SPAAW Review – The Yard by Grace Olson

Today for Self Published Author Appreciation Week I am featuring debut author Grace Olson.

I recently read and reviewed Grace’s new book The Yard and absolutely loved it!! Here is the information about her book and then later my review, followed by a link to an article recently published in Horse & Hound magazine.


The Yard – How a Horse Healed My Heart by Grace Olson

The comical tales of a new mum on her journey from post-natal depression to the dawning of her self-worth as she discovers adventure, friendship and the healing power of horses.

Join Grace as she battles her negative thought patterns and fears amongst a backdrop of eccentric characters, pampered farm animals and the glorious Yorkshire countryside.
Wisdom comes from unexpected sources leading Grace to a psychological and spiritual awakening of the true meaning of motherhood. While an elderly, opinionated pony teaches her how to love her daughter, a scary young sports horse teaches her how to relax and enjoy life again. Just watch out for the goats…

For fans of James Herriot and Ruby Ferguson’s Jill books, The Yard is a hilarious and heart-warming, feel-good read.

Amazon | goodreads


My Review

I was sent an advanced review copy of The Yard by Grace Olson – thank you Grace!

The Yard is the story of how new mum Grace gets back her self confidence after post natal depression, by returning to her childhood love of horse-riding. Grace struggles with her new role in the family changing to mother and glorified domestic help – she feels she has lost her personality to a certain degree, which I think is a feeling most of us mothers struggle with and can appreciate.

“It was a love for nature and the wider world. I had not felt this very much since becoming a mum due to the awful circumstances of the birth. However, just being with the horses and the rest of Valerie’s menagerie, seemed to be healing this part of me.”

Full of interesting characters such as Mad Mel in her pink tartan jodhpurs, Bossy Barbara, and the fearsome opera-obsessed livery yard owner, Valerie who sounds like a formidable old battle-axe, The Yard is compelling and difficult to put down. Grace has a real talent for storytelling and describes these larger than life people and the weird and wonderful situations in which she finds herself through her new horsey friends in hilarious detail. Goat wrangling inside the Edwardian manor house was one of my favourite episodes, as was the village flower fiasco. These tales read like something from a “Carry On” film and had me laughing out loud!

Having ridden horses as a child myself, I loved being reminded of various episodes from my own riding lessons – Grace mentions the exercise ‘round the world’ which is done on horseback and it reminded me of a time I was on a horse that bucked and ran off with me sitting on backwards, halfway through this exercise!

This humorous book is a little gem and I highly recommend it to animal lovers and anyone who has ridden horses or who has/is struggling with losing their sense of self after having a child.


Author Bio

Grace Olson is a mum, a massage therapist and an ILM level 5 certified coach. She lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England and is the proud owner of three beautiful horses.
Grace began writing during the first lockdown because she couldn’t do her therapy work but wanted to help entertain people. In a very short time she gained a large following on Facebook.
Her debut novel, The Yard – How a Horse Healed My Heart, is her way of adding a bit of joy to the world.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

4 thoughts on “SPAAW Review – The Yard by Grace Olson

  1. Nice review, I like that you have a personal story to go along with the book. Love this quote from your review: “I was on a horse that bucked and ran off with me sitting on backwards, halfway through this exercise!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading Grace’s book! I too was doing round the world, bare back on the lunge rein. Only for my sister to let go when I was backwards whilst my pony galloped of and she was on the floor laughing too much to do anything about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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