By Victoria Hardesty and Nancy Perez
Imbuing animals with human characteristics has never made my reader's heartbeat fast. But then again, over the years I have learned that I had vastly underestimated the impact of animals on human behavior. Now I understand and am supportive of programs like having prisoners work on farms, in dairies and around farms. And being a long-term dog owner, I know that no matter how bad my day has been, my dog/s have always been thrilled to see me come home.
The reading of Kashmir was a step-and-a-half outside my usual realm of reading but it did strike a responsive tone. Basically stated, Kashmir was an abandoned, angry, resentful Arabian gelding who melds and bonds with 15-year-old human, Katie, who has the same outlook on the world. Theirs is a healing relationship.
All this being said, I found the book unique and readable for three reasons. First, it provides a reasonable – from a human standpoint – of a nuts-and-bolts view of the world from a horse’s point of view. Second, for those who have or had ‘troubled offspring,’ there is the ongoing effort to help them ‘find their way’ back to normalcy. Kashmir is a story of that hope materializing into a real world cure – for both the horse and teenager. Third, it is readable even for someone who could care less about a book of the animal world.