A Life with Horses
by Sharon Gates
Trafford Publishing

"Partnerships with horses evolved from many hours in their company."

The author has been around horses since childhood. Her love of them was second nature, as if inherited from her parents and grandparents. Growing up on a ranch in the hills of Saskatchewan, she watched her parents train horses. They would compete riding western saddle and ride horseback to ranch, and she eventually would do that as well. Over time, the mutual understanding that developed became stronger, as she made her decision to turn her love of horses into a business. Her business included rodeos, breeding, riding lessons, barrel racing, and cattle round-ups across Canada and the United States. She has also written about horses for newsletters and magazine articles. Some of the articles were about her own experience, others were about different breeds, training and related subjects.

Gates is successful at getting and holding the attention of other readers who are horse lovers. Like a diary, the book is written to flow from one scene to another, filled with her adventures, concerns, and innermost thoughts. The depth of understanding of the bond between horse and human is unmistakable, as she describes raising horses from the time they were born and getting to know the personality of each. The pictures throughout the book are in black and white; several are blurry and some are faded, which at times makes it difficult to see the image. The author has included a glossary relating to horses, riding terms, saddle equipment, and horse shows. These easy to understand definitions reveal her years of experience. It is to her credit that readers do not need to have advance knowledge of the terminology in order to understand the book.

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