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Stable Relation

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  204 ratings  ·  49 reviews
When most women go through a mid-life crisis, they start a diet, get plastic surgery, or have an affair. My life went to the dogs...and horses...and llamas... and did I mention happy hour with the goats?

My urban world came apart, so I took a leap of faith and crash-landed on a dilapidated would-be horse farm on the flat, windy, treeless prairie of Colorado. It was a place
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 15th 2015 by Prairie Moon Press
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the dedication to the final sentence, I was captivated and inspired. In "Full Moon Over Broken Glass," I feel as if I'm right there on the porch, exhausted from the first day of work much harder than imagined in that first place of your very own. In "Dogs to the Rescue" we are introduced to a timid rescued doberman and a cattle dog who lives up to his lofty name of Hero. Anna's insight into animal personalities (animalities?) is incredible. I really feel like I've met all these characters. ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all animal lovers, midlife crisis, dysfunctional upbringing, healing
When friends ask me why I like to read memoirs I usually say it's because I'm the curious sort. Perhaps that's just another way of saying I'm nosy, but there you have it. I like to read about how other people have navigated the challenges they've met in life. Because we all have them, you know. Some memoirs do a great job of telling you about everything that went right or wrong, but fail to really explore the nuts and bolts of the journey. That's not a criticism; everyone tells their story their ...more
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm on my 2nd reading of this memoir, Stable Relation by Anna Blake. I loved it that much! Each tangy chapter is written with wit and insight as the author shares her life's lessons learned while growing up in a dysfunctional farming family, to her successful urban career, and then drawn back to farm life, shared with a delightful cast of critters along the way. It's a must-read for any hard working woman who has experienced life's hard knocks and pulled herself up by her own bootstraps. It's an ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When reading a book, if you're still tasting the salt of your tears as you snort through a laugh, it's a good sign that you've found a book that has captured the true essence of the human experience.

I devoured Blake's riveting memoir in one day (and frankly, i had a lot of other important things that I should have been doing). I began the first chapter as I was on a mountain highway waiting for a rock pile to be cleared off the road. I think it was the first time in history that I was disappoin
Jane Clancy
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. I wanted to read it very slowly: make it last, take in every drop of bravery, fear, love, humor, humility, reality and excellent writing. I had to make a bargain with myself that I would read it again instead. Stable Relation may have to be billed as memoir (it is a memoir), but it reads like a great novel. It is, quite simply, stellar. This is a book for anyone who has ever succeeded, struggled, fallen short, dragged themselves forward, and let themselves be sust ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Through GoodReads I was sent this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Stable Relation is the true account of one middle-aged woman, who after a divorce, death of her parents, (who at best provided her with a dysfunctional home life), abandoned her city life after buying a dilapidated farm in Colorado. Describing the would-be horse farm as dilapidated is no exaggeration. For example, “there’s no need to worry “about locking the back porch, because the door was missing.”

Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had long awaited the arrival of this book with high expectations, and yet I was still completely blown away by it. If you have ever been lucky enough to owe a debt of gratitude to a good dog or good horse this book will hit you at your core. Anna's absolute gift of observation brings to life the beauty of the Colorado prairie, but it also provides brilliant insight, humor and honesty on the topic of the human species. She doesn't gloss over the pain of loss, but also vividly describes moments ...more
Melinda Regenfuss
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you like animals you should read this book. If you love animals Anna Blake will speak to your heart. She eloquently expresses exactly how I feel about the animals I share my life with. This book has something for everyone. From enjoying amusing and touching stories about life with animals to touching the soul of a a true animal lover. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I plan on sharing my original copy and buying several more for gifts.
Diane Alexander
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while you come across a book that stays with you; “Stable Relation” is one of those rare finds. And if you think, “I’m just not into horses that much, so this book isn’t for me,” you are dead wrong; it’s about so much more: life, hardship, survival, and love. In this skillfully written memoir, Blake deftly draws us in from the start. She interweaves her past and present life in a way that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can. This account of her life, told in kaleid ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrific for people, like me, who like animals better than people.

Early on, I wondered why Blake didn’t give a name to the realtor who helped her buy a farm. Then I realized that no people have names in this book, not even the narrator, if I’m not mistaken. The animals have names though, wonderful names like Spirit and Spam and Thisby and Ernest.

The animals are the central characters. In the early pages, Blake makes a perfectly reasonable life choice to buy a farm to give her two h
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the book! A must-read for any hard working, animal loving person who has experienced life's hard knocks and pulled themselves up by their own boot straps. A good horse story. A good story of human perseverance. Delightfully written with sensitivity and humor throughout. It left me feeling encouraged. I highly recommend it. ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful autobiography. A true reminder that we are more than our circumstances. That love and hope can heal and make a beautiful life.

