A Horse Named Viking review by Telmar
A Horse Named Viking
Age Range - 8 - 12
Genre - Fiction

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 13
Reviewer's Location - Tallmansville, West Virginia, United States
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Horse Named Viking is about a Danish Warmblood colt, Viking, whose dam (mom), Carpia, was put down because she defended her foal against Ulrik, a drunken groom (stable boy) who attacked them. Viking was not yet weaned at the time, and after Carpia’s death, Viking stops eating and nearly dies. When he recovers he is sold by Kurt, his owner. After Viking has been passed through several owners and a top-class sale barn, he is bought by Anne O’Neil, an American Olympic/Grand Prix (the highest level of dressage) rider who bought him as a last resort. She has some trouble with him but generally gets along with the intimidating 16.2 gelding. They are later asked to be on the Olympic team and pass the try-outs.

Anne doesn’t like the new trainer, but she doesn’t have the funds for anyone else. She winds up traveling for several weeks without Viking, and when she gets back, Viking isn’t the same. He is unhappy and doesn’t have any of his old spirit, and this is right before the Olympics! Will he recover in time?



To be totally honest, I didn’t really think I would like this book when I first started reading it. I love reading about and riding horses, but there are actually only a few good books out there. Caroline Akervik’s A Horse Named Viking is one of those few. Akervik has ridden Grand Prix level horses, so her experience made this book well-written. If she has more books or writes anymore books, I will definitely read them.

This was a good horse book, although I found the beginning to be a bit slow. By the time Viking was attacked by Ulrik, I wasn’t able to stop reading. The only thing I didn’t like that much was that Akervik didn’t mention many dressage moves, really just the piaffe (a trot in place or a slow, fancy trot) and the pirouette (a circle turned upon the hind legs). She didn’t really mention the Spanish walk (that move in which the horse raises his forelegs high with each step) or the Airs Above the Ground, such as the courbette (where the equine rises upon his hind legs and leaps forward), the levade (in which the horse sets back on his hind legs and holds that position), or the capriole (a high, beautiful leap through the air). The Airs Above the Ground are more Spanish Riding School of Vienna style than Grand Prix dressage style, so that might be why they weren't used.

I would recommend this book for about ages 6-13, mostly for kids who like horses, but it could be read by anyone.

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