Amanda's Reviews > The Summer of the Dancing Horse

The Summer of the Dancing Horse by Eth Clifford
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's review
Jun 01, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die, 3-star-books, ages-9-12
Read from June 01 to 05, 2010 , read count: 1

I always have problems with books like these. There can be really boring at the beginning and then be really sad at the end. I hate books where animals die. I’ve never understood why you have to kill the horse if it breaks a leg. I don’t get it. I know nothing about horses but if anyone knows and they could tell me it would be appreciated. Anyway I liked the writing style of this book and I loved the last few pages, I loved the way they were written.
But one problem I did have with this book is that Bessie seemed a lot older than 8. She seemed to think like she was a lot older and for the most part act that way too. Now if I did my math right this book takes place around 1924 so I don’t know if kids acted older back than or not.

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Reading Progress

06/04/2010 page 35

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Kaitlin This is more a comment on the reason horses are usually put down from broken legs. Horses have very poor blood circulation in their legs, making healing a slow process. They are also very active animals, which does not allow for bone healing. The amount of money and time required to heal a broken leg is enormous. Horses won't just lie down and rest with their broken limbs elevated the way people are expected to do. The average horse is around 1000 lbs and the weight forced onto a broken limb would make the healing even more impossible. There are also numerous risks taken if a horse is somehow immobilized for healing (some fancy expensive horses may be put into vet care that hoists them into a sling, preventing movement). If the horse puts too much pressure on the opposite foot from the injured one, they risk inflammation from the extra weight stress. Horses are also meant to move, which helps keep their gut system doing what it is supposed to do. A horse may develop colic, which can also be life threatening, as well as extremely painful, if it doesn't move and eat regularly. All in all, most people make the decision to put a horse down to save money and prevent future suffering by the animal.

As for this text, in the 1920s, I seriously doubt the veterinary field was advanced enough to even consider healing a horse with a broken leg. Hope this answers any of your lingering questions!

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