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Beyond the Homestretch: What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  499 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
In Beyond the Homestretch, Lynn Reardon shares an unlikely story. In 2002, she quit her Washington DC–area office job and moved to rural Texas to open the racehorse adoption ranch LOPE (LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers).

Since then, LOPE has helped transition more than 725 thoroughbreds into new homes. Though now the director of this high-profile organization, Reardon
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 17th 2009 by New World Library (first published 2009)
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Seabiscuit by Laura HillenbrandSecretariat by William NackIn Service to the Horse by Susan NusserBeyond the Homestretch by Lynn ReardonBorn to Run by Ann  Hunter
awesome horse books!
4th out of 36 books — 22 voters
Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Black Stallion by Walter FarleyKing of the Wind by Marguerite HenryA Horse Called Wonder by Joanna CampbellMisty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Best Horse Fiction
179th out of 273 books — 138 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 22, 2013 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: horse-books
A 2.5 star read. I love the idea of the book but spent huge chunks of it wincing and ringing my hands while this admitted "beginner adult" repeatedly stuck her fingers into a pie much safer (for horse and human alike) for an experienced and skilled horse person. As much as the author looked down her nose at the comparison, TB rescue is a little like pit bull rescue in that most are charming, social and just dying for a new job but they need dedication and a lot of bone deep knowledge. I write ...more
Jennifer L.
Oct 10, 2012 Jennifer L. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-nonfiction
I love to read and especially to read a good horse book! I enjoy passing along my finds so hopefully you will discover them as well. I will confess that I am a little partial to books about Thoroughbreds (maybe because I have one!). If you have any suggestions on books I should try, feel free to shoot me a note with the information.

I recently read Lynn Reardon’s book “Beyond the Homestretch: What Saving Racehorses Taught Me About Starting Over, Facing Fear, and Finding My Inner Cowgirl.” I thoug
Jan 02, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it
This woman acheived her dream and made it look so easy, just give my job up as an accountant and move into a house with room for a few horses, and start rehoming ex-racehorses!
Lynn Reardon was not even a horse expert, she was nervous of horses and still having riding lessons when this change happened !
These are tales of the horses she has re-homed and their characters and some of the characters she met along the way. It is a heartwarming story, but she seemed to get a lot of funding and there wa
Mar 21, 2013 C rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of race horses after they leave the track. I also admit that I have held some of the same prejudices about Off-The-Track Thoroughbreds, and this book definitely enlightened me.

I did have a few issues with the book itself. The typos and formatting issues (probably due to the kindle conversion) were irritating. Her story structure was also difficult to follow at times. Each chapter is named after a particular horse, and primarily focuses on that horse. However
Kelly Leonard
Nov 16, 2009 Kelly Leonard rated it it was amazing
Lynn is a dear friend so it's hard to be unbiased when talking about her new book. I've had the privilege of visiting her ranch outside Austin, TX and am in awe of what Lynn does with transitioning thoroughbreds off the race track and into new careers as pleasure horses. Her new book is destined to be a classic along side SEABISCUIT by Laura Hillenbrand and CHOSEN BY A HORSE by Susan Richards.
Lucy Prybylski
Oct 25, 2016 Lucy Prybylski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written and interesting story..

Good reading for horse people as well as others unfamiliar with horses. The author tells her story in a humble way as personal anecdotes from her life with horses. However she has made a major accomplishment saving the lives of hundreds of thoroughbred race horses.
Emily-Jane Orford
Oct 15, 2011 Emily-Jane Orford rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
I have a soft spot for those people who dedicate their lives to helping others, be they animal or human (or somewhere in between). I enjoy reading about their work, their successes and their failures, and the need for more recognition and support of the type of work that they do. Lynn Reardon's story is one of those stories that I enjoy to read. She writes in a very personal style, as if she's just sat down to tell the reader a story. It's a very interesting read, very thorough. In fact, I think ...more
Sep 26, 2013 Shi rated it liked it
I was excited about this book and sorely disappointed when I missed a chance to meet the author at our local Austin-area tack shop. When I finally read it I found myself really enjoying it and relating to her experiences - until Ms. Reardon likened herself to a social worker when she was communicating her self-perceptions of inadequacy and inexperience. :/

