Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chosen By A Horse: A Memoir By Susan Richards

Click the link to read an excerpt.

Chosen by a Horse: A Memoir
This book was recommended to me by Joanne at Whole Latte Life. I ordered and received it a few weeks ago and read it in one day. It was one of those that captures and keeps your interest. At least, it captured mine. I couldn't put it down until it was done--having to take frequent blink breaks to keep my eyes moist.

Personally, I'm drawn to non-fiction, memoir--especially about women and horses. They're hard to find, (I showcased Kimberly Verhine's short-story The Blue Hour Before Sunrise this month)--if you know of any more--please comment on this blog post and share it with us.

Richard's memoir, Chosen By a Horse, captures her coming into her forties--a failed marriage, career changes, and coming to terms with having watched her mother die at a very young age and then being shifted around between family members. She has lived her life keeping people and relationships and love at arm's distance.

Unexpectedly, as she was not a person with a heart to rescue horses, per se, she finds herself responding to a call for just that--the rescue of a number of malnourished mares and foals. She adopts Lay Me Down, a gentle, trusting, permanently lame mare, and her baby, from the twenty the SPCA has rescued.

From that point forward she is stretched beyond her comfort zone, giving more and more of her love and devotion to an animal who may die and leave her grieving, as her mother had done when she was a young girl.

Through the experience, she also gathers up courage to give dating and the possibility of romanatic love another chance. Her memoir takes us through those first awkward, icky steps of the dating "game"--which she makes seem pretty funny. (You've got to feel a little sorry for whoever "Hank" really is--the allergic-to-all-animals-including-horses, hates-to-read-books, eats-your-dinner-before-you-do nightmare of a guy).

Whether or not you're a horse person, you'll probably love this book. It's mostly a book about taking chances after you've been hurt, and possibly and probably being hurt again and again, as part of really living.


  1. I read this book as well. What did you think of Georgia? What a spoiled brat! lol Poor Lay Me Down I figured it was going to have a sad ending but I was hoping it was going to be different. What a sweet horse. I liked how she loaded herself right into the trialer with her foal. Like she knew she would get a good home and that they were meant for each other.

  2. Nikki--I agree. Georgia needed some serious discipline. The way she ran poor Lay Me Down into that barn and almost killed her--that's why I haven't let Beautiful out with the others yet. I think I'll release her with one of the nice ones first.

    I do think the way Lay Me Down was put to sleep was how I'd want to do it--their last moments being peaceful ones. That's the way I put down all of my animals--in my arms.

    And, you know, I think all of us ask ourselves at some point--when an animal or loved one dies--is loving them worth the pain of losing them? When my baby bottle-fed goats died I was mad at myself for loving them so much because I grieved so hard--but--was it in the Benjamin Button movie I just saw???--she said something like when you grieve someone it makes you remember how much you loved them? I think that's it.

  3. I will put this on my horse book list. I keep a running list of books I want, or want to read anyway. Hope all is well at your house.

  4. Linda, I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down either, and it made its way through my whole family. The author beautifully wove her life with the horses, letting us all learn with her.

  5. I LOVED that book!~What a wonderful memoir to Lay Me Down! It really moved me.

  6. I know this post is from long ago, but I love the book: Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. She and her husband operate Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Central Oregon. Some of her stories are heart breaking and some are heart warming.

  7. I know this post is from long ago, but I love the book "Hope Rising" by Kim Meeder. She and her husband own and operate Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Central Oregon. They rescue horses and kids. Some of the stories are heart breaking and some are heart warming.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.