Melissa Weisser, the author of Spunky the Little Horse, a picture book which tells the story of her Shetland pony, seeks to teach children the importance of sticking to their dreams until they become reality.
“Children need to feel strong and encouraged to follow their dreams and make sure that they happen, letting nothing stand in their way,” Weisser says.
Spunky’s story is certainly inspiring. Originally, he was owned by an Amish farmer who intended to train him to pull a cart. However, Spunky would have none of it, so his first family decided he needed a new home. “The farmer told us, ‘He really stands up to his name. He’s so spunky, he won’t let us put a bit on him,’” Weisser recalls.
Although he refused a bit, he was perfect for Weisser’s daughter, Grayson, as a 4-H project. “He’s really a beautiful pony,” Weisser says. “He’s a sweet, adorable, loveable little pony that anyone can relate to. He’s so laid back.”
Almost immediately, Spunky was launched into the world of 4-H fairs, and there he found his stride. At his first fair, he earned a champion and a grand champion rating in different classes.
“He didn’t have the bloodlines or anything to be a show pony, but we said, ‘we’re going to take him anyway,’” Weisser explains. “That’s why I felt so inspired by Spunky. He didn’t want to be a workhorse. He was meant to be a show pony. He was strong and courageous and followed his dream.”
Over the next several years, Spunky never ceased to charm judges and spectators alike, earning several trophies in the process.
“Animals know when they’re beautiful. It’s really weird,” Weisser says. “They know they have what it takes when they’re being judged. He still lives up to his name. People still adore him.”
Although he has retired from the show ring, he still keeps up an active social life, attending birthday parties, holiday festivities, volunteer opportunities and fundraisers. He’s even been in a commercial. What’s more, retirement suits Spunky, who thoroughly enjoys being a socialite.
This little horse with a big personality has become an inspiring role model.
“He has a lot to show children. Not only does he follow his dream and makes it happen, but he also does volunteer work,” Weisser says.
It was this that ultimately inspired her to write a children’s book.
It was a long journey, and one that has been met with as much success as Spunky’s 4-H career. “It took me six years to write it, but I started and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to finish it and get it out there,’” Weisser says. “Several people have told me that they love it. It’s a sweet story, and their kids really love Spunky.”
Now that Spunky’s story has been published, Weisser hopes that he will be able to attend more gatherings to promote the book, especially since the second book in her series, a 1-10 counting book featuring Spunky’s girlfriend, Jazz, is scheduled to be published in the next few months.
“I’m going to start taking him out to the community to different schools and let children get to know him. We’ll talk about following your dreams and being strong and courageous,” Weisser says. “Whatever it is, it could be small or large, you still can accomplish it, even though other people are telling you, ‘No, you can’t do this.’ You can do it. You just need to set your hopes and dreams and keep striving.”
Spunky is available to attend your next social function! Reach out to Weisser about his schedule or to learn about her self-publishing adventure by emailing her at email@example.com. Follow Spunky’s story on social media on Facebook and Instagram. Spunky the Little Horse can be purchased at Amazon.
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