Horsestory Book Series
Although our past is intertwined with horses, the stories of those strong and loyal helpers have mostly been forgotten. The Horsestory series highlights the diverse roles horses played over the years, and, when available, relates the stories of specific animals. As a lifelong horse lover, I was surprised to find so many ways horses collaborated with humans to accomplish amazing things.
The series is very visual with many historical photos. It's an enjoyable read on its own for those who love horses or history.
It also works as part of a homeschool curriculum. If desired, you can supplement with a history text. I like DK American History: A Visual Encyclopedia. It's not perfect, but it's also quite visual and will fill in enough political blanks to work well as a supplement to the social history provided in the Horsestory series.
A free PDF study guide is available for download for each volume in the series. The study guides provide questions, additional print and online resources, and a devotional thought for each chapter.
Click a book cover or title below to go to the book's detail page providing a table of contents and more information about the book.
This book is in the process of being revised and updated to be even bigger and better! Projected release date is Fall 2023.
This first book begins with the arrival of horses in America with the early explorers and continues up through the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Did you know horses were instrumental in helping John Wilkes Booth escape?
Until the remaining copies are sold out, you can get the first edition of the book along with its loose-leaf study guide at a drastically reduced rate.
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This volume, available now, includes some amazing things you may have never known about horses—fast ones, blind ones, brave ones, intelligent ones, expensive ones, cheap ones, sick ones, healthy ones—whatever the case, they all impacted our country and people's daily lives.
A recurring theme in this second volume is change. At that time, equines were relied upon to power nearly everything that required power—moving amazing things like an entire village of houses. In fact, the economy nearly came to a grinding halt when there was an epidemic that affected horses across the country. But automobiles and other machines encroached on horses’ territory until in the 1920s, automobiles outnumbered equines
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The third and final volume in the series will cover the late 1920s to modern times and will be available in 2024. As time passed and machines proliferated, horses were used less for work and more for pleasure, but there were still plenty of equines serving in vital roles.
- Who is the Horsestory series written for?
- The Horsestory boooks will appeal to those who love horses and/or history. The target age is twelve and up. They're not written specifically for children; adults will enjoy the books also.
- Are the books fiction?
- They are nonfiction, containing factual information about the horses, historical people, and events, but hopefully they're written in an interesting way!
- Can this be used as a history curriculum?
- Study guides are available to supplement the books. The Horsestory books provide what I consider a social history. Most would probably not considered them a complete history curriculum, except for possibly the youngest readers. However, with the additional study guides and possibly a light history text, they could serve as a history course.
I think DK American History: A Visual Encyclopedia would work well as a supplemental text that could be used alongside all three Horsestory volumes. More advanced students could cover that combination in a single year or for those desiring a slower pace, take one Horsestory volume per year.
- What if I'm not interested in history?
- If you're interested in horses, Horsestory is an enjoyable read solely on its own. There's no need to turn it into a curriculum, unless you want to. I think you'll be amazed at all the things horses have been used for. I know I was!
- What time period does the series cover?
- The series consists of three volumes, from 1493 to modern times. Since the series is about horses, every historical event in those years isn't covered, just ones where horses played a significant role.
- Does the series cover American or world events?
- The focus is primarily on America. Some topics expand beyond that depending on where significant events involving horses occurred. For example, in this first volume, the United Kingdom was the area where ponies were used extensively in the coal mines, so the location shifts to the UK for those chapters.
- Are the chapters chronological?
- That was my intention. However, it's difficult to determine precise chronology when people and horses' lives, and events, span many years. Would the time for a specific topic be determined by a horse's birth, a significant event in his life, his death? I've arranged them in order according to what made the most sense to me.
- Do you show photos of dead horses?
- That might seem like a strange question, but with all the research I've done on horses, I've encountered way too many photos of dead ones! Rest assured, there are NO photos of dead horses in Horsestory. I don't want to look at them and assume my readers don't either. The mood of the books is positive and upbeat, focusing on the amazing contributions of specific animals or horses as a group. Since most of the people and animals covered are now dead, I give the age a horse died, when known, and what caused the death, but gruesome details are not included.
- Are the Horsestory books Christian?
- My Sonrise Stable fiction series has strong Christian themes and messages, however the focus of Horsestory is different. In writing nonfiction, obviously one needs to stick to the facts. The series isn't overtly Christian, but it is clean and suitable for ages twelve and up. Where Christian topics occur naturally, they are covered. For example, it would be hard to write about circuit-riding preachers without mentioning Christianity. Devotional thoughts from a Christian perspective are included in the free, optional study guides.
- Why did you write Horsestory?
- Good question! (even if I did write it myself) I was actually working on a project which for lack of a better name, I called a Christian Horse Study Guide. I planned to include sections in the CHSG that featured an interesting or famous horse from the past. As I researched, my list of interesting horses kept growing—and growing—and growing! I realized to do the horses justice, they needed their own book, so the Christian Horse Study Guide was put on hold in order to work on Horsestory.
- Was history your favorite subject in school?
- Honestly, I HATED history when I attended school. BORING! It took me years to realize I didn't really hate history—only boring textbooks.
I hope Horsestory does the opposite for people today. Rather than boring readers to tears, I hope the books inspire them to do their own research. Despite the effort I've put into these books, I've likely barely scratched the surface of horse stories from our past.