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Author’s book ‘The Naming of Horse’ imparts wisdom, unconditional love

Local author John H. Burton has just released his new book, “The Naming of Horse.” (Courtesy of John H. Burton)
Once you meet Horse, he’s hard to forget

We should all be so lucky to have a horse like Horse.

In local author John H. Burton’s new book, “The Naming of Horse,” Liv Booker and her mother, Lynn, and father, Tom, live on their Lazy H Ranch. Through twists and turns, a horse named Horse makes his way to the Bookers’ ranch – and into Liv’s heart.

And he can talk to her – and only her. Over the ensuing years, they develop a strong bond, and Horse (who later gains a real name) helps guide Liv into early adulthood.

Burton said the idea of the story came to him when he and his wife, Caren, spent a week at Bitterroot Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming, about three years ago.

Buy the book!

“The Naming of Horse,” by John H. Burton, is available at Maria’s Bookshop and James Ranch in Durango.

“After a few days of riding, I asked one of the wranglers how they acquired my assigned horse, Ebay,” he said in a news release. “Turns out, the horse was donated to the ranch after a kind soul arranged the adoption. Up to that point, my mount was largely ignored and under served. I went on more than one adventurous ride with Ebay, and that fired my imagination.”

Along with Ebay, Burton said he was also inspired by the family dynamic of the ranch – three generations of family members working together; an example of family values that struck a chord with him.

And while technically a book for young adults – Burton is a retired middle school teacher – he said the themes of family, wisdom and mentoring are ones readers of any age can relate to, adding that as a senior citizen, he sees the value in the wisdom older generations have that they can impart on younger people.

It’s also at its core a love letter to animals. Horse is not a character who will be easy to forget.

“I wanted to touch upon any person who has needed and found the unconditional love and devotion in an animal,” Burton said. “After reading my story, there has been more than one person who has approached me, with a glint in their eyes, reminiscing about that one extraordinary animal friend who, no matter the where or the when, will never be forgotten, and meant so much.”

Now that “The Naming of Horse” is in print, Burton said his next project is a sequel.

And for Burton, the opportunity to see his story come alive in a book wouldn’t have been possible without the help of others: “Their collaboration and willingness to work with an unknown author speaks volumes as to their community spirit, kindness and support. It is a spirit I’ve not often seen repeated elsewhere.

“I don’t have an agent, and so many authors struggle with that,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for the community and their support, I don’t think it ever would have been published.”

“The Naming of Horse” is available at Maria’s Bookshop and James Ranch in Durango.


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