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Walter Farley's relatives were horse handlers and this story is based on the experiences of one of his uncles in the early years of the 20th century, when horses were still essential to transportation.
It is a fascinating look at trainers who coped with problem horses, making public perfornances of their taming feats. While "Bill Daley" of this story is ethical, an unscrupulous rival exploits the horses, their owners, and the audience members. Their conflict comes to a dramatic resolution in Madison Square Garden.
As always, Farley tells a captivating story. The historical background is vivid, enhancing the characters and their actions.
Although the story is framed by being told by the Black Stallion's trainer, Henry Daley, to the owner, Alec Ramsey, it is not an indispensable part of the Black Stallion series. Some readers have therefore been disappointed by it. That's unfortunate. The Horse Tamer can and does stand on its own as a YA novel -- and like Farley's other novels, can be enjoyed by adults as well.
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