Equine Benefits – A little fall reading can’t hurt anyone either.
The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon, by Linda Ballou, is a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards. The protagonist Gemcie takes you from the Grand Prix jumping world to the ethereal heights of the John Muir Wilderness and back to the stage of competition.
Review: by Jacqui Broderick of Lavender & White Publishing-Ireland
Gemcie McCauley seems to have everything. She is a rider at the top of her game, making an unbeatable team with Marshal, a handsome Irish bred stallion, until a horrific accident changes everything.
Fighting back from a dreadful injury she finds she has lost not only her nerve, but also her horse and husband to her archrival, Dominique La Fevre.
Reeling from the cruel blows Gemcie returns to her mother’s home where she tries to pick up the threads of some kind of life and recover from her mental and physical injuries. Unable to settle to any kind of life Gemcie heads back to her roots and the mountains where she was conceived. Struck by the beauty of the wilderness and longing, for once in her life to be totally alone she feels drawn to life on the trail and persuades her hosts to let her ride the John Muir trail.
When a black bear attacks and injures her horse she is rescued by Brady, a loner who lives in the mountains, working for the Bureau of Land Management. On a journey of discovery about herself Gemcie finds herself falling in love with this tough, yet gentle man.
Brady though is not without his own problems and after he is forced to kill the bear that attacked Gemcie he abruptly ends their relationship, sending Gemcie back to civilization. I was as devastated as Gemcie – their relationship seems to be so perfect.
During her time in the mountains Gemcie has learned a lot about herself and is determined to get her beloved horse back. Dominique has never got on with Marshal and after badly injuring him in a competition it looks as if his career is over.
Gemcie, with a team of supporters nurse the horse back to health then begin the impossible and fight to get her riding confidence back in order to be able to pay huge vet and livery bills. She has to ride – and win – in order to be able to keep him.
This is a well-written book; Ballou brings her characters and backgrounds to life in often tear-jerking detail. Gemcie is likeable; readers will both empathize and sympathize with the situations she finds herself in. Ballou uses her text well, describing both the worlds of the wilderness and horse shows with convincing detail
Readers cannot help but love this book. I was gripped from the first to the last page where Ballou brought all of the strings of her remarkable story to a hugely satisfying conclusion.
Linda’s book is also available at: