Now available, Grabbing Mane is a novel about following one’s heart… however crazy one’s heart might turn out to be!
Thirty-something Casey has a perfectly adequate life. Good friends, loving boyfriend, decent job: she had it all. So why did she feel like she was missing something?
When a work errand takes her to the farm where she learned to ride horses as a child, Casey decides it wouldn’t hurt to take a riding lesson or two. Sure, she hasn’t ridden a horse in fifteen years. Sure, she’s been sitting a desk for the past decade, working at a marketing agency, peddling walk-in bathtubs and liquidation patio furniture. What about it? Riding a horse would be just like riding a bike!
(Spoiler: It isn’t like riding a bike.)
Casey’s about to tumble down a rabbit hole, on a journey that promises to change her life forever. Relationships will be tested, careers will be reconsidered, and an entire lifetime’s worth of emotions will get crammed into one sultry Florida summer.
Meet the Characters
Casey is just past thirty, watching the clock from her desk at a marketing agency where she’s writing emails destined for the trash folder. She spent her teenage years on horseback, but bowed to convention when she was entering her senior year at high school: she sold her horse, devoted herself to school, and went off to college without a single pair of riding boots. But she still smiles every time she thinks about horses.
Sky is young, fearless, and fully funded by her parents. She came north from horsey Wellington, Florida to this quiet corner of the Space Coast to try and escape her powerful mother’s shadow. Sky wants to run a top-notch stable, where good horsemanship and blue ribbons get equal billing. She’s having trouble finding students, though, and her isolated farm doesn’t get window-shoppers.
Brandon can work anywhere: he’s a freelancer who just needs a laptop and a secure Internet connection to work his coding wizardry. He’s been hoping for a while that the right job will come his way, one that satisfies his desire to make a positive change in the world. He’s never been around horses, but when his girlfriend announces she’s going to take up riding again, he instantly knows something in his life is about to change.
Gwen is a tween with the sort of riding promise that only a lucky few are born with, and a quiet, knowing way about her that relaxes horses and riders alike.
St. Johns Equestrian Center is a farm on the edges of the wetlands surrounding the St. Johns River – no apostrophe! – where the sunsets are magical but the mosquitoes are bird-sized.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying About Grabbing Mane
“What a wonderful debut novel for NKR’s new series!”
“Natalie has done it again and with all new characters! I loved getting to know Casey, Brandon and of course the lovely James! I especially liked the fact that Casey was just like all of us, bitten by the horse bug but having to make her way in the real world, with all the conflicts and confidence issues that haunt horse-girls everyday. Thanks for the introductions, Natalie, my literary horse friends are growing and I can’t wait to read more about them!”
“Relatable and extremely well written. Anyone who has been into horses and has walked away for a while will understand.”
“I loved following Casey on her roller coaster ride of jumping back into the horse world. Natalie Keller Reinert once again does an excellent job of portraying all the joy and turmoil that horses bring into you life. This story captivates you and leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to see where Casey’s horse girl journey takes her next.”
“I’ve always been a sucker for a good horsey novel. Natalie did a great job on this one as and as a rider through my youth and up into my late teens, I definitely felt a sort of kindred connection.”
Read the Introduction to Grabbing Mane
Whenever Casey Halbach thought about horses, she smiled.
Her parents had found this so endearing they’d taken her for her first riding lesson when she was just five, barely able to hang onto the saddle as the chubby lesson pony wandered around the riding arena at a bored walk. Thus Casey’s life-goal of being a horse-girl was achieved at a very young age; she rode horses non-stop for the next decade, with brief pauses to sleep and go to school and scribble out her homework.
After that decade, well, real life won out. Casey did everything she was supposed to do: she sold her horse, she concentrated on her schoolwork, she got into a good college, she began a sensible career in marketing, she had several unreliable boyfriends and one very good one, and eventually she wound up fairly happy, settled in the community where she had grown up, living in a rented townhouse with a nice guy who held a good job, and working each day at her very own desk in her very own cubicle in an air-conditioned office with blue-tinted windows to keep the Florida sun at bay.
And when a secret smile played along her lips, her coworkers didn’t know it was because she was thinking about horses.