July 2014, 212 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Nadia Wells has spent her life trying to convince her parents that horses are a necessity but despite her best efforts, they see them only as an extravagant luxury. After landing her dream job mucking stalls in exchange for riding lessons, a wealthy philanthropist recognizes Nadia’s talent and decides to invest in her. Purchasing a mare nicknamed Winny, Nadia is sure she’s bound for equestrian greatness but on the cusp of their most challenging three-day event yet, Winny bucks Nadia off in front of a crowd of her peers.
Humiliated and fuming, Nadia makes a birthday wish that she could better understand her horse. The next morning, she wakes up to discover she has four hooves and a tail swishing between her legs: she and Winny have switched places! If life as a teenage-girl-turned-show-horse wasn't hard enough, Nadia has to figure out a way to tell the dashing Mike how she feels or risk losing him and the competition to the talented, gorgeous and spoiled Gretchen. Will the pair concede defeat or work together to overcome the impossible and be headed for the win?
It was a pleasure for me to review this book, as Rachael had found out I enjoy horse books and wanted to know my opinion on her work. This is a heartwarming horse tale about friendship and generosity – how many people happily buy a horse and pay for someone who doesn't have money to ride them? It was an opportunity of a lifetime for Nadia, who overreacted in the early stages of getting to know Winny leading to an incredible change. There were so many things Nadia struggled to get to grips with being in a horse form: as a non-rider I enjoyed learning more about horse biology, including what horses need to do/avoid to stay healthy.
The biggest challenge for Nadia is communication. She can't speak, but thankfully Winny, who has taken Nadia's body, is able to help Nadia to survive being a horse. It was funny how Nadia's family and friends reacted to the body switch. They didn't know the truth, but both Winny and Nadia muddle through the situation, with Winny giving Nadia insight not only to what Winny (the horse) needs, but also how Nadia needs to treat others. It was a bit frustrating for both me and Nadia when a few occasions happened during the body switch which Nadia missed out on, but I promise it's worth it in the end – and yes they switch back!