking out onto the empty track, gives one the feeling of hope, anticipation and desire. Hope of even getting to that gate, anticipation of the race and desire to win.

-Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

Justice for Speedy by Judy Berkley
Jera Publishing

Readers get a behind-the-scenes look at the abusive practices found in the Arabian horseshow world that ensnare Judy Berkley and her horse, Speedy.

Know You, Know Your Horse by Eunice Rush, Marry Morrow
Trafalgar Square

A look at humans and horse personalities to identify "types" and matchmaking to ensure long-term relationships.

Love Your Pony, Love Your Planet by Laura B. Bratts, MS, PAS
Mascot Books

This fun and colorful book offers a wealth of knowledge about modern eco-friendly farming and horse care practices, described in easy to read sentences , suitable for a juvenile audience. The author draws distinct parallels between good horsemanship and being a good steward to the earth. She promotes all-natural feeding habits, grooming products and insect-repellants, when possible and explains the importance of recycling and resusing the unnatural horse care necessities (plastic shampoo bottles and supplement containers), when possible. I would recommend this read to all children who have been bitten by the "pony bug". Kids are our future; this is THEIR earth. Even if not all of the recommendations in this book are logical, practical, or possible in their current pony care situation (many kids board their ponies and are not the decision makers where farming practices are concerned), there ARE things they can do now, and the rest they can put in their memory banks for years to come!
-Jennifer Webster, Associate Publisher

Modern Eventing with Phillip Dutton by Phillip Dutton with Amber Heintzberger
Trafalgar Square

Finally! A book about the sport of modern day eventing that is as complete as Mark Todd’s Novice Eventing With Mark Todd. Modern Eventing with Phillip Dutton really is a complete resource as stated on its cover. From tips on horse shopping to surrounding yourself with a team of vets, farriers and family supporters, as well as course walking and even braiding, this book is much more than just a training book. The book even has an appendix that is an event packing list. Add to that tons of photographs (including several from Fair Hill International in Elkton) and personal stories from Dutton himself (did you know that The Foreman was originally raced by the Fenwick family?) and you have a book that is perfect for any eventing enthusiast of any level.
-Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

Pressure Proof Your Riding by Daniel Stewart
Trafalgar Square Books

Daniel Stewart is an internationally recognized sport psychology expert and riding coach. This book outlines his methods on how riders can train themselves to be "pressure proof" when it comes to training and competitions.

The Greatest Luck a Horse Can Have by Kristen Marizy
epubli GmbH, Berlin

Experiences of the author and other people show what could happen when horse and man are together.

The Sea Horse Trade by Sasscer Hill
Wildside Press, LLC

Maryland horse people know her as Lynda Hill or Lynda Sasscer Hill, but in the publishing world she is known by her nom de plum Sasscer Hill. But to us, we know her as a local foxhunter, Thoroughbred breeder, and a one-time amateur jockey. Like the horses she bred, it's in her blood, as a descendent of Samuel Ogle, colonial governor of Maryland in the mid- 1700's, who is credited with bringing horse racing and some of the first English-bred Thoroughbreds to the colonies.

Like many of us, Lynda grew up reading Dick Francis, and like Francis's mysteries, Lynda's Nikki Latrelle series are engaging and easy to read, including her newest release,
The Sea Horse Trade, which takes readers out of Maryland down to Florida for a wild ride on the dark side, mixing horse racing, a mysterious drug kingpin, prostitution, and a mother's brave search for the daughter she was forced to give up at birth. But readers beware! If you have become fond of any of Sasscer Hill's stable of characters, you are in for a surprise!

Well done, Lynda! A must for anyone who loves murder mysteries in the horse worls, or anyone building their collection of Maryland-related horse books! Get a copy, and the next time she is in town, Lynda will be sure to sign it for you. (Maryland bid farewell to Lynda and her husband last year, when they moved to Aiken, South Carolina.)
-Crystal Kimball, Publisher

The True Story of Miracle Man by Lois Szymanski
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd

The True Story of Miracle Man by, Maryland author, Lois Szymanski would make a great gift for any young child crazy about ponies! Sure to bring a smile to your face, this is a heartwarming story about the rescue and recovery of an orphan colt and the wonderful people who gave Miracle Man a second chance at life.
-Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads

The World Almanac for Kids 2014 by Robert Famighetti
World Almanac Books

The World Almanac for Kids 2014 is packed with tons of facts on tons of topics! Have the answers right at your fingertips!

2012 Book and DVD Releases

7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman (DVD) by Cindy Meehl & Cedar Creek Productions
Trafalgar Square Books

This seven disc series is from filmmaker Cindy Meehl, who is the director of the award-winning documentary "Buck" The series is filmed at seven different clinic locations to explore Buck Brannaman's best advice for improving the way we ride and workd with horses.

101 Ground Training Exercises for Every Horse & Handler by Cherry Hill
Storey Publishing

These exercises leads you and your horse through catching,yielding, turning, sacking out, backing, loneing, long lining, doing obstacle work, and much more.

Balancing Act: The Horse in Sport - An Irreconcilable Conflict? by Dr. Greg Heuschmann
Trafalgar Square Books

New biomechanical, historical, and ethical evidence that "modern" riding and training methods wreak havoc on the horse's body and mind. Plus, five chapters of researched and proven recommendations for retraining: the tense horse; the rein-lame horse; the horse with gait deviations; the hyperflexed horse; and the unbalanced horse that is completely off the aids.

Chincoteague Ponies: Untold Tales by Lois Szymanski
Schiffer Publishing LTD

Maryland native Lois Szymanski has authored several books on the ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague. Some have been whimsical children’s books and others are informational books geared towards adults. Her newest book, Chincoteague Ponies: Untold Stories, written with fellow Marylander Pam Emge and with photographs and illustrations by Linda Kantjas, is an odd cross between a children’s book and a scientific field guide. Although the photography is stunning and the captions are interesting, it is unclear who the intended audience is supposed to be.

Most of the captions give too much detail on breeding lines and the island’s ecosystem to keep a child interested. But then some of the captions are too childish, such as “Surfer Dude greets an egret….” making the readers feel as if they are about to hear a story about Surfer Dude. Which would be ok, considering the title is “Untold Stories.” However, if you are looking for untold stories about these island ponies, you will be sorely disappointed. What you get instead is an incredible fact-based information guide on almost every pony that lives on Assateague and which, if you are into those sorts of things, is very interesting. The flow of the book is also a bit disjointed, and seems to skip around a bit.

As for the photography and artwork… The photography is stunning and often gives the ponies a romantic, mystical feel. The artwork is nice, but honestly, is not needed and seems to have just been stuck in there to show off Kantjas’ work. And when you put a painting across from a photograph, it is clear which one is better.

There is no doubt as you read through this book that Szymanski is an expert on Chincoteague ponies. There is no doubt that she is passionate about the breed. I just wish the book had a more cohesive feel and a less misleading title.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

Crown Prince by Linda Snow McLoon
Trafalgar Square Books

Sarah Wagner has always dreamed of having a horse on her own. When she stops a runaway school horse before he gallops onto a busy highway, Sarah captures the attention of the owners of Brookmeade Farm and is gifted the racetrack rouge Crown Prince. Now Sarah must convince her parents her new horse is safe to ride while struggling to keep his former owner from taking him back.

Crown Prince Challenged by Linda Snow McLoon
Trafalgar Square Books

The second book in the Brookmeade Young Riders series continues the adventures of Sarah Wagner and Crown Prince. Sarah dreams of reaching the highest level of equestrian competition and with help from her trainer Jack O'Brien, she learns skills to join the advanced class at the farm. When they earn a spot on the farm team to ride in the Wexford Hall Cup, Sarah must deal with envious and malicious teammates. Can Sarah and the horse she loves escape a deadly plot of revenge?

Flying Change: A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing by Patrick Smithwick
Chesapeake Book Company

This charming book, written by Maryland horseman Patrick Smithwick, is a true story of his return to steeplechasing and his quest to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup. The book turned into more than that, however. It is a story of trying to balance all the aspects of one’s life, facing the fear of failure, getting back in the game, and stepping away from the television to enjoy the outdoors and really live life. The author will take you on a fence-by-fence course walk of the Maryland Hunt Cup with Mikey Smithwick and sail over every jump with him during the race. For Marylanders and anyone involved in steeplechasing, the book is chock full of names and places you are sure to recognize. You may have even ridden across some of the same fields and jumped some of the same fences. The story itself is compelling, but the somewhat choppy and, at times, overly detailed writing style became a bit of a distraction.
- Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads

For the Love of the Horse: Volume IV by Ann Jamieson
Ann Jamieson

This is a touching group of stories documenting the wonderful relationship between man (worman and child) and the horse (and one mule), stories touching every discipline and every part of the world, stories of how horses can return themselves and humans to health after horrific injury to body or mind.

One such story is from Reddemeade Stables (Silver Spring) and rider Robert Goodman who recounts his experience participating in a Washington, DC parade. Diana De Rosa, a New York photographer who has many Maryland clients, including
The Equiery, has several photos featured throughout the book. And some stories take place at shows just around the corner, such as the Washington International Horse Show.
A super gift for the horse lover in anyone’s life.
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping

Horse Bits & Pieces by Sarah Widdicombe
David & Charles

A collection of facts and explanations to amaze and amuse, this is a horse lover's treasury of trivia.

Horse Profiling: the Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes by Kerry Thomas, Calvin L. Carter
Trafalgar Square Books

Early on in his research of wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana, Kerry Thomas determined that what he calls "Emotional Conformation" - not physical conformation - governs equine herd dynamics. At that moment he understood that, regardless of breed or career, and Emotional Conformation Profile could dictate in large part of success or failure of the horse in the human environment - including performance sports and competition.

