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Chosen by a Horse: How a Broken Horse Fixed a Broken Heart

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  6,083 Ratings  ·  792 Reviews
The horse Susan Richards chose for rescue wouldn't be corralled into her waiting trailer. Instead Lay Me Down, a former racehorse with a foal close on her heels, walked right up that ramp and into Susan's life. This gentle creature--malnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infection--had endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seeme ...more
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published December 2nd 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 08, 2007 Sammy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-the-best
I cried. Not going to lie, if my mom hadn't been in the same room as me, I probably would have been bawling with a baby. Now I want to say why (it could have been happy crying, it could have been sad crying, it could have been both) so, you are officially warned that there are probably going to be spoilers contained in this review...

Chosen by a Horse is an amazing novel whether or not you're a horse or animal lover. It may touch those of us who have loved and owned animals a little more, but don
Sep 06, 2015 Nikoleta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Όμορφη ιστορία ειδικά για τους φιλόζωους. Έχει έντονες αρκετές συγκινητικές στιγμές που δυναμώνουν όταν ο αναγνώστης συνειδητοποιεί ότι πρόκειται για αληθινή ιστορία. Παρ'ολα αυτά με κούρασε η λογοδιάρροια της ηρωίδας όταν γυρνούσε στο παρελθόν και μας μιλούσε για το διαζύγιο, τους γονείς της, το πρόβλημα του αλκοολισμού κ.α. απλώς δεν έβρισκα το λόγο να τα διαβάσω. Νομίζω ότι για αυτό φταίει ο τρόπος με τον οποίο έβαλε αυτά τα στοιχεία στην ιστορία, απλά δεν τα έβαλε κάνοντας τα να φαίνονται εν ...more
P. Kirby
Is it just me, or are Friesians now the only horses who are allowed in movies or to grace book covers? The titular horse in Chosen by a Horse is a Standardbred. The horse on the cover, though lovely with its long mane and forelock, is a Friesian. (Or maybe a very dark Andalusian, it's hard to tell.) I guess Standardbreds aren't showy enough for book covers.

Susan Richards's writing is engaging and her descriptions of all things horsey, is dead on. But this memoir, nevertheless, falls short.

Nov 25, 2011 Terri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ruth Sims
Aug 25, 2011 Ruth Sims rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chosen by a Horse
Susan Richards

This book is one of my favorite forms of literature: a memoir. A well-written memoir is better than any novel, and I say that as a writer of novels.

From the back cover: ” …Lay Me Down, a former racehorse with a foal close on her heels walked right up that ramp (of the waiting trailer) and into Susan’s life.”
The author has three other horses and they are so individualistic and personable that they are real characters in this true drama without descending into Disn
Mar 07, 2015 Perri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I'm in animal lover with special passion for canines, but must admit, never understood the horse love. Richards has schooled me. Now I know horses have rich and varied personalities and can develop deep bonds with each other and their people. Richards shares her horrid childhood and personal defects with frank openness. She adopts an abused horse and its grace and forgiveness are an inspiration to her and to us. I loved this story and feel like I've lost touch with a friend-I want to know what h
Jean Poulos
Richards owned three horses when she responded to a request by her local SPCA to foster an abandoned, abused mare. The abused mare had arthritis in her front legs and rear hocks. She had been half starved and had many health problems. But, surprisingly, the mare had an affable temperament. The horse was named Lay Me Down. She got along with Richards’ other horses.

The memoir is well written and takes the reader on an emotional trip. The author had a lot of personal baggage, but it is the relation
I laughed with the author and cried for her pain and loss.
Dec 20, 2012 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly amazing book!The beginning, middle , and ending was all very precise, exact and if you are a horse lover it is a touching book! I cried before the book ended, the book is a memoir of the author,Susan Richards, so the feelings were not made up and knowing that someone actually felt this love and pain is so amazing. It makes it seem so real, and honestly this book may not look good but, if you have an interest in horses, you will love this book. It starts off slow but, there is a part in the ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about survival.
Surviving child abuse.
Surviving addiction.
Surviving loss.

About finding validation in another's eyes.
For an abused horse, who finally finds safety and for an adult woman, who finally finds value in herself.

It is a book about love.
Jan 11, 2012 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin


Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in, 2009, memoir, horse
This is an approachable and fast memoir that most any animal lover would enjoy. Susan Richards had a lot of baggage, but by the time she entered her 40s she regarded herself as an independent woman in control of her life. She had conquered the alcohol addiction that dominated her for decades. She shed an abusive husband and family. But when she agreed to take care of an abused mare and foal, she got more than she bargained for. The mare, Lay Me Down, had every right to hate humans, but she didn' ...more
Carol Stanley-Snow

A friend gave me this book and i was hesitant...but, once stared, i couldn't put it down. It's heartwarming, heartbreaking and so full of life!!

Susan Richards has shared with the world a beautifully written memoir that not only shows the bond between animals and humans, but, how those very same rescued animals can, and will, rescue us.

I was moved to tears and i thought my heart would burst with love and agony, all at the same time.

If you never read another book....
Feb 27, 2008 Adina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet story with sections of good writing and lucidity. Overall, the author allows herself too many repetitive moments of self-indulgence. Even a memoir should be allowed to unfold with subtlety and more "showing" than "telling." That being said, the ending is clear, creative and poignant.
Breanna Green
Aug 18, 2015 Breanna Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this soon after losing my first horse to old age and the relationship she wrote about with her horse hit home. For those who have never experienced it, words cannot explain it adequately, though she tries. In the end, I had to finish this book alone so I could bawl my way through it. A must-read for horse lovers and horse owners.
Mar 08, 2017 Loons rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horsie
Pleasant and dark, heart-warming. Too much back stories though, but overall a Lovely book.
Carlon Harvey
This book was pretty good and I would recommend it to some of my friends who are into reading animal books like this one.
Jun 25, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow....I read this well within 48 hours.

