Thursday, September 30, 2010

Book Review: "Half Broke Horses"

I just finished up a really good book called "Half Broke Horses" by Jeannette Walls. It is a true life fiction novel, telling the story of Jeannette's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, a real life pioneer and horse woman.

The story starts at the turn of the century and follows Lily's life story, which included helping her father train horses as a child, riding 500 miles on a horse to teach in a remote one room school house, some time in Chicago, racing horses and playing poker, surviving as a rancher's wife/taxi driver and learning how to fly.

It is always interesting to me that in the 40's and 50's people were still living without indoor plumbing and electricity in rural America. The stark contrast between Lily's life in the Southwest and her life in Chicago, really highlights the differences in the country's development in this time period. This book also gives a good perspective of America's transition from horses to automobiles.

There is one particular quote that I love in the book, and reflects my general feelings on successful parenting (and horse training):

"Kids were like horses in that things went a lot easier if you got their respect from the outset rather than trying to demand it after they'd started seeing what they could get away with."

I highly recommend this book. I got it at our small library, so it should be easy to find.

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