By: Ellen F. Feld
Publisher: Willow Bend Publishing
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2009
Heather Richardson was planning on spending a relaxing time with her horses over school vacation and was some disappointed when her mother told her they would be heading to Oklahoma to visit some friends. She wanted to spend some time with her horses and the only thing that brightened her day was when her mother said that the Henderson’s had a daughter her age and . . . they had “more than 20 horses!” Heather was a horse lover or, if you asked some people, a horse fanatic. She was planning to spend some time at Chauncy’s, the owner of Gallant Morgans, where she boarded her horses, but the chance for making a new friend and becoming acquainted with sooooo many horses was a big draw. Oklahoma, here I come!
The Hendersons turned out to be a very “horse” oriented family, just like the Richardsons. Katie and Heather were a bit shy when they were introduced, but before long they were acting as if they’d known each other all their lives. The “more than 20 horses” turned into forty-eight, but when you love horses, what’s a few more? Heather joked that she figured she’d “died and gone to horse heaven.” Heather’s favorite horse was Blackjack and Katie’s was Hot Shot, a “barrel racing horse.” Heather never heard of such a thing, but she was soon trotting the gelding around the barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. She was hooked and got an adrenaline rush when she ran the “pattern at full tilt” a short while later. The “gelding bolted like a runaway horse being chased by a cougar.” Horse heaven wasn’t the word for it.
When Heather got back home, she was anxious to resume riding, but was a bit disgusted when she was invited to a birthday party at the Buckland Riding Academy. Now that sort of thing was for “people who don’t know how to ride,” and after her experience with Hot Shot this would be a bummer. To her surprise she, as a more experienced rider, got to ride Rimfire. He was actually a barrel racing horse and “was a bolt of lightening!” He was for sale and it didn’t take much for her to convince Nicholas to buy him. Please, please, please! Soon they had Rimfire in training and they were going to exhibit and ride him in Redding. Nicholas had to cancel out, saying that Heather couldn’t go alone because it had “something to do with liability.” If she took him anyway no one would know any different . . . “the barrel moved and tilted and almost rolled over...a small trickle of blood oozed out onto her sock.” “Pull up! Pull up!” The audience began to scream...
This book was nothing short of thrilling and each of Ellen Feld’s books seems to be better than the last. This is the sixth in the Morgan Horse series that young people are raving over and their parents are most likely secretly reading when no one is looking. This book is so utterly captivating that you’ll be so busy reading and chomping on popcorn, you’ll forget about everything but the world of horses and barrel racing up until you turn that last page. Blackjack, Frosty, Rusty, Robin, Annie, Shadow, Rimfire…I just can’t wait to see who shows up next.
Quill says: If you want to add a realistic award-winning series to your list of horse books (and secretly read them) this is one you’ll want to consider!
To learn more about Rimfire: The Barrel Racing Morgan Horse, please visit the publisher's website at: Willow Bend Publishing.