Thank you for the courage to share yourself this way, Anna.
Susan Walker
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book really makes you think about overcoming life's speed bumps. The woman, Anna Blake, tells how she bought a broken down farm and takes the reader through tears and laughs as she lets you into her life. A very enjoyable read. ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I started by reading Anna Blake's blog. It is the only blog I get in my inbox and I actually read it every week. I think this book is for horse/farm people because it is easy to relate to Anna's ups and downs in her life and on her farm. It is very well written and entertaining! ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, one of my favorite books of all time. Anna's writing is so thought provoking, and it applies to life in general, not just horses and farm life. Great stuff. ...more
Cynthia T Parker
If you love horses and and animals...

This book is for you. Anna Blake eloquently describes all the deep love, feelings and lessons that horses teach us and give us. If you love horses, you'll get it. Her descriptions of all her animals is warm and funny and makes you wish you could have met them. I loved this book.
Natalie Lewis
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book - stunning and heartfelt, you are along for the ride and allowed into Anna’s world. You will fall in love with her animals and feel their connection. Just beautiful
Goele Lousbergh
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is her memoir, not a horse training book. Enjoyable read.
Carolyn Frith
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anna Blake's words drop with love for her animals. A beautiful book. ...more
Doris Raines
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What an amazing book! Anna and her animal family are larger than life!! I completely loved it and would wholeheartedly recommend it!!!!!
Jamie Stillman
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good!

I found this book to be very relatable and admire the author's strength and independence. Her writing reminds me why I love horses.
Emily-Jane Orford
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jane Goodall didn’t have the usual pedigree, the high levels of academic education, to qualify as an animal specialist, but she did have ability to sit back and observe closely. Her work with chimpanzees in Gombe, Africa encouraged many people around the world to look at the animal kingdom in a very different light. As Anna Blake writes in her book, “Stable Relation”, “It’s the human curse of putting intellect above instinct.” Jane showed us the ability to use instinct. Anna, following her idol’ ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honest, touching, inspiring, funny.....I love Anna Blakes writing
Story Circle Book Reviews
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
As soon as I see "midlife crisis" in relation to a book, I tend to shy away. I am so happy that I didn't do so with Anna Blake's Stable Relation, because I would have missed out on a truly wonderful read.

Blake writes — with insight, humor, and a fierce honesty that is refreshing to encounter — about her transition from being a Denver goldsmith with a couple of horses she rides in dressage competitions to living on a farm with a menagerie of animals. She shares soul-revealing inner struggles with
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jill Ker Conway says that autobiographies allow someone to try on another person's life and learn something from their struggles.

Anna Blake's life in Stable Relations is worth trying on, worth experiencing her struggles.

I loved it. I loved living through Windy, and Spam, and making my throat tighten. But we're reminded that the joy of any form of love overshadows the pain. And how important it is to just breathe. Always breathing.

I'm from Washington State and reading her book felt like reading m
Emily Gibson
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, this book may appear to be about one woman's close relationship with the animals in her life, and it is. It may appear to be about the courage it takes for a woman to start almost from scratch to build a self-sufficient farm on an unforgiving prairie, and it is. It may appear to be about the hurts that can happen when any creature is so young that they can never forget and never trust again until someone so gentle, so unhurried and so empathic, heals the hurt and it is.

But more t
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stable Relation is a book that went right to my heart. I loved it so much, I recommended it to several friends who all loved it as well and have since gone on to recommend it to others. Don't let the title and the cover fool you--this is not just a book for "horse people". This is a book for anyone who loves animals. Each story about Anna's relationships with the animals on her farm touched my heart, often made me laugh, and gave me a deeper and sweeter appreciation for the animals in my life. A ...more
Ginger Booth
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People who need people, aren’t the only people!

I was astonished to find a kindred spirit in this book. From the very first pages, where I was belting out the songs right along with the author, feeling with her that breakout emancipation of female middle-age 'crisis.' I’m not a people person. And unlike Anna Blake, I’m not an animal person, either, though my mother and son both are. But the validation she finds in horses and geese, I find in plants and gardens, marsh and woods and sea, and the se
Rose Santuci-Sofranko
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very moving took me through crying and laughing and every emotion in between. I would love to read a sequel to this. My only "complaint" about the book was that it jumped about randomly between past-future-and past a lot. Her sweet dog died in one chapter and two chapters later he was alive again. But, even with that I was able to follow it pretty well...and the book was so moving that it was worth the little "inconvenience" of the "jumping around". Thanks for sharing your, and your a ...more
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Anna Blake was born in Cavalier County, North Dakota, in 1954, the youngest daughter of a farm family. She is a horse advocate, writer, speaker, and equine professional, teaching communication skills and dressage to horses and riders of all disciplines. She’s the award-winning author of two books: Stable Relation, a Memoir of One Woman’s Spirited Journey Home, by Way of the Barn, and Relaxed & For ...more

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