Knowing Horses: Q&As to Boost Your Equine IQ by Les Sellnow & Carol A. Butler
Storey Publishing

This is a fun book for a young teen with an interest in horses, a 4-Her interested in Horse Bowl or hippology, or an entry level Pony Clubber doing a Quiz Rally. There’s a lot of good general information, broken into easy-to-read sections, but it doesn’t fall too heavily on the side of arcane trivia or on the side of the intense knowledge required by an older 4-Her or Pony Clubber. Questions such as “What’s the difference between a $1,000 horse and a $10,000 horse?” or “Which breed is known as the ‘Peacock of the Show Ring’?” are somewhat ho-hum (answers: “breed, bloodlines, age & health, training and potential”; “Saddlebred”), but a lot of the true information is buried in the exposition not included in the questions, such as “Earning One’s Spurs.” Although I knew knights earned their spurs, I was unaware of the rest of the story (such as a valet’s spurs were made of tin, or a disgraced knight would have his spurs chopped off with a cleaver in public).

Some information is doomed to be outdated (“who was the fastest horse,” “what was the most money ever paid for a racehorse,” “how many horses are there in the U.S.? The world?”) and some information falls into the “Whaaat?” spectrum (“A well-trained horse will ‘shy in place,’ meaning that he jumps or startles, but will not attempt to flee the scene.”) There’s some great general horse knowledge and some really interesting historical detail that would make a fascinating book on its own, such as the history of African-Americans in horse racing’s early days. And here’s a bit of trivia: Touch of Class was the first nonhuman to win the U.S. Olympic committee’s Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year Award. (Yes, we know by definition it’s not possible, but it’s still interesting.) And in Maryland we continue to honor Touch of Class’s memory with the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s Touch of Class Awards, which honor greatness in Maryland’s horse industry.
- Tracy McKenna, Ad Manager

Morning Meditations from your Abba Father by Alyse Best Muldoon
Alyse Best Muldoon

While not the usual offering from The Equiery, this book was written by Maryland horsewoman Alyse Muldoon, and thus earns a review. On the surface, most would think that Alyse leads a charmed and sunny life. She was blessed with beauty and brains, had a happy marriage, lives on a gorgeous horse farm and has few worries. Below the surface, Alyse endured the deaths of her husband and her stepfather within days of each other, and was dealing with all the pressures that accompany the deaths of loved ones, and the changes in fortune that can occur. A deeply spiritual woman, Alyse turned to God for comfort, and began documenting His words to her. She shared the meditations with friends, and they encouraged her to formalize them. In time, she created a book with a daily meditation and an accompanying Biblical verse. The meditations offer insight into the relationship between the reader and God, and for those looking to renew or reinforce their relationship with God, these easy-to-read but thought-provoking meditations can help guide the way.
- Tracy McKenna, Ad Manager

Musings of a Horse Farm Corgi by Leslie McDonald
Down the Aisle Promotions

A true life story as told from the unique perspective of dressage trainer's corgi Beamer. Beamer's special insights and opinions of teh cast of characters who comprise his world are guaranteed to have readers checkin gout their own dogs in a whole new light.

Nine Pilates Essentials for the Balanced Rider (DVD) by Janice Dulak
Trafalgar Square Books

In this DVD, popular Pilates instructor and dressage rider Janice Dulak breaks down the body into nine essential "parts" that riders are often not even aware they have, let alone actively engage and use. These nine essentials are the key to "speaking" to your horse with sophistication and eloquence. By using the body like a dancer would, and by incorporating the "Magic Circle" exercise ring in a series of exercises, riders get a workout that targets and trains these specific and very important muscles and muscle groups in ways that will instantaly apply to their riding. Janice Dulak has trained in Pilates since 1989 and has been riding dressage since 1995.

Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic by Peter Leone
Storey Publishing

Discover one chanpion's secrets to show-ring success. Olympic Silver Medalist Peter Leone shares the lessons and habits he has developed over three decades of riding at the highest levels of competition, and he'll help you achieve your personal riding goals, whatever they might be.

Solid riding mechanics and a trusting and respectful friendship between horse and rider are the key elements of Leone's formula for successful showing and jumping. Good form and position give you the confidence, awareness, and presence to connect and communicate with your horse, establishing a "horse to rider, rider to horse" relationship as you "ride the body, not the head." When you and your horse work together, you bring out the best in each other.

Pidgy’s Surprise by Jeanne Mellin
Willow Bend Publishing

Cindy Sawyer, who owns a plucky little Shetland pony named Pidgy, dreams of the beautiful horse she will one day become. Ponies are nice, but a horse would be wonderful. Cindy's dream soon becomes an obsession, and her parents realize that she is becoming a very unhappy girl. A morning comes where Pidgy goes missing from her stall. Not untill she looks into the empty stall does Cindy realize how much she really loves her pony.

Racing from Death: A Nikki Latrelle Racing Mystery by Sasscer Hill
Wildside Press

In a thrilling sprint run, Maryland author Sasscer Hill (or Lynda Hill, as we know her) never falters; she is on the bit from the first turn down the stretch in this bullet-fast gallop through murder, mystery and mayhem at Colonial Downs. We enjoyed her first book, Full Mortality, but this run is tighter and more taut, as Sasscer Hill’s writing gains confidence and maturity. A definite stocking stuffer this year!
- Crystal B. Kimball, Publisher

Relentless by P.J. O’Dwyer
Black Siren Books

Relentless is the perfect name for this book by Maryland author P.J. O’Dwyer. The action is gripping and a bit graphic (for my personal taste) but you have to keep reading once you start. Even though the author admittedly does not own a horse, the horse passages were realistic and believable. As a true fan of romance, I found that the story line covered a lot of ground with lots of twists and turns along the way. Worth the read if you like horses and romance!
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping

Riding on the Autism Spectrum by Claudine Pelletier-Milet
Trafalgar Square Books

Claudine Pelletier-Milet, a French riding instructor, shares countless stories of how equine-assisted activites and therapies (EAAT) can be a means to forming and nurturing lines of communication while encouraging a healthy and natural evolution of self in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Within these pages she sorts through theory from fields of medicine, education, and psychology.

Sport Horse Conformation by Christian Schacht
Trafalgar Square Books

Veterinarian, judge, and sport horse breeding authority Christian Schacht presents his specialized system for evaluating the conformation of the sport horse, with special attention on dressage, jumping, and eventing prospects. Amateur and professional riders, breeders, veterinarians, trainers, and judges will all benefit from his method based on recognizing proportions and lines, already accepted in international circles.

The Horse Agility Handbook by Vanessa Bee
Trafalgar Square

Horse trainer Vanessa Bee, says that we need to change the way we think about horses and the sport and activities we so often pursue with them. She sees no reason the horse cannot enjoy your time together so much, he will choose to "play" with you - over, under, and through obstacles, without a lead rope, even when loose in a large, grassy pasture.

The Marlborough Hunt Club 1936-2011: 75 Years of Traditional Maryland Foxchasing by Barbara Smith
Barbara Smith

The Marlborough Hunt Club is a Maryland tradition in itself, so it is no surprise that this book would be a collection of rich history and great photographs. However, the layout of this book is a prime example of the traps of self publishing when it comes to using templates. In this case, the templates used through Blurb Inc. are very distracting and take away from the great stories and photographs provided by author and editor Barbara Smith. Some pages are so divided with multiple headers and different font types and sizes that it is hard to really dig into the content.

If you can get past the layout issues, which is hard for this managing editor and art director, then you are in for a real treat. The book is filled with fantastic photos by Sharon Schroer, Charles Del Vecchio, Isabel Kurek and others. You can easily follow the development of the club and see how members progress from just being members to becoming whippers-in to Masters. And the author even places the club into a more worldly context, including headlines from world news flashes for each year.
If you are a foxhunting fan or even just a fan of Maryland equestrian history, then this book is for you.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

The Tale of Strawberry Snow by P. L. Caudle
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

This story by Baltimore native P. L. Caudle tells of the winter adventures of a Chincoteague-born pony named Strawberry Snow. As she explores her new world, she meets lots of new friends and sees many new things. Her new BFF is a spider named Oliver Mortimer Miles. A fun read and lots of great illustrations by fellow Baltimorean Frank H. Simmonds for the pre-K to age three group.
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping

Wild Colt by Lois Szymanski
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.

This delightful story of a colt born on Assateague Island and his journey through the wetlands by Maryland author Lois Szymanski is accompanied by great illustrations by Linda Kantjas of the wetland creatures he encounters along the way. At the end of the book there are thought-provoking discussion topics, a “find the wetlands creatures” quiz and facts about wetlands. A fun and educational book for pre-K to age three 3 group.
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping

2011 Book and DVD Releases

40 Fundamentals of English Riding by Hollie H. McNeil
Storey Publishing

Becoming an effective equestrian requires great attention to detail and subtlety, as well as the basic techniques. A thorough understanding of the principles of classical riding is crucial, and all riders must continually practice these essential techniques to improve and refine their skills. In 40 Fundamentals of English Riding, noted trainer Hollie H. McNeil offers in-depth instruction on 40 basic elements that form the foundation for success in any discipline.

A Friend For Einstein by Charlie Cantrell and Dr. Rachel Wagner

This is the story of Einstein, the miniature horse that came into the world weighing less than a cat and being no taller than a cereal box. He was too small to run with the herd and had to look outside his world of horses to find the perfect playmate. Featuring full-color photographs of the spirited little stallion and a series of adorable creatures, this inspiring story about finding a true friend will bring joy to nature lovers of all ages.
A Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures by George P. Horse Capture and Emil Her Many Horses
Fulcrum Publishing

A Song For the Horse Nation is a photo essay about the role of the horse throughout Native American history. The pictures are a mix of artifacts and old photography. What makes this book unique, though, are the stories, such as “Old Buffalo’s War Narrative” and songs like “Horses I Am Bringing” by Two Shields, or my favorite, “When a Horse Neighs” by Brave Buffalo: “daybreak appears when a horse neighs.”

