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See a painting of Shane by Karen Brenner.

Shane, the star of Shane’s Mane, and Nicole Marie, the book’s author, are featured in the book Beloved Horses in Second Careers, from Infinity Publishing.

Shane’s Mane

Nicole Drumheller Gargus

Shane’s Mane was written by Nicole Marie (originally published under the name Nicole Drumheller Gargus).

Pigeon Creek




What people are saying about Shane’s Mane

Editorial description: Orla loves horses. She helps Grandpa feed his horses every day. But Orla worries that she will never learn to ride a horse, or do anything else that matters — because she can’t even read a book! In the end, it is Shane, a gray horse with a long mane, who has the answer Orla is looking for.

Beautifully illustrated with more than 70 color photographs, Shane’s Mane is a timeless story of the adventure of life from an author with a firsthand knowledge of life on a small horse farm.

Shane’s Mane is a beautiful book, just beautiful, a joy to read, a pleasure to own. I loved the layout, the photography, the way the photos visually complemented the story, the interaction between Orla and her Grandpa, and of course, loved its finale. Shane’s Mane truly made me feel warm and fuzzy inside! A highly recommended, uplifting read and a keepsake of a book to treasure. Nicole Drumheller Gargus has done an outstanding job. I would love to read a second installment indeed! —Kristina O’Donnelly, Author and Journalist

Orla has experienced an initiation of sorts into her own potential. She has received a blessing from life via her dynamic experience with Shane. As a result, she has been transformed from a child into a more mature girl (though still young), one who is able to recognize and embrace her future as replete with possibility. —John Amen

reader reader

What’s the connection between riding a horse and learning to read a book? Everything in the world to little Orla, whose affinity for horses and their kinship with her lead her to a startling discovery and newfound self-confidence.

In “Shane’s Mane,” the first published children’s book by Nicole Drumheller Gargus, the author takes us on a delightful ride across a springtime pasture as her main character learns from her horse Shane just how easy and exciting it can be to put one leg before the other in an exhilarating journey toward personal fulfillment.

“Shane’s Mane” is sure to become a childhood favorite for years to come. And this is not the last we’ll hear of this talented author. —Frank D. Quattrone, Editor, Ticket, Montgomery Media’s arts-and-entertainment guide

reader reader

This book is a lovely story for every little girl who loves horses and wishes she could also gallop freely in her world. I love that learning to read is part of the story. —Barbara Rosoff, Equestrian Instructor, Director, Horse Power for Life

Nicole Drumheller Gargus will delight and inspire readers young and old with her tale of courage, her story of victory. Be prepared to have your heart moved and your life changed by the magical journey that is Shane’s Mane. —Robb C. Sewell, MFA

Growing up on a horse farm herself, the author combines her personal knowledge with a dream-like quality that is bound to delight readers — making Shane’s Mane a sure hit as the author’s debut children’s book. —Reading Jungle

Nicole Drumheller Gargus’s book, Shane’s Mane, aptly describes the time in every child’s life, when the need for knowledge and the consequent quest for adventure are always apparent. Mrs. Gargus shows the reader what it’s like the first time on a horse, the feeling of awe and being too excited to be frightened, using beautiful photography, and her words. Nicole’s book is a wonderful read for children along with anyone that would like to remember their first ride. —Gabriella Romano

I’ve just finished reading Nicole Gargus’ book. Shane’s Mane is a little wonder. You want to be a kid or think like a kid just because it’s marvelous. Life is precious and growing up is the most special time of life; that’s what Shane’s Mane is all about and Nicole Gargus captures the most essential moments: those moments of discovering how to do things (like reading and riding and so many things we take for granted). Friends (such as Shane) and senior members of our family (Grandpas and Grandmas) are an important part of our lives and being European I cherish these values in a special way. Thank you Nicole for giving us such precious little things we have almost forgotten about. —Antonio Paulo

reader reader

Shane’s Mane (“La crinière de Shane” en français) est un livre pour enfants ou pour jeunes anglophones. A travers ce conte perce indéniablement la passion de l’auteur pour les chevaux. L’espoir, la persévérance, l’amour de la nature et des grands espaces ou encore la confiance mutuelle sont autant de thèmes abordés ici. Une belle leçon de vie pour cet ouvrage joliment illustré. —Lorene Hermel

Shane’s Mane is a wonderful story that will serve to both transport and edify your children, as this is a book, from its opening pages, that manages the trick of being accessible without ‘dumbing-down’ its narrative for the sake of an audience in their formative years. Further, its enchanting pastoral theme is seamlessly complemented by photography (equine and nature) of a caliber not often associated with children’s fiction.

You won’t be disappointed with Shane’s Mane. By night your kids will dream of Shane cantering through Pennsylvanian creeks and meadows, and by day, they’ll yearn for you to take them horseback riding. That’s the spell that Gargus’s book casts. —Justin Ahlbach

Shane’s Mane immediately became my special book for many reasons. One of them is the fact that Orla is a character that I can identify with. Self-esteem determines absolutely everything in our lives: the way we act, see the world, work, make friends, set goals, find our life-partner, etc. And building self-worth starts from the moment we take our first breath so there is no time to waste. I congratulate Nicole Drumheller Gargus on her gift of writing — she was able in simple words to point at this very important aspect of being a human. I also appreciate that Gargus choose a grandfather to represent unconditional love, wisdom and courage — as there is no true and healthy self-confidence without those three values. The power of this book lies in its universal message. There are thousands of ways of being in this world and every individual has a task to find his/her own way — like Orla did. Great book — a beautifully illustrated story for little and big people. —Anna Dudek, Poland

Read more reviews at Goodreads.