By Valerie Ormond
J.B. Max Publishing, 2014
Fiction, 246 pages
Soft Cover, Kindle
Reviewed by Margaret Evans
“Sadie felt so isolated. She couldn’t share or communicate her worry with her family. And living in a community with no other military people, no one else would understand. So she lived a life of constant secret fear which grew every day. She needed a distraction.”
Gold medal award winning author Valerie Ormond’s Believing in Horses, Too takes thirteen-year-old Sadie Navarro to new challenges. Sadie wants more than ever to make her father proud by riding in her first show on her gelding, Lucky. Her father, Lieutenant Commander Navarro, is deployed to Afghanistan. She always fears for his safety and during the first six months of his deployment, Sadie had preoccupied herself by taking on the challenge of saving ten horses on their way to an auction and a very uncertain future.
With the horses now in safe homes, Sadie needs a new challenge and riding in her very first show on Lucky is the answer. But she isn’t prepared for all the steps it takes to get ready for a show and Lucky is as green as she is. It doesn’t help that a particularly nasty rival in the show ring sets out to dash Sadie’s dreams and puts Lucky’s safety at risk.
But Sadie is also challenged and excited when she goes to visit one of the horses she had saved. Goliath is now part of an equine-assisted therapy program and Sadie is fascinated by how horses help people with special needs, especially military veterans. She knows this is something very special she wants to do. But does she have the courage – or the skills – to do it?
Believing in Horses, Too is a fun, timely, sensitive and perceptive story of Sadie’s struggles, inner fears, hopes and triumphs.
Author Valerie Ormond brings great insight into Sadie’s story. Ormond had a career in the US Navy before starting out as a writer. She is a lifetime member of the Naval Intelligence Professionals and Disabled American Veterans, and she is a strong supporter of military and veteran families.
Her first novel, Believing in Horses won the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal for Young Adult Books and the Gold Medal for Children’s Literature in the Stars and Flags Book Awards. Ormond owns and rides horses and lives in Maryland with husband Jaime Navarro.
Believing in Horses, Too is a great read for both young riders and parents who want to understand the many special talents that horses offer.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2016 issue of Canadian Horse Journal.