If looking at just photos is not enough for you, then hop on the Metro or drive into DC and check out the exhibit by the same title at the National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibit also includes contemporary artwork created by Marcus Amerman of the Choctaw and other artists as well as photographs of modern ceremonies. An interactive web version of the exhibit can be found on the Smithsonian’s official museum site. This exhibit is surely worth the trip, but you’d better hurry, it closes on January 7, 2012.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
Anne Kursinski's Riding & Jumping Clinic by Anne Kursinski with Miranda Lorraine
Trafalgar Square Books

First published in 1995, this newly updated paperback edition is a step-by-step guide to building winning hunters and jumpers by Olympian Anne Kursinski. The book covers such topics as why flat work is important to jumping, what equipment you must have to succeed, show day warm up strategies and general show prep. It is illustrated with helpful photographs documenting each step in the various exercises. “Anne is just brilliant,” says Equiery Associate Publisher Jennifer Sponseller Webster.
Balance in Movement 2: Riding with Light Aids by Susanne von Dietze and Isabelle von Neumann-Cosel
Trafalgar Square Books

This lovely DVD is filmed partially in Germany and also at First Choice Farm in Woodbine with noted dressage trainer Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel. It features lots of examples of how to apply correct aids and this can change the way of going for both horse and rider. It is a great stocking stuffer for anyone who wants to develop better communication with his horse.
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping
Believing in Horses by Valerie Ormond
J. B. Max Publishing, Inc.

Believing in Horses is a nice stocking stuffer for the pre-teen horse-girl. Author Valerie Ormond resides in Bowie and has referenced many places that you may recognize, including The Equiery! This fictitious adventure story about 12-year-old Sadie Navarro is a quick and easy read. In this story, Sadie learns about a very real and current issue in the horse industry, the fate of unwanted horses. Perhaps Sadie’s inspiration to become involved with the rescuing of unwanted horses will encourage young readers to be more aware and to also believe that they too, can make a difference, just like Sadie.
-Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads
Connect With Your Horse From the Ground Up by Peggy Cummings with Bobbie Jo Lieberman
Trafalgar Square Books

Author Peggy Cummings describes the essentials of her specialized groundwork training to help horses and their handlers find a reciprocal “connection” on the ground as to make it easier to establish this same connection in the saddle. Over two dozen exercises, complete with illustrations, can drastrically change the way you see and feel your horse, thus radically improving how your horse moves, responds, and goes about his/her work.
Corinne and Me: An Unlikely Friendship by Betty Ann Hoehn

A story of an abiding friendship that crossed racial lines and the unbreakable bond that developed against the odds. This is the story of two different worlds: Corinne from the poor, black section of Memphis and the author from a wealthy white family in Memphis that forged success from the automobile business. A heartwarming story.
Complete Horse Care Manual by Colin Vogel
Dorling Kindersley

First published in 1995, this updated version written by Colin Vogel includes more than 650 specifically commissioned color photographs and diagrams. Complete Horse Care Manual tells you how to provide regular care and attention for your horse, how to guard against health problems, and when to seek professional medical attention.

Cross Country with Jim Wofford by Jim Wofford
Cruz Bay Publishing dba Equine Network

Cross Country with Jim Wofford is a valuable tool in the arsenal of any competitive riders looking to further develop and perfect their technique and their horses’ form and fitness. The cover title specifies “cross country,” and the short description on the cover claims “26 lessons to improve your evening skills...,” yet the wise Wofford draws jewels of information from every discipline, including racing over fences and even the show hunters, demonstrating that being successful in the various disciplines is the result of many of the same basic essentials of good riding.

What is most excellent about this book is that it truly starts at the very beginning of a real process, and a process that should not be rushed or gotten out of order. Wofford starts by helping a rider secure the key elements in the quest to be a competitive eventer, including finding the right horse and the right saddle. Tips on both human and equine fitness come next, followed by the first cross-country school... but not until the seventh chapter!

This book is written with the great wit and humor for which Wofford is known and loved. Combine this with large and detailed photo examples of the lessons he is describing, plus a few fun “commercials” that include memories of great horses with whom Wofford has had the pleasure of being associated over the years, and the result is a fast read that is as enjoyable as it is valuable. Highly recommended!

And just as a side note, when you are flipping through the pages, you might just happen to recognize several Maryland riders and horses used as “models” throughout the book.
-Jennifer Webster, Associate Publisher

Down Under Horsemanship by Clinton Anderson

This CD-ROM contains horse-training articles written by Clinton Anderson and photographs illustrating the training techniques discussed in the articles. Clinton Anderson is a world-renowned clinician that has studied under top horsemen. This disc will teach riders and horse owners how to be safe and effective while enjoying their horses, and get it done quickly.
Frederick in the Civil War: Battle & Honor in the Spired City by John W. Schildt
The History Press, Inc.

Situated just south of the Mason-Dixon Line between Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Frederick, Maryland seemed destined to play a pivotal part in the American Civil War. No one knows this better than local historian John W. Schildt, who explores the city’s role in his book, Frederick in the Civil War: Battle & Honor in the Spired City.

Schildt opens with a look at the region’s early historic and cultural influences, including brief profiles of significant local figures such as Roger Brooke Taney and Francis Scott Key. He then offers a simplified analysis of the complicated scenarios fueling the flames of war in this crucial border city. Many factors are addressed, from the Dred Scott decision and the Baltimore Riots to President Abraham Lincoln’s illegal arrest and imprisonment of more than a dozen prominent Marylanders (including nine from Frederick) and the penning of the now-controversial state song “Maryland, My Maryland.”

A largely Union city in a slaveholding state, “Fredericktown” soon found itself at the crossroads of America’s greatest conflict. In Schildt’s book, we see this conflict unfold through the eyes of not only Union officers such as Alpheus Williams, Wilder Dwight and others occupying the city, but residents who were surprised by the fine manners of the filthy, rag-tag Confederate soldiers tramping through Frederick during General Robert E. Lee’s 1862 invasion.

The author does a commendable job of tracking and explaining troop movements as the two armies’ strategies and counterstrategies are put into play in and around Frederick. Individual actors on this grand stage come to life thanks to quotes and personal anecdotes. And you might just learn some new Civil War trivia. Few may know, for example, that Reverend William Pendleton, his son Alexander (“Sandie”), Henry Kyd Douglas and James Power Smith–all trusted associates of the iconic Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson–had connections to Frederick. Or that George Armstrong Custer of Little Big Horn fame began his rise as “boy general” in this city.

As readers, we witness Stonewall Jackson being mobbed by admirers eager for a lock of his hair; Lee inviting the citizens of Maryland to join the rebellion; the infamous Order 191 being lost and intercepted by Union General McClellan; and rebel cavalryman JEB Stuart and company dancing with the local ladies on the eve of one of the war’s deadliest battles (Antietam/Sharpsburg).

Also of interest: Lincoln’s brief, post-Antietam visit to Frederick; the epic march of blue-clad soldiers through the city, both to and from the cataclysmic clash at Gettysburg; and the activities of rebel spies here. In their correspondence, many soldiers painted vivid images of the region’s landscape and architecture. And many women living in Frederick, turned “one vast hospital” during the war, served as “angels of mercy” to the wounded. How fascinating, too, to read firsthand accounts of the ransoming of Frederick (a debt that took until 1951 to pay off), as well as the “fight for time” at Monocacy Junction that proved the salvation of Washington, DC. Frederick’s commemoration of the Civil War centennial and the dedication of Monocacy National Battlefield Park are also detailed.

And if you’ve ever wondered what really happened in the Barbara Fritchie incident, there’s a whole chapter devoted to the venerable dame. Curious about Frederick’s reputation as the “spired city?” Schildt reveals exactly which church steeples constituted the “clustered spires” in John Greenleaf Whittier’s immortal poem about Fritchie.
The book concludes with a welcome guide to museums and historic spots around the city, followed by in-depth footnotes and a bibliography.

Written in plain, simple language with black and white photographs and images, this is a must-read for any Civil War buff or, indeed, anyone fortunate enough to live in beautiful Frederick County, where the past is still very present.
- Laurel Scott, former Equiery editor (and Civil War reenactor)
The Gaited Horse Bible by Brenda Imus
Trafalgar Square

The Gaited Horse Bible is the perfect “how-to” book for every gaited horse rider and owner. This one of a kind book discusses the history of the gaited breeds and gaits, along with an in-depth study of conformation, movement, and soundness. The book also includes a summary of bridles, bits, saddle fit and back dynamics, as well as optional shoeing and trimming for gaited horses. A “must have” for anyone interested in gaited horses whether for pleasure or show.
Gilbert and the Great Horse Spirit by Rebecca Pearl
HPN Books

Gilbert and the Great Horse Spirit by author/illustrator Rebecca Pearl of Emmitsburg is the story of a Thoroughbred horse who switches careers several times before finding a forever home with Rebecca. Based partly on the real Gilbert’s life and partly on fiction, the story is an easy read for any age. The plot itself is fairly predictable but the real missing link is the “Great Horse Spirit” itself. Mentioned at the very beginning of the story, by the time it is mentioned again on the last page, the reader has forgotten about it. Really, it is not necessary to the gist of the story.

What makes this book a great gift is not the story at all, but the lovely illustrations by Rebecca. The pictures have a lush and rich feel with plenty of color and attention to detail. In some ways, the illustrations speak for themselves and can tell the same story with far fewer words!
-Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
Greatness & Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy by Alex Brown
Glen View Media

The outstanding illustrations and spectacular photographs throughout Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy, combined with author Alex Brown’s interviews with those closest to Barbaro, as well as his own personal experiences both on the track and with Barbaro, really make this book something special and unique. It not only takes us through the triumphs and perils of Barbaro’s life, but also the reasons why so many of us became inspired by his courage and heart in the face of adversity.

