Friday, February 19, 2010

Not Dr. Doolittle, but...

Reviewed by Phee Paradise

Life Lessons from a Horse Whisperer
by Dr. Lew Sterrett with Bob Smietana

You don’t have to like horses to enjoy Life Lessons from a Horse Whisperer, but by the time you finish the book you’ll appreciate their beauty and you’ll understand how exceptional each horse is. You’ll also learn something from them.

Dr. Sterrett is a skilled horse trainer. He performs with his horses at events called Sermon on the Mount. He works with an untrained horse in front of an audience, and within a few hours he teaches it to accept a saddle and rider, or do some fancy footwork. Sterrett talks to the audience while he works with the horse, telling them what the horse is learning. He draws a parallel to the lives of people and teaches them a lesson as well.

In the book, Sterrett also teaches lessons drawn from his work with horses. In between the horse stories he tells his own story; from his first pony to 4-H drill team to horse training in college to running a Christian horse camp for kids. He intersperses it all with the lessons. They are encouraging and instructional and feel a little like your grandfather trying to give you some advice. But the book is mostly about the horses and Sterrett’s love for them.

I enjoyed the horse stories, but found the book a little disorganized. The author jumped around in time a bit and sometimes stopped in the middle of one story to tell the reader something else, as if he had just thought of it. In spite of this, the book is a refreshing change from the typical devotional or memoir. Horse lover or not, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Pros: Interesting stories about horses and people and how God works in their lives.

Cons: It’s a little disorganized and you might lose the thread if you don’t read it carefully.

About the book

A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. In this book, Lew tells the stories of his work with these horses and the lessons each one has taught him. Sometimes heartbreaking and often uplifting, Lew has condensed his lifetime of learning into messages for the Christian life. Today, Lew shares these messages with more than 50,000 people each year through horse training presentations at Miracle Mountain Ranch and nationally through his Sermon on the Mount Ministry.

The author's engaging style and adroit mixture of well-tested anecdotes and thoughtful instruction make this a winning read-and not just for horse lovers.

About the author

A champion trainer and true horse whisperer, Dr. Lew Sterrett has used patience and a firm but gentle hand to earn the trust of more than 3,500 horses. Dr. Lew Sterrett (Ph. D) had little idea that his boyhood interest in horses would open doors internationally for speaking and training. During his years in 4-H, he savored many opportunities to train and show horses and earn national recognition. As a student leader at Penn State University he benefited from many mentoring relationships from which he received valuable training, experience and honors. This foundation provided a basis for an extensive horse career with a unique emphasis on training youth and community leaders.

Lew has served as the Executive Director of Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions, Inc. (MMRM) since 1977. MMRM, located in northwestern Pennsylvania, is home for a summer youth camp, and a leadership training center for youth, adult, and family groups. He has also promoted safety in public riding programs, serving as President of the Certified Horse Association for 7 years. A licensed pastor, certified Youth, Marriage and Family Counselor, he earned his PhD from North Tennessee Seminary in 2007.

Find out more about Dr. Lew Sterrett on his website:

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