What a wonderful story devoted to the power of love. Lay Me Down enabled Susan to openly explore her personal history. In doing so this beautiful horse gave Susan the opportunity to work upon her issues. Lay Me Down in a sense gave Susan her life back.

I loved Georgia and empathised as to why Susan did and I have to confess that from the very start I loathed Hank.

I am currently saving for my own horse and cannot wait for the day that I begin the sacred sear
This is a bittersweet tale, beautifully written and edited. It had nothing extra. What may have taken a year or two to write, took just an evening to read. It exhibited, for me, a very affirming personality. A woman who'd knocked about (read: been knocked about) a bit, but who shows us the best of the human condition: love, integrity, generosity, acceptance, humor.

I loved reading of the horses, because she has such long experience handling them, and of Cornell, certainly one of the most beautifu
This book was a double edged sword for me. On one side, I thought the writing was fairly juvenile and some of her explanations of horsey things (like her 2 or 3 descriptions of a chest strap in a horse trailer) detracted from her story, as it seemed she didn't trust her readers to have IQs >70. I'm not quite sure why everyone is so taken with her "writing style" all over the covers of the book - it was average at best, and she is not someone I will seek to read again. And I'm not impressed wi ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Leigh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one, to be honest
Meh. This book felt disjointed and lacked a really strong narrative core. At first I was willing to overlook the questionable writing, until I read that blurb about the author on the back and found that she teaches English and writing at a college level. In that case, the writing was sub-par at best. I had a variety of issues with it:

1) She assumes that any reader who picks this up and doesn't know anything about horses needs to be told in parentheses that a horse's hocks are their elbows (not s
Becky Norman
Dec 28, 2013 Becky Norman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so didn't want to like this book; didn't want to condone the soft-hearted, tree-hugger anthropomorphizing that went on about how horses view their lives; didn't want to be manipulated into feeling bad for the situation of a sick rescue horse. Of course, my resolve lasted just as long as it took for the "real" story to come out. You know the one: the real story where horses have this uncanny way of unlocking the emotions we humans think we've so cleverly tucked away - the way we identify all to ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Fbeatriz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
Este livro, acima de tudo, mostra-nos como os animais, neste caso uma égua, são capazes de nos chegarem ao coração e ajudarem-nos a ultrapassar traumas e medos adquiridos por percalços da vida.
Lay Me Down é uma égua mal tratada e marcada por um dono cruel, sendo "adoptada" por Susan, que a leva para junto de mais três cavalos, cada um com a sua história e marcas humanas, após um pedido de ajuda, após ter sido retirada ao dono.
Esta égua, que tinha todos os motivos para ser distante e difícil, é
Much as I like horses--I used to show them and my first husband was a farrier--I just couldn't get into this audio book. The Book was read by Lorna Raver and I think her voice was OK but I didn't like the voice of the author--she was just a little on the hysterical side sometimes. Had I just read the book rather than listen to it, I may have enjoyed it more. The tone of the book regarding the way horses are handled, raised and cared for was right on the money, everything rang true. It was intere ...more
Nov 17, 2010 Sandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bios-memoirs, am-life
This is a memoir of a woman's personal transformation with the help of a rescued horse. It is interesting and pretty well written, with some very interesting 'asides', (her great grandmother!) and the fascinating manor house in New York state where she is a social worker... intriguing to me because of the architecture she describes and the stunning setting... so interesting for a halfway house from hell for so many of those she works with. Also interesting to me is that this is the second contem ...more

The book itself was about a 3 star read but the emotions it packed at the end gave me more. I just finished reading Seabiscuit: An American Legend and wasn't ready to let go of a horse story, my childhood obsession with horses was reignited (not an obsession now though just more of a wonderful fascination). So, as this book has been on my radar it seemed a perfect time to pick it up. A nice memoir but I was more into the connection the author had with the horse Lay Me Down rather than her p
The title leads one to believe that this is going to be a sad, tear-jerking story, so I braced myself going into this. Now there were a few sad parts since it deals with abused horses, but this was actually a very enjoyable read.

I loved the humor. It had me rolling with laughter. I did the audio and the narrator did a great job, which I think added to the enjoyment I felt. This did address a serious subject, so I appreciated the story, both the good and the bad. When nonfiction stories are seve
That we have to put ourselves in the other beings shoes, in order to understand their unmet needs and driving emotions. I guess you can just say emotions are one type of need, but just as real as thirst, or dominance. Two parallel lives here, who saves whom?
A good book to cry over. You dont usually deal with the gritty details of putting down a sick and abused animal. Richards gets a good review from Temple Grandin and I guess I needed that cry over my dog.
If you feeling that comfort in death s
Maria Jansson
May 19, 2016 Maria Jansson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that are easy to read, difficult to put down, and hypnotizing at the same time. At least if horses is your life.
I have too much in common with the author. It's almost scary. We both lost our mothers to cancer at an early age, dealt with violence in our homes, and some bad relationships - having horses as our lifelines at our darkest moments. It's not a dark book. It made me cry because it stirred up som many emotions, but it's really about choosing life, and learning to live
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