Spring 2018 Update

It’s been many seasons since posting. Not so long by some measures, but in social media terms it has been ages. Sometimes you need to resource your motivation and find the right stability for achieving goals. Regeneration is a hopeful project.

I came to see horses differently after doing research for the books. There is so much evidence that humans benefit from experience with horses, even if we don’t know this anymore. You can see the belief in our history: the art, the literature, the language and myths and political forms all recognize and respect equestrian influence. But not anymore. It seems a huge change to ignore.

Most have lost the horse connection–rip! it’s gone–and the ramifications are unknown. Another era is upon us. Horses are mute actors, large canaries in the coal mines of human coalescence. This seems true in all times and places. Horsemanship reflects consequence of action; our troubles are theirs.

I have even come to believe horses are important for our future. We seem to need the remembrance they represent, to feel the history that still lives with them. Horsemanship was a herald of human civilization. Both dawned together, and maybe that matters. I now think it might.

People may actually need the connection to nature that horses provide. In one sense the horse never left the prairie, we just built around them; horses are still wild inside, still afraid of lions.

It would be funny if it turned out that human primates need the horse’s original ancient lessons of strategic leadership and internal control in order to sustain society.

Maybe the flaw of machines is you don’t need to care. Maybe we need to care.

The brutality of the corporate vision offers vital despair as it approaches the horizon, but there are other paths. Paths once hallowed. We may have dismounted in haste, but the horse is still with us. Not in the guise of the betrayed plow horses or those we bred for carriages or drays, but within the intimate bonds of equestrian sport, recreational riding and therapy. The deepest partnership we have with animals has continued to advance and unfold. That itself seems a guide.

The exciting–thrilling–spark of our new day is something that wasn’t knowable before, and people may not think of even now. The love of horses is still alive. Horses are proving to be a curious antidote to the commercial world and will surely become more valuable over time, not less. Many still feel the ancient bond, proving love is indeed as perennial as the grass.

INTO THE DARK featured in Midwest Book Reviews Bookwatch

I’m catching up with the final two books and looking for new reviews to help guide readers … here is an older review.

Into the Dark was featured in the venerable Midwest Book Reviews in the June 2013 “Children’s Bookwatch”. It is a wonderful honor!

Unfortunately horse-themed literature is all labeled juvenile by the consolidated corporate publishing industry … also unfortunately, independent publishing is still basically an echo and not its own sound.

Cover of INTO THE DARK: The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy (Book 3)

MBR Children’s Bookwatch, The Fiction Shelf:

INTO THE DARK

The third and final novel of the award-winning Great Horse trilogy, Into the Dark is the culmination of a teenager’s mysterious voyage through time and history, in which she witnesses firsthand how horses have been a “silent partner” in human civilization.

Earlier books [ed: this one!] explored the horse’s critical role in the American West; “Into the Dark” continues the human-equine journey to the 20th century and beyond. Horse lovers of all ages will enjoy this thoughtful, character-driven adventure!

Also highly recommended are the previous novels in the series, “Book I: Eclipsed by Shadow” and “Book II: The Golden Spark”.

» See featured review

» See original Bookwatch review

Legend of the Great Horse trilogy books (2015)

“Knights need horse!”

“Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.” —excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of ‘The Legend of the Great Horse’ trilogy (p. 230)

Medieval Horsetrading c. 1240 AD…

The Mighty Chouchou The man seemed to be having difficulty waking his enormous horse, and finally resorted to kneeing him in the side. The horse grunted and raised his head. “Ach, see! Much the calm horse!” Gathering that Meagan was still unimpressed, the trader bore his attention down on the young knight. Great gestures accompanied an inventory of the horse’s virtues, given while Henryk ran a hand down each of the horse’s stovepipe legs and nodded appreciatively.

“Henryk,” Meagan complained, “this horse would be much too slow.”

The trader wagged a finger. “Fraulein, bitte! Of course, knight he needs such horse. How so he conquest Tournament St. John and no horse?”

Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.

“Ach! Der holzkopf!” the trader screamed as the huge animal settled on his foot. After being slapped repeatedly, the horse removed his hoof reluctantly, as if being deprived of a soft place to stand. The trader recovered and patted the horse’s shoulder as if nothing had happened. Tears stood in his eyes.

Henryk crossed his arms, still nodding in approval.

“Henryk,” she pleaded, “remember we have no money.”

Fraulein, bitte. Pleasing.” The trader spread his arms. “Knights need horse.”

Meagan walked around the huge beast. The horse’s eyes were small in his coarse, heavy head. His throatlatch was undefined and the upright “mutton” shoulders meant he would offer an uncomfortable, jarring trot. “No Henryk, I think you can do better.”

“The horse from this finest bloodlines!” the trader insisted with a flourish. “His fathers have sweep this infidel from Holies Lands! Ach! See the chest, it is large—so! This animal can carry too much weight. He stop at nothing.”

“He is about to fall over asleep. Henryk, please warn the man about the Tatars, and we should go.”

But Henryk was stroking the horse’s nose with growing confidence. The animal’s eyes were half-closed and he was beginning to doze. Seeing the knight’s interest, the trader dismissed Meagan. “Now we set price,” the man said firmly. The trader’s eyes alighted greedily upon Henryk’s garment of chain mail, and the two began negotiating in earnest…

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is an adventure through history … each section is about a different time period. The above excerpt is from “Home,” the 1st section of Eclipsed by Shadow, set in modern-day California.

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

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» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

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