Friday, July 9, 2010

A Girl and Five Brave Horses

Do you remember back when I told you about one of my favorite movies from my childhood?  I had re-watched the movie via Netflix syncing through the internet and our DVD player.  On a sidenote, if you don't have this option, it's pretty nifty and I highly recommend it.  Back to the jist of this review though, I noticed either at the beginning or the end of the movie that the story was true.  This intrigued me, so I googled Sonora Carver... 

Mrs. Carver died on September 21, 2003 at the ripe ol' age of 99.  In 1961 she published a book accounting her life as a diving girl and later was there for the release of the movie, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, in 1991.  Though, Sonora Carver wasn't exactly thrilled with the movie...  I was surprised to hear this, obviously since I've loved the movie all this time.

You have to order Carver's book through a retailer like Amazon or Barnes and Noble online because it's not actually being published actively anymore, just on an as-ordered basis.  My wonderful fiance made the purchase and I received it just a few short days later.  I give you, A Girl and Five Brave Horses!

I have to say...Sonora was right.  About the movie, Sonora Carver was quoted as saying to her sister, "The only true thing in it was that I rode diving horses, I went blind and continued to ride for another 11 years."  Everything from how Sonora found out about the show, how she joined it, her love affair with Al, Doc Carver's's all incorrectly portrayed.  Sonora had a sister that dived with her...never spoken of in the movie. ::sigh::

A Girl and Five Brave Horses was very informative and I really enjoyed it.  It does not read like a novel, so if you pick it up please don't expect that.  However, I felt like I learned a ton about how this act was put on and how much work went into it.  Sonora is very emphatic in how she words things, no frills.  Everything is stated very matter-of-factly.

Not surprisingly, the horses have a huge role in how the act is performed.  Each of the horses in the act liked to dive, but each one had their own personalities and styles of diving.  It was up to the diver to "know" the horse and how to react to their different mannerisms.  Sometimes the horse would perform an extreme plunge, yet other times a regular dive.  Again, the diver was responsible for knowing how to react in each dive.  The type of dive chosen just depended upon the horse's "mood," I guess.  And when one horse died or had to be retired, a replacement was not easy to find.  It takes a courageous and skillful horse to do this.  The same goes for diving girls, it took a lot of gusto and courage for a girl to jump on the back of a horse as it's galloping by on an incline, then jump off the top with the horse!

If you really like this movie, I would encourage you to read this book too.  Not because I want you to enjoy the movie any less...I certainly will still enjoy it immensely...but, because this act probably piqued your attention initially.  There's a lot of informative stuff packed into this short read and I hope others enjoy it as well.


  1. Oh you know my love for this movie!! In fact I think that is how I originally found your blog! Ha! I wanted to read the true story so thank you for mentioning it.

  2. Oh wow...I loved that movie but now I feel almost cheated that it wasn't even accurate. I am definitely going to look for that book on Amazon. You have definitely peaked my interest!

  3. I haven't read the book nor seen the movie...which would you recommend first? You've sold me on this story though! It sounds like a great read!

  4. I love, love, love this movie...but I've never read the book. I have to add it to my list now.



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