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Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #1)
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Wild Thing (Winnie the Horse Gentler #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,063 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don't always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trust ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Tyndale Kids (first published March 28th 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Every horse crazy girl needs to read this series. Every book deals with a problem horse that Winnie trains through the problems, while working through problems on her own. Another plus is that these books do not have any awkward boy/girl relationships. In the later books, Winnie and Catman (no relation to Cat Woman: that is his nickname) do have some tension, but none of the kissy face that plagues many y/a books.
Jun 15, 2011 Katie is currently reading it
Dottie Parish
This is a delightful, well written book for middle grade girls who love horses. It is written from a Christian perspective but is not preachy nor does this detract from a very good story about Winnie, a twelve year old girl who has lost her mother. In search of work her father has moved Winnie and her sister five times in two years leaving their Wyoming ranch behind. In a small town in Ohio Winnie finds the horse of her dreams – Wild Thing. She has learned from her mother how to be a horse gentl ...more
Jenny Rose
Aug 16, 2011 Jenny Rose rated it it was amazing
Winnie Willis used to work with horses with her mother before the accident. The accident that killed her mother. Winnie blames herself. Now she, her dad and her younger sister Lizzy spend their time moving—a few months here and a few months there. Winnie is so desperate to be around horses that she mucks the stalls at Spidell’s stable where she learns a beautiful new Arabian horse has arrived. It is love at first sight for Winnie, but nobody seems to be able to handle the wild horse. Winnie buys ...more
Leah Good
My mom used to say, “Winnie Willis, in the beginning God created heaven and earth and horses. And sometimes I have to wonder if the good Lord shouldn’t have quit while He was ahead.”

After their mother’s death Winnie and her sister have come to expect several moves a year. Lizzie hates it. Winnie doesn’t much care. Doesn’t care until she meets a beautiful but mostly wild horse called Wild Thing.

“Lizzie,” I said, calling up my mind’s picture of the rearing Arabian, “I have to have that horse. And
Amanda Klich
Apr 17, 2014 Amanda Klich rated it it was amazing
I actually read these books when they first came out and I was maybe 11. I still remember J had enjoyed them and so am giving this series five stars. :)
Aug 30, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Wild Thing is another good book by Dandi Mackall. In this book, Winnie is a young girl who loves horses and has longed for one of her own. She also deals with some of the same stuff that kids today deal with during adolescence. Winnie struggles with the pain of losing her mother and blames herself for her death. She also has moved many times in her life and also gets picked on by her peers because her family does not have a lot of money. Then, something happens to change things for the better fo ...more
Aug 03, 2014 Soleil rated it really liked it
Back Cover: Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don't always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series' vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie's life wit ...more
Celena Janton
Jun 02, 2014 Celena Janton rated it it was amazing
I'm always looking for chapter books to read to my 6 and 7 year old daughters. I often read them books outloud that they aren't able to read on their own yet. My girls love horses so I thought I'd see what the Horse Gentler series was about.

The book was great! I won't be reading it to my young daughters but definitely look forward to giving them the book to read when they're 9 or 10. Some of the things dealt with in this book are pretty big things for younger kids--like guilt, bitterness, and d
Aug 28, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Winnie Willis loves horses. Some might even say she has a gift. When she comes across an Arabian that is obviously being mistreated, Winnie befriends the horse. With all they have in savings, Winnie and her sister convince their father to purchase the horse at auction and allow Winnie to prepare her for sale. The only drawback, Winnie would love to keep the Arabian for her own. Will she get her wish?

It has been a very long time since I read a book about horses. I remember loving the horse books
Lis K
Jun 16, 2014 Lis K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wild Thing is the first book in the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. It appears to be aimed towards a tween audience but I think even adults would enjoy this book. I was surprised at the depth of emotions and spiritual lessons in this book. Winnie, her younger sister Lizzy, and their father are living in Ohio, having moved numerous times in 2 years after the accidental death of their mother. Winnie loves horses and can "tame" them, like her mother did. She sees a wild Arabian at a local stable a ...more
Renn Shearin
Jun 09, 2014 Renn Shearin rated it really liked it
In #1 Wild Thing, Winnie's fearful heart finally begins to trust God again as she tries to gentle the horse of her dreams, Wild Thing. This novel was a sweet book and a great start to the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. Winnie is very shy when interacting with people, but she absolutely loves horses. I loved how she compared people and their behaviors to horses, especially when the people in question acted little better than animals. However, I enjoyed seeing Winnie's transformation as she bega ...more
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Winnie the Horse Gentler
By Dandi Daley Mackall

Winnie Willis has a way with horses, but since her mother's death she hasn't had one of her own. And that's just as it should be - after all she's the reason her mother died. And the last two years Winnie's just been existing - until she meets Wild Thing.

