Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail
Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail
Here is an excerpt:
Sunday, June 29, 2010:
I had another meditation of rolling hills of fabric. It all began with those familiar lights flickering on sparkling water. Next, I was looking down at the patterned lands that were made of patches of varying colors. I felt as if I were flying as I soared overhead. The hills had valleys and I dipped down into them. I looked all around at the many colors of blue, pink, green, lavender, and gold. Then a black, misty fog covered the hills and all went dark. The darkness slowly became un-foggy as if the sun was beginning to rise. Black hills appeared and three horses were standing on the ridge. They were pawing the ground and I heard them snorting as they swished their tails. They were real horses but they were covered in patches of fabric. As I looked closely I could see that they were each made of the same patterns I had seen on the hills. Three beautiful horses covered in calico fabric. And then the meditation ended.
Over 140 wild horses died as a result of this roundup. Could these be the horses who were calling out to me? I believed they were and decided to record their story and share their message.
Following the guidance of the wild mustangs, I was led to Caroll Abel, an equine photographer and wild horse advocate. Her photographs were connected to the visions I had seen, and without hesitation I knew she was key to helping me tell the story. It was through her wisdom, keen eye, and love for all animals, that I was able to convey the message spoken from the heart.
The horses that survived are now in a safe sanctuary and you can learn more about them here.
Synopsis of the Story
When the Spirit of Horse speaks to a ten-year-old girl through her dreams and calico patches magically appear as if from nowhere, the residents of Saddlecrest, Nevada have a genuine mystery on their hands.
It’s the story of how a girl ripped apart by divorce helps the wild mustangs torn from the range. Together they face uncertainties brought on by the decisions of others.
Carrie’s mom decides to uproot her from their familiar Jersey Shore home and move to the dusty deserts of Nevada. The move is as prickly to Carrie as the cactus beside her new home. But something mysterious greets her when she closes her eyes each night—like a winding path, her dreams guide her to the horses of the Calico Mountains.
Are her developing psychic abilities bringing visits from horse spirits or is her troubled mind playing tricks on her? Her new friend Milla has nightmares of her own—she’s the daughter of a government official known as “The Horse Killer.”
How can a few children make a difference to the plight of the foals snatched from their homes without warning? Like the tiny patches of cloth that adorn a calico quilt the clues draw them all together.
Follow the Calico Horses as they lead us down the trail of adversity to the peaceful pastures found by helping one another.
Play Space Director
Twirl Toy Store & Play Space.
Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund
Director of Education
Return To Freedom
Reviews – Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail
Bruce and Shirley Allen
James Anaquad Kleinert
Karen H. McCalpin
V. Lark LaBelle
I gave it a shot and so far, I’m hooked. It’s a YA novel but so far, it seems like a good story to warm my heart, regardless of the age of the person reading. — Mike Imprixis
In this lovely tale, “Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail” the author teaches us about the very real ordeal America’s wild horses daily face in order to survive. In language targeting pre-teens but with lessons that will resonate with all of us, the book describes the capture and removal of the horses from the range and a young girls struggle to understand and help them-as she tries to understand the changes taking place in her own life as a result of her parents break up and divorce. As we learn about the BLM’s sometimes brutal handling of the wild horse population and the reactions of the people fighting to help them, we learn that meditation, perseverance and love can make a difference. With honesty, compassion and a little magical realism along the way, the author gently teaches us some of life’s lessons as we gain some insight about America’s wild horses. This is a book about struggle, survival and succeeding.
Author Lorraine Turner has worked hard to bring to light the management and associated issues of the wild horses and burros that are rounded up by the BLM in the area and then adopted out to appropriate owners. Mix these issues with some passionate 10 year old girls going through the growing pains of life and messy choices made by their parents, and you have a really interesting make up for a thought provoking story.
The overall message about children being advocates for treating horses (and other animals) respectfully is one that should be driven home by all. An entertaining read.
Online Eccentric Librarian
Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail by Lorraine Turner is a coming of age tale about the interaction between a group of ten year old girls, their families and the natural kinship of human and animal. A very balanced look at the struggle of the wild mustangs of the Calico Mountains is presented. Through learning about the horses the girls learn about themselves and their shared journey. There is a definite spiritual thread that runs throughout the work. The girl’s dreams, personal meditations, visions, art, and even the connection to the spirit of a beloved Grandmother and other ancestors are used by the girls to find their path and discover their connectedness. The girls learn to overcome divorce, death, bullying, and disappointment, while seeking out purpose and community. The girls come to understand that everyone and everything is inextricably linked, that We Are One.
Lorraine Turner is an artist living in the Florida Keys. Her own dreams and meditations are depicted in the book, in fact, a vision of the Calico Mountains and the plight of the wild horses that live there was the inspiration for the writing of the book. The method of meditation Turner practices herself, Sae-sii Meditation, is outlined in the book and is used by the characters as a way to relax, solve problems and connect to Spirit. Turner provides a way for young readers to experience the message that she received in her meditations, to come to the understanding that we must work in balance with nature of which we are a part.
Calico horses and the Patchwork Trail by Lorraine Turner is an inspiring novel that deals with challenges affecting many children in America – divorce; moving away from loved ones; bullying; caring for each other; creating bonds between humans and animals and finding spirituality.
It is the story of Carrie who is uprooted from New Jersey and moved across the country to Nevada after the divorce of her parents. As Carrie struggles with her new reality and new life during daytime; at night her dreams bring her mystery. Wild horses are coming to her in her dreams, leaving messages and clues for Carrie to decrypt. She shares this connection to the Calico horses with her new friend Milla and best friend Shannon. Soon the trio embarks on the mysterious trail of the calico swatches of fabric appearing everywhere and their link to the beautiful horses of the Calico Mountains that are rounded-up and taken away from their peaceful habitat in an a brutal effort to control their population.
Through meditation and their strong spirituality, the girls sew the clues of calico fabric together into a quilt of life that leads them to overcome adversity and make a difference to the plight of the Calico horses.
Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail, delivers a strong social and environmental message to pre-teens. It brings awareness to the plight of American wild horses; teaching the reader how in the great web of life “we are one”; connected to each other; our slightest actions impacting each other. No matter how young we are, we can make a difference. In the world of books, “Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail” makes a difference.