I am a life-long equine lover, horse owner (a rescue) as well as a social worker. There is nothing inadequate about being a social worker - in
Mar 10, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-books
A thoroughly enjoyable (and inspiring) book, even though, as a race fan, I'm probably biased. Reardon tells the story of her evolution as an accountant turned horse care-person turned horse trainer through stories about individual horses at her ranch. Reardon successfully manages to weave legitimate writing talent with interesting stories about what she has been through with her horses. The format can get a little bit repetitive (introduce horse and horse's problem, tell about a past time that ...more
Joseph Mccaleb
May 09, 2011 Joseph Mccaleb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horsemanship
I posted some comments on this book in my blog:

The final part is: The anecdotal texture of the book reveals again and again the extraordinarily special act of discerning true capacity. A horse’s huge heart makes her vulnerable to humans’ tendency to impose our own intentions on others. Even a mostly well-intentioned buyer looks for a jumper or a beginner’s lesson horse or whatever. Teachers, parents, and partners do it, too. Only a soul-centered lover loo
Oct 01, 2011 Marg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is organized into different chapters based on different horses Lynn has worked with. Within each chapter, however, are also stories based on her past experience - such as when she was still in D.C. as a working student or with other horses she is currently or has worked with in the past. It is not done chronologically. Part of me thinks it would have been better if it was done chronologically, however, having those past insights did enhance the work.

I did, however, really like all of th
Lynn Reardon beschreibt rührend ihre Erfahrungen mit der Rettung von Vollblütern, die nicht gut genug für den Rennsport waren oder sich verletzt haben. Die Pferde, oft komisch benannt und alle mit ganz eigenem Charakter, wachsen einem schnell ans Herz. Und schlussendlich wird wohl jedem klar: Vollblüter sind keine Monster, sondern einfach nur Pferde.
Außerdem macht Lynn Hoffnung, seinen Traum zu verwirklichen. Und dass nicht nur Profi-Trainer Pferdeleben retten können.
Ich habe selber einen Ex-Gal
Jennifer Nelson
Nov 14, 2013 Jennifer Nelson rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, 2013-books
This is the story of Lynn Reardon, an ordinary gal with limited horse skills who loved horses so much she was willing to give up her career to start a rescue operation for ex-racehorses. Along the way she learns much about horses and the people who love horses, telling her adventures with grace, humility, and humor. This was a very enjoyable book - I loved reading about each of the horses' individual personalities and got a good laugh over some of the crazy people who populate the "horse world." ...more
Jun 29, 2012 Rochelle rated it really liked it
This is a really charming book that showcases the best and worst sides of learning to take on something new, in this case horseback riding, as an adult. Extremely well organized into chapters about different horses, Reardon weaves into the descriptions of horse personalities stories about the humans and barn experiences that lead her to open her own adoption program. I would have given it 5 stars if I didn't reserve such status for classic type literature.
Nov 12, 2010 Abby rated it liked it
I am a huge horse racing fan, but I was not familiar at all as far as what happens to race-horses after their racing days, or what happens to the ones who aren't good enough to race. Reardon is a bold woman for taking in so many horses, even with her minimal knowladge or horses. I can totaly relate to being the clueless, utterly unexpirenced rider in a barn of rich riders with 10+ years of riding expirence. Great story, great woman.
Sep 18, 2012 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthrozoology
This was a glorious book about a woman who quits her DC accounting job and moves to Texas to rescue and rehabilitate Thoroughbred racehorses. It's wonderfully and casually written, just like you're talking to a good friend over lunch. She talks about the challenges she faced, the ongoing worry that she's not a "real" horsewoman, and the horses and characters she encounters. It's very enjoyable, very educational, and a fun read.
Sep 24, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
2 stars. I love the idea of this book. I love that this lady wanted to do good things for ex-racers. Having been in the racing industry myself since college this whole book make me shake my head, cringe and occasionally yell expletives (and I didn't even finish it!) because some of the ignorant stereotypical thoughts ad beliefs about racing and racehorses. I couldn't deal with it and quit reading.
Dec 03, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing
This was such an inspirational book. If you are a horse lover or an animal lover in general, you will really enjoy this book. It gives great information about the Thoroughbred racing industry and the sad lives many injured or unsuccessful horses face when their careers are over.

