Awards for Believing In Horses Out West
Military Writers Society of America 2022 Book Awards – Gold Medal
EQUUS Film and Arts Festival – WINNER – Equine Fiction!
Spring 2022 BookFest Awards – Second Place
2021 Awards Finalist!
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO – BEST VETERANS FICTION, 2019 EQUUS FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO – BEST Y.A. FICTION
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO – BEST BOOKS IN JUVENILE FICTION
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO – 1ST PLACE IN THE AUTHORS’ ZONE BOOK AWARDS
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO WINS THE GOLD MEDAL IN THE MILITARY WRITERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA BOOK AWARDS!
BELIEVING IN HORSES WINS GOLD MEDAL FROM MILITARY WRITERS SOCIETY OF AMERICA BOOK AWARDS
BELIEVING IN HORSES -GOLD MEDAL WINNER
STARS AND FLAGS BOOK AWARDS
PARENT TESTED PARENT APPROVED
OFFICIAL SEAL OF APPROVAL AND BEST PRODUCT WINNER
THE EQUIERY MAGAZINE REVIEW
BELIEVING IN HORSES
CHESAPEAKE FAMILY MAGAZINE REVIEW
BLAZE MAGAZINE GOOD READS SELECTION!
“An emotional story, writer Valerie Ormond takes Sadie and her tri-colored Pinto horse, Lucky, through a tale of heartbreak, suspense, determination, and love.”
Valerie Ormond’s “Horse Book” Reviews
My list of “The best books about horses and their humans.” https://shepherd.com/best-books/horses-and-their-humans
Confessions of a Timid Rider, Heather Wallace
Lucy’s Chance (Red Rock Ranch, Book 1), Brittney Joy
Sgt. Reckless, Robin Hutton
In the Reins, Carly Kade
False Gods, Lisa Trovillion
The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Linda Benson
The Opium Equation, Lisa Wysocky
Horse at the Corner Post, Denise Lee Branco
The Cowgirl Jumperd Over the Moon, Linda Ballou
BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO
BOOK REVIEWS AND AWARDS
Believing In Horses Out West
Believing in Horses Out West is an excellent follow-on to award-winning Valerie Ormond’s Believing in Horses (2012) and Believing in Horses, Too (2014). The story continues with Sadie, who turns fourteen in this story, seeking and finding her true purpose in life. In this book, the author enlarges the storyline to include animal cruelty and human trafficking. She also continues with the coming-of-age experiences of a teenage girl in today’s complex society, with emphasis in this book on interaction with boys.
Both overcoming fears and the transition to teenage years are central themes in Believing in Horses Out West, and it should appeal to readers beyond the YA set. Sadie faces her fears, never gives in, asks for help when needed, wins by working hard and not by luck, accepts kindness, and is rewarded for her efforts.
Ormond is clearly a passionate horse person and a gifted author who draws the reader into the story with characters that show numerous equestrian techniques. She writes well, and readers of all ages will have no problems enjoying the book. I particularly appreciate the use of chapter titles as a way to provide a clue to the next phase of the plot. I also loved the resolution that is complemented by tying up all the loose ends to make a most satisfactory outcome.
The book is sprinkled with additional gifts of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next – primarily from the grandmother character. Among those are: faced with what appears to be insurmountable obstacles you can find solutions, rely on your instincts, you have to believe you can do it to succeed, everyone needs a helping hand at some time, constantly beating yourself up over mistakes does no one any good, you need situational awareness, not all parents do a good job, being on your own is exhilarating but can be fraught with danger, there are temptations in life, jealousy and envy are normal but need to be monitored, sometimes not everyone needs to know what happened, being with a horse is a partnership, teenage girls have difficulty understanding themselves and it is normal, boys have difficulty understanding girls, boys have a sensitive side but are reluctant to display it, older brothers can be a pain in the neck but they (like dad) always have your back, every life has a purpose, and the most important is crime does not pay.
I highly recommended the book for those who enjoy children’s horse books, coming of age fiction, teen and young adult equestrian fiction, teen and young adult family, and equestrian sports.
