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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
A ranch horse should like cows, right? What if it doesn’t? And yet it still has to ride behind them and help round them up, all with a rider on its back. Shasta is a ranch horse, but he really doesn’t like cows. But his ranch job is made bearable only because he has a good friend, another ranch horse, Maverick. Then Maverick is sold and taken away. Shasta’s shattered and glances longingly at the wild Mustangs ranging in the hills not far away. He takes matters into his own hands (or I should say hooves) and, escape artist that he is, manages to open the paddock gate and run away – to join the wild Mustangs and, hopefully, find his friend Maverick.
Cathy Wilson’s early chapter novel, Mustang Powered: Book 1, is a family-friendly animal story that will warm the heart. Taking up the issue of animal rights, especially where it concerns wild horses, the author presents a story that will help readers of all ages learn what it really means to be free. The story is written in the first-person narrative from Shasta’s point of view. The horse becomes the spokesperson for the rights of wild and free horses, like his plea for help in rescuing a wild mare captured by ranch hands: “That horse will suffer you know. She’s terrified right now. She just got stolen away from her family. From everything she’s ever known. And she’s all alone. She’s being pulled and poked and she thinks she’s going to die.” In those heartfelt words alone, the reader will feel how deeply the freedom of these wild horses really matters. A fun and educational read.