by H. Alan Day
with Lynn Wiese Sneyd
Throughout his account of establishing and running the wild horse sanctuary, the pages are enriched with stories of past horses and experiences that he learned from. I really enjoyed reading all that. But of course it isn't all about his wonderful way with horses. There's frustrations in running the ranch and sticky doings with bureaucracy. In the end I found myself becoming angry alongside the author at the decisions of higher-ups that didn't at all seem to be in the best interest of the horses. And even though he ended up sans wild horses, turning the ranch back into a cattle operation, there is a relatively good ending and I found I was satisfied with how things turned out (mostly because I appreciated the author's integrity in how he worked with animals, people, and the land).
There's some other very satisfying things about this book as well. I liked the writing style, the spark of humor and metaphors. It even sent me to look up a few new words (copacetic, peloton). I was tickled pink to meet in the pages another author I've read- Dayton O. Hyde. The two met, were fellow ranchers and became friends. It's always such a treat to meet your favorite authors in other books. Mostly they just get a mention, a tribute, but this was something more. Another highlight- completely unexpected- was when actor Kevin Costner visited the ranch, looking for a site to use in filming Dances with Wolves (one of my favorite movies). He ended up choosing another ranch for various reasons, but reading about his visit was enlightening regardless.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Rating: 4/5 243 pages, 2014
Patagonia Regional Times