Book Review: The Gift by Barbra Schulte

Purchase your copy of The Gift here or by clicking the image above!

Purchase your copy of The Gift here or by clicking the image above!

The Gift by Barbra Schulte is an inspirational work of literary art and a book for equestrians, horse lovers, and all people struggling to meet the demands of modern life.

The Gift is an inspirational collection of messages authored by Barbra Schulte, published in 2007. Schulte was born and raised on a Quarter Horse Ranch and though she most likely didn’t realize it at the time, began a lifetime of achievement and her career at a very young age. Her life’s work continues in the horse world, though multi-faceted. She holds title to many awards, including National Female Equestrian of the Year, awarded in 2000 and inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012. She is a Personal Performance Coach, a horse trainer, Author, Clinician, and Equine Consultant. She is a writer and a rider. 

Approached by The American Quarter Horse Association to write a column for their publication “The Journal” in 1999, Schulte wrote 72 personal performance articles for them during a six-year period, of which all are included in The Gift.  

Shortly after she started writing for The Journal in 1999, her teenage son Zane was diagnosed with bone cancer, from which he passed in 2000.  Writing helped her through the grieving process and, in turn, inspired her to write The Gift.  

On the front cover of the book, it states The Gift is “A Treasury Of Practical Mental Strategies To Empower our Riding”; Barbra explains it as ”life lessons learned from the back of a horse.”  While that may be true, this book is an inspiration for all lives lived, with horses or not.  It suggests that not only can we survive, but we can also thrive.  

While 2020 has manifested loss of life, loss of financial wellness, and changed our world as we know it, the messages in Schultes’s 2007 book truly empower the readers of 2020 to meet our challenges of today. Consider the following excerpt:

Define courage as the ability to summon calmness, focus, and confidence in challenges, paired with the ability to take positive, consistent action.  Being courageous is a learned skill.
— The Gift, page 2

Much like the scene in The Wizard of Oz, where the Lion – upon meeting the Wizard – says, “you’re right, I am a coward. I have no courage at all. 

In response, the Wizard tells the Lion, “You are a victim due to unorganized thinking.”.

Much like the Lion, we are sometimes a victim due to unorganized thinking.  Barbara Schulte gives us the tools in The Gift to learn courage.

In closing, Barbra also shares an awe-striking moment in her life where she was given the gift of peace in the presence of angels.  

The Gift is a literary work that truly is a gift to all who read it.  After a long, difficult year, it was profoundly inspiring and motivating. I am deeply grateful to have read it and crossed paths with Barbra.

In the holiday spirit, HRL will be gifting one lucky reader an E-book version of “The Gift”. Please go to our Holiday Giveaway page and sign up to win a copy of this inspiring read.  You can also purchase your copy by clicking here or the image above!

Barb currently resides in Central Florida with her three horses; when she’s not writing or riding for HRL, she loves to read and travel.