We will always wonder what could have been, but Browns’ book will help us realize what has been. It reminds us of all the unity and awareness this one horse created. It leads us through all of the good works and research that has been done and will continue in Barbaro’s name. Greatness and Goodness is a must-read and would make a wonderful holiday gift.
- Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads
Horse Care by Stephanie Brophy
Brophy Publishing

This book contains many helpful hints for the horse owner. It must be noted however, that this book is the writer’s opinion and some of the statements are a bit controversial and heavily biased. For example, she makes the statement “Acepromazine kills stallions.” I checked with two vets and they said it can cause some serious side effects, mainly to stallions, but it can also affect geldings in the same ways, and they are unlikely to die unless any problems are not managed well. It is suggested that the reader does one’s own research in addition to this book.
-Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping
Horsekeeping by Roxanne Bok
Twin Lakes Press

This book is the story of how author Roxanne Bok and her husband bought and restored an old historic Arabian farm in Salisbury, Connecticut. A cute story that many horse-people can relate to.
How Good Riders Get Good by Denny Emerson
Trafalgar Square Books

Before you open How Good Riders Get Good by USEA Hall of Fame Inductee Denny Emerson, prepare yourself to take a hard look at your current life, the choices you have made through the years and your future goals. Clear your mind, take a breath and then be ready to plow full steam ahead into a new life... if you choose to. Choices. That is what this book is truly about.

Emerson mixes his own life experiences with teaching ideas and methods to guide readers towards a successful lives as upper-level riders in whatever sport they so choose. The choice is up to the reader. Emerson is not afraid to tell it like it is. There is no sugar coating in this book. If you want to make it in this sport, you have to make hard choices, such as to get married or not, to have children or not, to ride a lesser horse for free with the hopes of getting the ride on a big-time horse, to eat healthy or not, and the like. In a way, this book could be classified as a self-help book for riders!

Mixed throughout the book are stories of other successful riders, such as Maryland’s own James Stierhoff, who groomed for Emerson at the 2003 Moonlight in Vermont 50-mile endurance race, and who won the 2010 Maryland Hunt Cup. In their own words, these riders look inward to their own lives and share why they think they have become successful. Even if you don’t read the whole book, just reading the last paragraph on each of those pages (“My Most Important Advice”), is well worth the purchase.
This book is a great gift for anyone who has aspirations of making it big in the horse world.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
Jane Savoie's Dressage 101 by Jane Savoie
Trafalgar Square

If you enjoyed Cross-Train Your Horse and More Cross-Training, both by internationally renowned coach, mentor and motivational speaker, Jane Savoie, then you will like this follow up book, which combines the two previous books. Described as the “ultimate source of dressage basics in a language you can understand,” this book is easy to follow and lives up to expectations. Plus, it is full of great illustrations and photographs.
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
McPherson & Company

The Lord of Misrule is not a happy beach read. The narrative is often in the dialect of the characters, and the author’s unconventional punctuation (there are no quotation marks in the dialogue) force the reader to be alert. This is a book that must be read in long chunks; picking it up and putting it down make it hard to get into its rhythm. The novel is set in a time when women at the track were often at the mercy of the men around them, and segregation was the law of the land, but Jaimy Gordon’s downtrodden characters fight for their own equilibrium, and in the society of the track, only the strong survive, both horse and human.

This is not a novel for people who like happy, upbeat stories. This is a novel about the darkness and depravity of human beings, and in the end, most get what they deserve.
- Tracy McKenna, Ad Manager
Maryland Equine Law by Kathleen J.P. Tabor, Esquire & Jan I. Berlage, Esquire
Go Dutch Publishing, LLC

With the advent of affordable, web-based “print-on-demand” digital book printers, an explosion of self-published books has flooded the marketplace in recent years.

While we have seen the perils of self-publishing (see The Barns of Southern Maryland), Maryland Equine Law is an example of the benefits of affordable self-publishing. Maryland-specific and equine-specific law is, shall we say, a “niche” interest, and while the topic may be of great interest to The Equiery and our readers, in the grand scheme of book publishing, that’s not much of an audience! But we, obviously, consider Maryland equestrians a very valuable audience, so we are delighted to see the publication of this very useful little handbook.

And this book, thankfully, does not scream “self-published” immediately upon opening it. While the typeface is large and readable, and while the leading and kerning may be default, the overall typography is still tighter and more professional looking than many other self-published efforts. Even the use of photographs is more artfully and professionally handled than in some of the other self-published books reviewed by The Equiery, even in books featuring photography. While we could nit-pick the lack of classical editorial oversight (which style handbook deems acceptable the uppercasing or capitalization of generic sports names such polo or jousting?), overall the book is very readable and useful.

The “Land Use” chapter provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of one of the biggest boogiemen in the horse world: liability. The authors adroitly cover the Maryland Recreational Act (which protects landowners who allow others, such as Pony Clubbers, foxhunters, trail riders, event organizers, to use their land, free of charge, for recreational purposes) to liability waivers, from attractive nuisance doctrines to contributory negligence. The authors answer the perennial question: “Why doesn’t Maryland have a specific equine limited liability law?” (Answer: because we have contributory negligence standards and the Maryland Recreational Act…read the book to understand how all this plays out legally!)

Sometimes we wish the book would go further. While the authors advocate some common sense advice (such as, “it is advisable to keep current with the particular rules and regulations of the governing association”), this reviewer wishes these legal eagles would provide us with illustrations of how not staying current with such rules might have legal implications. There are plenty of examples of participants (or their vets) not staying current with the sports’ governing body’s drug rules, and the ensuing legal entanglements as a result. Sometimes, common sense advice is more effective when coupled with a story illustrating the perils of ignoring the wisdom of said common sense advice.

In the chapter entitled “Business Organizations,” the authors warn readers of the IRS consequences of failing to run their horse businesses like businesses. Readers are urged to not commingle business and personal banking accounts, to join professional associations (such as the Maryland Horse Council), pursue continuing education and appropriate certifications (such as those offered by the American Riding Instructors Association) and to have a written business plan that can be shown to the IRS as proof of the intent to run a business. As anyone who receives the American Horse Council’s Tax Bulletin can tell you, one of the first things the IRS will look for, beyond a business plan, is proof that the owner intended to grow or increase the business, and the easiest way for an owner to establish that he or she intended to grow business is to show evidence of having advertised for new business. (The Equiery will gladly provide such evidence, and indeed, we have been known to help our clients facing IRS review by providing complete and detailed advertising histories.)

At times, the book reads like a marketing piece, promoting the size and scope of the Maryland horse industry. This is a testament to the effectiveness of our Maryland Horse Industry Board (upon which co-author Tabor serves). While The Equiery is thrilled at any time to see materials that promote Maryland’s thriving equine industry, we are not quite sure how it ties into the context of this book. Certainly there is a clear connection in the minds of the authors, but the reader is left to guess at the connection.

The chapter “Resolving Disputes” is an excellent primer, methodically leading the reader through the various options. The Equiery is often the recipient of phone calls or letters from individuals angry at other individuals in the horse industry, and are hoping that The Equiery “can do something about it,” be it to write an editorial condemning the egregious party, or prohibit the accused wrongdoer from ever advertising again, or simply to tell the caller what “official” remedies the caller has. In addition to encouraging them to contact an attorney, we will also recommend this particular chapter.
Heck with the chapter. We will recommend the entire book!

The back of the book contains lots of handy sections, including samples of contracts (the authors exhort throughout the book that readers should avoid template contracts) and a glossary of terms related to insurance coverage. The corresponding website,, promises to have all the forms discussed in the book available soon.

“Maryland Equine Law” is useful tool for anyone engaged in the horse industry, be it as a business owner or someone simply buying a horse.
- Crystal B. Kimball, Publisher

Meditation for Two by Dominique Barbier and Keron Psillas
Trafalgar Square

According to the description on the book sleeve, this book is supposed to be about how to develop a clear communication between the horse and rider to create a better partnership. However, in reality, this book is more of an autobiography of author Dominique Barbier, a French dressage rider and trainer who has taught internationally and is now based in the US. In all honesty, I did not finish reading the text but instead studied the font choices and the fabulous photography by Keron Psillas. The layout of the book is stunning and the photography just makes is a treat to simply look at.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor

My Horse, My Friend by Bibi Degn
Trafalgar Square

Through the story of Maria and her budding relationship with her Arabian gelding Joram, this book teaches kids how to properly interact with horses, though the cover does make it seem that the book’s focus is on “TTouch” training, which is actually only spends two pages on. The book is meant to be read by a younger generation of equestrian and goes through such topics as how to successfully greet, lead, groom, and mount a horse, and learn relationship-strengthening obstacle games to play on the ground and on horseback.

It is a fun book to read and flip through but be advised, some basic horsemanship skills are skipped over and please supervise your child at all times when working around horses.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
Pegasus by Marilyn Holdsworth

Widowed at 30, Hannah Bradley is a successful journalist focusing on animal abuse issues. An accidental meeting introduces her to lawyer Winston Caufield III. Drawn to Hannah's gentle beauty and fierce commitment to work, Win joins her in a fight to save wild mustangs from slaughter. Together they rescue a badly injured horse with a mysterious background. Hannah's search to discover the animal's true identity leads them into a web of black marketeering and international intrigue. They now face a race against time to save not only the horse's life, but their own lives as well.

