God, Horses & Cowgirls

When I started working with horses again after a nine year absence from them, my life took on a whole new dimension. These amazing creatures showed me the totality of who I am, what I needed to let go of the past which was crippling my present, and what I could achieve if only I had the courage to believe in my worthiness. This book spans a ten year period of my life with my youngest daughter. It’s about the heartache and the pain of searching for love and a father to love my child as his own.

The book focuses on how God brought horses back into my life as a gift, and a way for me to heal and it is a heart-wrenching real life account of what my child and I endured. Through faith and my willingness to forgive myself and others, learned my lessons, reaped the blessings and found my freedom. God in His perfect plan brought us through it.

Book Reviews

Personally I think the author shared a very difficult story, revealing courage to speak so open. I experienced the book more as a life testimony than a religious one, making mention of those factors that helped her survive and find strength to continue in this crazy world. The book offered comfort in knowing it is okay if you faced terrible things. It is okay when you make mistakes, cause you learn from them. We all have our personal way of coping with stresses in life and coping with the brokenness people cause in our lives. This book revealed in some way all the different ways that God can actually speak to us, specially when we have lost hope in humanity and God Himself – He meets us at our level, with what we can cope with.
I think for this author He reached her through the magnificent gentleness of horses… Just a different view I guess.

I think Sharon missed the entire message of the book, obviously not a big horse fan either.
I find her review of the book very offensive, and even though she does not agree with Cesaltina’s book she could have perhaps given a more suttle review rather than critizing the entire book. Personally I love the focus being on the horses, if you can’t love those around you (including animals) how can you love God? Expecting her story of conversion to Christianity does not define the book or what is written in it, you are basically saying that excluding this, the book is an entire disaster. The cover I think is perfect for the book, and what teens will be expecting inside is no different, don’t judge a book by its cover like they say.
The ability to reach a teens level and communicating in such a way (especially through a book) in order for teens to actually grasp the message is difficult and I think Cesaltina did an excellent job in doing this. Even my 11 year old brother read the book (and got the message) and he thoroughly enjoyed the focus on the horses as he’s a big animal lover. He actually went to my mother and said; “I will treat and love those around me better because of this book”, and this coming from an 11 year old!! I rest my case.

I thoroughly enjoyed Cesaltina’s book and I resonated so much with it. It’s such a beautiful story to know that as deep as we fall, God’s grace still comes through and puts us back on our feet. It gives the reader hope & joy especially knowing that whatever our mistakes, when God puts us back on His path, life takes a very different path. Her depth & honesty are raw & real. It is not easy opening up and divulging our mistakes for all to know, let alone those close to us. I take my hat off to her for her strength & boldness. I couldn’t put the book down and think I finished it the same day (well, early hours of the morning that is). Thanks for sharing your trials & we hope to see another one published soon.
Don’t forget, the book of Esther in the Bible doesn’t mention God’s name once but He was the author, the Potter and His name was all over it!
Belinda Smith

I think the fact that Tina reached out to a horse enabling her to once again feel reconnected to this world, after having endured all of its woes, heartache and cruelty that this world does indeed throw at one and the fact that she was able to feel that a horse can be a “divine messenger of hope” is testimony in itself, that at THAT point, she was able to convert to God and see that through him, He created the horse, and therefore, in some indirect form, must surely resonate through the animal in some way – many have accounted the oneness that one feels with a horse – disabled children, autistic persons, those having suffered severe medical trauma – all are able to connect with the horse in a way – and the horse has always been referred to as a spiritual creature because of this innate power, as far back as biblical times!

I dont agree with Sharon Malan when she says she was waiting for Tina to convert to christianity – Sharon, you missed the point! Tina was ALREADY a christian! Having had a devout catholic upbringing, this confirms this fact – however, what she mentions, is that in HER OWN EXPERIENCE, she was able to connect to God through her horse and in the process, feel a rebirth and renewal in her faith in God, that this world and the things on it, are not necessarily bad, and don’t always have the intent to do harm and cause hurt.

I think teens will appreciate the raw honesty that was laid out in this book. By not allowing your teenage daughter to read this book, is certainly not protecting her at all, but rather setting her up for the naivety and disaster that Tina faced in her early adulthood – sometimes by exposing our children to what is real and true can be a life lesson all on its own. I am sure your teenage daughter hears far worse at school and I can assure you, that when (and yes, there will be a when!) she has the chance to escape and watch a movie with her girlfriends at the cinema, she will come face to face with a more graphic, detailed account of relationships!
Belinda Lines

Who are we to judge? Cesaltina found hope and direction in horses – God truly works in mysterious ways doesn’t he? It is truly inspirational to have read what she had endured in her life and just how extremely positive she is having had experienced life the way she has. This book is sure to bring hope to many who feel that there is no way forward for them.

Sharon Ross