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

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,693 Ratings  ·  758 Reviews
"A new chapter opens for Susan Richards when she agrees to care for an abused horse rescued by the local SPCA." "Her life has been difficult: her mother died when she was five and she was sent to live with unsympathetic and abusive relatives; she married unhappily and was divorced; she'd been an alcoholic. Now, at the age of forty-three, she lives with three horses who kee ...more
Audio CD, 5 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 02, 2008 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
Feb 19, 2016 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
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
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.

Dec 23, 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 24, 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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....
Jan 22, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it
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
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.
Apr 10, 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
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
Becky Norman
Jan 02, 2014 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
Mar 08, 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
Jun 26, 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 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
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
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.
Vannetta Chapman
Feb 08, 2015 Vannetta Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a lovely story of a woman's journey from a terrible childhood and disastrous marriage to healing.
It isn't "Christian" per se, but it is a wonderful story of the power of God's creatures to reach us in the deepest places.
I learned more about horses than I would have thought possible!
Very well written.

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
Melissa Martin
Apr 03, 2014 Melissa Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own


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
Nov 16, 2015 Katherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I really wanted to like this, but I just didn't.

The author jumped around a lot, and was really unclear. It went back and forth between the horse, her personal life, and then randomly into her past. I guess her past and the horse's past were supposed to parallel each other, but she never went deep enough into either. Other than being underfed and arthritic, we know nothing of abuse the mare suffered. And very little about the abuse the author suffered.

Her stories of her personal life just
Isabelle Herbert
Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards is a heartwarming and tragic memoir. Susan Richards is a forty year old women whose damaged heart and heavy baggage has left her introverted and untrusting. She rescues a former racehorse named Lay Me Down and her young foal, both are emaciated from poor care. Despite the pain Lay Me Down had faced she was still forgiving and kind. Lay Me Down teaches Susan to live her life with joy and happiness, as if she has never been hurt. The two develop an incredibly be ...more
Bell Hall
Jun 02, 2014 Bell Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chosen by a Horse is by Susan Richards. It was 248 pages long. This book has pros and cons. The con was that its hard to understand if you are not a horse person. I could read it just fine because i ride horses. That was the only con this book had. The book had many pros. One pro is the detail the author gives. She is in depth with describing injuries and pain. Another pro is Susan tells her story on the magic that can happen when you take the time to do something. Lay me down (the horse) is a e ...more
Madison Straatman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Breeze Reeder
Apr 29, 2015 Breeze Reeder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book very much for the way the author wrote it and the style she choose to write it in. When I first started reading this book, I did not think that I would enjoy it as much as I thought because it was about horses. I do not ride horses or know anything about them, so I thought that I wouldn't take pleasure in reading this book. When Susan was talking about saving Lay Me Down and her foal, she went into great detail and she showed how much she really cared about her hor ...more
May 14, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I purchased this book at a used book sale, because I have rescued horses in the past and wanted to read about another woman's success in rescuing this horse. However, this book was about SO much more than that - this is a story that truly touched my heart and soul. I bawled my eyes out more than once, and the emotion throughout the book was so strong it was hard not to become emotionally involved with the characters (especially Lay
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