The facts of this story are great, but the writing is poor. What a disappointment after all the rave reviews! Chapters were repetitive, even using the same sentimental phrases, flashbacks, and allusions time and again. The author really could have benefitted from a strong editor. As if the story didn't tell itself, we are told ad nauseum how we ought to feel. In effusive language, we read what a remarkable story we are being told!
Harry de Leyer worked hard at menial tasks that are described in detail, but how does he actually train horses? You don't learn anything about the methods or techniques Harry used. There is no excuse for the lack of detail since Harry is still alive and apparently granted the author unlimited access. As for Snowman, it is as if the horse trained himself. What you will learn, repeatedly, is that Harry just talked to the horse, and the horse flicked his ears and did what he was asked. Maybe in the hands of a skilled screenwriter, the book could be turned into a decent movie, but is there really enough material even for that?
On the human side, Harry was portrayed as a simple, hard-working, devoted family man, with a like-minded wife Johanna who bore them eight children. Yet suddenly in summarizing the period from Snowman's death in 1974 until the present day, we find that they got divorced.
Say something about yourself!
This was a real life feel good story, a story of rags to riches for both horse and owner.
Not only does this story detail the life of Snowman and Harry de Leyer, it gives a fairly good look at the social and economic changes happening in the late 1950's and its effect on the show jumping and equestrian industry. It did get a touch repetitive near the end, but nothing too obnoxious. Overall a good story I would recommend to anyone.
One of the best! My father has listened to over 450 audiobooks and says this is the best he has ever read.
The story itself, the descriptions, and the history behind it. Very well researched.
The first meeting of the Harry and Snowman.
I guess I'm a baby...I just love to be read to.
This is a feel good story with nothing too substantial to review about. I like a good, "pull yourself up" story so I enjoyed it but that's pretty much it. I cried a lot...but I'm a sap when it comes to empowerment stories.
The fact that it was a true story
It was heart warming--a rags to riches story. I like the way Harry connected with the horse and always put his well being ahead of any personal gain.
I knew of so many of the people in the book--I was just getting into horses in the 60s when these people were well known show jumpers. I cried when Snowman died.
This is a great horse story with lots of interesting history. It was just about the time when prices for show jumpers were beginning to climb. However, a determined equestrian with a good eye could have a fighting chance. As a horse-crazy child in 1960s Chicago, the highlight of the year was the big horse show at the International Amphitheater. Show jumping was a big part of it. Chicagoans will recognize some of the names mentioned in this book.
Did not read the print version.
This was a wonderfully detailed stroy of the conection between a horseman and his horse.
Harry was my favorite.
No. It was very long.
This book will become a classic.
I love to get lost in the world's of writers, but don't have much time to read. I discovered Audible and now can listen whenever I want!
I'm a big horse lover and love jumping, but have only done it on a small scale. This story gave great insight to the world of jumping. The history of how horse showing was in the 50's compared to the show world now gave interesting perspective. There is still a lot of the old money, as described in this story, but it is because of the story of Snowman that encouraged everyone who loves horses the opportunities that we have today to get involved. The story is very well told and you really feel like you are right there watching the competitions and personally know the Dulaer (sp?) family. There were nights I laid awake listening for hours gripping my sheets, the competitions were so intense. I also appreciated Henry's philosophy of the treatment of horses. His philosophies were not well accepted at that time. I would not have enjoyed it if he were cruel. Loved the story and recommend it to anyone who loves horses.
I really enjoyed this story. Although there were a few places in the story that I felt dragged a bit, that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I loved the bond between Snowman and Harry, especially the fact that Harry put Snowman's welfare above his own profits. I also thought the message of the "horse with heart" was a great inspiration.
I just finished listening to this book and I loved it! Elizabeth Letts does an incredible job of telling the story of Snowman, a plow horse headed for the slaughterhouse when he is bought for $80 and becomes a champion jumper. The book is filled with in-depth history of the period and the horse world, and Bronson Pinchot does a wonderful job of narrating. Anyone with any interest in horses at all should not miss this one!