Kirstie Scott has accompanied her family on a trip to the rodeo with the current guest at their dude ranch. While the rest of the attendees are cheering and clapping, Kirstie is stunned and appalled at the brutal treatment the horses receive - especially the wild horses trucked in for the wild horse race and bucking bronco events. One mustang in particular, a beautiful bay stallion, garners her sympathy, and when circumstances leave Rodeo Rocky to her care, she vows to make a ranch horse of him rather than see him bound for the sale barn and a short future as dog food. Admirable. And completely understandable from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old horse lover who's completely unfamiliar with rodeo. But Kirstie has lived on a ranch in a ranching community for how long, and she's never attended a one? She's never seen steer wrestling or bronc riding? The rodeos are described as being regular events.... What is crystal clear is that the author a) knows very little about rodeo, and b) believes, or wants to give the impression, that anyone who participates in one is brutal, rough, and completely uncaring as far as the rodeo livestock goes. Okay, everyone's entitled to their opinion, and she's not alone in finding the sport violent. But animal rights issues aside, there are major problems with the horse-related details in this book. Who turns a strange, wild, un-vaccinated stallion in loose with their riding horses, some of them mares, immediately on bringing him home! (And why not GELD him?) They've spent $2000 on him, but they're not going to pay the vet, (who's johnny-on-the-spot almost immediately, after the stallion kicks on of the other horses) to give him his shots until they've decided to keep at the end of the book? Not to mention the "training" sequence that has Rocky proceeding merrily down the trail saddled and bridled in approximately a week. Yes, it's certainly an emotionally intense story. It's just too bad that the author didn't pay as much attention to the non-emotional detail. Apart from the rest of the problems, the plot is tired, and overdone. The characters are flat - none of them every really get beyond a canned stereotype, which is too bad. Since this is a series, it would be nice to look forward to meeting the characters again. Final verdict? Not recommended.
About This Item
There is no greater trust than the one between a rider and her horse.
Kirstie Scott lives for horses. While at a local rodeo contest, she is horrified to see how Rocky, an injured horse, is treated. Kirstie persuades her mother to buy him, but soon learns that training an ex-rodeo horse is not easy. And when Rocky throws Kirstie on a trail far from the ranch, she quickly realizes that the only way to get them both home safely is to trust herself and the unruly horse.
What readers are saying:
"This is the 2nd book in the Half Moon Ranch series and one of my favourites. The detail and story line is great. I would recommend to any horse lover!"
"This is the best book I have ever read. Jenny Oldfield's whole series is amazing. I like Rodeo Rocky though because Rocky reminds me of my pony. This story is so well described I would recommend it to all horse lovers."
"A wonderful story. This is a good read for any horse lover. I enjoyed it a lot."
Don't miss the other books in The Horses of Half Moon Ranch Series:
- Wild Horses
- Midnight Lady - Available in Spring 2009
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Horses of Half Moon Ranch
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