Valerie Ormond spent the majority of her adult life as a Naval Intelligence Officer. The daughter of two English majors, and an English major herself, she always had a great interest in books and writing. Just prior to her retirement from the Navy, someone suggested she turn an idea she had into a book, and from there her second career began.
A lifelong horse enthusiast, Valerie has enjoyed bringing horses into people’s lives who may not have otherwise been exposed to horses. She is happy to have put over 100 people on horses for the first times in their lives, ranging from ages one through seventy- one. She believes in the healing power of horses and is a member of numerous equine-related organizations including the Maryland Horse Council, Certified Horsemanship Association, American Society of Equine Appraisers, National Capital Adult Equestrian League, the American Quarter Horse Association, American Horse Publications, Desire Ministries, and the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.
She was a mentor, counselor, and leader in the U.S. military for over twenty-five years. Her education includes a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Penn.; a Master of Strategic Intelligence, Defense Intelligence College, Washington, DC, and a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Mass Communication from Towson University, Towson, Md. She is a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans and the Naval Intelligence Professionals. She is also a member of the Millitary Writers Society of America and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
She lives with her husband Jaime Navarro, a career Naval officer, now retired and working for the Navy again in Maryland. Jaime is the proud father of his son, Paul, and daughter, Stephanie, both college graduates and making it out in the world on their own. Jaime and Valerie enjoy the company of their wonderful families and friends, their three horses, and three dogs.
Acknowlegdments (Or Why This is "About Us" and Not "About Me")
I have to begin by thanking my wonderful husband, Jaime, for his positive support, encouragement, and persistent patience with me throughout this process. He never once questioned me; he believed in me. Everyone should be so lucky to have such strength in their lives.
My brother, Eddy, provided sound advice based on his many years of teaching experience and creativity, enriching this book from a story to what will hopefully be a learning experience. He developed the wonderful Discussion Guides/Activities on his own initiative, which then led to our creation of Teacher's Tack for Believing In Horses - another great adventure!
I thank my mom, Flo, for her support, her editorial guidance, and for listening to me throughout this venture.
I thank the organizations that allowed me to visit and research to make realistic renditions of events in the book, Freedom Hill Horse Rescue and Thoroughbred Placement and Rescue, Incorporated. I was completely inspired by the dedication of these volunteers to help keep horses from seeing fates they shouldn’t see. A large thanks also goes to Loftmar Stables for too many reasons to list here.
I thank Martha Rhoades-Spivey, MRS Photography, LLC, for her spectacular photos, and Jaime, again, for his photographic talent, this time.
Finally, I thank my publisher, J.B. Max Publishing, for taking a chance on this unknown author.