- Author: Jennifer M. Bleakley
- Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
- Print Length: 268 pages
- Release Date:May 8, 2018
- I Rate it:
- Genre: Christian
- Purchase on Amazon
“A touching tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
The heartwarming true story of a blind horse named Joey.
At the height of his show career, this beautiful Appaloosa’s majestic stature, strength, and willingness to work made him the perfect partner. But when an injury cost Joey his show career, he moved from one owner to the next, ultimately experiencing severe abuse and neglect. A rescue group found Joey nearly dead from starvation—and blind.
Then he came to Hope Reins—a ranch dedicated to helping hurting kids who had been abused, emotionally wounded, or unwanted. By teaching these children to care for rescued animals, the Hope Reins staff were convinced they could reach kids with love and hope and show them that we are never forgotten by God.
But could the financially struggling ranch afford to take care of a blind horse that no one else wanted? Could Joey somehow learn to trust people even though the world had hurt him so badly? And what would happen—to Joey, the kids, and Hope Reins—if they failed?
A true story of friendship destined to become a classic, Joey will touch your heart and reveal the power of finding light in the darkness.
Guest Post from Jennifer Bleakley
One October evening I stared into the eyes of the most unusual looking horse I had ever seen—his black and white spotted coat resembled that of a Dalmatian; his soft pink lips were chewing at some invisible morsel; and his charcoal eyes seemed to peer into my very soul.
And although I’m not what anyone would describe as a horse person, I was completely captivated by this horse.
I inched closer to him, compelled forward by some unseen force, until only a thin rail separated us. He stared at me. I smiled. Can a horse register a human smile? I had no idea, but I smiled anyway. The founder of the horse ranch was telling our small group about the ministry she had started—a ministry that pairs rescued horses with hurting children to help them find true hope and real healing. I listened to her words, but my eyes never moved from the horse. He looked at me as if he could read my every thought. As if he knew exactly why I was at the ranch that night. That I had been feeling a bit lost, struggling to find myself—my calling—in the midst of a new season of life. That I was on this tour in the hopes that I might find answers here—maybe even a purpose.
He bent his head toward the railing just inches from my resting hand. His eyes now level with my own, the setting sun reflecting brilliant hues in the depths of his eyes.
How beautiful, I whispered as my fingers reached toward him.
“And our Joey here is completely blind…” I heard the woman say. “He was a former champion…injured…sold…abused…abandoned….
The fragmented sentence floated around the picturesque scene, but the words just didn’t make sense. Surely the woman wasn’t talking about this horse? Not the one who could see into my soul. Not the black and white beauty who knew all my secrets with just one look?
The woman handed Joey a carrot. His greedy lips taking the treat from her hand, leaving it free to scratch him behind the ear.
“But Joey was rescued and now he lives here,” she continued, “Where every day his determination and blind faith, point hurting kids to hope. Kids who have also known abuse and abandonment. Kids who see Joey choosing to live, choosing to learn, choosing to trust, and realize that maybe, just maybe they can too.”
Tears flowed down my face as I watched the horse nuzzle the woman’s hand. A blind horse leading people to see hope. The phrase swirled around my mind, before settling in my heart.
I had gone to the ranch that day looking for a purpose. Thinking that I could volunteer—use my long forgotten counseling degree in some way. Thinking that time spent here would ease the transition from full-time mommy to mother of school-age children. However, days after meeting the horse his eyes still haunted me. His story still captivated me. And so in spite of knowing very little about horses, and having never attempted anything like writing a book before, I sat down to write about a horse named Joey. A blind horse who was helping me find my way home….
Book Review by Bree Herron
If there was ever a book in nonfiction that should be provided to all those that feel lost, or have an interest in horses (this is a broad mass of people). Okay, it should just be on everyone’s bookshelf. This book blew me away. Maybe it was because I could go out and see my horses after reading a chapter in this book and just hug them, and feel closer to my faith. Maybe it was because God truly works in ways beyond our human understanding that got me to a new level of my own faith, that drew me to reading this book over and over again. I am not sure but I am sure that this book is soul changing and a read we all need.
Joey is a horse that many gave up on but not Kim. She saw life in his dark unseeing eyes. Joey and Speckles came home to Hope Reins both looking for a chance in life. We have people in this book, but these horses, specifically Joey spoke to my soul. I could smell them, feel them and relate to Kim who just knew these horses were meant to be there.
These horses taught not only the people of Hope Reins lessons in love and faith but they taught the reader this as well.
This book will move any reader to tears more than once, and you might find yourself ugly crying in parts (I know I did). But this book will give your heart hope, you will feel hope to having such a faith that Joey showed. A blind horse, abused and lost found his meaning at this ranch, he opened his heart and trusted, never seeing, he just went with his faith. Now, that isn’t science and I won’t attest to knowing that a horse has faith, but in this book Joey did. If there is anyone to follow in faith filled living, it is Joey. I want a faith like Joey’s.
Joey touched lives beyond just the ranch, have you been touched by an animal?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a beautiful hope necklace!! Find out all the details and enter to WIN at Joey Celebration Tour Giveaway.
Don’t forget to comment on this stop, for 9 extra entries to win!
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WOW! I’d very much love the opportunity to read this book. Thank you for your wonderful review and bringing this book to my attention. Appreciate your being part of the book tour.
What a wonderful review. I just finished reading and yes I ugly cried as well. We can learn a lot from animals. Such a great story that encouraged me to grow in my faith.