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Children's Book Review: Rimfire the Barrel Racing Morgan Horse

Sixth in the series of books written about Morgan horses and their adventures, Rimfire is a realistic look into the world of barrel racing, yet written well enough that younger pre-teen crowd it’s aimed for can completely understand it. Fans of her series will be overjoyed with the new book as Heather the main character embarks on yet another new endeavour; barrel racing.

The book is full of horsemanship tidbits and equestrian information, slipped into the story so neatly that once a reader is done, your knowledge of horses has increased ten-fold. I haven’t read the first 5 in the series, but I would imagine that by this sixth book, the young (and old) readers of this series have a fairly well rounded knowledge of horses, and am I sure has inspired more than one reader to beg their parents for riding lessons.

Covering heavier topics such a friendship, loyalty and love, Rimfire is a surefire winner for any horse obsessed young girl or boy. I would recommend buying the first in the series,  Blackjack; Dreaming of a Morgan Horse to start the reader out in the series, and then continue from there.

Reading level: ages 7-12

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Page Count: 206 pages

Publisher: Willow Bend Publishing

What to expect: an excellent plot about a girl and her love of horses, combined with some life lessons and situations that pre-teen will easily and readily relate to.

Publisher’s synopsis: When Heather travels to Oklahoma to visit family friends, she is introduced to barrel racing. Falling in love with this quick-paced sport, Heather is thrilled when she returns home and discovers Rimfire, a fabulous Morgan barrel racer who just happens to be for sale. When her parents refuse to buy yet another horse, Heather convinces her friend Nicholas to purchase Rimfire. Everything is going well until Heather decides to take Rimfire to a competition without Nicholas’s permission. What will happen to the horse as he makes that final turn around the last barrel and more importantly, has Heather jeopardized her friendship all for the sake of a ribbon?

About the Author: Award-winning author Ellen Feld began her career in a field far removed from horses. Receiving a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts with a double major of Russian and Soviet and Eastern European Studies, Ms. Feld continued her studies with graduate work at Georgetown University where she focused on Russian Studies. After a brief stint working for a US Senator in Washington, DC, Ms. Feld realized she missed her childhood home and returned to rural Massachusetts. Back home, Ms. Feld resumed her first passion: horses. It was at the stable that she learned the importance of discipline and being dedicated to one’s sport. In addition to the hard work, Ms. Feld also learned to appreciate the various personalities and quirks of individual horses. While working with horses was not new to her (she had been competing at Morgan Horse shows since she was a child), her skills matured and her love of Morgans grew. As an adult, Ms. Feld’s repertoire included saddleseat, reining, hunter pleasure, driving, barrel racing, and western pleasure. With her gelding Rusty, Ms. Feld won the New England Morgan Horse Association High-Point Trail Award for five consecutive years. Ms. Feld has owned numerous equines of other breeds including Morabs, Appaloosas, Quarter Horses, and Miniature Horses. Ms. Feld began writing about horses more than twenty years ago. At first, she wrote for small, regional publications, but within a few short years her work began to appear regularly in large, national publications. Her articles have appeared in publications such as The Morgan Horse, Stable Management, Equestrian, Young Rider, Just About Horses, Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar, Tri-State Horse, and The Appaloosa Journal. Ms. Feld’s stories are noted for their realistic portrayal of horses, their behaviors, and the experiences of young riders. To attain this believability, Ms. Feld uses her horses as the basis for the animal characters within her books. For example, Ms. Feld’s horse Blackjack, a showy English pleasure horse, stumbles over the smallest of jumps. In the book Rusty, the main character Heather tries to teach her beloved Blackjack to jump, but like the real Blackjack, he is unable to get his feet over the tiny ground poles. Many of the experiences that Heather has with her horses evolve from adventures that either Ms. Feld or one of her friends has had with their horses. The plots in her books reflect the reality of working with horses, and it is this down to earth quality, combined with fast-moving, fun horse action, that keeps the stories authentic and attracts so many readers. Ms. Feld lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, ten horses, and assorted pets.

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