What is good conformation?


Peach and Me

Photo by Bob Moseder from Tails of Sweetbrier.



If you’re a horse owner or rider, you should know some basic facts about the horse’s conformation and examples of what “good confirmation” includes.

The word “conformation” refers to the body structure of the horse and other important characteristics.

My dad was a professional horseman for many decades. Our family owned a farm called “Sweetbrier.” Dad did a great deal of studying about horses. One of the first thing he studied when he was considering buying a horse was it’s eyes. Why is that? Well, you may have heard the expression “A person’s eyes are the window to the soul.” You can draw a similar conclusion with horses. My dad shied away from a horse with small, sunken eyes, often called “pig eyes.” What do pig eyes signify? A horse with a nasty disposition. Even with training, you can’t change a horse’s temperament. Look for a horse with big eyes and a kind expression. Dad could tell a great deal by the expression of a horse’s eye.

What about the head of the horse? Look for a wide space between the eyes and a little curved or “dish” in his head, not a rounded nose. Horses with round noses are called “roman-nosed” and are more apt to be stubborn.

What about balance? In order to be properly balanced, a horse needs good proportions. He shouldn’t have more weight in front, than behind.  Another important factor is the length of his back. A short back is always preferred. Why? He’ll be much better balanced with a short back and he’ll cost less to feed. When you look at the horse, is his topline shorter than the bottom line? If so, he should be well-built.

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Tails of Sweetbrier at reduced price!

silver medal for Readers favorite, webTails New Cover Small

picture 2-Deanie and Little Man

Deanie and Little Man from Tails of Sweetbrier

Would you like to be inspired today? Check out this true story about the power of perseverance. It’s reduced by  45% for the paperback so grab your copy today at this very low price (temporary reduction) If you’d rather have the Kindle, the price is now just $2.99!

“A truly spectacular story of strength, passion and courage” -from review by Geri Ahearn.

video review by Chester McDaniel

 Above video by Chris Graham

copyright 2016: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

website: http://www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com


Kid’s books: attitude

If you follow my blog you may know I love highlighting kid’s books featuring children who overcome obstacles. If I asked you ” Have you heard of Alec Cabacugan you might say you haven’t. But what if I asked “Have you seen that adorable little boy in the Shriner’s Hospital commercials?” I’ll  bet you’ll say “Yes and he has the cutest smile and a great attitude.”

Imagine being only eleven years old and having suffered over fifty broken bones.  Alec has because he has “brittle bone disease.” Still, he loves playing wheelchair basketball and wheelchair softball. During an interview with Fox News, Alec said he’d “never forget the doctors at Shriner’s Hospital,” even though at first they were” afraid for me to play sports.” But Alec says he “loves sports and “plays his hardest every time.” He continued, “Basketball is my favorite sport because it’s a high-pace game. You have fun. There’s not a lot of stops,” said Alec. “But I know when to slow it down a little bit because in the past, I have gotten hurt. It has led me to miss a couple of games, and I regret that.”

Alec’s Language Arts  teacher had this comment about her student: “I mean he’s always in a good mood, always, every time you see him,” she stated.

Alec shows amazing wisdom for his age.  Here’s what he said during one of his interviews:

“In the past, I have been sad when I say it, but when I say it now I’m happy because know now that I know now that I am healthy and I am strong and there are worse disabilities out there that I don’t have and I’m grateful for that,” he 11-year-old said. “When i grow up I want to go to the Olympics. I want to be a Paralympian for basketball, and when I’m not training, I want to be an ESPN analyst. I want to be an anchor in Los Angeles.”

Isn’t Alec an amazing little boy with big dreams? I’ll bet he’s going to meet his goals. What do you think?

If you like kid’s books about overcoming challenges you’d enjoy “Tails of Sweetbrier.” It’s my story of living my dreams and beating the odds. Children, parents and teachers are inspired by it. I’d be honored if it became one of your favorite kid’s books.

