The Crumb

PDF-file by Jean Slaughter Doty

The Crumb PDF ebook download I read this as a young girl (maybe 10-12?) and was mildly traumatized by it. I appreciate it a lot more as an adult. This short book is deceptively dark. It starts out sweet, a girl hacking her talented but past-his-prime pony around the countryside, but then she stumbles onto something disturbing: a horse being stealthily placed in an out-of-the-way barn and locked in. Later she comes back to find empty syringes where the horse had been.

It turns out that this story is really about a horse-loving girl and a kind, honest show trainer who together fall into the orbit of less scrupulous horse people who are drugging their horses to enhance their performance. Some of the methods described: cutting back a pony's hooves to get it to measure into a class, using bute and/or nerve blocks to mask lameness, drugging a too-high horse to quiet it for a show.

Jean Slaughter Doty is the best writer of horse books I've found thus far; I wish she'd written more. This is a poignant story which delves into the dark side of the horse world and yet never turns preachy or demonizes anyone.

eBook The Crumb

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