Winner of the Book Excellence Award for Middle-Grade Fiction.
“A forgotten piece of Americana brought to vivid life.”— Kirkus Reviews
In 1912, four men, calling themselves the “Overland Westerners,” decided fame and fortune awaited if they embarked on the longest horseback ride in history. Their goal was to visit all forty-eight state capitals over the course of three years and complete their journey at the San Francisco World’s Fair on June 1, 1915. Facing rugged roads, raging rivers, thieves and near starvation, the men went through seventeen horses. Only one horse completed the entire journey… Pinto, a little horse with a heart as big as the whole country! This is Pinto’s account of his arduous adventure.
I am a wife, a mom and a grandmother. I am also a competitive equestrian and award-winning author. I especially love to write about horses, both real or fantasy. In 2016, I released, "In the Heart of a Mustang." This story is not a fantasy but it is all about horses. This coming of age young adult novel has won the 2016 Gold Medal from the Literary Classics Awards in Young Adult General Fiction and the Silver Medal in the Nautilus Awards as well as the Silver Medal from Readers Favorite Awards.
My current project is a four-part series titled “The Centaur Chronicles”. I am excited about this new middle-grade fantasy. The first book, “The Stone of Mercy,” was released on Oct. 1, 2016. It has already garnered several awards including the Gold Medal from the Feathered Quill awards. The second, “The Stone of Courage,” was released on April 15, 2017 and has won a Book Excellence Award.
Please visit my website: http://www.dancinghorsepress.com
Staying at home and keeping "social distance" is hard for an extrovert who likes to hug. That describes me! In fact, that is the hardest thing about being an author. I'm alone a lot of the time. School visits are a great break from the solitude!
Now, everything I had on my calendar for March and April has been cancelled. That is enough to drive me crazy!
In this excerpt, I have described how horses relate to one another. Like families, they form "Bands." This is for protection as well as socialization. If you ever see horses in a field, they are always in close proximity to each other. Usually they aren't following "social distancing" rules as they stand side by side and rub each other's withers.
I'm a lot like a horse! This isolation has been really hard for me.
PINTO! Based Upon the True Story of the Longest Horseback Ride in History
Perhaps this is a good time to explain a bit about horses. Most humans think we are herd animals, but we really aren’t. Rather than forming into herds the way cattle and buffalo, and even deer and elk do, we form bands. Bands are small groups of three to a dozen horses, like human families. Sometimes we are related, but not always. That is why horses brought together in a barn, or like Bill, Dick, Lad, Blaze and me on our journey, will band together and take care of one another. Sure, it takes a little negotiating to establish our hierarchy in the band, but we eventually get it worked out. If there should be a large group of horses, whether wild or domesticated like myself, grazing in a great open field and a threat of danger should present itself, we horses rarely stampede as one body. Rather, each band will run off in a different direction like the rays of a star. We find this to be an effective way to get away from danger. So, you see why I was sad to leave Bill and Dick behind. Our band was being broken up and new horses put in their place. The negotiations for leadership start all over again. That is hard for horses.