The writing style of author Marilyn Holdsworth is good, nice and fast paced, thus keeping the reader’s attention and making the book a quick read. However, some of the characters, such as race horse trainer Vincent Rossi are bit too stereotyped and sort of over the top. Plus, some inaccuracies occur and paragraphs just do not make sense…. If a man is found in the trunk of an abandoned car with a bullet wound to the head, would the newspaper really report “there were no signs of vandalism or foul play…”? Yes the report is important to the story but seriously. An entertaining read however.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
Raja: Story of a Racehorse by Anne Hambleton
Old Bow Publishing

Raja: Story of a Racehorse takes the reader on a fictional journey of one horse’s life as an off-the-track-Thoroughbred. The story begins with Raja’s spectacular career as a racehorse, then follows him through the hunter/jumper world, the horse and livestock auctions, the mounted police, and finally to the Maryland Hunt Cup. Author Anne Hambleton wrote this story from the perspective of the horse, much like Black Beauty, which humanizes Raja and creates an emotional connection between the horse and the reader. You will find yourself rooting for him as you read every page. Glencoe resident Cappy Jackson, professional photographer, lifelong horsewoman and USPC graduate “A,” is responsible for the stunning cover photo.
- Emily Stangroom, Classified Ads
RIDER & HORSE: BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze & Isabelle von Neumann-Cosel
Trafalgar Square Books

This lovely DVD and book set are a great gift for any rider to get a better understanding of the anatomy of the back of both horse and rider. There is some great information on different body types and how to maximize the performance of horse and rider. There is also lots of information on dealing with back pain and improving flexibility, stability and dexterity. Tons of beautiful photos and most of the DVD footage were taken and filmed at First Choice Farm in Woodbine, the home of dressage trainer Felicitas von Neumann-Cosel, who is the sister and cousin of the authors. I highly recommend it for any library!
- Carolyn Del Grosso, Bookkeeping

The Barns of Southern Maryland by J. Carlton Sharp
J. Carlton Sharp

Like many horse people, we love barns…old barns, new barns, salvaged barns, converted barns. We are proud of our Maryland rural heritage, and proud of the unique nature of Southern Maryland barns in particular.

With great excitement, we opened this book, expecting to see a plethora of large photos…a coffee table book! Unfortunately, the book apparently lacked a bibliographic designer, who would have undoubtedly enlarged the barn photos and tightened up the text (reducing the point size, using a more space-conscious font, tightening up the leading and the kerning in order to allow more space for larger photos).

Theoretically, the book is about “The Barns of Southern Maryland.” But is it really? At one point we are looking at photos of barns in Western Maryland…now Ohio… Then the book is digressing onto the subject of the nuclear power plant at Calvert Cliffs. Why are we talking about 235 sunken ships at the bottom of Mallows Bay…did the wood from the ships get reused to build barns?

Editing and fact checking likewise appear to be missing from the production of this book.

Clearly author J. Carlton Sharp loves his subjects. And while exactly what his subject for this book is may be unclear, it is clear he loves all the subjects upon which he touches…history (all history, not just Southern Maryland), barns (all barns, not just Southern Maryland barns), and the interplay of agriculture and commerce with government and bureaucracy.

Maybe the book just needs a title change so that the reader can accept that the content of the book is going to ramble and digress, similar to the way a conversation amongst amiable companions sitting on the front porch on a hot summer day might ramble and digress. And in this way, the book is quite enjoyable.

It is clear that this book is a labor of love, and one feels like an ogre for casting a critical eye upon something which clearly gave the creator such joy and pleasure.

Perhaps we could change the title of the book to “An Amiable Ramble Through Maryland,” with the subtitle, “History & Contemporary Rural Culture & Economics, with an emphasis on Southern Maryland.”
- Crystal B. Kimball, Publisher

The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts
Ballantine Books

The Eighty-Dollar Champion by Baltimore author Elizabeth Letts is the perfect Disneyesque story, and it’s all true! Harry de Leyer literally pulled Snowman off a truck bound for the slaughter plant from the New Holland auction and paid $80 for the former plow horse, which included the cost to deliver the horse to de Leyer’s Long Island farm. Snowman was as different from the top jumpers of his time as a horse could be. Harry used him as a beginner lesson horse, and he practically served as his children’s personal babysitter, taking them swimming three and four in tandem in Long Island Sound, and still Harry and Snowman won the top classes at the National, Washington, and other shows, against horses bred and trained specifically for jumping.

Fans of show jumping will recall many of the names that appear in the book–Sinjon, Ksar d’Esprit, Frank Chapot, Kathy Kusner and others, as well as the shows that create the backdrop such as Devon, Washington, Harrisburg and the National. Elizabeth Letts weaves Harry’s personal history with the social history of the late 1950s in a way that is both fascinating and prescient for our own times. Print media in the ‘50s was terrified of the upstart new medium television and desperate for ways to keep their readers. Snowman’s story provided entertainment for the masses through both sources.

Just as Harry and Snowman rode the wave of the new man competing in the sport formerly reserved for the rich, the horse shows also changed with the times. The National, long a bastion of the horse show circuit and the New York social circuit, is no longer recognizable, but in 1958, a little upstart show called the Washington International Horse Show arrived on the scene, and 53 years later, is still going strong.

As much as I enjoyed the book, I have to give Letts and her copy editor a couple of dings. Horses have CONFORMATION, it’s their form, they don’t go through religious confirmation ceremonies, and nouns are declined, not verbs. These are easy fixes for future editions. I also found it funny that as much as she writes about how horse shows were the bastion of the rich, she references Harry’s role models, who all tended to be self-made horse show men like himself.

Letts’ prose shines in the competition sequences, as the reader soars over every fence with Harry and Snowman. Even if you know how the competitions end, you will find yourself holding your breath, waiting to find out if all the jumps stay up!
- Tracy McKenna, Ad Manager
The Majesty of the Horse by Tamsin Pickeral
Barron’s Educational Series

The Majesty of the Horse is simply a stunning book. When I first saw the cover, I thought it was yet another breed book with your standard conformation shot photos of the most common breeds we all know and love. Or worse, photos of the horses in some silly romantic style where you can’t even really get a sense of what the horse is. That is not this book! Instead, the reader is graced with fabulous images by award-winning photographer Astrid Harrisson that not only show off the basic characteristics of the breed, but give the reader a true sense of the feeling and essence of that breed. Hard to explain, I know, so just go out, get this book and see for yourself.

Once you are done flipping through the photos, or like I did, studying each photograph wondering how Harrisson managed to capture the shot, settle into reading the text by Tamsin Pickeral. You won’t be disappointed. The text is a rich history of each breed instead of a bland list of characteristics. One will learn about the legendary origins of the Assateague and Chincoteague horses as well as the myths surrounding the Marwari horses of India. Unfortunately for Pickeral, the photographs really do overshadow the text but I highly recommend taking the time to read each page.

This book is the perfect gift for anyone who likes good photography, whether they are a horse enthusiast or not. Plus, the historical content both about the horses themselves and the cultures they have influenced makes this book a great read.
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
The Marvelous Book of Magical Horses by Eva Steele-Saccio

This children’s activity book, The Marvelous Book of Magical Horses by Eva Steele-Saccio, is just plan fun. The book comes with six paper horses, three paper fairies, four landscapes and over 200 fashion accessories to play with. There are even step-by-step instructions on how to create your paper horse friends and how to design your own fashions for these four-legged friends. This book is a great gift idea for any horse crazy kid... or adult too!
- Katherine O. Rizzo, Managing Editor
The Modern Horseman's Countdown to Broke by Sean Patrick
Trafalgar Square

On these four DVDs, follow along as Sean Patrick takes a horse through each step of the “countdown,” and see for yourself how effective and efficient this program is. The DVDs are an ideal companion to the best-selling book by the same title.
The Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife Horses by Melinda Folse
Trafalgar Square

Although the title suggests that this book is just for middle-aged women, it really is more of a “how-to” book on how to get started as an adult in owning and caring for a horse. The book does offer horses as both a metaphor and solution to the natural malaise that often rears its head just about the time women blow out that "midlife" birthday candle.
Thoroughbred: Born to Run by Paul Wagner

Filmed in HD, this 90-minute documentary embodies the imagery of the Thoroughbred and its surroundings. Thoroughbred focuses on a year of racing, breeding and sales leading up to the 2009 Kentucky Derby where audiences are introduced to and electric community of grooms, jockeys, trainers and owners as they prepare for races. These characters give viewers a glimpse into the fascinating, intense, and sometimes heartbreaking world of Thoroughbred racing.
Trick Training for Horses by Bea Borelle with Gudrun Braun
Trafalgar Square Books

This illustrated book on trick training explains the best way to teach a horse tricks using positive reinforcement. Instructions are provided for over 25 different tricks, including classics such as bowing, kneeling, sitting, and lying down.
Unbridled Passion: Show Jumping’s Greatest Horses and Riders by Jeff Papows, PhD
Acanthus Publishing

Unbridled Passion is a collection of firsthand accounts of some of North America’s greatest show jumping horses, including Maryland’s own Touch of Class. However, one does wonder how the author decided on which horses and riders to include and although there is a whole chapter with Touch of Class as the header, Maryland readers will be disappointed with the lack of any photo of the stunning mare and the mere two sentences devoted to her.
Jennifer Webster, Associate Publisher
What Every Horse Should Know by Cherry Hill
Storey Publishing

Every horse should receive a basic education that prepares him to live safely and confidently in the company of humans. Noted horsewoman Cherry Hill explains how to help a horse overcome the wariness of human touch and restraint, develop trust in a rider or handler, and learn respect and patience. When a horse is no longer surprised or frightened by people, procedures, and things, he has mastered his “ABCs” and is ready to learn to work calmly and willingly with a human partner.
Zen Mind, Zen Horse by Allan J. Hamilton, MD
Storey Publishing

A scientific approach to training horses by making the rider aware of their brain functions and how a horse using its brain and thus building a better line of communication between the two.

2010 Book and DVD Releases

Bad Russell by Cooky McClung
Half Halt Press, Inc.

