Reviews of books by others

Hoofprints in the Sand: Wild Horses of the Atlantic Coast by Bonnie U Gruenberg

Hoofprints in the Sand was the first ever book to compare and contrast the USA East Coast herds of feral horses and ponies – but it is so much more.

For example, did you perhaps read the book Misty of Chincoteague or see the film “Misty” about the wild ponies of Assateague, an island off the coast of Virginia, USA? If so you’ll remember the famous annual round-up and swimming of the horses across to the mainland. Hoofprints in the Sand has plenty of facts about these ponies and those on other “barrier” islands, together with explanations of their likely heritage and why horses and ponies were bred on islands. You’ll also find out too how wild horses behave – and why.

The book includes some fascinating snippets of information including (in random order):
* Grass contains silica (basically sand) – and so wears down horses’ teeth.
* Horses were the most abundant large animals a million years or so ago, after bison and mammoths
* Horses shipped by the Spanish after their discovery of the “new world” had only a 50% chance of surviving the trip

The book authoritatively corrects a number of misapprehensions about mustangs, their origins and behavior.

There are some accounts of key horse-breeders over the centuries and about specific horses and herds.

Finally, there’s a chapter on where you can actually visit to see the East Coast horses discussed in the book, there are some useful tips for campers on how to avoid inadvertently endangering these beautiful horses and ponies – oh yes, and there’s a bibliography in case you’d like to read more.

Hoofprints in the Sand is also on Amazon

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