The Art of Liberty Training for Horses, by Jonathan Field

Guest Review by Hannah Grant

Jonathan Field teaches the basics of his horse training methods in this book. With gentle consistency and a positive attitude, he practices natural horsemanship with a lot of focus on groundwork. Among other things, he teaches methods of gaining mutual respect with a horse. By establishing leadership, making his horses feel comfortable and relaxed, listening to them, and allowing them time and space to learn what he is asking from them, he has achieved great success with many different kinds of horses. They enjoy their time with him as much as he enjoys playing with them. Using only body language, he teaches his readers how to communicate with a horse. He also gives some step-by-step instructions for teaching a horse to perform several exercises while playing at liberty. As he mentions, even a well-trained, well-behaved horse can benefit from some natural horsemanship and groundwork.

Liberty training and groundwork can greatly strengthen your relationship with your horse. If you have ever dreamed of playing with your horse at liberty, running with a herd of horses, or riding a horse bareback and bridleless, then this book is for you!

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The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley

Guest Review by Hannah Grant

The story of a king’s daughter battling dragons and other enemies from the back of her father’s old courageous warhorse, this novel is great for juniors and older readers.

The only child of the King of Damar, Aerin is disliked by the country because it is believed that her mother, who died when Aerin was born, was a witch who enspelled the king into marrying her. Aerin befriends her father’s old warhorse, Talat, after an accident ends the horse’s career. She then trains him to be ridden bridleless. Taught to fight by her cousin and friend, Tor, and after finding the recipe for a fireproof ointment, Aerin rides Talat into several battles with small dragons.

When the much feared Black Dragon, Maur, begins to terrorize villages in the country, it is Aerin and Talat who ride out to fight him. Successful but almost killed by Maur’s terrible fire, Aerin seeks the help of a man she saw in her dreams. In the process of recovery she discovers the truth about herself, her mother, and her father’s kingdom; and she learns about the evil plans of an uncle she had never heard of. Can she save her country before it’s too late?

Horse Power, by Ann Walsh

Guest review by Hannah Grant

Callie, a young city girl, has just arrived home from visiting her father when her mother whisks her away to protest the closing of her cousin’s school.

Callie is a bit annoyed with the protest at first. She is not fond of camping out in the school parking lot or of her cousin’s horse, Radish, but she understands the importance of the rural school and wants to help save it. When Callie’s cousin dares her to ride Radish, an unlikely turn of events and an unlikely friendship provide a solution to the problem.

This book is a great read for young adults and people who love horses. Callie’s humorous perspective makes it difficult to put this book down. She actually had me laughing out loud!