Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series {Book Review}

Horses in History Series by Mattie RichardsonThis fall, the girls began horseback riding, and they love it!  This has inspired a desire to learn about horses, so when The Homeschool Crew had the opportunity to review Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books, we were delighted.  (Horses and read alouds?  That’s right up our alley!)  We received Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series, and we really enjoyed them.

About Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series

All of the books in the series are told from the perspective of the horse.  They range from 60 to 140 pages long, and they’re intended for readers ages 8 to 14, though horse lovers may love these books no matter their ages.

For the purpose of this review, we received four books:

Day and Night

We’ve likely heard stories of brothers in the Civil War who end up on opposite sides of the conflict, fighting each other.  In Day and Night, two horses who are brothers, Tucker and Shiloh, end up in the same predicament–they fight on opposite sides of the war.  This book is the longest that we received at 140 pages.

Dusty’s Trail

This is the book that we chose to read first.  Dusty is happy living a quiet life on a farm with Levi, a young man, and his family.  However, Levi is yearning for adventure, so when he sees an ad for the Pony Express, he sneaks away at night with Dusty.  Levi becomes a Pony Express rider, and Dusty is one of the horses on the Pony Express.  This book was filled with adventure, and teaches readers about all of the very real dangers facing Pony Express riders.


Appaloosy follows a horse, Storm, owned by a young Nez Prince, White Feather.  Storm is involved in a battle and is sold twice before he finds another kind owner.  However, he’s then stolen by rustlers and must decide where to go when he finally breaks free.

Golden Sunrise

Golden Sunrise follows the story of Cheyenne, a horse who goes with her owner, Jared, to defend The Alamo.

Day and Night Enrichment Guide

We also received a PDF of the brand new Day and Night Enrichment Guide.  (Richardson is planning guides for the other three books; they are slated to be released by 2021.)

The study guide is targeted to the same ages her books are, 8 to 14 years old.  Completing the guide should take approximately 8 weeks.  Inside the guide, you’ll find comprehension questions, vocabulary, history, geography, brief biographies on the leaders of the Civil War, coloring pages, and historic recipes.

An answer guide comes with the enrichment guide.

How We Used These Books

We read Dusty’s Trail completely, and we’re partially through Day and Night.  We’re taking this one slower because we’ve been using the enrichment guide.

Our Opinion of These Books

I can tell that Mattie Richardson loves history, and her enthusiasm shows throughout the books.  We have enjoyed using the enrichment guide so far.  I can’t wait until Richardson has more; the guide definitely lends greater depth to the book.

We also enjoyed that Richardson writes each book from the perspective of the horse, since very few books are written that way.  I’d love if, in the future, she could write a book about a horse in World War I.

These books would tie in nicely to a unit study, especially since they cover major historical events:

  • The Pony Express,
  • The Civil War, and
  • The Alamo

You could also use them for a unit study on horses.  There are so many ways you can implement these books into your homeschool, though they’re also excellent just to read for fun.

We all enjoyed the book we read, and we plan to finish reading the rest of the books in this series.

Mattie Richardson's Horses of History Series

Author Mattie Richardson.

Keep up with Mattie Richardson via social media:


I was one of 55 people to review Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series.  To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Book Set: Appaloosy, Dusty's Trail, Golden Sunrise & Day and Night {Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books Reviews}

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The Best Gluten Free Dairy Free Thanksgiving Recipes

This post contains affiliate links.

The Best Gluten Free Dairy Free Thanksgiving Recipes

When you’re living with food allergies or intolerances, the holidays can be difficult.  So many seasonal foods you used to enjoy are now off limits.  You may feel depressed that you don’t get to eat some of the favorites that you loved.  I felt that way when I first had to alter my diet thanks to food intolerances, but now, our family has many tasty substitutes that we’ve come to love, which I want to share with you.  Here are the best gluten free dairy free Thanksgiving recipes we enjoy each year:

Allergen-Friendly Turkey

Gluten Free Dairy Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Of course, at Thanksgiving, the turkey is the star of the show.

Choose Your Turkey Carefully

We start with Mary’s gluten free turkey.  We order our turkey from Natural Grocer and get it a few days before Thanksgiving.  If you don’t have access to Mary’s turkeys, there are several other brands that are gluten free.

How to Prepare Your Turkey

We usually prepare our turkey by coating it generously inside and out with olive oil and herbs.  This helps keep the turkey moist, and it makes it flavorful.  This is a good recipe to follow for preparing a turkey with olive oil if you need more direction.

The Gravy

Once our turkey is done cooking, my husband puts all the juices in a pan.  I add about 3 tablespoons gluten free flour in a bowl (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour is our favorite) with some of the juice and whisk it together.  (This helps prevent lumps.)  Then, I pour that mixture into the pan with the rest of the juices and continue to whisk over medium to medium-low heat until the gravy is thick.  Sometimes I add salt and pepper and onion flakes.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

I’ve experimented with mashed potatoes, and if you also have a nut allergy or intolerance, try these mashed potatoes that I make with chicken broth.  The key with this recipe is to pour the chicken broth in a bowl after the potatoes are done cooking and gradually add back as much of the broth as you need when mashing them to make smooth potatoes.

If you don’t have any issues with nuts, you can use dairy free butter and unsweetened, plain almond milk.


We don’t stuff our turkey.  Instead, we making stuffing (often called dressing), and eat it on the side.  I’ll be honest, we like dressing, but it’s not the big star of the show for us, so I usually buy a boxed version like Aleia’s Gluten Free Savoring Stuffing.

If you want to make your own stuffing, this stuffing recipe would be a nice one.

Vegetable Sides

Our traditional vegetable sides used to be broccoli cheese casseerole, green bean casserole, etc.  Most of them had cream of something soup in them.  Obviously, we can’t make those anymore, though there are recipes for homemade dairy free cream of mushroom soup.

However, we find it easier to just make plain vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or green beans.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pecan Pie

A few years ago, we really wanted a pecan pie.  I found a pecan pie recipe that was allergen friendly–no gluten or dairy!  Even better, it doesn’t have any refined sugar.  Let me tell you, this pie is delicious!!

I cheat on the crust and buy Wholly Wholesome’s Gluten Free pie crust.  I find these at Sprout’s and Natural Grocers.

Pumpkin Pie

Allergen Friendly Pumpkin Pie

If your Thanksgiving won’t be the same without Pumpkin Pie, I understand!  This allergen-friendly Pumpkin Pie is delicious, but honestly, I don’t make the homemade crust.  I just use the Wholly Wholesome gluten free pie crust.

I know that many people say you can make your own whip cream with coconut cream, but I’ve not had any luck with that.  Instead, I use So Delicious Dairy Free CoCo Whip.

Being gluten free and/or dairy free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holidays.  With the best gluten free dairy free Thanksgiving recipes, you’ll be able to have a delicious Thanksgiving meal spread.  I bet your guests would never guess they were eating gluten free and dairy free if you didn’t tell them!

What are your favorite gluten free and dairy free holiday recipes? 



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