Thirteen year old Erin loves horses and riding. After dreaming of the Bronze Age horses, she is starting to like history. Now curious about Ancient Greek horses, Erin again drifts into an opal dream.
Agis, a teenage boy, travels alone from Sparta to Athens where Diodorus gives him work at the stables. Agis earns the trust of a vicious black stallion, but is targeted by the jealous, Tellus. When the stallion escapes, Agis is suspected and threatened with punishment of death or slavery. Will Agis keep his freedom and survive to fulfil his dream of riding a horse?
When Erin wakes from her dream, she realises she can use what she has learnt about horses from the Ancient Greeks.
The Marble Horses, the second book in the Opal Dreaming series, describes horse riding and care in the Ancient Greek period. Each book in the series highlights the significant changes in horse riding throughout history and provides practical riding and handling techniques. Aimed at upper primary age children.
Opal Dreaming The Marble Horses is the second book in the Opal Dreaming series information at http://www.
morrispublishingaustralia.com/ opal-dreaming-the-marble- horses.html
Opal Dreaming The Bronze Horses is the first book in the Opal Dreaming series available at http://www.
morrispublishingaustralia.com/ opal-dreaming-the-bronze- horses.html
Unfamiliar sounds and smells filled his mind and Agis shook his head to clear it. ‘What is that stink?’ he muttered. He huddled on the ground amongst coarse coils of hemp rope and cane baskets of warm fish guts.
He closed his eyes to the glare of the morning sun and thought about the long journey he had undertaken to get this far. A shiver ran up his spine. Even as a perioikos – a free man or boy – he didn’t know what to
expect beyond his home in Sparta, or of the dangers of travelling alone.
All he could think about was horses. Even when he sat and turned the potter’s wheel as his father or grandfather moulded the clay into the everyday pots like hydrias, for collecting water from the fountain, or the small
amphoras for storing oil or wine, his mind was on horses. They didn’t make the large, elegant, patterned red and black glazed pottery he saw in the markets. Theirs was a small family workshop, and while his father
expected him and his brothers to carry on the craft, he had other ideas.
Agis didn’t understand his obsession for horses, and was unable to fight it. He came to accept it as a message from the Gods. He had seen very few horses, mainly the small, tough, sure-footed native ponies used
throughout the hills and on the farms in the lowlands. Only rarely had he seen the larger Thessalian cavalry horses, or those owned by the wealthy, and he had only heard of the magnificence of the Iberian stallions. He
read what he could find but burned to learn more, even to own one – although a humble apprentice like himself could never afford a horse.
The Bronze Horses
Thirteen year old Erin loves everything about horses, but thinks history is boring until her mystical opal helps her drift into a dream to follow the misadventures of Fayina, a girl of similar age from a fierce, nomadic, horse riding tribe from the Bronze Age in 3000BC. Fayina is found lost on the Eurasian Steppe by Arima and his sister Mia and when they take her to their secret village, the tribe is wary of her. She finds life in the village very different, especially when she understands they don’t know how to ride the small, but strong Steppe horses. Accused of stealing one of the tribe’s best horses, Fayina is threatened with banishment unless she can teach the village people some of her horse and riding knowledge. Can Fayina save herself and ever return to her own people?
When Erin wakes from her dream, she realises history is not so bad, as long as there are horses involved, and many of the things she knows and does are not new and modern at all.
The Bronze Horses shows the early relationships people have with horses and that the history of horses and riding is also our history. The Opal Dreaming series will highlight some of the significant changes in horse riding over thousands of years and pass on horse riding and handling techniques.
Jennifer Crane lives in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Queensland and has two daughters. From an administrative background she leapt, with relief, into creative writing to dabble in poetry, short stories and novels for children and adults. While inspired by life events, she finds those random ideas that pop into her head are the most fun to write. In 2008 she self-published ‘Spillover: A Memoir’ about the death of her horse from Hendra virus. She has had horses all her life which inspired The Bronze Horses, the first book in the Opal Dreaming series, published in 2012 with The Marble Horses in 2014. She also helps local war widows record their life stories. She has had a number of short stories published online and in anthologies and achieved some minor awards for her writing although she is still aiming for that win.
Spillover: A Memoir
On 14 June 2006, Clive, a thoroughbred gelding, died an agonizing death.
It was a death that would mark the beginning of an emotional nightmare for his owner, Jennifer Crane and her family. A death that would receive national media coverage as only the sixth recorded case in Australia and would result in an independent Queensland Parliamentary Review.
Unknown to Jennifer, the large colony of flying foxes, camped in the neighbouring forest and spilling over onto her property in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, had brought with it the deadly Hendra virus that infected her horse and put her own life at risk.
Jennifer’s account of the death of her horse due to the Hendra virus portrays the pain of losing a beloved member of the family, her encounter with Queensland’s biosecurity procedures and a decision to try to increase the awareness of the fatal consequences when the balance of nature is tipped.
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