Proud Spirit Books by Melanie Sue Bowles

All profits from the sale of the books go toward caring for the rescued horses at Proud Spirit and continued rescue work.

Liberty Biscuit

Does a family mystery stand in the way of saving Kip's
best friend?

Katherine Pearl Baker--"Kip" for short--is the only child on her family's rural peach farm. She longs for a pet to ease the loneliness. Unfortunately, her father has an angry opposition to all animals--horses in
particular. Why he dislikes them is a confounding mystery.

Hiding in the woods on the Fourth of July, Kip encounters a bedraggled donkey with one eye and a floppy ear. Immediately smitten and compelled to protect him, she feeds him biscuits and takes him home. When it is discovered the donkey fled an abusive owner, Kip's father finally relents, reluctantly allowing him to stay.

Kip is elated when her grandfather agrees to help her foster the donkey, who she names "Liberty Biscuit," along with two emaciated horses removed by the local sheriff from the same home, as the cruelty case goes to court. While caring for the animals, Kip's happiness is overshadowed by a shocking discovery in a trunk in the family farm's hayloft--a faded photograph of her father as a boy that reveals secrets long kept.

A court order to return the horses, and even worse, Kip's beloved Liberty Biscuit, to the owner who had starved and beaten them, throws Kip's world into turmoil. She knows she must find a way to keep them, or she will have betrayed the best friend she has ever had. But saving the animals means risking the complete unraveling of her family as she exposes the long-buried truth about a tragic accident and a hurt like she's never known before.

Hoof Prints; More Stories from Proud Spirit

Readers were introduced to the graceful heart of Melanie Sue Bowles in her first book, The Horses of Proud Spirit. In Hoof Prints, we learn more about the horses she cares for in her horse sanctuary, which has relocated from southwest Florida to the hills of western Arkansas. In the new location, the Proud Spirit horses run free on 320 acres of rolling hills, living the life every horse deserves.

In this book, you will meet some people who have no idea how to treat horses, and some wonderful, kindhearted people who open their lives to the beauty of these creatures with so much to teach us. You will meet Cosmina, a Romanian orphan who finds a kinship with these horses, who have also been abandoned. You will, of course, meet the horses—and two donkeys, one of whom can fly!—each one bearing a different scar, recovering at Proud Spirit in the warmth of the care offered there.

Meet Sammy, the big beautiful bay Standardbred gelding, who comes and goes and comes again to his final sanctuary at Proud Spirit. Meet Jesse and her baby, Riley, the first of a whole barnful of babies!

Learn how one dedicated trainer has found an alternative to the cruel practice of “soring” for Tennessee Walking Horses. Learn the ways of horse friendships: Meet big old Ranger, who eases Rosie from her mourning for Cracker, though it is finally Rebel and Gambler who invite Rosie to make a threesome of their twosome. Then there’s Indigo, a very wild Mustang, who finally decides he can trust Melanie enough to greet her in the laundry room.

The Dogs of Proud Spirit

What does an unlikely pack of stray and homeless dogs have in common with a certain herd of downtrodden horses? They were all lucky enough to wind up in the loving arms of Melanie Sue Bowles and her husband, Jim, the founders of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary. Melanie introduced readers to this extraordinary place of healing in her debut book, The Horses of Proud Spirit, and in the inspiring sequel, Hoof Prints: More Stories from Proud Spirit. Now Melanie graces readers once again with more unforgettable true stories, this time about the numerous dogs who have found their way to the Bowles’s gate and into their hearts.

The Dogs of Proud Spirit is a testament to the undeniable truth that animals enrich our lives. They give us — and teach us to give — boundless joy and unconditional love

“A moving tribute to the rescuers and the rescued and the world they create together – a world rich with characters and adventures, love, hope, and sanctuary.”
– Susannah Charleson, author of Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog

“When you read the writing of Melanie Sue Bowles you live the stories she tells. I’ve spent decades trying to lure folks into the heart and soul of our floppy-eared star Benji, and more recently into the heart and soul of a horse, but Melanie does it better than any writer I know. If you’ve ever loved an animal you will cherish The Dogs of Proud Spirit.”
– Joe Camp, creator of canine superstar Benji and author of the bestseller, The Soul of a Horse

“When you read The Dogs of Proud Spirit, there’s that comforting, homey feel of taking a seat on the old glider in the backyard, sipping ice-cold lemonade and being treated to wonderful stories of what it means to truly appreciate animal companionship. The world is a better place for the likes of Melanie and Jim, and their passion for what they do so well can be found on every page.”
– Dr. Nick Trout, author of the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Where It Hurts, and Love is the Best Medicine

“If you know her equine work – or her literary work – you already know that Melanie Sue Bowles is a patron saint of horse rescue. With this new book – a warm guided tour of the dozen canines adopted into Melanie’s home, and how they got there – we discover that this woman is also dogs’ best friend. An engaging, breezy read, but there’s nothing breezy about her compassion and kindness, which are so boundless that if I didn’t already know what Melanie looks like, I’d picture a giant heart tapping away at a keyboard.”
– Duncan Strauss, host of the radio show Talking Animals

The Horses of Proud Spirit

“This is one of the most profoundly moving books about horses to come along in years. The Horses of Proud Spirit is changing lives… of horses AND the people who love them. An absolute must read for any animal lover.”

There are approximately seven million horses in America. Each year, over seventy thousand are abused, abandoned, and fated to slaughter by callous and irresponsible owners. With a heart as big as a pasture, author Melanie Bowles takes some of these horses into her sanctuary called Proud Spirit. Here, horses that arrive listless and broken find a home where they finally know safety.

The bond between horse and caretaker does not happen overnight. It hangs by a fine thread of trust that the author earns with endless patience and a full commitment to the well-being of the horses in her care. The horses, some of which have suffered severe abuse, astound her time and again with their ability to trust, return the love they are given, and enjoy the companionship of other horses. You will meet a whole stableful of remarkable horses:

Dusty, a Thoroughbred who recovered from severe injuries to reveal a rambunctious personality and a knack for stealing hats; Maddy, an old mare, and Dancer, a gallant Appaloosa, both of whom had been isolated for years but whose ecstatic first acquaintance at Proud Spirit was, mysteriously, like the reunion of two soul mates;

Annie, a little sorrel mare who will break your heart with her weary kindness and who found peace and compassion, at last, under an old oak tree in a pasture at Proud Spirit;

Wrangler, a Miniature whose premature separation from his dam turned him into a tiny tormentor. His rowdy innocence helped Marshal, a huge Palomino gelding with neurological trauma, become playful and engaged as he educated Wrangler in horsy manners. Horses of Proud Spirit is an homage to the spirit of these alluring creatures and a moving memoir of lessons learned in compassion, strength, and loss.

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary
302 Clint Johnson Rd.
Wilkesboro, NC 28697

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Federal Tax ID #65-1103738
Your contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your support!