Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)


The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she wanted to save these horses. She did some research and found Freedom Hill Horse Rescue and Thoroughbred Placement Resources (TPR). TPR specializes in helping people to be responsible in placing retired racehorses. Freedom Hill rescues any horse that is at risk and needs a home. Sadie put together a slide presentation and gave it to the people at Loftmar Stables, TPR, and Freedom Hill to try to convince them to help her save the horses. Through a lot of hard work and persuasiveness, Sadie was able to find homes for all 10 horses. Sadie was very proud of herself.


I loved “Believing in Horses” by Valerie Ormond. I thought it was very impressive how Sadie set so many long-term goals and then worked so hard to achieve them. It was very difficult to find homes for all the horses, but she kept working at it and in the end her hard work paid off. I think this is a good book not only for kids who love horses (like me!) but also for kids who have parents in the military and have to learn to be without a parent for a long period of time.

This book was very special to me because it was set in Bowie, Maryland, and because I am a volunteer at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. I could really relate to the book, and it helped me to feel very connected to Sadie as she worked through the challenges she faced. I highly recommend this book.

by Nicole Cavanaugh

Thank you, Nicole, for your thoughts and your hard work! Any other inspirational stories out there? If so, please share.


  1. What a beautiful book project Nicole created! Thanks for sharing at the Kid Lit Blog Hop!