Katlyn, a freshman in high school, has discovered the wonderful, exciting, challenging world of horses. She is learning that she has an affinity for horses and the skills needed around them. However, while riding a horse new to her, the horse bolts and crashes through the arena fence. Katlyn avoids physical injury but discovers that she is now terrified that she will be unable to stop any horse she is riding. She loses all confidence in her ability to stop a horse. She, who had never been afraid of horses or riding one, is now afraid— sure that she will be run away with again. To compound the problem, when her mother learns of the incident, she determines that riding is too dangerous and forbids further riding. Despite her fear, Katlyn knows she can’t lose horses from her life. They are too much a part of who she is. Katlyn loves her mother and knows that she is in turn loved. But she is beginning to recognize that while she is loved, she is not understood by her mother. Somehow, she must change her mother’s mind about not riding. She must also find the courage to overcome her fears. With the help of her best friend Cilla and her instructor, she embarks on the journey to re-learn the skills she has lost, to find the joy of riding again, and become the equestrian she knows she was meant to be.
Bolted was written because it speaks to a truth virtually all riders have faced at one time or another—fear. Horses are powerful animals with a mind of their own. Riding them and becoming one with them is a constant dialogue to convince them that you the rider will take care of them and tell them when their instinct to flee is justified. Riders know that at some point in their riding journey, the horse didn’t take their word for it and made his own decision- whether it was to bolt, or shy, refuse a jump or buck. And the rider went flying off! Whether that moment ends the rider’s association with horses or not is up to the rider, her commitment, and her courage. Her decision plays a part in the journey that determines the adult she will become.