Quarter Horse Kids
Jill Thomas releases third book in her series geared toward Quarter Horse lovers
By Delores Kuhlwein
When Jill Thomas’ daughter was active in AQHYA, she was able to observe the many disciplines of the American Quarter Horse, and the experience inspired her to create a book series on their favorite breed.
Besides, Thomas also faced that age-old problem of trying to explain to others what all-around Quarter Horses actually did at their breed shows that didn’t necessarily include jumping or barrel racing.
Her first book, An All-Around Rider, part of the series Quarter Horse Kids, became her answer to educating others about the versatility and breed shows of the American Quarter Horse. “My original inspiration for the books was a childhood book called A Very Young Rider, which was part of a series highlighting young people in different sports,” Thomas explains.
An All-Around Rider follows 12-year-old Briella and her horse, Wyatt, as they practice, prepare for, and compete on the AQHA show circuit as an all-around team.
The popularity of the book soared, and she continued to expand the series, adding the next title in May 2022: Quarter Horse Kids: A Rodeo Cowgirl. The book features 11-year-old Steely and her horses, Chunky, Zeke and Classy, competing at local National Little Britches Rodeo Association rodeos. The book also centers on the rodeo events of barrel racing, breakaway roping, pole bending and goat tying, while exploring the hard work, fun, and camaraderie of the rodeo lifestyle.
“Focusing on young competitors seemed like a good way to interest new kids in both riding and Quarter Horses, and I hope I was able to capture some of the allure, excitement and hard work these kids put into their animals and sport,” says Thomas.
She also wisely targeted the book for a variety of readers so both kids and adults alike could enjoy them. “My husband said he learned more about all-around showing from reading the book than he had in the fifteen years my daughter and I had been showing!” Thomas says. “That being said, I hope that I’ve written in such a style that young kids will enjoy having the books read to them, that older kids will enjoy reading and rereading the books themselves, and that adults will enjoy reliving some of their childhoods, learning about their kids’ or grandkids’ sports, or will use the books to introduce a young rider to a sport the adults already love.”
Notably, her third book in the series has just released on Amazon: An Eventer: Dressage, Stadium Jumping, and Cross Country. Her main character is 14-year-old Katherine, who competes in the three parts of Eventing – Dressage, Stadium Jumping and Cross Country – on her fearless Quarter Horse mare, Piper.
“I live close to a premier eventing venue in Vermont, Green Mountain Horse Association, and I called them and asked if they knew of a youth rider competing on a Quarter Horse,” explains Thomas. “They reached out to a couple of riders, one of whom was Katherine, who got back in touch with me. Katherine is a very gregarious young lady and was excited about the project, and luckily, lives only an hour or so from where my own horse is trained in Connecticut, so it was an easy decision for us to team up on this book.”
However, what she found in the process of locating Katherine solidified the message she was sharing in her book series about the American Quarter Horse. “In Katherine’s family’s riding business, they actually look specifically for Quarter Horses because of their versatility, hardiness, trainability, personality, and endurance,” she explains.
Thomas adds, “For a young person who loves to jump at AQHA shows, Eventing might just be a great next step if they’re looking for excitement. For someone already Eventing but wanting to slow down just a bit, the beauty and precision of AQHA showing is a great route to go as well. With a Quarter Horse, there are so many avenues to explore and that are open to someone lucky enough to own this breed of horse.”
Fortunately, Thomas intends to continue her series about the beloved Quarter Horse if all goes as planned. She reveals, “I would love to continue this series with more books that might include cutting, reining, ranch horse competition, trail riding, ranch work and racing.”
Quarter Horse-loving readers can find all three of her books on Amazon:
Quarter Horse Kids: An All-Around Rider: https://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Horse-Kids-All-Around-Rider/dp/B09NRG549H
Quarter Horse Kids: A Rodeo Cowgirl: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B1FV4BTH?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tpbk_0&storeType=ebooks
Quarter Horse Kids: An Eventer: Dressage, Stadium Jumping, and Cross Country: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BSJG7SN6?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tpbk_2&storeType=ebooks