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YouTube Video - The Horse Boy
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The Horse Boy - DVD and Book
The Horse Boy DVD
Price - $29.95
I loved the book, and it was a tough act to follow - but the DVD was up to the task. This documentary film does a great job of fleshing out the visual and auditory details that you may have missed in the book. Consider that all the footage was shot by someone who was also riding a horse (sometimes getting bucked off) and riding in the same van with young Rowan, who was prone to frequent tantrums and at age 6 was still not toilet trained. Mom Kristin does not mince words when she expresses her main hope for the journey was the end of washing poopy underpants. Rowan's frequent tantrums and meltdowns are beautifully contrasted by music by Lili Haydyn and Kim Carroll, a powerful metaphor showcasing what parents of autistic kids endure.
With all that said, if you have a low tolerance threshold for screaming and crying then this may not be the movie for you. Also, while horses are one of the main vehicles for Rowan's healing there is not a great deal of focus on the intricacies of this. There's lots of footage of the family riding, so you'll get to see the mongolian horses, their tack, etc. but there's not much narrative about the horses - their names, etc, like you can read in the book.
The Horse Book DVD & Book Set - Save $5.99
Get both the DVD (shown above) and the book (shown below)
Price - $39.95
The Horse Boy - A Father's Quest to Heal His Son
by Rupert Isaacson
Softcover, 355 pages (14 pages of black and white photographs)
Price - $15.99
#BKBTH2 - $15.95
Beyond The Homestretch
What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses by Lynn Reardon
Softcover, 289 pages
In Beyond the Homestretch, Lynn Reardon shares an unlikely story. In 2002, she quit her Washington DC-area office job and moved to rural Texas to open the racehorse adoption ranch LOPE (LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers). Since then, LOPE has helped transition more than 725 thoroughbreds into new homes. Though now the director of this high-profile organization, Reardon didn't learn to ride until she was an adult. Here she presents a vivid inside look into the world of horse racing, complete with colorful horses, jockeys, trainers, and gallop girls, depicting the insights horses can offer when we reevaluate our relationship with them.
In this riveting account, Reardon encounters dozens of unruly racehorses, all with special needs, unusual histories, and distinct personalities. As she fumbles to help them find new careers, they return the favor by becoming her most memorable mentors in horsemanship and life philosophy.
Horses such as Tawakoni, the son of a Kentucky Derby winner, and Endofthestorm, the speedy bay who required an emergency tracheotomy, give Reardon an apprenticeship in facing fear and finding a new life. Reardon may have saved these horses' lives, but she points out that they saved hers as well. She takes readers for a thrilling ride filled with fiery racehorses, offbeat horse people, colorful Texas culture clashes, veterinary melodramas, and surprising lessons.
Here's an excerpt:
"To me, racehorses are winners even after their racing careers end. They have so much heart, athleticism, and intelligence - all they need is a chance to find that second career after the finish line. Of course, they could use a little help making that transition. Because it can be hard to change careers at first.
I can sympathize with that.
I used to have an accounting career, working in a Washington, DC, cubicle. Pale, stressed, and full of suburban angst, I was the least likely candidate to run a racehorse adoption ranch in Texas. Back then, horses were just my outlet, my weekend respite from spreadsheets. Only learning to ride as an adult, I took group horseback-riding lessons and strained to master the most basic equestrian skills.
But even then, I was drawn to racehorses - several resided at that stable, in training to become show jumpers and polo mounts. They charmed and inspired me, with their intelligent faces, beautiful conformation, and dark reputations as risky rides.
From childhood, I had secretly wanted to be a horse trainer. But I was a horse geek, a real goober around the barn. The instructors and trainers hid their smiles at my barn gaffes and painfully anxious riding style. Every trainer at the barn had grown up with horses, usually turning professional by their teens, a formidable resume of equine mastery. I would never fit that mold - how could someone like me be a trainer? It seemed like an impossible, silly dream, plausible only in a Disney film.
I worked hard to improve my skills anyway: exercising polo ponies for free, trading barn work for lessons, teaching at a horse summer camp, anything to learn more on my modest budget. Slowly, my horse activities morphed into a vocation, a calling I could no longer ignore, however ridiculous it seemed to others - and often even to me.
