Book Review: The Horses of Proud Spirit

The Horses of Proud Spirit
by Melanie Sue Bowles

Book Review
Laurie Loveman

     The Horses of Proud Spirit is really three stories in one.  First, it’s Melanie Sue Bowles’ story as she tells us about her experiences with some of the first horses who came to live at Proud Spirit.  We follow Melanie’s progress from pure novice to knowledgeable caregiver, and she tells of her experiences just as if we were sitting on a porch, swapping horse stories with friends who are nonjudgmental because at one time or another in the course of our own learning process, we’ve been in Melanie’s shoes.   Melanie becomes our friend on the very first page of The Horses of Proud Spirit, and that’s because she has the ability to make us feel her horror and disgust at what humans do to horses, whether out of ignorance or pure malice.
In what I consider the second story within the story, Melanie tells us the tale of each horse, unfolding the sequence of events in her comfortable, down-to-earth manner, even when the events are tragic.  We rejoice with her when the outcome is good and weep with her when a horse is lost.
The third story is ours, the reader’s, because if we’ve been insulated from the terrible things humans do to horses, Melanie opens our eyes to reality, so perhaps, if faced with signs of abuse, we will be quicker to take action.  For those of us having cared for an abused horse (and hopefully, never as many as Mel and her husband, Jim) we share our understanding of what she goes through with each horse.
Depending upon whether you’re new to horses or an old-timer, you’ll either learn what’s right when it comes to being responsible for the care of a horse, or, like what happened with me, Melanie’s story brought back warm comforting memories of  horses I’ve known in my lifetime.
You will enjoy The Horses of Proud Spirit and the way in which Melanie tells her story.  You will turn the last page and wish she would tell you more.  You will also use up one or more boxes of tissues by the time you close the back cover.   And, you will never again take your horses for granted.

The Horses of Proud Spirit
Melanie Sue Bowles
ISBN 1-56164-285-1  Hardcover

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