Review by Jim Tritten (January 2022)
“A thrilling coming-of-age story filled with love, lessons, and finding one’s purpose in life….” ~Robin Hutton, New York Times Bestselling Author of Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse
I just finished Believing in Horses Out West. It is the third book in a series by Valerie Ormond. It is a stand alone book, but I recommend starting with the first. A sweet and sometimes poignant series of coming age for Sadie. Yet so so much more! These are books of Rescue Horses saved from a kill pen. The author’s deep love of horses is apparent throughout. I look forward to the next in the series. I recommend as Christmas gifts for those special teens to your best friend.
Fun, Friendship, Horses, and Mystery in Montana
Believing In Horses Out West takes horse crazy Sadie Navarro on an adventure to a Montana ranch to check on a horse she rescued. I love that the third book dives into the Western world of horses as Sadie learns about ranch life and makes new friends. Her adventures are full of finding one’s purpose. The book highlights the special bond between humans and horses, too. It’s so easy to recommend this lovely story to horse lovers of all ages because it’s filled with life lessons, laced with mystery, and has loads of fun equestrian adventures!
~Carly Kade, Award-winning author and host of the Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast
Believing in Horses Out West is an inspiring and easy-to-read tale of devotion, compassion, and loyalty/love that truly is heart-warming and exciting.
~Katherine D. Graham, Author, The Vow That Twisted Fate; AutoCrit Developmental Editor, and Book Reviewer
When, an author and central character collide into a singular personality, the reader benefits. “Believing in Horses Out West,” more than qualifies as a must read.
The author captures you with her ability to draw you into feeling like an integral part of the story, a rare talent. The third book in a series titled “Believing in Horses,” yet it stands alone. Excellent and informative, the central character Sadie, is a young girl now fourteen, and headed toward being a strong accomplished adult. Not only does it provide inspiration for girls to aspire and achieve, it will also inspire boys, as the central theme of the message applies to both. I highly recommend this book.
~Jim Greenwald, Poet, Author, and Vice President, Military Writers Society of America
Believing In Horses, Too
Believing in Horses, Too, is an excellent follow-on to award-winning Valerie Ormond’s Believing in Horses (2012). The characters and story continue with now thirteen-year-old Sadie expanding her work beyond rescuing horses. In this book, the author enlarges the storyline to include the use of horses to help humans. She also continues with the coming-of-age experiences of a teenage girl in today’s complex society.
Valerie is clearly a passionate horse person and a gifted author who draws the reader into the story with characters that show how steeds are used to open learning receptors in the brain and help release hormones that make people feel good. Beyond that their non-judgmental nature and similar social structures enable trained therapists to use these noble mounts to notice what is going on with humans. I particularly resonated with the parallel between a horse reestablishing who is who when a former member rejoins the herd and the challenges faced by a family when a military service member returns from deployment.
Overcoming fears is the central theme in Believing in Horses, Too, and it should appear to readers beyond the YA set. Sadie is initially reluctant to face her biggest fear and learns to face it, never give in, ask for help, win by working hard and not by luck, accept kindness, and celebrate with pizza. The reader learns that winners come in various shapes and sizes. Other fears, such as bullies, fit well into modern teenage experiences.
Valerie writes well, and readers of all ages will have no problems enjoying the book. I particularly appreciate the use of chapter titles as a way to provide a clue to the next phase of the plot. I also loved the resolution that occurs about ¾ the way through and is complemented by tying up all the loose ends to make a most satisfactory outcome.
The book is sprinkled with additional gifts of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next. Among those are: people change in life, everyone makes mistakes, temper your expectations, every life has a purpose, everything happens for a reason, and the one that brought a smile to my lips – young girls turn into absolute dopes when they have boyfriends. I had thought that only applied to teenage boys and perhaps some young men.
You don’t have to wait for the sequel. Believing in Horses out West was published in October 2021 and is already enjoying well-deserved success. Highly recommended for Teen & Young Adult Equestrian Fiction, Teen & Young Adult Family, Teen & Young Adult Fiction about New Experiences, Military Families, Equestrian Sports, and Children’s Horse Books.
~Jim Tritten, multiple award-winning author and Navy veteran
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Review of Believing In Horses, Too
Sadie Navarro is facing all the typical growing up challenges that a twelve-year-old girl finds at school and home. But Sadie has a secret — one so personal she’s afraid to share it with anyone. Increasingly Sadie finds herself lost and alone. Then, at a local stable, Sadie meets and bonds with her horse Lucky. Their growing relationship becomes the healing foundation that gives Sadie the strength and courage she needs to overcome the anxiety and self-esteem demons plaguing her. BELIEVING IN HORSES, TOO is a wonderful, touching, and heartwarming coming-of-age story.