For more about Alec, follow this link:


copyright 2016: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Video by Rhonda Patton:



Celebrate the Small Things…


  It’s almost Friday again so we get to celebrate whatever we want, yay! Thank you Lexa Cain for continuing this blog. Here’s what we’re celebrating this week:
  • My book, Tails of Sweetbrier, won the silver medal in the Reader’s Favorite Book Award Contest! We’re so honored and excited to receive this award. If you’d like to read more about the contest you can do it here:
  • http://bookawards.com/
  • Our son returned safely from his business trip/vacation.
  • My friend, Janice Spina won Honorable Mention in the same contest for her book Davey and Derek, Junior Detectives. Congratulations, Janice!
  • Another author friend, Joyce Mitchell, is offering one of her books free today and tomorrow.
What are you celebrating this week?
Video by Chris Graham:
video by Rhonda Patton:
Video book review by Chester McDaniel:
copyright 2016: Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

New Review of Tails of Sweetbrier


Tails of Sweetbrier, winner of the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Contest!

Tails of Sweetbrier, winner of the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Contest!

Tails New Cover Small
Tails of Sweetbrier

This is an autobiography of an amazing little girl who is born with some physical challenges which were thought to permanently limit her activities.  But not for this girl!  She is determined to overcome all through hard work and fortitude.  With the help of her never tiring father she learns not only to walk, but goes on to become competitive horse rider.  This was not a result of wishful thinking but of trying and falling and trying again.

This story will inspire anyone who reads it.  Apart from teaching children what it takes to become a horse rider, it also shows children how to love and care for their special animals and how to truly be a friend to all.

I like that it is written in a very gentle voice which helps children to see that anyone can achieve great things if only they never give up.

Reviewed by author,  Anna Tshekeche


Tails of Sweetbrier


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Tails of Sweetbrier is a true story of a little girl who wants nothing more passionately than to become a champion horseback rider, in spite of her handicap. What does her dad do that changes her life? What happens when she falls off her horse? This story will show you that anything is possible if you persevere. Children and adults will love this inspiring story!

Excerpts of Reviews of Tails of Sweetbrier:

I highly recommend this book to children, parents, and teachers. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne wrote a truly spectacular story of strength, passion, and courage. The characters come to life, as well as the unique illustrations. The author points out the value of family and friendship, while motivating others to reach for their dream, despite obstacles that may have to be battled with along the way. Firthermore, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne encourages discipline, high self-esteem, and a positive attitude throughout this compelling story. The author motivates children to overcome their fears, achieve their goals, and follow their dreams. “TAILS OF SWEETBRIER” tugs at the heart, is as captivating as RADIO, and as inspiring as FORREST GUMP, with Tom Hanks. From, 5- star review by author/reviewer Geri Ahearn

The story is beautifully told, as the author candidly shares her thoughts and feelings throughout the ups and downs of her journey. Ms. Humphry-Dunne’s message is a powerful one: “Overcoming obstacles can give you the confidence to accomplish amazing things.”
The book is written for readers ages 8 and older. It would appeal to anyone, but horse lovers especially, would enjoy the story. I highly recommend this inspirational book. From 5- star review by author Sherry Ellis

If you are looking for an inspirational and unforgettable read this is the book for you. This book will bring you to tears as you read about this inspiring little girl who learns never to say no to her dreams. She was born with a handicap and her parents were told that she would never walk. With a surprisingly strong will and determination to do what her sisters could do, ride horses and win championships, Deanie learned to ride. She found it very difficult and had to adjust many times to falling off her horse and getting up again and again. She never gave up and finally she did succeed and became a championship jumper. From 5-star review by author, Janice Spina

The power of a young girl’s passion, perseverance and determination and the effect of a family’s support, love and commitment, are celebrated in this remarkable true story of an extraordinary individual. Deanie, pursued her dream with tenacity and persistence, and against many odds achieved success in the very demanding world of competitive horse shows. This wonderfully inspirational story begins with a challenge to young readers that would make it difficult for them to put the book down. Deanie asks “Have you ever really wanted to be able to do something, but you came across a roadblock of some kind?” and goes on to inquire “Are you going to follow your dream, or are you going to push it aside without even trying?”
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne’s generosity in sharing her story so that others may be motivated to pursue their dreams, no matter the challenge, is admirable. Take advantage of the opportunity, acquire the book and be inspired! “Tails of Sweetbrier” is heartily recommended for readers of all ages. From 5- star  review by author/publisher Sarah Mazor