I think anyone would enjoy learning about the chance Lynn took by opening her rescue ranch. It's great for anyone who wonders if they are doing what they really want to do. It's about taking chances.

Stephanie Tracy
Mar 10, 2012 Stephanie Tracy rated it liked it
This was a heartfelt and inspirational story about a woman who dedicated her life to caring for and finding new homes for retired race horses. Lynn Reardon tells the story in a very funny and easy-to-read way, and it's easy to see just by reading this book that she loves what she is doing with her life.
Paula Johnson
Mar 16, 2015 Paula Johnson rated it liked it
I started watching the derby's a few years back and wondered what happen to some of these horses. I did a little research and found this book. I love how Lynn describes the horses and how they acted when they came to her ranch. Her and her husband take on a challenge saving these horses and I commend them for it.
Jan 04, 2015 Eventer79 rated it liked it
Shelves: horse-stories
I felt a little misled as many people told me this book helped them better understand retraining their own ex-racehorses. Instead, it is a collection of anecdotes from the author on her journey starting LOPE in Texas. Great stories and wonderful rescues, but definitely not a training assistance book.
Apr 26, 2010 Patty rated it it was amazing
Well, as I'm already under the spell of horses I am now thoroughly inspired by the dedication and determination of some people and their quest to live the life they really want...and amazed at how they figure it out. This book has really given me hope that I will again rekindle my relationships with horses and all I have to do is try.
Aug 02, 2010 Patty rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure if a non-horselover would enjoy this book as much as I did, but it turned out to be an easy, fun to read account of the author's journey to start a horse rescue for race horses. There were lots of stories and anecdotes to keep it entertaining while also giving a realistic view of what it takes to found a rescue like this and work with the animals on a day to day basis.
Mar 11, 2013 Carol rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals
Non-fiction about a woman's efforts to start a re-training and re-homing program for Thoroughbred who are no longer race-worthy, due to either injury, age, or lack of speed.

It's an enjoyable book, but I didn't find quite as interesting as some other horse rescue books I've read. The stories of these horses are not as varied as when the horses come from many different backgrounds.
Aug 29, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this at bedtime on my Kindle...and loving this from page 1. I'm done and didn't want this book to end. It was wonderful to read all about the Thoroughbreds and background of how LOPE got started. A beautiful person who followed her heart and the horses got blessed because she came into their lives. Loved this book!
Feb 19, 2011 Deb rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the author's honesty. She admitted she had minimal knowledge about horsecare when she started her rescue operation. I admire her for her fierce determination and self motivation in wanting to make her operation a success and to do right by all of the horses donated to her adoption program by their trainers.
Jan 11, 2010 Anya rated it liked it
A woman's personal account of her spearheading a racehorse rescue operation. The book is divided into chapters focused on specific horses, interspersed with anecdotes from the author's early horse experiences.
All in all an interesting read, that could have been improved by a more chronologically told story.
Jul 09, 2013 Susana rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, horses
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's well written, touching yet laced with well-placed humor, both a biography and a book of animal tales. Having learned to ride on ex-racing Thoroughbreds who found a second career as lesson horses, I have a love of the breed and an appreciation for what Lynn does. Great read for horse/animal lovers.
Jan 12, 2010 Sumiko rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's the story of a woman who moved to Texas and despite her lack of expertise founded a racetrack adoption/rescue ranch.

She writes about her experiences and the horses that she rescues in a very engaging manner. A quick and enjoyable read.
Jul 26, 2011 Bonnie rated it liked it
This one is a non-fiction book about LOPE, a Texas not-for-profit organization that rescues ex-racehorses and helps them find new homes and second careers. Definitely amusing, definitely heartwarming, and sometimes quite eye-opening. I'd definitely recommend it.
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Lynn Reardon, an engaging storyteller, is the author of Beyond the Homestretch: What Ive Learned from Saving Racehorses (which hit several bestseller lists in its first 2 months) and the founder and executive director of LOPE (LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers).

Lynns work has been featured by The Today Show, Horse Illustrated, Kentucky Monthly, Publishers Weekly, The Christian Science Monitor,

More about Lynn Reardon...

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