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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Perseverance. That’s what it takes. Facing all of life’s difficulties, all those hurdles thrown in our path, what we need is perseverance. We can’t give up. We have to dream, dream big, and reach for our dreams with a determination that nothing will stop us. Deanie was born premature and her development, particularly her ability to walk, was affected. She was a late walker, but she did walk, despite the fact that doctors had informed her parents that Deanie might never walk as she had cerebral palsy. Her parents knew all about perseverance and they never gave up on Deanie, and they never let her give up on herself. So, when Deanie started school and was tormented by the other girls because she couldn’t walk right, Deanie’s mother told her to tell the girls that it was okay, because she could ride horses. And ride horses she did. She even competed, winning multiple competitions on different horses.
This is Deanie’s story. My Life at Sweetbrier: A Life Changed by Horses is a motivating memoir by a remarkable horsewoman, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. The memoir is written to inspire readers of all ages to work towards their goals, their dreams, and to never give up. Deanie and her parents never gave up. Even when she fell from her horse, or her leg was trampled by a frightened horse, Deanie always got back into the saddle again and again. Horses have a way of helping us overcome handicaps, disabilities. Horses don’t judge; they don’t tease or bully. For Deanie, the many horses in her life were her motivation. And being a Humphrys certainly helped, with the family motto: “The Humphrys don’t give up.” Deanie never did give up. A powerful message of compassion and determination.