Her books were horse books;
her toys, horse toys.
Horses had been Meagan’s life since she had first been lifted onto Moose’s broad back. Her books were horse books; her toys, horse toys. Riding lessons and a pony were all Meagan wished for on birthdays and Christmases. Every conversation included horses.
To answer her daughter’s passion, Jennifer had arranged for three instructors. The first had been Jennifer’s own father, who spent summers teaching his eager granddaughter the nature of the animal and its care. Though Meagan enjoyed Western riding she longed to jump, so an Old School, cavalry-type drill sergeant was found, an instructor with a reputation for turning out tough, disciplined riders with classical basics. After watching one drill session, Tom was sure his daughter would give up riding altogether.
Meagan did more than survive the cavalryman, however: she thrived. Difficult horses were given to her and she succeeded, and steadily moved up the competition levels. In time, Meagan attracted the attention of a prominent trainer. The man’s credentials included international competition and the coaching of two former Olympians. He became Meagan’s trainer that afternoon.
One week later her father lost his job.
Jennifer knew why Tom put his foot down. Money was scarce and horses could be only a small part of the new budget. But Tom never understood, not really. To him, once Meagan was out of pigtails and able to steer a horse, riding lessons had diminished value. It was Jennifer who understood what horsemanship demanded and the values it instilled.
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.