by Glenn Balch
This is one of those books I read over and over again from the elementary school library when I was a kid. I even remember to this day which shelf it was kept on. It's the story of a wild mustang, beginning at his birth and following various adventures as he scrapes out a life with his wild band in the scub county of Idaho around the Snake River. The little horse looses his mother early, but gets partly adopted by another mare with a young foal, and grows up strong and free. He has to learn his place among the wild horses- which mares are friendly, how much he can pester the stallion, how far he can wander, etc. The dynamics change as he grows older until as a yearling he is ousted by the stallion and must make his way alone with a few other young bachelors. He dodges coyotes and cowhands, lives alongside antelope and wild burros. Eventually a rancher notices the wild horse, now a young stallion, and determines to catch him in order to use for stud to improve his own stockhorses. Shut up in a corral, for the first time in his life the wild horse knows what it is to be free of danger and well-fed. But our equine hero will never submit to man's hand, he has a strong will and burning desire to be free... Buck, Wild is a wonderful story for any young horse lover. The author has written a number of books about horses, but this is the only one I've read so far. I mean to remedy that someday.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 136 pages, 1976