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The Horses of Proud Spirit

The Horses of Proud Spirit

5.0 13
by Melanie Sue Bowles

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There are approximately seven million horses in the United States. Each year, over 70,000 end up going to slaughter. Hundreds of thousands more are abused, neglected, or abandoned by callous and irresponsible owners. With a heart as big as a pasture, author Melanie Bowles takes some of these horses into her sanctuary called Proud Spirit. Here, horses that arrive


There are approximately seven million horses in the United States. Each year, over 70,000 end up going to slaughter. Hundreds of thousands more are abused, neglected, or abandoned by callous and irresponsible owners. With a heart as big as a pasture, author Melanie Bowles takes some of these horses into her sanctuary called Proud Spirit. Here, horses that arrive listless and broken find a home where they finally know safety.

The bond between horse and caretaker does not happen overnight. It hangs by a fine thread of trust, which the author earns with endless patience and a full commitment to the well-being of the horses in her care. The horses, some of which have suffered severe abuse, astound her time and again with their ability to trust, return the love they are given, and enjoy the companionship of other horses.

You will meet an entire stableful of remarkable horses:

  • Dusty, a young Thoroughbred who recovered from severe injuries to reveal a rambunctious personality and a knack for stealing hats.
  • Maddy, an elderly mare, and Dancer, a gallant Appaloosa, both of whom had been isolated for years but whose ecstatic first acquaintance at Proud Spirit was, mysteriously, like the reunion of two soul mates.
  • Annie, a little sorrel mare who will break your heart with her weary kindness and who found peace, at last, under an old oak tree in a pasture at Proud Spirit.
  • Wrangler, a Miniature whose premature separation from his dam turned him into a tiny tormentor. His rowdy innocence helped Marshal, a huge palomino Draft horse with neurological trauma, become playful and engaged as he educated Wrangler in horsy manners.

The Horses of Proud Spirit is an homage to the spirit of these alluring creatures and a moving memoir of lessons learned in compassion, strength, and loss.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A good read for anyone who loves horses and is interested in making the world a better place for horses (and people, too)." —Monty Roberts, horse trainer and New York Times best-selling author

Product Details

Pineapple Press, Inc.
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Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Melanie Bowles, along with her husband, Jim, is the founder of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary. Since its modest beginnings in the early 1990s on just five acres of land in southwest Florida, Proud Spirit has evolved into an award-winning, 300-plus-acre facility and one of the most successful, longest-running sanctuaries for horses in the United States. Over the years, Melanie and Jim have intervened on the behalf of nearly 300 horses in need. Melanie is the author of three books that chronicle life at this unique ranch: The Horses of Proud Spirit, Hoof Prints: More Stories from Proud Spirit, and The Dogs of Proud Spirit.

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The Horses of Proud Spirit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
lloveman More than 1 year ago
The Horses of Proud Spirit is really three stories in one. First, it¿s Melanie Sue Bowles¿ story as she tells us about her experiences with some of the first horses who came to live at Proud Spirit. We follow Melanie¿s progress from pure novice to knowledgeable caregiver, and she tells of her experiences just as if we were sitting on a porch, swapping horse stories with friends who are nonjudgmental because at one time or another in the course of our own learning process, we¿ve been in Melanie¿s shoes. Melanie becomes our friend on the very first page of The Horses of Proud Spirit, and that¿s because she has the ability to make us feel her horror and disgust at what humans do to horses, whether out of ignorance or pure malice.

In what I consider the second story within the story, Melanie tells us the tale of each horse, unfolding the sequence of events in her comfortable, down-to-earth manner, even when the events are tragic. We rejoice with her when the outcome is good and weep with her when a horse is lost.

The third story is ours, the reader¿s, because if we¿ve been insulated from the terrible things humans do to horses, Melanie opens our eyes to reality, so perhaps, if faced with signs of abuse, we will be quicker to take action. For those of us having cared for an abused horse (and hopefully, never as many as Mel and her husband, Jim) we share our understanding of what she goes through with each horse.

Depending upon whether you¿re new to horses or an old-timer, you¿ll either learn what¿s right when it comes to being responsible for the care of a horse, or, like what happened with me, Melanie¿s story brought back warm comforting memories of horses I¿ve known in my lifetime.

You will enjoy The Horses of Proud Spirit and the way in which Melanie tells her story. You will turn the last page and wish she would tell you more. You will also use up one or more boxes of tissues by the time you close the back cover. And, you will never again take your horses for granted.

Laurie Loveman, Author
MEMORIES: Firehouse Family Series: Book One
THE QUARRY: Firehouse Family Series: Book Two
THE FARM FIRES: Firehouse Family Series: Book Three
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Horses of Proud Spirit is one of my favorite books of all time. I loved all the stories within the story of this heartwarming book. I was also captivated by Melanie's writing style...so much so that I produced a documentary for PBS on Melanie, her husband, Jim and their unforgetable horses. This is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself or to someone you love...a copy of, 'The Horses of Proud Spirit'. And true to Melanie & Jim's dedication to their animals, proceeds from this book and from Melanie's new book, 'Hoof Prints', helps support their horse sanctuary. Melanie Bowles is truly an American Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
An outstanding book! I have met Melanie in person and she is so wonderful. Her whole heart is in helping horses love and trust again. She does not profit from the horses. All of the profit she receives from her books help pay for the horses' needs. A must read for anyone.
GrannyDar_of_Valencia_CA More than 1 year ago
A wonderful and well written compilation of horse rescues by a woman with incredible compassion. These chapters of life at Proud Sprit will sometimes warm and sometimes break your heart. And, you'll be surprised at how some long-time (unnamed) horse owners seem to be totally uninformed and/or unappreciative about keeping and caring for these wonderful animals. Thank GOD there are people like Melanie Sue Bowles ~~ our hero!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This books was a wonderful glimpse at what true human kindness CAN be. That all of us should treat the animals that put their faith in us with respect and love. She has made a difference in all of those horses lives. What an opportunity that she took advantage of in an effort to affect the lives of ones that need to have a voice. Highly recommended
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book introduces the reader to the essence of being around horses, and their diverse personalities in wonderful prose that flows across the pages. An excellant read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books of all time! It is a great read. It takes you through a range of emotions. Not just for horse lovers, but for animal lovers everywhere. I've given a copy to everyone I know!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who loves to be uplifted should read this book. I couldn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! And it's not just for horse lovers. These stories are for everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love, I mean REALLY love horses then this is a book for you. If you love to look out the window and see them in the pasture, love to sit in the barn and listen to them eat, love the smell of them then this is a must -read. The author writes with such a style that you feel you are walking along in the pastures with her as she and her husband care for and love these horses. You will run the full range of emotions : sadness at what we humans can do to the spirit and body of the horse, anger( maybe even hate) at those who abuse them and joy when these horses allow their spirit to live again at Proud Spirit. Looking forward to the sequels!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read for me, one I couldn't put down until I finished it! Each and every chapter is heartwarming, heroic, and you feel like you are there, cheering Melanie on! It's the kind of story that made me want so badly want to peak to the end to see what happened but yet I couldn't stand missing a detail on any page! A great book and not just for people who love horses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book on a Saturday afternoon and finished it on Sunday morning. It is a must read for anyone that loves horses. But, this is not just a book about horses. This book is a testimony of what one couple with a passion can accomplish to make this a better world. Melanie has a gift for describing situations that makes you feel like you are right there as it is happening. I can't wait for a sequel. My husband and I had a Rottweiler rescue, and believe me, the commitment it takes to help these animals is staggering. Mel and Jim Bowles are heros.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had horses all my life. This is the first book to FINALLY address their spirit! Bravo!!!