For anyone who's ever felt a tad misunderstood... No matter how hard he tries, the listt Jack Russell Terrier seems to be getting on the wrong side of Annie Adams, and the stuck-up kitty Esemerelda isn't helping things one bit. But then something happens, something that changes everything... A heart-warming tale for all ages by a beloved writer. And, for extra fun, look for the little lizard hidden in each drawing.

Down the Aisle - For the Love of Horses by Leslie McDonald
Whitehall Publishing

Down the aisle is a story of a woman whose life has been strengthened and defined by the aisle she has followed for the love of horses. From all early reactions,this captivating collection of stories definately touches the hearts of horse lovers.

Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie
Little, Brown and Company

As a young girl in the early 50's, Holly'sparents moved their family out to the country.While their farm was very different from everything she knew, soon Holly learned to love the fields and woods, and especially all of their animals: cats, dogs, chickens, geese, a cow and a pig. But when she first sees a group of riders go by on horseback, she is completely swept away! Holly tries to convince her family that a horse is just what their farm needs, and all of her plans will surely mean getting a horse for her birthday - right? With exquisite watercolor illustrations and perfect recollection of howit feels to be a young girl with a single minded love of horses, Holly Hobbie has created an irresistible story for families to share for years to come.

Celebrated artist Holly Hobbie has looked back in time to her own childhood for inspiration for her newest children's book Everything But the Horse. In the early 1950s, Holly's family moved out to the country and after seeing some neighbors out riding, Holly felt the desire for a horse of her own. In this beautifully illustrated book, young readers can follow the adventures of Holly herself transitions from city life to country life and tries various ways of convincing her parents to buy her a horse. I have to admit, the part about collecting horse droppings from the road to put in an empty stall was a bit weird, creative of the character, but weird. All in all, the story itself is a bit of a let down but does show that you can't always get exactly what you want. The illustrations overshadow the story by a long shot and are what drew me to the book in the first place. The horses are stylized but in that old fashion Stubbs sort of way, accenting their characteristics and personalities without giving them human features. There are little subtle details throughout each page that make you want to stare at them for hours. And each time you open the book, you notice something new. Buy this book for the illustrations, not for the story. - Katherine O. Rizzo

Foxhunting Adventures by Norman Fine
The Derrydale Press

A collection of foxhunting stories, most of which were previously published in Covertside, of which Fine was the founder and editor for fifteen years.

A lovely collection of foxhunting stories, most of which were previously published in Covertside, of which Fine was the founder and editor for fifteen years. It contains only one tale of hunting in Maryland, with the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds in 1998. The hounds met that day at Doughoregan Manor, the seat of the Carroll family, the founders of Maryland (Charles Carroll was a signer of the Declaration of Independance) and still in Carroll family hounds, over 300 years of foxhunting history. In this story, Fine fleshes out the history of Mountain and Muse, hounds owned at one point by the Carroll family and hounds and that ultimately provided the foundation bloodlines for today's American Foxhound. A nice gift for a student of foxhound bloodlines. - Crystal Brumme Kimball

Full Mortality by Sasscer
Hill Wildside Press, LLC

Jockey Nikki Latrelle gets the chance of a lifetime -- to ride the favorite in a stakes race at Laurel Park -- only to have her dream destroyed when a mysterious intruder kills her mount the night before the race. When Nikki stumbles over the body of a gunshot victim, she quickly becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Framed and facing a possible murder rap, Nikki is ruled-off the track.With the odds against her, can she clear her name -- and put the real criminals behind bars?

Full Mortality is a quick fun read, and another must for the book collection of any Maryland equestrian. Written by Upper Marlboro's Lynda Hill under the pen name Sasscer Hill, Full Mortality is a wicked romp through Maryland's racing backside. Some locations are what they are (Laurel Park is Laurel Park), but if Hill decided to cast a locale in a decidedly seedy light, she cloacked its location with a pseudonym (Dimsboro, Pallboro, Shepherdstown, for example). Nods to greats with Maryland connections abound, such as the filly ridden by our heroine who is said to channel the legendary Gallorette, trained by Ed Christmas and whose Maryland family is still part of racing today. If Dick Francis and Janet Evanovich had a daughter, it would be Sasscer Hill. Great stockig stuffer! - Crystal Brumme Kimball

Horses: The Story of Equus
Warner Home Video Inc

Horses: The Story of Equus DVD Release July 2010 by Warner Brothers Home Video Inc. IMAX Release, looks like it must have been 2002 This must have been something to see in an IMAX® Theatre! The photography is stunning, so if you are going to get the DVD, find the biggest and best screen you can on which to view this.  The three story lines, one per horse featured, are obviously contrived for the purpose of being able to justify stringing together the different types of footing, so what. You watch this movie to see the gorgeous photography of the gorgeous horses and the gorgeous landscape, and you are grateful not to be distracted by unimportant details such as names (neither horses nor humans receive names, nor do the humans have dialogue), a plot or other human conceits. Indeed, the story lines - like haiku - are spare and elegant, focusing the viewer on the horse. - Crystal Kimball

Horses and Heartbeats by Polly Thompson

Horses and Heartbeats features a number of unforgettable horses, including elegant contestants at a hunter-jumper show, the schooling mounts at One Oak Stables, and the horses in various states of physical conditions and training that come through the auction. One of these, a young mare fresh off the Dakota plains, is destined for fourteen-year-old Baily Mason. Horses and Heartbeats would have been my new favorite book if I were a horse crazed teenager. It brings me back to the days of begging my parents for my first horse and then learning from trial and error about basic horse ownership. In this book, we meet Bailey and Dakota Clover her very first horse. One of the things that I liked the most about Horses and Heartbeats is very descriptive writing style of PollyThompson. Even a young reader new to horses can follow the story and adventures that Bailey and Clover experience together. I did have some concerns about Bailey being a very novice horseperson with a green horse, but the supporting characters in the story provide Bailey and the reader with good advice and help through their first year together. I would recommend this story to young horse lovers, but us older, more seasoned riders might find the story line a bit predictable.
- Jennifer Stoloff

Mini School by Sabine Ellinger
Trafalgar Square Books

The first book of its kind for mini lovers, Mini School takes the training and conditioning of minis as seriously as that of their full-size cousins. With real, honest - to goodness in-hand work that promises a relaxed, supple body and correct frame as well as obedience, you're given the tools to transform your cuddly companion into a sleek, well-muscled athlete and a talented entertainer.

Pilates for Equestrians by Liza Randall
Half Halt Press

Increasingly, savvy riders are discovering the benefits that Pilates can bring to their sport. Pilates can help improve a rider's results to give them that winning edge that can make the difference between triumph and, well, less-than-triumph. Dressage riders achieve better harmony with their horse. Eventers or showjumpers improve their balance over a fence, and become more effective in their seat.

Pilates for Riders by Lindsay Wilcox-Reid
Trafalgar Square Books

Whether your goal is to reduce posture-related back pain or access that vital extra percent out of your competion horse, Pilates is the solution you have been looking for. Pilates for Riders offers a holistic approach to body conditioning geared toward making you a better balanced, more effective and elegant rider. This book was a pleasant departure from the "do the exercises" book. The author tells a compelling story of how her incorrect seat /position kept her from making the progress she desired and made riding a chore for both her and the horse. There are lots of good descriptions of how the pilates peerspective relate to riding perspective. Then there is some very good anatomy discussion and then comes the exercise section. Each excercise is nicely related to a riding fault and how it can be used to correct the fault. Some nice hints for use on and off the horse. These excercises are a good bit easier than previous books but the usual caveat to be careful still applies. Definately worth a read! Enjoy! - Carolyn Del Grosso

Point of Aim, Point of Impact by Jay Taylor
Author House

Point of Aim Point of Impact is one man's recollection of his Vietnam experience. That young man was a Marine Corps Scout Sniper and the book addresses many issues of the Scouts Snipers and Vietnam Veterans both during the war and present day. It is not a book that glorifies war or weaves a Holloywood script around lies and half truths. In telling the story of one young Marine Sniper, it attempts to deal with the real issues that evolved from the traumatic experiences of killing people and watching friends being maimed and killed.

Randy Romero's Remarkable Ride by Bill Heller
Pelican Publishing Company, Inc

Born in Louisiana's Cajun Country in 1957, Randy Romero showed an early flair for riding and an uncompromising fearlessness that would follow him throughout his life. This candid biography begins with the jockey's unstable childhood in an abusive home and continues through the riding career that would make him a legend. For any racing fan, Randy Romero's Remarkable Ride is a thrilling treat. The biography begins with an overview of Romero's life, chronicling his struggles and triumphs both on and off the track. From a childhood riddled with abuse, Romero rose up and found his escape: horses. His natural equestrian talent was evident from his fearless first ride, as was his knack for getting hurt. When the book turns to focus on his professional riding career, you instantly feel this jockey's total dedication to his sport. His early rides at a small track in Louisiana led the “Ragin' Cajun” to be noticed by the owner and trainer of Personal Ensign, who Romero rode through an undefeated career. After 26-years of racing, Romero retired with 4,285 wins. From the very first page, this book shows Randy Romero's strength and courage. He overcame numerous obstacles to follow his passion. From the first page, which details twelve of his body parts that were mangled in the first few years of his career, the theme of recovery and resolve that has shaped his extraordinary life is clear. From his incredible ride in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff to a near-fatal sweatbox explosion that burned over 60% of Romero's body, the book is a riveting inside look at one of racing's great horseman. - Devon Butts

Secretariat: Updated Edition by Raymond G. Woolfe Jr.
The Derrydale Press

Secretariat was the bets known and most beloved race horse of the twentieth century. In 1973 his legacy as the greatest horse of all time was permanently etched into the consciousness of the world when he won the Triple Crown. Raymond G. Woolfe Jr. tells the story of Secretariat from the coin toss that sent him to Helen Chenery to his burial at Claiborne Farm.

