Swimming Through Dreams on Horseback
by Emily Joyce
Trafford Publishing

"This is the story of a girl who felt less alone because of her friendship with a horse."

Emily Joyce's heartfelt account of her friendship with her mare, Hula Haddy, a half Arabian and half quarter horse, tugs at readers' heart strings. Joyce, who realized that her dreams of swimming and breathing underwater were tied to her shyness, was able to overcome this obstacle with the aid of her horse. This book is about the author's young riding days, and how Hula helped her to win the fight with this lifelong shyness.

The author inherited the love of horses from her mother. Her love of horses is evident in the book, as the author describes polo and drag hunts, how she learned to ride English style, and how she got Hula, her first horse. She also chronicles the various riding events that they won together, talks about how Hula got stuck on the fake stone wall while jumping, and other slice of life stories that horse lovers would appreciate. The thin book is punctuated by black and white photographs mostly of the author as a young girl and her family in various stages of their riding careers.

The book is well-written and the author's matter-of-fact voice doesn't entertain but tells the story like it was meant to be told. A strong point of the book is that Joyce explains terms that might not be known to people who are not familiar with horses and horse riding, such as equitation, polo, drag hunts, and western trail, among others. This is a good book, prefect for horse and animal lovers in general, who feel a strong bond with their companion animals.

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