Sometimes you just need an easy, feel-good read. Came across this book while browsing at the library a week or so ago, and got it on a whim. Enjoyed it way more than I expected to. I thought a lot of the stories would be cheesy, overly sentimental or with a religious bent, but surprisingly few of those. Most are heartwarming, even the ones with sad endings. They’re all just a few pages long, so perfect for reading in small snatches or late to bed. Submitted by everyday people, they tell how many lives have been touched by horses, or vice versa.
There are stories of little girls longing for a pony, what a struggle that is, or a dream come true, or how the horse affected their lives in ways unimaginable. There are stories of the effort in treating an ill or injured horse, or caring for an orphaned foal. And on the other side of things, stories about people with illness or emotional loss who are helped by their companionship with horses, as well as equine therapy for children with special needs, or struggling teens. There are people in this book who keep horses their whole lives, even when trying to also balance work and family, but then bittersweet stories of kids who outgrow their interest in horses, so the animal is then ridden by a younger sibling, or sold when the kid goes to college. A few stories of reunions years after the horse was sold, really heartwarming. Also some about neglected horses being rescued and nursed back to health, given a second chance. And then a few that were just plain funny. Such a wide range of subject matter, all revolving around the horses (although I think there was also one story about a mule). None of them really leap out at me, thinking back over the book. Though I did note how widely diverse the personalities of the horses themselves were! Some are sweet and gentle, patient with everything or extremely hardworking. Others are stubborn, badly behaved, wild and untamed or simply mischievous. I did skim a lot through the section on horse racing- tried but those just did not interest me at all.
One thing the book introduced me to- the racking horse. I’d heard of Tennessee walking horses, but didn’t know what this actually meant- the pace they do when racking. Looked up a few videos of a horse racking at high speed, and that really is something else. Makes me think of a windup toy, seeing them move like that!
Borrowed from the public library.