A Horse Named Viking
A rogue. An outlaw. An unlikely hero. Viking is the sole offspring of a savage and vicious mare. The colt is the pride of the stable until his dam kills a groom in her stall. Viking is a painful reminder of the tragedy, and so he is sold off.
The black colt has a coarse face and a mean curl to his nostrils, but he is beautifully proportioned with magnificent gaits. With his teeth and thick weapon of a tail, Viking brutalizes everyone who handles him and humiliates the best trainers in the world until Anne O'Neil from the United States tries him.
The first time she rides him, she declares that she will not buy him if he was the last apple in the barrel. The second time, she rides him with a different philosophy, as if he is as sensitive as one of her Thoroughbreds, and she is amazed by the results. Kindness and sugar turn out to be the keys to Viking's heart. Viking and Anne become rising stars until a cruel and brutal trainer seeks to crush his spirit.
A Horse Named Viking follows the life journey of an incredible, unforgettable horse.
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|Pre-Teen / Teen|
Father and daughter stood there companionably, brimming with anticipation.
“Shouldn’t the vet be here?” Charlotte had witnessed a birth before, but the mare’s obvious distress disturbed her.
“Dr. Olson is on his way, but Carpia’s doing fine. The labor is progressing normally. She’s a good-sized mare—I don’t see her having any problems delivering this foal. Besides, she’s a fighter. Don’t worry.”
The mare groaned and a great shudder seemed to pass through her.
“Look, Daddy, Look!”
Moments later, the wet, dark shape of Carpia’s foal lay on the ground. He was moving almost immediately, breaking through the slick birth sack. Carpia raised her head out of the straw and turned to nuzzle her baby affectionately. Her ears tipped forward curiously, her dark eyes were velvet soft.
Kurt squeezed Charlotte’s shoulder. He ran a breeding farm, witnessed many births each year, but the experience remained miraculous and overwhelming to him.
“She’s going to be a fine mother. With a temperament like hers, you can never be sure. I was worried we’d have to foster her foal out. But it looks like I was wrong. She’s going to be just fine.”
“Look at them. She keeps nuzzling him. She loves him.”
The new little one raised his head at the sound of their voices, his eyes bright in the darkness.
“Hello, hello. How’s the patient?” The stocky, dark shape of Dr. Olson appeared in the opened doorway.
Kurt immediately went to greet the other man.
Quick as a wink, before anyone could stop her, Charlotte slid the bolt back, and opened the stall door, stepping into the stall. Carpia lunged to her feet and thrust her body between Charlotte and her foal.
“Easy, Mommy. I won’t hurt him. I just want to see him.” Fearlessly, Charlotte held her hand outstretched with her palm up, fingers close together, so the mare could sniff her.
“Charlotte! What are you doing? Get out of there!” Kurt hurried to the stall door, but Carpia blocked him with her teeth bared and her ears pinned back. He couldn’t see his daughter. “Charlotte? Charlotte, are you all right?”
“Yes, Dad. He’s beautiful! A colt, just like I said. And he’s not afraid of me at all. He looks black.”
“Honey, I want you to move slowly. Back away from that colt. Olson, do you have that tranquilizer shot ready?” He sought to peer around the black mare.
“In a minute. You know I don’t like giving a mare something right after delivering but,” the vet was on his knees by his medical kit, preparing the shot, when Charlotte reappeared at the mare’s shoulder. Carpia relaxed her ears as the girl stood stroking her neck.
“You have to see him!”
“Charlotte, get out of there!”
“Daddy, relax, she’s fine.” Nevertheless, Charlotte obediently stepped through the opened stall door. As soon as she was within reach, her father grabbed her by the arm and pulled her close then slammed the door shut.
“Promise me you’ll never do that again. That mare is dangerous. You have to stay away from her. I’ve been wrong to let you work with her. But after a mare foals, they can become very protective of their babies. You have to respect that and keep away from her. It’s not fair to her.”
Charlotte tugged herself free. “I’m sorry, Dad. I wanted to get close to him. I won’t bother her anymore... The little guy... He’s awesome.”