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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

BOOK REVIEW: Susan Richards trilogy

I love to read.  I mean, yes, I am an English teacher so I TEACH reading (and writing) every day, but I still love to read regular old books that are not in the "canon".  LOL!  I tend to read more in the summer and winter, and this winter is no exception.

I have recently finished the third book in a "trilogy" of novels by Susan Richards. Overall, I liked them all, with the exception of the middle one.  Remember the following is only my opinion and you may disagree, which is fine!  :)


The first book Chosen by a Horse was fabulous.  Published in 2006, I want to say I read it a year later.  It is a wonderfully written memoir about how a starved and abused Standardbred mare named Lay Me Down helped heal Susan's own broken heart.  It was incredibly sad but also uplifting, and truly resonated with someone like me who has a strong bond with a horse.  I liked the Standardbred connection, of course, and I can appreciate any book that makes me cry.  This is a definite "must-read" for any horse person out there!  :)  The only thing that really bothered me was that the cover did not have Lay Me Down (the Standardbred) on it, but some random wild horse pic.  Fail.  I realize that she probably did not have a "cover worthy" picture of the horse, but still.



The sequel, Chosen Forever, was published in 2008 and was also well written.  But I will be honest, I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the first book.  I know that is common, but it was a bit of a let-down.  This one was all about how Susan dealt with her life as she began to heal (bad upbringing, bad marriage, alcoholism, and OH a best-selling book!  And a new husband!)  It was almost too "OMG-my-life-is-fabulous-look-at-me!" for me to really like it.  I mean, I admired all that Susan has been through in her life.  And I certainly admire her as an author.  But I did not need to pay $13.95 to read the book.  I know that it was probably not her intent for that to be what I got from it, as she does seem humble enough, but this book just didn't do it for me.  Plus, it had very little to do with horses.  :-(  And the cover was again, stupid IMO.  



The final book, Saddled, was published in 2010.  I just bought it after Christmas with a bookstore gift certificate.  I liked this one as much as the first.  It goes back to the beginning of Susan's life, with more anecdotes on her rough (and abusive) childhood, her alcoholism and her first awful marriage.  It clears up all of the things she mentions briefly in the first book.  It was a bit of going back in time, but I liked it.  It focused on her Morgan mare Georgia and how moving to a new farm and owning Georgia helped start a road to recovery and strong mental health.  But again, I wish it were GEORGIA and not some random horse on the cover.  Oh well.  Cover fail times three.  What can ya do?


Overall, I highly recommend the first and third books, especially for a horse person.  I felt like I could relate to her feelings for her horse (though not so much to the terrible upbringing, alcoholism, or bad marriage.....but still).  Reading about how she struggled and relied on her horse was much more interesting than the middle book all about how perfect! everything turned out.  I am not sure if she will publish another one in two years.....but I cannot imagine what she might have left to write.

Comments

  1. Read and loved the first one.

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  2. Great reviews, thanks! I read the first book as an Advanced Reader Copy, so it didn't have cover art at all. It helped me make the "tough decision" when it was time for Story.

    I started reading the second book and lost interest...maybe I'll try the third book now. But I'll probably get it from the library, you know.

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  3. Read the 1st one and loved it. Refused to read the second one. Considering reading the third one...

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