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A Good Horse (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #2)
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A Good Horse

(Horses of Oak Valley Ranch #2)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  80 reviews
When eighth grader Abby Lovitt looks out at those pure-gold rolling hills, she knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch—even with all the hard work of tending to nine horses. But some chores are no work at all, like grooming young Jack. At eight months, his rough foal coat has shed out, leaving a smooth, rich silk, like chocolate. As for Black George, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Clare O'Beara
Like many horse or pony books, this contains good and less ideal examples. However, the author does not tell us this is set in the 1960s, so new readers, or those who forgot or didn't absorb this fact from the previous book, may find some details not as we now know them and some contra-indicated practices.

My main suggestion for improvement would be to put a date in the story early. Two opportunities in the first chapters would be Abby's birthday and when a letter arrives which keeps talking abo
Dec 31, 2017 added it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I previously read The Georges and the Jewels, which is the first book in this series. I loved how the author depicts the horses. She makes them realistic. Many other authors will make horse either good or bad. Horses aren't like that. They have good days and bad days just like people do. I also love how she sets the book back around the 1950s-1960s. I haven't learned much about this time period and reading this book was a good start. I will definitely be finis ...more
Jacqueline D'Acre
Wow! Ms. Smiley really knows her horses!

I am an author and I always write about horses I was bowled over when I read Old this marvellous book. l I used to sing this each time I great black stallion, retired rscehorse, Clare Grafton.
I sang it as I read.
Love this book,

Holly Viken
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
October book report
A good horse
Jane Smiley

The book A good horse is about a young girl named Abby Lovitt, and she is about to start the eighth grade. Abby lives with her very strict parents on their 26 acre horse ranch in California. The Lovitt families business consists of buying horses at low prices, getting them healthy and in beautiful condition, training them to jump and race, and then selling them for money. Abby knows that she shouldn’t get infatuated or too close with the horses because s
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a challenging review to write because my thoughts are all over the place.

The writing: It’s excellent. I mean the author is a Pulitzer Prize winner. You don’t just buy one of those awards at the University of Phoenix or anything.

Horses: This was way fun to read about horses from someone who KNOWS her equine particulars. If the horse facts are not accurate, I won’t wade through the book.

Faith/Scripture: I was shocked at the first mention of faith. (Not having read the first book in the
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
2019 - Bk 24. Young Adult Book: The second of the Abby Lovitt series. For a middle school or upper elementary age student who loves horses, with a little bit of mystery thrown in, this is a good series. Abby is an 8th grader in this book. She has overcome bullying (book 1) and is growing into a better sense of herself as a separate individual from her parents and friends. Her father is a horse trainer/trader and an elder in their fundamentalist church (and I use that term as it was in the 1960's ...more
Hannah Bendull
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Good Horse, by Jane Smiley, is a fictional book about two horses and a girl. This book is a sequel to the book The George's and the Jewels. The book takes place in in the 1960's of California. Abby Lovitt is in grade eight and lives on a farm with her parents. The girl has many chores but grooming horses has never been one of them. Abby has been taking care of Black George and Jack for a while now. When young Black George does well in the arena, potential buyers start paying attention and Abby ...more
Nov 30, 2015 added it
Shelves: read-7th-grade
I would recommend this book because it is very well written. The author does a good job of making her writing easy to follow while still being interesting. The main character is a girl named Abby Lovett. Abby doesn't care about what other people think about her and she is also very determined. For example, when Abby goes to a show, instead of wearing breeches and tall boots like all of the other girls she is quite happy wearing her too small show coat, jodhpurs, and paddock boots. She shows det ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book will be absolutely perfect for kids who can't get enough horse stories, since there is lots of horse talk, horse shows, and horsemanship in this book. Abby, the main character, shows small glints of interesting features but is overall kind of flat, and more of a vehicle for experiencing the horses. For those reasons I was totally and completely bored while reading this book. However, in the hands of a horse-crazy middle-grade reader it's a fantastic book, and I will definitely keep buy ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was okay. It was intended to be about Abby trying not to lose Jack, but the book kind of wandered on about random stuff that didn't really match the plot. I did like how it ended, but I also don't think anyone can just know when they're being conned. Don't get me wrong, you can have a feeling, but you won't immediately know. Anyway, I don't think it was the best book ever, but it was okay. ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Part of me wants to be 10 or 11 again, so I could bury myself in these books as much as I did the Timber Trail Riders books at that age.

But I'm not. I'm 62. That said, I've truly enjoyed the first two books of this series for reminding me of the young girl I was. And hey... horse books, right? I never get tired of horse books. :)
Joyce Calkins
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A coming of age story of a young girl on a rural California Christian family horse ranch. The time is in the late 60s and it brings back many fond memories.