Dwight Jon Zimmerman
#1 New York Times bestselling author and former President of the Military Writers Society of America
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….Read more
The Equiery Magazine Review of Believing In Horses, Too
Valeire 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 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….Read more.
Father Ron Carmada’s Review – Believing In Horses might just rescue you, too!
By Chaplain Ron Camarda on Believing In Horses, Too
Valerie Ormond encourages the reader to take a soulful ride with rescued horses that have survived a certain early death. Believing in Horses, Too might just rescue you too! Ormond allows her 13 year old heroine to realistically grow up with the help of honest parents, teachers, mentors and bullies. Yes, bullies and antagonists can offer great opportunities for growth.
Being a rescued horse turns out to be a way to walk, trot or cantor into the souls of human beings; especially veterans, differently-abled, and children of parents deployed in a war zone.
The book is very spiritual. It is informative about horses and human behavior. “And those guys have a way of connecting with the soul like no other animals.” Sadie found facing her fears enriched the soul. She isn’t the only family member who needs the horse therapeutic approach to face her fears.
Believing in Horses, Too is very spiritual and a fun read. Ormond’s book could be used as part of a holistic approach to veteran family therapy and coping skills. And let’s not forget grandparents! Valerie’s long and distinguished Navy career and love of horses is just the training needed for a blue ribbon finish.
Inspiration and Motivational! These two words and more best describe Ormond’s sequel to “Believing in Horses” titled “Believing in Horses, Too.”
A country whose children are engaged has a future. Sadie, the main character is the poster child for engaged.
Thirteen going on 30! Wise beyond her years, focused, goal oriented, she will become a hero to all who read about her.
In a time where children are dismissed as unimportant, lazy or simply overly attached to their electronic world, Sadie demonstrates page after page what hard work and relentless effort can attain.
Parents, if your child’s school does not have this in their library, does not make it required reading you need to be “Sadie” at the next school board meeting.
Reviewed by: Jim Greenwald
LitPick Review of Believing In Horses
I like this book because it has adventure and horses. They are two of my favorite book topics. The author wrote this book in a friendly, easy tone. If she wrote it any other way, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much. I hope that whoever reads this book likes it as much as I did. I recommend it for anyone 10+….Read more
LitPick – “The latest in preteen and teen literature reviewed by a global community of students.”
TheHorseStudio.com Copyrighted Review:-
There is good reason this book has won so many awards. It is a really lovely tale that is carefully threaded with life lessons and perfect for the 9 year olds and up, regardless of whether they are a horse crazy kid or not. This book is well written and the plot carries the reader effortlessly along while quietly educating at the same time. The main character Sadie Navarro inspires empathy and her development throughout the tale as she takes on bigger responsibilities, has to overcome fears and learns to trust herself, is a well rounded and highly likable personality. Overall an intelligently written, non preachy, highly entertaining read that leaves the reader feeling happy and inspired.
Please note: This is a copyrighted review and may only be published elsewhere with credit clearly denoted as “TheHorseStudio.com, The International Equestrian Shop” and with a link to The Horse Studio website URL if published online. Thank you for respecting our copyright
VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES (VOYA)
…a charming, fast-paced, intriguing first novel that provides a blessed break from stories centered around grim problems of destructive behavior and dysfunctional families.
…”Believing in Horses” is a strong addition to young adult fiction collections, not to be missed.
“This is a great book about a young girl, her bonds with her horse and family, and the real difference that one determined, persistent, passionate person can make in the world.
(Also selected Author of the Month, March, 2012,Young Adult Gold Medal Winner, 2012, and Founder’s Award Finalist, 2012
AMAZON – FIVE STARS FOR BOTH BOOKS!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars for Believing In Horses, Too –
See reviews here.
