Bubba the Educator

I had four horse books lined up to read this winter: Ride Right With Daniel Stewart, Centered Riding by Sally Swift, Horses I’ve Known by Will James and Bubba to the Rescue by Jennifer Walker. I’m not sure what I’ve been doing all winter, but spring is here already and I’ve only got to one of these. And that would be the Bubba book.

As you may have surmised, Bubba to the Rescue is a kid’s book. I’m thinking pre-teen age bracket.  So, I presumed that out of the four books, I would learn the least from this one. However, I did not take into account that when it comes to the art and science of equestrianism, I am actually at a pre pre-teen level. Maybe even a pre-pre pre-teen level.

The main character, Leslie, is a teenaged girl who has horses. For a pre-teen, there is nothing cooler in the universe than a teenager. And for horse crazy girls, there is no cooler teenager than one who has her own horse.

All the stuff you would think belongs in a book for girls in this age group is there: school, boys, boy problems, making up with the boy, a BFF, a fight with the BFF, making up with the BFF, Christmas dance drama, cliques and a mean girl. But the book also deals with heavier adolescent issues such as dealing with a loss of a parent, serious injury to an animal and even touches – ever so lightly – on the subject of abusive boyfriends.

Even with all of that, Bubba to the Rescue is definitely a horse-centered book.  Walker laces the narrative with all kinds of solid equine information and examples of good horsemanship. We learn the proper way to tie up a horse.  Leslie and her friends wear helmets when they ride. They check the girth before mounting.  They allow their horses to cool off after a long, hard ride before putting them in their stalls.  We learn first aid for burns. We learn the signs of colic, why it can be serious and how it’s treated. We learn the difference between riding saddle seat and riding hunt seat.

Anyone can write a book or movie script and throw horses into the milieu as interesting decorations. And the result – much to chagrin of knowledgeable horse people (I hear them complain all of the time about this) – is misleading impressions or downright inaccurate information.  That’s the last thing horses need from us.  Most of the suffering domesticated horses experience under our care is due to just plain ignorance.

Jennifer Walker is obviously a real horseperson.  Her ability to seamlessly weave all this education into an entertaining story is why I’m going to get all the books in this series and save them for the day when my grandchild is ready.

Now let’s see if Daniel Stewart and Sally Swift can teach me something as well.

For more reviews and info on Bubba to the Rescue, check out Jennifer Walker’s Virtual Book Tour.

Jennifer Walker

 

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7 thoughts on “Bubba the Educator

    • Thank you, Monique. I think Jennifer Walker does a great job with these books. I remember when my girls were this age and wanting so much to get into horses. The Green Meadow Series would have been perfect for them – and I would have learned a lot myself!

  1. Honestly!! I totally agree with the way the ‘media’ usually portrays horses. For example, near where I live a small beach town is trying to pass legislation for pay- to-ride permits for the beach. The comments and protests from non-horse people about manure on the beach is directly related to how movies, especially comedies, interpret stepping in said manure. Plus the fact that in 3 days the pile is reduced to dried up grass clippings, but non-horse people don’t know this factoid.

    I hate when they dub in the horse noises, too, because horses usually don’t say much, unless their buddy rides off in another direction. Just having a horse as a prop doesn’t do it for me. Horses don’t lie but actors do.

    • Yeah, when it comes to horses, there is a lot of ignorance to overcome. But enough about me…

      I think movies are the bigger culprit. Of course, that’s true with just about any subject. Sometimes the manure you’re stepping in is the movie itself.

  2. Pingback: Bubba to the Rescue Book Tour « Walker Author Tours

  3. Great review! I liked this aspect of Walker’s books too, the slight educational aspect, but not done in a cold, technical educational way, but rather and entertaining fictional but realistic sort of way. She definitely writes these stories well for people who have no knowledge of horses but also accurately for people who do. Great stuff!

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