History on Horseback will appeal to those who love horses and/or history. The target age is twelve and up. Adults should enjoy the book also.
Is the book fiction?
No. It's nonfiction, containing factual information about the horses, historical characters, and events. I believe it is a more interesting read than your typical textbook though!
Is this a complete history curriculum?
Activity guides to supplement the book are in the works. The book in itself wouldn't be a complete history curriculum, except for possibly the youngest readers. However, with the additional activity guide and resources, it could serve as a semester or year-long history course. The activity guide will incorporate geographical concepts as well, with students mapping locations covered in the book.
What if I'm not interested in a history curriculum?
History on Horseback is an enjoyable read solely on its own. There's no need to turn it into a curriculum, unless you want to. Adults who like horses should find the book interesting.
What period in history does this cover?
The series will consist of three volumes, eventually reaching the present day. Volume 1 covers the time frame from 1493 to 1866. Since the series is about horses in history, every historical event in those years isn't covered, just ones where horses played a significant role.
Is this American history or world history?
The focus is primarily American history. Some topics expand beyond that depending on where significant events involving horses occurred. For example, in this first volume, the United Kingdom was the area where ponies were used extensively in the coal mines, so the location shifts to the UK for those chapters.
Are the chapters chronological?
That is my intention. However, it's difficult to determine precise chronology when people and horses' lives, and events, span many years. Would the time for a specific topic be determined by a horse's birth, a significant event in his life, his death? I've arranged them in order according to what made the most sense to me. The first volume covers the earliest years, the second will pick up post-Civil War, and the third volume will bring us to the present.
Do you show photos of dead horses?
That might seem like a strange question, but with all the research I've done on this topic, I've encountered way too many photos of dead horses! Rest assured, there are NO photos of dead horses in History on Horseback. The mood of the book is positive and upbeat, focusing on the amazing contributions of specific horses or horses as a group where individual animals are unknown. As with all history, the people and animals being written about are usually dead. I give the age a horse died, when known, and what caused the death, but gruesome details are not included.
Is History on Horseback a Christian book?
My Sonrise Stable fiction series has Christian themes and messages, however the focus of History on Horseback is different. In writing nonfiction, obviously one needs to stick to the facts. However, you can pick and choose which facts to include and which to exclude, even which topics to cover at all. The series isn't overtly Christian, but it is clean and suitable for ages twelve and up. Where Christian topics occur naturally, they are covered. For example, it would be hard to write about circuit-riding preachers without mentioning Christianity. Christian topics will most likely be added to the activity guide.
Why did you write History on Horseback?
Good question! (even if I did write it myself) I was actually working on a project which for lack of a better name, I called a Christian Horse Study Guide. I planned to include sections in the CHSG that featured an interesting or famous horse from history. As I researched, my list of interesting horses kept growing—and growing—and growing! I realized to do the horses justice, they needed their own book, so the Christian Horse Study Guide is on hold for now, but I do plan to complete it in the future.
Was history your favorite subject in school?
Honestly, I HATED history when I attended school. BORING!
I hope History on Horseback does the opposite for students today. Rather than boring kids to tears, I hope the book inspires them to do their own “history prospecting,” digging into the past to find some sparkly nuggets of historical information.