TPH Book Review: Grabbing Mane by Natalie Keller Reinert

By Lauren Aubert

Casey Halbach, a 32-year-old former “horse girl,” has a seemingly wonderful life. She lives with her boyfriend, Brandon, in her coastal Florida hometown, has a comfortable marketing job, and a wonderful circle of friends. But she still feels her life is missing an integral piece: horses. As a teenager, she had a horse of her very own that she cherished dearly. No stranger to the hunter/jumper show circuit, she had dreams becoming a professional rider. But Casey is forced by her parents to forgo her dream for something more plausible: Sell her horse, go to college, and join the workforce as a business professional. For over a decade, horses were the last thing on her mind. Until a work errand changes everything.

Casey is tasked with delivering an advertisement to a potential new client … who happens to be Sky Thomas, the head trainer at St. Johns Equestrian Center. And the barn located exactly where she rode at as a young girl. Taking in the scenery, she is swept into memories from her youth spent in the saddle. Ultimately, she realizes the piece of her life she has been missing for years is exactly what she suspected— horses. When Sky convinces her to take riding lessons again, she falls back in love with the sport. Then she makes the decision (much to the chagrin of her boyfriend) to purchase a horse of her own: James, a dark, handsome, off-the-track Thoroughbred with no show experience. Although the decision is risky both financially and practically, Casey manages to regain the confidence she had as a young equestrian. She goes on to ride James in their very first show together, and to quit her mundane job and work for Sky full-time as a marketing assistant. 

Grabbing Mane is the beautiful tale of a young woman rekindling her once-fervent passion for horses, taking a risk to make her dreams a reality once more. This highly relatable novels will remind readers that our riding journeys do not have to be linear. Lucky for all of us, this sport will be waiting for you, whenever you are ready.  

*This story was originally published in the May 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!

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