A living hero

     For a true story about heroism and hope, read Molly the Pony. This little gray mare survived Hurricane Katrina only to be abandoned and later attacked by a pit bull. Infection set into the wound and her front leg was amputated below the knee. Molly is a living gift to us all -- and a reminder that we must never give up hope.

Sponsored by: Poudre River

See the YouTube video: Molly the Pony, 10 years later

Forgotten rhymes of a homesteader

Elliot C Lincoln - cover - Rhymes of a Homesteader - 1920A new project has required planting tons of flower seeds, and a poem about sunflowers in this collection caught my eye. Does anybody out there know about Elliott C. Lincoln? I bought this 1920 book ages ago at a flea market along Interstate 80. Lincoln's idea of homesteading is very "western", complete with old paint horses, which he mentions later in the book in lower case, not as a capitalized breed. A certain regret surrounding the side effects of progress rises to the surface in "Rhymes of A Homesteader", as later in the book, the automobile and barbed wire scar Lincoln's world. Publishers didn't spend a lot of money on cover design back in those days. Here is the first poem in this rare treasure:

Elliot C Lincoln - Rhymes of a Homesteader - title page - Boston and New York - Houghton Mifflin Company - The Riverside Press Cambridge - 1920 T
The Sunflower Road

THERE'S a land of opal mountains, singing creeks,

    and springing fountains,

A land of magic distances in hazy, lazy light,

Where the pastel greens, and yellows, amber

    browns, and purple shadows,

Make a glory of the daytime, and it's dusty blue

    at night.


Elliot C. Lincoln - Rhymes of a Homesteader - The Sunflower Road
When the summer sun is burning, there a friendly

    road is turning.

Twisting, bending, rising, falling -- just a trail

    among the hills;

But 'tis bordered by the graces of a million golden


And the laughter of the sunflowers frees the heart

    of all its ills.


Elliot C Lincoln - Rhymes of a Homesteader - The Sunflower Road
Now the winter snows are driven through the

    land; the trail is hidden.

Desolate, the white hills glitter under skies of

    turquoise blue.

But in June comes summer weather, and again

    we'll ride together

On that friendly, glowing, happy road, just wide

    enough for two. 

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My book, Winning Bet, hits Berlin!

Fortune Cookie: A Christmas Tale now an e-book!

Click here to find Fortune Cookie - A Christmas Tale - By Karin Livingston - at Amazon
Fortune cookies have a strange effect on horsewoman Rosalyn Mallory, and if she doesn't get help, it could be a deadly Christmas. Get Karin Livingston’s quick-read Kindle release, Fortune Cookie: A Christmas Tale, at Amazon! (U.S. $2.99)

I used to love those old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, with at least a picture in every chapter, a caption, and a chapter title. With e-books, we can afford to “print” that concept, in this case, applied to Fortune Cookie. I serialized the story here last year. I hope the tale makes you smile, and that you guess the secret behind the hobo. Owners of iPads can get Fortune Cookie, too. Just Google the Kindle app for your iPad and download to get access to all Kindle titles. Merry Christmas!

Horse quiz: How well did you read 'Winning Bet'?

Click on the photo to start the quiz. (Earn points and free badges at our sister site, Mane-U. We are mobile-friendly and love horse trivia.)

Will 15-year-old Emma Duncan lose her horse Bonnie to the slaughterhouse? Emma and the mysterious Enrique must prove to everyone that Bonnie is not a loser, but a winner.

Winning Bet: 'What a great story'

For teachers, 4-H leaders and clubs that want to use Winning Bet (ISBN: 0-615-32165-8; $12.95; paperback) as part of their classroom curriculum or 4-H project work, we've developed a free quiz for the novel.

 To pass the quiz, you must score 80-percent or better. Successful quiz-takers can click the "finish" button to get a printable achievement certificate for their records. Just click on the Winning Bet photo at left to start the quiz. Good luck!

Look inside the book

Would you rather use Accelerated Reader? You can help put Winning Bet on the Accelerated Reader list. If enough of you request it, Renaissance Learning will write an AR test for Winning Bet that any AR school can use, and anybody -- not just librarians -- can request! Just go to to make the request.
 Information you’ll need:
Title: Winning Bet
ISBN: 0-615-32165-8
Publisher: Ingram
Interest Level: Middle Grades Plus
Year Published: 2009

You might also enjoy Grooming for success: How good are you?

(Karin Livingston was a career 4-H horse leader. Winning Bet is available at Amazon, on the Kindle e-reader, Barnes & Noble online, stores, and to librarians and retailers through the Ingram Book Group.)

Willow harvest

About this time of year, several of the horses become more interested in nipping off the low-hanging willow leaves. You can learn more about willow and its benefit to horses if you read Herbs for Horses by Jenny Morgan and Carole Vincer, or A Modern Horse Herbal by Hillary Page Self. Our horse Bonnie, a survivor of laminitis, and real-life horse star of the novel, Winning Bet, loves willow! Here fresh windfall branches have been stripped of leaves and fine stems. The harvest is placed on a clean sheet, which is tied up at the corners for drying.

Read also: Bonnie's favorite horseshoer


Wonderful thing on the way to the barn

Winning Bet front cover - Will Bonnie be sent to the slaughterhouse? - Available through AmazonWe have a new young client, and I ran into her and her father walking down one of our lanes to see their new horse the other day. These are exciting days when people begin their journey with $5.99 Flat Shipping
a new horse. They are especially exciting when that person is a young person. Horses light up children. In the middle of her glow, our young client turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way, I just read Winning Bet for like, the 11th time. It’s awesome! I love it!” Psychic income: You can't beat it - and it's tax-free!

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Get Winning Bet AR test for your school

Winning Bet Front Cover - Karin Livingston Readers: If enough of you request it, Renaissance Learning can write an Accelerated Reader test for Winning Bet that any "AR" school can use, and anybody -- not just librarians -- can request! (Accelerated Reader is the #1 reading practice software used by schools across the nation.) Just go to to make the request. Information you’ll need:
Title: Winning Bet
ISBN: 0-615-32165-8
Publisher: Ingram
Interest Level: Middle Grades Plus
Year Published: 2009

Winning Bet is also available on the Kindle. Happy Reading!

Wonderful thing on the way to the barn