Very good storyline one that teaches us the privilege we have to form wonderful relationships with the animals in the earth and the positive way of identifying fine relationships with people as we grow.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-story, 2010
May 11, 2014 added it
It's a sweet story, extremely well written. If I was a thirteen year old girl it might be my favorite book. ...more
Adrienne Pettinelli
I listened to this one, and at first I thought I wasn't going to like it, but it really grew on me. I enjoyed the window into a world I know very little about, on a few levels. ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and sweet. Horse facts and training details were correct. Loved the story.
Parker Burton
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book because it continued the story of Abby's life with school, friends, family, the ranch, customers and most importantly the horses. ...more
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading in between my other books.

-It's a horse book, and unless you love and/or own and ride horses, it can be hard to read.

-This is an older book, I think, so there are some inaccuracies, or at least non-Pony Club approved things. Please excuse me while I rant about horse stuff that will be nonsense to most of you. WHY are there cross country jumps in a showjumping course, HOW could a freaking eighth grader clear 4 feet without regular training, also, why in the world would she jump cross cou
Patricia Wchman
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
A Good Horse is a good read. It is told in the first person by Abby, an eighth grader who lives on a struggling farm with religious, church-going parents. Her parents struggle to keep her in riding boots and other riding accessories and usually fall short. Her sleeves and jodhpurs are too short, her boots are borderline too tight. She is a good kid and realizes her parents' financial struggle. But luck is on their side this year and her dad, skilled in the assessment of horses, has chosen two es ...more
The cover copy of the UK versions of these is somewhat misleading. These are not pony detecting adventures but coming of age (year by year going by the first two) of a solemn, considerate & thoughtful young girl who has been around horses her entire life and is by training and inclination an excellent rider. There's technical horsey stuff too, complete with diagrams (of jump configurations), and because it's Smiley we get some kind of intense Protestant religious background with promises of into ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is about a girl named Abby. She owns a ranch and lives with her mom and dad. She has a jumping horse named Black Gorge which she jumps on. Her father has been getting mail from someone who is trying to find a missing horse. He thinks one of the horses they bought is that horse. A connection I have with the character is that we both love horses. Abby reminds me of one of my friends because she tries to get her school work done right away. I have had an experience of when i forgot where t ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book, horses
Shear delight!A Good Horse continues the story of Abby and her family's little horse farm in California as was told in the book George's And Jewels. Anybody who loves the world of horses will enjoy this quick delightful read. I closed the book with a happy smile. ...more
Ayda Queen of chickens
I actually did not finish this book and it was not good
Jose Arellano
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Overall it was a good book ,I like this book because it takes about horse
Carmel Ann Sperti
Smiley for youth

Jane Smiley is amazing g! Not all authors can switch audiences easily, but her you ng adult fiction is as delightful as her adult books. Brava !
Jane Debano
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's a sequel to "The Georges and the Jewels" and continues the story of Abby Lovitt who lives on a horse ranch in California in the 1960's. She is now 13 and in 8th grade and continues her barn chores as well as daily riding the horses. She's decided to name one of the geldings Black George and he turns out to be a natural jumper. Her parents have decided to ask Jem Jarrow, a man who works with horses in a gentler, more intuitive way, to give her lessons. You might say Jarrow h ...more
Linda C
This book is about Abby Lovitt and her interactions with two of the family horses. The family buys, trains and sells horses. They have 9 at the start of the story. One horse Black George seems to love jumping and Abby is taking lessons with him at a Hunter stable. The horse gets better and better and suddenly gets a lot of interest. The other horse is a colt, Jack, that was born of a mare that her father purchased in OK at the same sale as Black George and 2 others. The mare dies after giving bi ...more
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Abbey and her parents own many horses. They train, buy, and sell horses. Abbey’s dad bought a new horse he was only 3. His name is Jack. Jack is an amazing horse, he is so sweet and willing to learn. Abbey is 13 years old. She has two main horses, Jack and Black George. Her mom doesn’t ride but her dad does. The dad has Lester and Lincoln. He trail rides them. They live in an open 26 acre horse ranch, where the horses can roam. Abby and her dad train their horses. They live on a beautiful ranch ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Abby is used to losing horses to new homes, but this time she may lose two. Black George is showing so well that he is sure to sell if Abby can continue to make him look good in the ring. Jack, a horse she rescued, is the foal of a stolen mare, and may be taken away from her as well. Abby continues to struggle with fitting in with her friends at school, although she enjoys being part of a play reading group, even though her mother is a bit disapproving of reading Shakespeare. When it looks like ...more
Lukas Austin
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book Is definitely a book for people that love horses This book is about amy lovett who loves on a ranch with her father and her mother. They have horses and horses only, In the first book " The georges and the jewels" They named all of the male horses george and all of the female horses jewel. In the this book which is the second book amy's father goes to oklahoma to get horses from the auctions. He comes back with this mare. Later they found out that she was pregnant when she foaled to he ...more
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Play Book Tag: A Good Horse - Jane Smiley - 3 stars 2 11 May 30, 2016 05:49PM  

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Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School. She obtained a A.B. at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar

Other books in the series

Horses of Oak Valley Ranch (5 books)
  • The Georges and the Jewels (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #1)
  • True Blue (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #3)
  • Pie in the Sky (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #4)
  • Gee Whiz (Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, #5)

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