Thursday, April 9, 2020

History on Horseback BOOK REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Do you have a horse lover in your family?  Do you enjoy learning history through exciting, real-life stories?  History on Horseback: The Early Years from Sonrise Stable Books just might be what you are looking for.  I received a free softcover copy of this 197-page history laden horse series for kids.  The Early Years covers 1493 to 1866.  It is an adventurous history resource focused around horses and their role in history.

The History on Horseback series began with the author simply researching and working on a Christian Horse Study Guide. She quickly realized that there was some very interesting history in the making.  She anticipates that there will be a series of 3 books when her series is completed.  Volume 1 begins with the Spanish explorers and the arrival of horses in America and ends with the Civil War era.  Volume 2 will pick up with post Civil war and Volume 3 will cover up to the current day.  The History on Horseback Series is not currently a full curriculum.  There is an activity guide in the works that is scheduled to be completed towards the end of this year, 2020.  Her future hope is to have computerized interactive guides available with self-grading quizzes.  Once the study guides are completed it should work as a full semester or full-year curriculum.  For the time being it works well as a supplement or just for enjoyable reading.

The recommended age for this book is 12 and up.  I would agree with this.  My plan was to use this as a read aloud for my crew (1st grade and 10th grade).  I read the stories but failed to capture either of their hearts or interest.  My 1st grader liked listening to the stories, but even with them being short, I did not maintain her attention.  That being said, I LOVED the stories!  My thought is that it is definitely not made to capture the interest of my 1st grader (thus the age 12 and up recommendation) and my 10th grader dislikes or at least has no interest in both history and horses in general.

I am a horse nut.  My background is engulfed in horses (sadly I have never owned my own).  I rode and showed horses in both high school and college.  My degree in Animal Industries includes a specialization in Equine Science.  To say these stories intrigued me goes without saying.  I learned something from the very first sentence!  I did not know that there are "no true wild horses in the United States."  They actually descended from "tame" horses brought over from Spain.  I also enjoyed reading about the pit ponies in the coal mines.  Some historical topics that are covered include:

  • horse racing
  • slavery
  • Lewis & Clark
  • trains and transportation
  • Oregon trail
  • stagecoaches and Wells Fargo
  • military
  • Civil war
Table of Contents

There are a total of 53 stories.  So many tidbits and "nuggets" of information to learn.  I am really enjoying just "reading" about this fascinating history.  My love for horses no doubt taints my opinion a little, but the stories are well written, non-fictional, and very informative.  We all know that story of George Washington, but do we know about his horses?  Have you ever heard the story of Nelson and Blueskin and what they meant to Washington?  Don't be mistaken, the history is not just about the horses.  It does include plenty of historical information at the time of the events surrounding the stories.  The stories are short, generally just 2 pages, but packed with information.

The book concludes with a wonderful teaser for Volume 2.  It shares the story of Jim Key ("The Most Wonderful Horse in the World") and his trainer/owner William "Doc" Key.  What an enjoyable story about a man and his horse.

I personally would recommend History on Horseback: The Early Years if you are a history buff and/or love horses.  If you enjoy good historical stories then this series would fit the bill.  I agree that it is written for and would best suit age 12 and up.  I can't wait for the other two volumes and the study guides.  You can connect with Sonrise Stable Books on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.

Please also be sure to click on the graphic link below to see what my fellow Crew members have to say about this historical horse series.

History on Horseback: The Early Years {Sonrise Stable Books Reviews}

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