Secretariat by Raymond G. Woolfe, Jr is a beautiful book. First published in 1974 and then an updated version again in 1981 it is more than a coffee table book. Chock full of captivating photos and a real insiders knowledge of horse racing at times it is breath taking. I had goosebumps more than once (But I'm pretty easy on that score). Woolfe is the son of a horse trainer. He was a professional steeplechase jockey for a number of years. After putting up his boots Woolfe went on to pursuing photography for the Daily Racing Form. His father was friends with Lucien Laurin, and Woolfe himself was friends with Secretariat's groom Eddie Sweat and jockey Ron Turcotte. Needless to say he had just about unlimited access to Big Red. Even if you don't read the text the book presents a very captivating look at the horse's life, not just the two years of racing. The text is wonderfully written, plenty of color. He is able to capture Penny Chenery Tweedy, Lucien Laurin, Ron Turcotte, Saratoga, Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Aqueduct and really bring them practically into your living room. The big red horse's life has all the elements for a great movie; father builds thoroughbred legacy, father becomes ill, daughter tries to save legacy, coin toss for ultimate ownership, farm needs big horse to save it, one comes along and saves the farm. You you can't make this stuff up. The photos, almost all taken by Woolfe, both color and black and white capture Secretariat during races, workouts, and down time. There are also several shots of the people important in that great horse's life. There are also several appendixes covering information such as Secretariat's daily training log, his contribution to the thoroughbred breed, and "where are they now" section. The only downside to this book is that a couple of the photos appear to be misidentified. But, otherwise it would be a wonderful addition to anybody's coffee table. - Kathy Ersman

Sham - Great Was Second Best by Phil Dandrea
Acantus Publishing

In early 1973, a sleek, sturdy bay named Sham was winning races by impressive margins as great as 15 lengths.After defeating the mighty Secretariat in the Wood Memorial, many turf writers were touting Sham as the Kentucky Derby favorite. The stage was set for Sham-mania to sweep the country at a time when the nation needed a hero. With rising inflation, the Vietnam conflict, and Watergate dominating current events, people were ready to cheer for someone, for something. But it was secretariat who won over the nation. This is the other side of the story of Secretriat's famous Triple Crown season and of his remarkable challenger who found that great was only second best.

SHAM Great Was Second Best, A Brave Bay's Rivalry with the Legendary Secretariat by Phil Dandrea is a thrilling account of the horse to finish second to Secretariat in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Dandrea covers a lot of ground with background on Sham's ancestors and the road that lead him to the people that believed in him whole-heartedly. He goes on to cover the training and races that set this colt up to meet Secretariat, and to present his argument that Sham made Secretariat the Superhorse we all accept him to be. The book is well written and grabbed me right from the start. This type of book is in danger of being very dry and slow slogging through all the history and its bearing to the tale. Even though I knew the outcome Dandrea kept the action interesting and page turner exciting with electrifying race descriptions and colorful quotes from trainers, jockeys and owners. Of course it is hard to have a story about this great horse without Secretariat barging in to the tale. But, a little too much Secretariat history was present, overshadowing Sham's tale. Art imitates life. I don't want to take anything away from Sham, a great horse in his own right; he was unfortunate enough to be born in 1970. But there is just something a little "bigger" about Secretariat that made him stand out more from the crowd. The book's chapters are chronologically arranged, with the requisite pictures, about a quarter of them are by Maryland's own Cappy Jackson. It would have been nice to see some pictures of Sham other than racing. But, I don't think Dandrea brought home the argument that Sham made Secretariat a superhorse. They only met 4 times in their racing careers (Secretariat started 21 times, Sham 13 times), there were other notable horses to race against Secretariat Forego is one. 1970 produced a several horses of class providing Secretariat with some competition. But, Sham was still a class act and quite possibly would have won the Triple Crown if he had just been born in another year. Phil Dandrea has spent time at tracks both behind the scenes and most notably as a member of Big Brown's ownership group IEAH Stables. As such he is able to bring to life track life, and the emotional roller coaster of having the really good horse. I found myself rooting for Sham even though I knew he wasn't going to triumph. Overall, Sham is a great read, entertaining, interesting, and thrilling. You can't really ask for more.
- Kathy Erisman

Success in the Saddle with Debbie Rodriguez by Debbie Rodriguez

Core fitness for EVERY equestrian

The Horse In Virginia by Julie A. Campbell
University of Virginia Press

This is the first book to cover the complete history of the horse in the Old Dominion. The books is beautifully illustrated throughout, including numerous historical depictions of the horse by painters, photographers, and even commercial artists. The equine tradition in Virginia is unique and enduring; this book is the celebration it deserves.

The Maryland Hunt Cup: A Jockey's Perspective produced by Nick Carter

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride in a Steeplechase race? Now you can experience the thrills and spills of racing from the comfort of your own home through the Ski Roundtop Jockey cam. Ride with Jockey James Stierhoff and his mount “Twill Do” as they ride to victory in America’s most prestigious and difficult timber race, the Maryland Hunt Cup. A must for any equine enthusiast, sit back and enjoy a true test of horse and rider.

Overall, the DVD “The Maryland Hunt Cup: A Jockey's Perspective” directed by Nick Carter gives a fantastic insiders view, and a unique “jockey cam” perspective of one of the oldest and most prestigious steeplechase races in the world. The editing for the opening montage is very well done but for those viewers who do not recognize the faces of the various trainers and jockeys speaking at the beginning, the importance of what they are saying, because of who they are, is lost. After the opening credits, the historical commentary from various Maryland steeplechase jockeys and trainers begins, and at this point, names are flashed on the screen. However, again, no background is given on who these people are, not even farm names, and so you once again loose the importance of their words. Viewers are not even informed as to who is a jockey and who is a trainer or owner. A little more thought should have been put into this part of the DVD. For those who don't know about the Hunt Cup, the information provided was a little too short and sometimes a bit vague. Steeplechase legend Jay Griswold, does give one piece of information so eloquently that is stands out above the other commentary about the Hunt Cup. Griswold describes the Hunt Cup horse as, “A good hunt cup horse has to be both very smart and very brave. And most horses, the smart ones are not brave and the brave ones are not smart. So it takes a very unique combination.” Viewers feel the true meaning behind his words once the Ski Roundtop jockey cam footage begins. The camera was placed on the helmet of James Stierholf, who rode Twill Do for owner Lucy A. Goelet and trainer by William Meister. Luck played a significant part in the making of the rest of this film. There was no possible way that the director could have known that Twill Do would lag behind for most of the race, giving perfect views of the race unfolding in front of Stierholf. Nor could Carter predict that coming to the second to last fence, Twill Do and Stierholf would surge ahead to victory. The jockey cam perspective actually allows viewers to feel the rhythm of the horses galloping. You can feel the speed, lean into the turns with the jockeys and hold your breath at every fence. And as the battle to the finish line between Twill Do and Private Attack forges on in the last seconds of the race, you can actually feel the horses accelerate. The raw emotions of Stierholf and Meister at the end of the race are priceless and after feeling like you rode the race with them, one can share in the emotions and celebrate their victory along side of them. And in this way, the DVD does accomplish what is stated in the opening credits; to ride in the Maryland Hunt Cup is a “chance to become part of history.”
- Katherine O. Rizzo

The Riders Guide to Real Collection by Lynn Palm
Trafalgar Square Books

Collection is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Western and English riding. Everyone wants it, but few people know how to get it. World-class rider, trainer and clinician Lynn Palm now offers the one and only book that explains away the mysteries of collection while telling you exactly how to attain it. The Rider's Guide to Real Collection is really not for the advanced dressage rider. If you are an upper level rider looking for technical pointers on how to move up the levels this book is not for you.

However, if you are a lower level rider in any discipline looking to be a better rider then you will love this book. Lynn Palm, former Horse World Expo participant, is well known for her versatile riding including all desciplines. She does a great job of showing how to be a good rider no matter what kind of riding you do. If you want a happier more willing partner then you can benefit from reading this book. Lynn goes over exercises from ground work to basics under saddle that teach the horse to move from behind and have more self carriage. While I personally did not learn anything new, I was reminded of a few oldie but goodie exercises that I had forotten about.
- Jennifer Stoloff

The Simple Game by Thomas Foley
A Caballo Pressof Ann Arbor Book

Thomas Foley's The Simple Game, An Irish Jockeys Memoir offers a rare glimpse into the life lived by a professional athlete and the sacrifices needed to succeed. I don't know Tom Foley, but this book seems not to have been so much "written" as recorded, as if two friends sat down in a pub for a pint, and Tom started telling a story that was recorded, and later transcribed. This is what makes the book a quick and easy read, but also a compelling one. Foley does not shy from letting the reader know some of the most intimate and painful things about his life, particularly the illness that has framed his professional life, and threatens to destroy him on a daily basis. To keep his racing weight down, Foley became a "flipper", or bulimic. The book opens with a photograph of a toilet designed specifically for "flipping". What's particularly horrifying is that there is a company that makes a toilet for such a purpose, and there's a line item in the budget at race tracks for purchasing such an item. Foley confesses the things that he has done that do not make him proud. Relating one incident in which he lies to the stewards after a race, and Gregg Ryan, another jockey, calls him on it, and asks him it that's the kind of man he wants to become. Throughout the book, Foley asks himself the same question, and acknowledges that he doesn't know the man he's become, and he doesn't know how to get back to that man.