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment and Education
Valerie Ormond’s second book about her plucky heroine, Sadie Navarro, teaches as well as entertains. Although this is sequel, the story can stand alone without having read the previous book. We are introduced to Sadie who is somewhat of a local hero for having saved slaughter bound horses. Despite her previous displays of courage, she is haunted with the fear that something awful might happen to her dad who is stationed in Afghanistan. Confronting her fears, Sadie takes on a mission to help others through “horse therapy”–including some wounded veterans. This theme of helping “damaged” horses and “damaged” people runs through the story, as Sadie encounters bullies at school who are acting out of their own personal fears. As readers, we are uplifted to see how a horse, like a person, considered by many to be a “throw away” turns out to have the most to teach us. The book has a lot to tell us about the value of various therapeutic riding programs. The story imparts an uplifting message to young/middle grade readers with clear, role model characters. It is also refreshing to read a story featuring a military family and one which explores all the challenges required from a life of such service for both the service member and extended family. Definitely a “feel good” book.
5.0 out of 5 stars for Believing in Horses
Looking for an excellent book for middle schoolers and YA readers? Believing in Horses is just that! Sadie, the main character faces struggles when she has to move and her father deploys to Afghanistan. Sadie is a twelve-year-old who proves that kids can accomplish great things, that it is okay to struggle, and things don’t always go right, but struggling for what you believe in can be worth it all in the end. Life isn’t easy, and this book is realistic in sharing that fact. People who love horses or other animals will especially enjoy this book, but it should not just be read for that reason. This book shares how a young person can set goals and what it takes to achieve something very special. Author Valerie Ormond added tension and suspense to Believing in Horses, which opens up the book to many more readers. This is an uplifting book, which I highly recommend.
As a teacher/parent, I want people to know that Valerie Ormond’s brother, Edward Ormond (who has an educational background) has created Teacher’s Tack, a teacher’s resource to accompany Believing in Horses. I can see Mr. Ormond’s teacher’s heart come through this guide. It is packed with high-level thinking activities. As a teacher of 36 years, who truly believes in challenging our students, I was thrilled to see the inclusion of activities based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Teacher’s Tack is a superb resource for home schoolers and/or public schools. If I was still in the classroom, this would be one book I would share with my students, and we’d enjoy learning through the experiences provided in this resource.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read! What a delightful book, “I believe.”
I just finished reading “Believing In Horses”; I thoroughly enjoyed reading this very well written book. This is must read for all ages; whether you have a horse or had a horse, you will be captivated with this wonderful journey of one little girl, Sadie, who has a heart of gold, believes in second chances, inspiring those that enter her life. After reading, you will most certainly believe, anything is possible with a team, good friends, and family by your side. With the holiday season approaching, if you have someone in your life that loves to read,this book makes a great gift.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement abounds!
Wow! If you’re looking for a book you can’t put down, this is your book. You don’t have to be a horselover to be sucked into the emotional rollercoaster that Sadie’s life has become. If you are a horselover, you won’t be disappointed, for we horselovers know a good horse can help you overcome anything life dishes out. A must read for all horse loving gals!
5.0 out of 5 stars Persistence Pays!
This book is not only entertaining and suspenseful, it is instructional for both children and adults! I really enjoyed reading the story and learning about issues related to horses. This story artfully weaves in some important skills for students: researching a topic, communicating with adults, e-mailing, and showing respect for others even though you may not agree with them. It is a great story about not dwelling on loneliness, becoming passionate about something, becoming an advocate, reaching out to others, making new friends, and helping animals – all things young readers will love! Young readers are very altruistic at heart and will really relate to the main character’s persistence and this story’s ultimate lesson in finding out that when you help others, you are helping yourself!
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story, perfect for young readers.
I bought this book for my daughter because she missed her home on the East Coast when we moved to California. She loved it, and even now it sits prominently on her bookshelf among her favorites. My only problem now is that she wants to ride horses more than ever….!
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Love, Love this book!!!
L. Harrington (Owings, MD)
This is a beautifully told story of a young girl who embarks on an adventure to save unwanted horses. I thoroughly enjoyed every page and look forward to a sequel. I loved the photographs at the beginning of each chapter and I felt like I was right there with Sadie at every turn. I would definitely recommend this book for people of all ages who love horses, are from military families, have teenagers, have an interest in politics or just plain love a good story. And on top of being an emotionally beautiful story, it is educational too! Get yourself a copy…you won’t be disappointed!
TO SEE THE MORE GREAT AMAZON REVIEWS, CLICK HERE.
AND A GOODREADS FIVE STAR REVIEW FROM AUTHOR SHERRY ELLIS
Sadie Navarro is a twelve-year-old girl who loves horses. She is thrilled when she gets a horse of her own. Through an interesting turn of events, Sadie discovers ten more horses that are destined for the auction block….more