The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Alya has left the cave and the clan behind and finds food in the form of a horse. Unfortunately, the mare has a defenseless filly. She cannot leave this baby to die. She takes the filly back to her cave to raise with a baby cave lion she later finds. As she raises these animals she learns from them and how to use them. As the filly reaches the right age, Ayla learns to ride and the filly learns to help her by pulling things. This last is beneficial when Ayla and her horse are out searching for food and herbs when they come across two young men..."others". One blond like Alya who is close to death; while the other man is dead. She buries the latter and takes the former with her back to the cave.
Of course the story is much more complicated than what I have summarized, besides the story line, the above does not cover the her learning as she gets ideas and tries things. The learning is a condensation of what and how people of her time may have progressed, such as riding horses instead of eating them.
The oral story is very well narrated.
Now on to the next volume! (What great fun!)