Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

January 11, 2011

“For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses”

Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Bookworm Sez, LLC

“For Horse-Crazy Girls Only: Everything You Want to Know About Horses”by Christina Wilsdon, illustrated by Alecia Underhill c.2010, Feiwel and Friends             $14.99 / $16.99 Canada             150 pages, includes index

Horsing around is the best thing in your life.

Your bedroom walls are covered with posters of ponies. You’ve drawn dobbins all over your notebooks in school. When you say “dam”, it’s a good thing, and your favorite cuddle-up blanket just happens to have hooves on it.

Nobody could mistake you for anything other than the horsey girl you are. So why not brush up on mucking out, cooling down, and more by reading “For Horse-Crazy Girls Only” by Christina Wilsdon, illustrated by Alecia Underhill?

Whether you have a horse or you don’t, you probably spend a lot of time dreaming about everything equine. That’s the best thing about this book: Christina Wilsdon is horse-crazy, too, and she’s got lots of things to tell you.

Would you believe, for instance, that there are over 58 million horses in the world?  Over nine million of them live in the U.S. and nearly half a million live in Canada. In that population, you’ll find dozens of different kinds of horses, including some to ride, some to race, and some that are in-the-house pets!

You undoubtedly already know what horses eat, but did you know that they drink up to 8 gallons of water a day – more, if it’s hot outside?  Most horses love to be groomed, but did you know that yours might groom you back?  And while horses can’t burp or vomit, they sure can poop – about 50 pounds (23 kg) of it each day – which is why you need to muck out stalls daily.

Though horses are sometimes described as “hot-blooded” or “cold-blooded”, that has nothing to do with their insides and everything to do with what they’re built for. “Hot-blooded” horses can run up to 40 miles per hour (64.4 km), while “cold-blooded” horses can pull things that weigh much more than they do. And here’s something fun: you can tell if a horse is breathing in or out by watching her run… and if she’s jumping, you can bet she’s holding her breath.

Read this book and you’ll learn how humans tamed horses, how to say “horse” in other languages, where horses came from (and how they got to Hawaii), why saddles differ,  and why you should never walk behind a horse that wears a red ribbon on his tail.

Got a girl who’s chomping at the bit for an hour with a horse? This book can’t be ridden, but for a horsey girl like yours, it may be the next best thing.

“For Horse-Crazy Girls Only” is jam-packed with flakes of information that young equestriennes will race to read. Every conceivable subject on horses is covered, however briefly, and author Christina Wilsdon also includes a long list of horse-related careers that horse-loving girls can aspire to. What I liked best is that this book really isn’t just Girls Only: horse-crazy moms can enjoy sharing, too.

If your 7-to-14-year-old horse lover can pony up some time, “For Horse-Crazy Girls Only” is a book she’ll truly enjoy. For her, reading it may be a mane event.