By Heather Rosselle Irwin
Grade Levels 4‒Adult
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If you like reading horse books, this will become one of your favorites. The author penned the true story of her orphaned horse, Sequoyah. The foal was born in a Virginia field during a snowstorm. Because her mother couldn’t produce milk, she abandoned Sequoyah at birth.
Heather and Hugh Irwin rescued the foal and took her in a horse trailer to a stall in their neighbors’ barn. There they, their friends, and the veterinarian helped Sequoyah fight for her life for her first two challenging weeks. The horse remained smaller and more vulnerable than other horses. Sequoyah acted more like a human than a horse because she couldn’t be around other horses that could teach her. She was too small to be around them safely. She loved to follow her human mommy Heather everywhere, and she learned from their many talks.
Caring for Sequoyah was the author’s first opportunity to see what having a horse in her life would be like. What a life-changing experience for both of them! You’ll find yourself crying, holding your breath, and laughing as Sequoyah grows up, learns what it means to be a horse, gets to know her best friend Ellie the miniature donkey, and realizes how deeply she loves her human mom and dad.
Heather Rosselle Irwin
Heather lived in the country and big cities. She lived in Iran during the Iranian revolution. Her family was evacuated. The experience made her live with adversity. Iranian events gave Heather strength and confidence to move forward and focus on what she loved.
Heather’s heart belongs to country life, her husband, and animals. She’s always adopted animals. At 14, she worked for a veterinarian, then at pet shops and a zoo.
Graduating from college with a BS degree in Parks & Recreation Management, Heather became a National Park Service Ranger. All part of her dream.
Stepping outside traditional women’s roles and pursuing skills women don’t usually acquire motivated Heather. The NPS trained her in cliff rescues, wildland fires, ocean rescues, and law enforcement. She did these and rode horses patrolling Civil War battlefields.
Heather loved working outdoors. Interpreting parks’ history and working in resource management meant understanding each park’s natural or cultural resources and protecting them through educating the public and law enforcement.
Growing up, Heather had dogs, cats, gerbils, hermit crabs, rabbits, a duck, a mouse, and crayfish. She never had a horse, but enjoyed horse books and movies.
Winter 1999: She adopted a 2-day-old orphaned horse, becoming Sequoyah’s mother. Sequoyah battled for life. Motherhood was challenging.
Heather completed training and certification for Equine & Canine Sports Massage Therapy. It helps animals and pleases them and her.
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