Tara Carlsen wanted to help at-risk students learn without relying on stale, clinical teaching methods. Instead of trying to find solutions in the classroom, the mathematics teacher transplanted failing students from an alternative high school to a horse ranch. There, she encouraged them to reach for the reins, and she witnessed dramatic results. Students who could not relate to their peers or teachers could relate to horses-and suddenly their futures looked a whole lot brighter. Carlsen and her students proceeded to take an inspiring journey, learning the basics of horsemanship through equine-assisted learning-a therapeutic approach to interpersonal development using horse-related activities. After learning the basics, the students taught peers with special needs what they'd learned, drawing upon their own struggles and triumphs to help them achieve success. Punctuated with humor, heartbreak, and hard-won triumph, "Reaching for the Reins" chronicles the struggles and successes of these students over five years.
Fifteen-year-old CJ, while trying to adjust to her parents' recent divorce, must face the reality that the boy she loves has been involved in a school shooting. She gets on her horse, takes her dog and runs away from home to come to terms with the tragedy.
The lives and fortunes of two families--the de Clouets, aristocrats fleeing the French Revolution, and the Langlinaises, Acadians evicted from their land in Nova Scotia--and their descendants intertwine in French Louisiana