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Recommended Reading 1
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Black Tie International - Recommended Reading

Horsekeeping, Roxanne Bok




One Woman’s Tale of Barn and Country Life

By Roxanne Bok



“HORSEKEEPING is a wonderful telling of the history of a Salisbury farm and land including delightful descriptions of the characters that have made up that history. Roxanne makes you feel as if you are a part of the story and allows you to experience the equestrian way of life. She thoughtfully explores stewardship of the land, the lure of country life and the value of raising children understanding the responsibility involved in caring for animals.”

-- Ann Guptill, 1987 Pan American Games Team Dressage silver Medalist, U.S. Dressage Federation “L” Judge graduate and USDF Instructor Certification Examiner


“Roxanne Bok takes us on the wonderful journey of a farm, a family and a relationship. Every time I go to Weatogue Stables, as I come around the bend and the farm starts to appear, I am struck by its beauty and sense of peace.”

-- Ann Jamieson, author of the For the Love of the Horse

series and a US Equestrian Federation Judge


“Look elsewhere if it’s a snooty equestrienne’s memoir you seek. HORSEKEEPING is mucky good fun: at once a celebratory and cautionary tale of what happens when tidy urbanites indulge their country-life fantasies.”

-- David Kamp, author of The United States of Arugula


Why would successful urbanites, used to clean, controlled and orderly lives, take on the task of restoring a sagging, geriatric horse farm? At first, Roxanne and Scott Bok merely wanted to preserve the land across the road from their weekend home from encroaching development. But when maintaining the faded glory of the adjoining El-Arabia horse farm was more than their elderly neighbor could handle, Scott’s success in business made it possible to rescue the place. What could an investment banker and a writer know about the rigors of caring for large animals?

The joys, heartbreaks and self-discovery that transformed their lives are detailed in Roxanne Bok’s pastoral memoir HORSEKEEPING (Prospecta Press/Twin Lakes Press, November 1, 2011 $25.00).  Elements of Emersonian introspection mingle with Bok’s keen eye for the lush landscape and humor for the less-than-tidy aspects of being a gentlewoman farmer.

Anyone who has lived through home restoration will appreciate what it takes to restore an entire farm, from the mall-sized stable down to the riding rings, outbuildings and caretaker’s cottage.  Bok is delightfully direct as she describes watching the farm come back to life as uninvited wildlife, accumulated mess and years of neglect are forcibly evicted.

The introduction of horses – and all that goes with them – to the newly named Weatogue Stables sheds a light on what makes some people go “horse crazy.” Starting with a charming pony and a lovable horse named for a giant rodent, Bok and her children begin the fundamentals of “horsekeeping.”  But along with the pleasures of caring for and raising horses, dogs, cats and rabbits comes the possibility of loss, and Bok must confront her own fears left by the death of her young mother, even as she helps her own son and daughter understand the joys and sorrows of living with nature.

As the family grows as equestrians and learns the ropes of showmanship and competition, they learn what it really means to be a part of the land, the community and a world too few of us get to enter.



One Woman’s Tale of Barn and Country Life

Twin Lakes Press; November 1, 2011; $25.00

ISBN: 078-1935212-52-2; E-book ISBN: 978-935212-77-5


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