As I was walking toward the check out in the grocery store one day, I noticed a few books in a kiosk. Much to my surprise a leopard Appaloosa face was staring back at me from the cover, so I had to buy the book. Turns out the book is a real-life story of a rescue horse named Joey and Hope Reins, an equine therapy program.
The main character in the story is Joey. Joey was once a decorated competitor in show jumping and dressage. He suffered a career ending injury and was then sold. The family that bought Joey fell onto hard times and he ended up with a horse hoarder. Before he was picked up by the horse rescue he was not cared for well and ended up blind due to malnourishment Kim, the founder of Hope Reins took a leap of faith and took Joey to be part of her therapy program.
A second main character in the book is also another Appaloosa named Speckles. Speckles also came from an abusive home and needed special care and attention.
The story relates the ups and downs of starting an equine therapy non profit as well as caring for horses with an abusive or neglected history. Joey is interspersed with stories of the children who attended equine therapy at Hope Reins and illustrates just how powerful horses can be with their strong ability to help humans heal emotional wounds.
This book is a sweet story and a quick and easy read. If you are looking for some light reading to make you feel good, and perhaps cry a little, this is the book for you! Hope Reins is a faith-based organization and the book shares messages of faith. However, even if you are not a religious person, the story is worth the read. In a world where it seems like there is so much chaos, it is nice to be reminded of how much good there is and how horses can so positively affect everyone in their sphere.