Saturday, November 5, 2011

47. "Chosen by a Horse" by Susan Richards

Richards, Susan. Chosen by a Horse. Orlando: Harcourt, Inc., 2006.

Chosen by a Horse is a moving memoir about Susan, a heartbroken woman in her forties, and the bold move she makes to adopt a horse with a past full of despair, abuse and neglect. Susan is woken up late one night by a call from the local SPCA in need of individuals to adopt forty or more horses from a Standardbred farm. Susan takes in Lay Me Down, a famished broodmare and her young foal. The foal and her mother are separated leaving Susan to care for Lay Me Down who was lame, very sick, and malnourished.

Equally malnourished was Susan’s own emotional health and spirit. In nursing back this gentle and trusting horse, Susan learns to love and trust herself. This new love of self leads her to make more courageous choices ranging from buying new lingerie, to sticking with Lay Me Down through her illness.

This is one of those books that is difficult to put down once you start reading. It is a little disjointed in terms of the timeline which was confusing, but the richness of story made it easy to let this flaw slide. Richards does an excellent job of defining terms for people unfamiliar with the horse world. She is able to draw readers in and profoundly illustrates how her relationship with Lay Me Down mirrors her past allowing her to heal and move on. We can all learn something from her relationship with this magnificent horse.

This is a must read for any horse lover, though I have to warn you: buy a box of tissues before reading—you’ll need them.

4 darts out of 5
Bookshelf Project Status: N/A (borrowed book from a friend)

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