Sylvan Loegering recounts his experience growing up on a farm and training a horse in his new book A Big Challenge for a Little Brother
Much like many NDSU students, author Sylvan Loegering had agricultural roots growing up on a small farm in rural North Dakota. In his debut book A Big Challenge for a Little Brother, he describes his experience of caring for a horse while his brother went away to the military. Later in life, he worked at the NDSU bookstore as a cashier.
This type of upbringing, he notes, made him into the person he is today. He cites helpful neighbors, large family, religious values, and high expectations for moral character, all of which served him well in his future endeavors.
“Most of what I do in terms of behavior stems from way back then.”
Although he lived a somewhat isolated life out on the farm, his neighbors were there for his folks when they needed it most.
After his brother left for the military, he was tasked with caring for a fiery and energetic horse named Rocky. Loegering was six years younger than his brother and had little to no knowledge of how to care for a horse; but he states, “The horse changed and I changed.”
The horse’s hot-blooded thoroughbred tendencies were a challenge, and sometimes put Loegering in physical danger, but through tentative work, he ended up training Rocky enough to take him into town.
The busyness and novelty of being a cashier at NDSU further proved Loegering’s ability to take on challenges and learn from them. By the second year, he was even able to train others on the system. He felt it was a rewarding experience and that he was being useful and not just putting time in for a paycheck.
Loegering always had a passion for writing, producing unpaid stargazing articles for the elementary schools in ND and monthly news reports, among other projects. He determined that he wanted younger generations to hear his story about farming in the forties and fifties and decided there was no better time than the present.
“People don’t know what life was like back then. If I’m ever going to share this at 84 years old, I better get it done.”
A Big Challenge for a Little Brother is a heartwarming tale that he hopes will trigger memories for some and perspective for others. The big takeaway can be summed up in his words: “Persevere. Dare to do. Think about the people you love. What would you like to tell them, do for them? Don’t wait and just do it.”
Loegering had a blast writing his book and hopes that others have the same joy when reading it.
A Big Challenge for a Little Brother is available for purchase through the NDSU bookstore either online or in-store. There may be more books by Loegering to come as he has a few ideas that would detail memories and experiences left out of the first book as well as his experience with a different horse.