**spoiler alert** The journey that the author takes in "Chosen By A Horse" is at times filled with humor, happiness, pain and sadness. Anyone that has...more**spoiler alert** The journey that the author takes in "Chosen By A Horse" is at times filled with humor, happiness, pain and sadness. Anyone that has ever experienced the unspoken bond between an animal and human will appreciate the beauty that this memoir encapsulates. It is difficult to understand how an animal experiences joy and grief and the other emotions. Emotions are usually attributed to humans, but this memoir helps with the awareness that all animals with a brain are fully capable of having them.
Another quality present within the memoir is the language and voice and tone of the author. It does not take long to become accustomed to it. Listening to the audio book version, it was difficult to remember that the narrator did not write this book. The narrator suited the voice that I felt the author was speaking with. As a writer I was able to appreciate the humor and profundity throughout various points in the memoir. I felt as if I knew the character of the horse Lay Me Down. -------- From this point on, I will get into the details of what happens in the memoir, so this is the spoiler alert for those who have not yet read the book. -------- I find it fitting that the horse's name was Lay Me Down, in a sad way it describes the final moments of her life. This is not to say that it describes the fullness of her life, because she was a loving and grateful horse. The book talks about whether or not animals show gratitude and whether they are capable of understanding that they have been rescued, as Lay Me Down was. I think it's difficult to answer this question, much in the same way as it is to understand how animals experience emotions.
I believe, as the memoir shows, animals live in the moment and perhaps have no recollection of what their life used to be like--that is to say they do not contemplate the past. I think this provides an important lesson to us, although it's important to remember what has happened to you in the past, it can be difficult to move beyond a difficult time in our life. Susan Richards learned from Lay Me Down the lesson of not being afraid of the future, to learn to be comfortable with the person you are and want to be. Animals, when they do not have to worry about surviving, are capable of enjoying the sunshine and not having a care what happens tomorrow.
I think humans have a better grasp at death and what it means to be without life, but we do not know what it feels like to die. We can understand that we become the earth, but we do not have a better understanding of what happens after. Because animals, at least horses, live in the moment they are not worried about what it feels like to die. It is true that animals have survival instincts, but this is different than fearing death. Perhaps I will forget to not be afraid of what happens after life and death, but this book has taught me that it's important to learn from your mistakes. It has taught me that it is more important to live your life with your survival in mind, but to not be consumed by what happens after life.
"Chosen by a Horse" is about the journey many of us have with an animal and how it is full of moments of learning and joy and pain. It is truly transformative to have an animal in one's life; they are honest and patient (except perhaps for Georgia), they do not get angry--unless they are taught anger, they provide people with tremendous joy. For these reasons and many others, we have fallen in love with our animals and companions and this memoir is a tribute to what it means to be touched by an animal or as the title suggests, chosen by a horse. (less)