Finally, I took the plunge, moved halfway across the country, and opened the racehorse adoption program."
How many of us dream of doing this? Well, Lynn actually did it, and her stories are touching, inspiring, and motivational. The book says, if you want to make a difference in horses' lives, you can. If you need to learn more to do it - well, what are you waiting for? I've read the book and it has a really human perspective, devoid of ego, that I rarely see in horse books. Lynn doesn't think she's a magikal horse whisperer or the Mother Theresa of horse rescue. She admits to her mistakes along with her successes. She rides her own rescues, puts on benefit horseshows and other events, and keeps her numbers controllable so that every horse gets everything they need.
#BKHWM - $14.95
Horses With A Mission
by Allen and Linda Anderson
Softcover, 188 pages
Horsepower - A Memoir Book
by Annette Israel
Softcover - 158 pages
Price - $19.95
Horsepower - A Memoir Book
He was just an aged Belgian draft horse, left alone in a pasture to live out his remaining days. He spent his time drooling and swishing flies. But once the old horse stepped out of a wobbly wire fence, and into his new life, he began to subtly influence his owner and other people who crossed his path. The horse weighed one ton and was physically strong. He was also kind and gentle, with an uncanny manner of getting involved in the lives of the people he met. Through trials and good times, through laughter and tears, this grand old horse conveyed many messages about life.
This is a true story. It's a passionate, warm and humorous portrayal of an old horse's life as told by his last owner and friend. Richly enveloped in a series of nostalgic flashbacks, you will find yourself laughing and crying, sometimes both on the same page, as you read about his escapades, and ponder your own experiences.
When I picked this book up - I was drawn in and did not put it down until I was finished. It is very, very well written - a story about an ordinary horsewoman (like me) and her life with an old horse of questionable usefulness. A very good read that showcases the many spiritual moments interwoven with everyday, horseowning experiences. Here are some quotes - you will know what I mean:
"For most of my early childhood, I crawled around on all fours with soup cans attached to my hands so that they would sound like hooves. I stuffed one of my mother's scarves into the back of my pants for a tail. Sometimes I put a pencil in my mouth for a bit and rig up shoelaces to resemble a bridle. I whinnied and snorted and practiced every noise a horse made."
"There I was, forty-eight years old, sitting beside an Amish man in a cart learning to drive a draft horse for the first time and giggling like a teenager."
"Starting a conversation about horse poop is a great way to meet others just like you. Start talking about it, and you will separate the real horse people from the "I've always wanted a horse" set. Non-horse people stare wide-eyed, wrinkle their noses, and then they go golfing. The true horse folk dive right in."
The Horses We Love, The Lessons We Learn
The Horses We Love, The Lessons We Learn by Tena Bastian
Regular Price $19.95 - Sale Price $12.95
Author Tena Bastian. Real-life stories are modern day parables for the lessons horses have to teach us: Learn from your mistakes, trust your instincts and above all, have fun. A reviewer commented: Some stories made me laugh out loud as I recalled being in similar predicaments. Others touched an emotional chord and made me cry. Softcover, 213 pages
Rider's Prayer Tassel Bookmark
FREE with the purchase of any book!
A Rider's Prayer
Dearest Creator in Heaven,
Give me strength to guide my horse.
Make my hands soft and my head clear.
Let my horse understand me and I him.
My heart you have blessed with a special love of these
Let me never lose sight of it.
My soul you have gifted with a deep need for them.
Let that need never lessen.
Always let my breath catch as the sun gleams on an elegant
Always may my throat tighten at the sound of a gentle nicker.
Let the scent of fresh hay and a new bag of grain be sweet to
Let the touch of a warm nose on my hand always bring a smile.
I adore the joy of a warm day on the farm.
The grace and splendor of a running horse,
The thunder of its hooves makes my eyes burn and my heart
Let it always be so.
Dearest Creator grant me patience,
For horses are harnessed wind, and wind can be flighty.
Let me not frighten or harm them.
Instead show me ways to understand them.
Above all, dear Creator, fill my life with them.
When I pass from this world,
Send my soul to no heaven without them.
For this love you have given me graces my existence
And I shall cherish it and praise You for it for all time.