Wild Thing is a wild Arabian that no one can touch, but Winnie feels a connection with this wild mare. And Winnie is determined to get Wild Thing as her very own and away from the Spindells
Sep 30, 2010 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
This is a book totally about horses! It is really really good! It is about this girl named Winnie and she found this horse named Wild Thing and she falls in love with her! She is on a journey to get Wild Thing whatever it takes! It is a must read book! It is one of my most favorite books now!!!!
Sep 02, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I really enjoyed these books when I was younger, and when I went back and re-read them, enjoyed them just as much. I appreciate how much Winnie grows in each book, yet that no one grows too unbelievably much. Thank you Dandi Daley Mackall for eight great books!
Ava Kerr
Nov 15, 2011 Ava Kerr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a very good book. i like it that she is alot like her mother and she is helping other people with their horse problems. and that she is trying real hard to try to get this horse that everyone thinks is dangerous
C.J. Darlington
Jan 27, 2015 C.J. Darlington rated it really liked it
A great tale for teen girls in love with animals, especially horses. I enjoy how Mackall includes real life, practical insights on horses that are definitely not fictional. Perfect start to a popular series.
Shawna Hansen
Apr 22, 2012 Shawna Hansen rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I hope my daughter reads it, too. Great start to a super cute series. Love the characters. Winny and Wild Thing are gping to be OK! The index at the back is fabulous.
Jul 08, 2010 Alyssa rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
I really liked this series as I could relate to Whinnie, but some of the things she did at her age were a bit unrealistic. Also beware of some teenager drama....It can get a bit irritating
Nicki Olsen
Aug 20, 2014 Nicki Olsen rated it it was amazing
I feel like I've been having a lot of true confession time since reading a few of the kids books Tyndale has published. This book went WAY beyond my expectations for a kids book. Winnie is a normal Fourth grade girl following in her mother's footsteps...if you consider a horse whisperer in the form of a sweet little girl normal. This is a wonderful book on, doing what God has for us, and learning to trust in Him and His love even when it seems impossible, in the form of an adventurous young girl ...more
Sarah "Mir"
Aug 07, 2014 Sarah "Mir" rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-buy
This series was one of the book series I grew up on and loved all through elementary and middle school. I still own them and will probably never get rid of them either.
Louise Pearson
Jul 21, 2014 Louise Pearson rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulous story of a girl whose mother, a horse lover, died in an automobile accident. Winnie actually thought she had been the cause of her mother’s death. Her mother trained horses and had taught Winnie that training a horse using fun games and lots of love, never hitting the horse, was the right way to train a horse. After their mother’s death, the father had moved to a new location and they needed money. What happened when Winnie got a job training Wild Thing, a beautiful wild white ...more
Victoria Bylin
Jun 24, 2011 Victoria Bylin rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this children's "girl-horse" story. It made me smile in one breath and tear up in the next.
Mar 29, 2009 Abby rated it it was amazing
Very good book. It is a series, and this is the first one. I have since read the second also, and it also rocks.
Danielle Singleton
It was a good book I think that it is good for anyone who likes ranches horses and any other things like that
Jun 04, 2011 Emma added it
very exciting and a very sweet. great family book and fun humor with wonderful relationships of friends
Jun 07, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves horses!
Recommended to Rebecca by: Winter
I LOVED this book!! Nickers sounds so beautiful! Winnie is amazing how she gentles horses!
Oct 05, 2011 Audra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the story and some of the explanation of horse breeds. It was a great start for a series.
Mar 14, 2010 Briana added it
Shelves: horse-books
I loved this book, it was wonderful. Now it's time 2 start reading Eager Star!!!
Sep 21, 2010 Maggie rated it it was amazing
i love horses and i absolutely loved this book. horse lovers should read this
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A professional writer for over 20 years, Dandi Daley Mackall has written dozens of articles for popular magazines and published around 500 books for children and adults alike, with sales of over 4 million.

A frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, she lives in rural Ohio with her husband, three children, horses, dogs, & cats. Awards include the Edgar Award for Best YA Mystery, the H
More about Dandi Daley Mackall...

Other Books in the Series

Winnie the Horse Gentler (8 books)
  • Eager Star (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #2)
  • Bold Beauty (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #3)
  • Midnight Mystery (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #4)
  • Unhappy Appy (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #5)
  • Gift Horse (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #6)
  • Friendly Foal (Winnie The Horse Gentler, #7)
  • Buckskin Bandit (Winnie the Horse Gentler, #8)

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