Ultimately, the book is a journey for Tom to be the man that he wants to be, because until he does, he feels he cannot the father his sons deserve, the sons he lost because he has lost his own way. A wake up call for Foley is when he calls his sons, and asks if they miss their daddy, and one answers that their daddy was "Charlie", and was right there. When it comes time for his sons to understand their father's actions and absence, this book will be a way for them to understand their father, and learn how to be the men they would want to be. Maryland readers will know many of the people and places that play a part in Foley's life. Racing fans might even have been at the races he references. Although Foley is very open about exposing himself, he is careful not to expose the privacy of others when they do not do themselves proud. At one point, Foley is racing at Charlestown, and his horse breaks down. Foley conceals the details of the race and horse, because to Foley's disgust, the trainer comments "It isn't so bad, we needed to make room for some better horses." At this moment, Foley realizes that he has to make the change to find himself. He got himself to this point in his life, and he would have to get himself out. He just doesn't quite know how he's going to do it. The solution arrives in an unlikely place, when he tries out for a part in the Disney movie Secretariat, and, as he puts it "I guess it sometimes takes a trip to fantasyland to open your eyes to your own reality." A note for the publisher - get a better proofreader. There are a few ridiculous typos that are inexcusable, such as "I held the reigns tighter" (p. 121), and "we paid special attention to the horses' confirmations" (p. 131). I know Tom Foley knows that he holds the reins, and that horses have "conformation". As I said, I don't know Tom Foley. The Tom Foley in this book is a warm, caring, imperfect man, with the arrogance ingrained in all jockeys. People who know Tom Foley may not recognize the man portrayed in the book. I suspect that many people who "know" him don't know him at all because he strikes me as a very private person. We all have secrets. Tom Foley managed to juggle his better … until now. No man who loves horses as much as he does can be all bad.
- Tracy McKenna

Why We Ride by Verna Dreisbach
Seal Press

A collection of stories by women writers who have a connection with horses.

Wildwood Stables: Daring to Dream by Suzanne Weyn
Scholastic Inc

Taylor Henry loves horses, but her single mom can't afford riding lessons, much less a horse. So when she discovers an abandoned gelding and pony, Taylor is happy just to be around them. But the rescued animals have nowhere to go, and Taylor is running out of time to find them a good home. Could the empty old barn on Wildwood Lane be the answer? And could Taylor's wildest dream - of a horse to call her own - finally be coming true?

Wildwood Stables: Playing for Keeps by Suzanne Weyn
Scholastic Inc

Taylor Henry thinks Wildwood Stables is perfect - even if it needs repair and a lot more money, it's become a home to her and her new horse, Prince Albert. And as soon as Taylor trains Prince Albert to give lessons, Wildwood will be in business! But the gelding refuses to let anyone ride him except Taylor. Can she convince Prince Albert to earn his keep? Or will Taylor need the help of her worst enemy to save her beloved new home?

Women are from Venus and So Are Their Horses by Menno Kalmann
Trfalgar Square Books

We've all seen them - muddied, bedraggled, groggy from too little sleep or bussing from too much coffee, There maybe a charachteristic green smear of horse slobber across the shirt, perhaps an errant wisp of hay clinging to the front of the jeans. Often, they are in the midst of performing several tasks: load bearing (hauling shavings bales, water buckets, heavy saddles); couriering (parking oversized rigs,, rushing to the secretarary's office with last-minute entries... Who are htese hardworking, agreeable creatures? They are the ever-patient partners of horse-crazy women - husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers - and they are often introduced to "planet horse" and all of its sweaty, expensive glory without knowing any better (or when they do know better, blantantly against their will). They "come along for the ride because they love the women in their life, and well, those women love horses. Now, a man on the inside shares his planet-horse experiences, with the bare-it-all bravery of a desperate individual trying to understand the strange world of which he has become part.

2009 Book and DVD Releases

A Centennial View edited by John Strassburger
The Derrydale Press

A commemorative tome celebrating the Centennial of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association and 100 years of organized foxhunting in North America.

An absolute must for the library of any Maryland equestrian,this long awaited commemorative compendium celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association and 100 years of organized foxchasing sport in Northern America arrived late in 2009 - too late for our 2009 book review, but eligible for this year's review. Obviously a labor of love, the tome is 433 pages of fascinating stories and foxhunting philosophy, fabulous photos and rich, glorious art. Most foxhunters who order this book will quickly flip through it, looking for familiar faces, places, hounds and horses. Marylanders won't be disappointed, as we pop up everywhere (and only Virginia and Pennsylvania have more recognized packs than Maryland, and we are a fraction of their geographic size!). The comprehensive history of foxhunting in America gives Maryland her rightful due as the cradle of American foxhunting - and the American Foxhound. Norman Fine's historic overview provides oa detailed account of the first pack of hounds imported into the Colonies by Robert Brooke in 1650, noting that "The Brooke hound bloodlines…provided basic stock for American strains fielded today." De La Brooke Hounds today pays tribute to Robert Brooke. Tobacco planters on Maryland's Eastern Shore are credited with introducing the red fox to the colonies, as they felt the red fox was more game than the native gray fox. When the Chesapeake Bay froze in that bitter winter of 1779-17780, the opportunistic Reynard crossed into Virginia and then spread throughout the country. The quest for a hound that could hunt this now ubiquitous quarry in the young county's territory led, in 1814, to the importation of two Irish hounds, the famed Mountain & Muse, by Baltimore immigrant Bolton Jackson. He gave the hounds to Ellicott City's Charles Sterrett Ridgley; from there they transferred down to Benjamin Ogle, Jr.'s famed Belair Stud in Prince George's County. To read the rest of Mountain and Muse's story, however, readers will need to skip to Fine's own book, for at this point in is overview he leaves off their story, jumping ahead to how their blood can today be found in the American hounds Trigg, July and Walker. Readers also find more of the story of these famed Maryland bloodlines by reading Chapter 21, "All A Matter of Longevity," in which J.W.Y. Martin, MFH discusses the founding of the Green Spring Valley Hounds. Although the club was formally organized in 1892, founder Redmond C. Stewart began forming his pack when he was 15 years old, focusing on old Maryland bloodlines and following the advice of "ancient" Howard County foxhunters, eventually acquiring the pack of hounds from Patapsco Hunt upon the retirement of its master, Dorsey Rogers,and the Patapsco Hounds had a direct line back to Mountain & Muse. (It is interesting to note that most of these Maryland family names still appear regularly in the pages of your local horse publication.) Green Spring MFHs judiciously bred these old Maryland lines to select English lines, establishing what we today call the "Crossbred Hound." With its proximity to the nation's capital, Maryland is home to scads of policy wonks who will appreciate Fine's history and analysis of the evolution of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association, the vision of its founders, the tenacity of its early leadership in hewing to the founders' mission, the decades that it took to achieve these initial goals, the particular personality traits of each leader and how those traits helped to move (or not move) the organization forward. For anyone involved in volunteer driven, not-for-profit sporting associations, the story of the MFHA provides valuable guidance in the necessity for vision, patience, tenacity and diplomacy. However, many will skip this history section and instead dive right into the action! The reader will enjoy conversations with noted huntsmen and hunt with packs around North American without ever leaving the comfort of his sofa (this book is too heavy to have on your lap; it really IS a coffee table book). Each chapter has a different author. Larry Pitts will regale the reader with kennel antics and heart-stopping moments; woven in, around and through these tales is his philosophy on hounds and hound training - and what he has learned over the years. The last part of the book focuses on the various activities to celebrate the MFHA's centennial, including the Foxhound Performance Trials, the Field Hunter Championships, the various Joint Meets and the grand finale Hunt Ball. No self respecting coffee table book is complete with out lush illustrations, and this book is packed full of them. Unfortunately, photo credits are relegated to an index in the back of the book, which means a lot of flipping while reading (and remember, this is a BIG book). A quick scan of the photographer index reveals old Equiery friends, including Cappy Jackson, Isabel Kurek, Karen Kandra Wenzel and Kerry McCoy. There may be other Marylanders in there, but it is hard to tell. The oil paintings, pastels and other original artwork are lovingly reproduced, so it is disappointing and unfortunate that the book lacks an index of artists. In a nod to the digital evolution of publishing, a DVD is included with the printed book; the DVD includes detailed information, photos and videos on all the various hunt clubs - essentially a digital roster. Obviously, the 2007 information was dated as of the release of the book, but the DVD should be able to be easily updated and resold each year (or every few years) and can be used as a fundraising tool for the organization. A word of warning: the DVD does require certain software (which is included on the disc). - Crystal Brumme Kimball

The My Lady's Manor Races1901-2009 by Margaret Worrall
Sheridan Books Inc

For a century the My Lady's Manor Races have formed part of the three major timber race meetings in Maryland. Writer Margaret Worrall has created centennial chronicles for the Grand National in Butler and the Maryland Hunt Cup in Glyndon. Now she puts her love of racing and history together again for a limited edition on the My Lady's Manor Point-to-Point, an event that has never been covered in depth before. Another absolute must for a complete Maryland library, regardless of whether it is a library on Maryland history in general or a library of Maryland horse books. Written by one of The Equiery's favorite writers, Margaret Worrall, this book chronicles all the color, glory and guts that is the racing and foxhunting world. Too often, these kinds of books can seem insular to those on the outside, like a yearbook for an unfamiliar school. Worrall generously invites the reader who is not "of the Manor born" to not only step into the world of The Manor, but makes us feel a part of that world. Lavishly illustrated with photos and paintings (Voss paintings, of course). We should all be so fortunate as to have Worrall craft our life stories. - Crystal Brumme Kimball

Keep checking back for more book and DVD reviews from The Equiery Library - we have over 400 titles in our office to post on this page!
2004 Book and DVD Releases

Winter's Gift by Jane Monroe Donovan
Sleeping Bear Press

It may be Christmastime but on a small, forlorn farm the holiday season is best forgotten, along with painful memories of loved ones lost. Mother Nature has other plans, however, and a chance snowstorm brings together two unlikely hearts, one human and one beast, yet both yearning for comfort, companionship, and that most elusive gift of all, hope. This lustrous jewel of a story, quietly told and perfectly complemented by soft, evocative paintings, reminds even the most cynical of readers that the heart indeed can recover and go on.

© The Equiery 2015