Interview with Janice Ladendorf

Published 2015-01-02.
How soon did you learn to love reading?
My mother always read books to us. My favorite was The Crybaby Calf. As soon as I learned to read, I started borrowing books from the local library. I used to haul them back and forth in a wagon. When I had exhausted their resources, I began to bike or take the bus to other libraries. My favorite books tended to be animal stories.

The more you read, the faster you can read. When I was nine, I once read eight books in one day. In college, my skill let me skim quickly through supplementary material. My love of books led me to a career as a librarian.

I still have the two bookcases I bought for my own collection when I was twelve. I had all the Marguerite Henry, Walter Farley, and Dorothy Lyons books. I still read whenever I have free time. My weekly average is one book per day. I read all kinds of fiction and non-fiction about horses, horsemanship, and history.
How long have you loved horses?
Ever since I can remember. We lived near the Minnehaha Falls pony ring and I began working there when I was eight. For a dollar a day, we gave children rides as we led two ponies around and around the ring. My father gave me my first horse when I was sixteen. Since then, I've always had one and sometimes two horses. My current horse is a Spanish Mustang I tamed and trained myself. He tells his own story in our book, A Marvelous Mustang: Tales from the Life of a Spanish Horse.

Soon I began working with an instructor as I explored the sport horse disciplines. After too much experience with the fashions and politics that go with showing, I decided to buy the type of horse I liked and train him or her in accordance with the ideals of classical dressage. I have published three books and many articles advocating humane horsemanship. My latest book on horsemanship is Human Views and Equine Behavior.
How soon did you become interested in history?
When I was about ten, I discovered shelves of diaries and memoirs about World War II in the local library. At that time, I also began reading historical fiction. In college, I majored in history and went through an excellent honors program. I learned a great deal about scholarship and research, as well as how to write historical papers. My first book was an annotated bibliography of source materials on the Sepoy Rebellion in India.

When I retired, I decided to write an historical novel. It has just been republished under the new title, Quest for the Silver Mustang. I still read both historical non-fiction and fiction. My special interest has always been in the history of horses and horsemanship.
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Books by This Author

Searching for the Real Frank T. Hopkins
Series: Horses from History, Book 2. Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 92,120. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Historical biography
Did you enjoy the Walt Disney movie, Hidalgo? Do you want to know more about the human and equine heroes of this movie? Do you want to know more about where this 3,000 horse race in Arabia went and what really happened? You can discover the answers in this new biography of Frank T. Hopkins.
Spanish Horsemen and Horses in the New World
Series: Horses from History, Book 1. Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 41,910. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Latin America / General
History and horsemanship come together in searching for the answers to the questions below. What did the Mexican vaqueros contribute to the development of western horsemanship? What kind of horses did the Conquistadors bring with them from Spain? What happened to the Spanish horses after they reached North and South America?
A Marvelous Mustang: Tales from the Life of a Spanish Horse
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 56,560. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
This fascinating memoir is the true story of the taming, gentling, and training of a wild and fearful colt through his first four years. Written from the horse's point of view, it takes the reader inside the head and into the world of a real Spanish Mustang. As he struggles to accept life with humans, he lets the reader know what he thinks and how he feels about everything we do with him.
Quest for the Silver Mustang
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,610. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical
In 1830, fourteen year old Lisbet McTavish embarks on a perilous quest to find true friends and the horse she rides in her medicine dreams. Her hidden heritage links her to the spirit world of our Native Americans. On her long journey from Virginia to Oklahoma, she meets thieves, river pirates, horse abusers, slave catchers, gamblers, and an epidemic. Will she survive and find her silver mustang?
Human Views and Equine Behavior
Price: $6.95 USD. Words: 59,730. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Equestrian, Nonfiction » Science & Nature » Animals
Humans need to see horses as they are, not as we believe or want them to be. An innovative approach to communication reveals new equine abilities and how our beliefs influence equine behavior. They also lead to many different explanations about how we communicate with our horses. A detailed analysis of the language of the aids and equine cognitive abilities gives us a new answer to this question.