Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Carol Upton's Review of Mares! (Ya Gotta Love 'em) by Betsy Kelleher

Sincere thanks to my friend, Carol Upton, for sending the following review:

Mares! (Ya Gotta LOVE ‘em) Fifty Stories to Aid and Inspire Mare Owners
Compiled by Betsy Kelleher
Xulon Press, 2008. $23.99
ISBN: 978-1-60477-547-1
Copies are available from the author, who is offering a Christmas special at: www.goduseshorses.com

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton: www.dreamsaloud.ca

First published in print in Horses All Magazine: www.horsesall.com

"Mares often require special handling before their best side is evident" ~ Betsy Kelleher

In Mares! (Ya Gotta LOVE ’em), Betsy Kelleher has assembled a diverse collection of tales representing different breeds and backgrounds. Each of the fifty stories has one thing in common – they are an inspired tribute to the elusive Mare. The book is also about women, and the essence of being female is an interwoven theme. The original true stories, written by 38 different mare owners, enlighten and entertain while introducing us to the seeming paradoxical nature of mares – from stubborn to loving to dangerous to protective and loyal.

Mary Wynn Craig’s Lisa, the quarter horse with the permanent scowl, will capture your heart. Trainer Ron Meredith includes an excellent article on "Gender Differences: Training Mares." If you’ve ever loved and lost any horse, you’ll cry when young Erin Landers tells the tale of Duchess, her very first horse. You’ll root for Factor, the thoroughbred brood mare, in "Chiropractic Saves a Life." Helen Farley sticks with her little bay Abby, despite repeated admonishments about mares being no good, in the touching "Kindred Females."

This book acknowledges the unexplainable moments present in the lives of horse owners and encourages us to find God at work even in more difficult situations. Some of the stories are completely zany and others touch on profound sorrow, yet lessons of love and hope show up in each tender tale, alongside practical tips for handling your mare. Mares! will leave an impression on every horse lover and is an irresistible read for those moments when you just want to take care of you.

Betsy Kelleher’s first riding horse was a Percheron mare from her grandfather’s work team on an Iowa farm. She writes a monthly column for the Illinois Horse Network newspaper. Her website, www.goduseshorses.com, shares her columns, horse photos and information about her books.