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In Service to the Horse: Chronicles of a Labor of Love
by Susan Nusser (Goodreads Author)
Behind each winning horse is a groom, the person responsible for every nuance of his care, his health, and his spirit. In Service to the Horse explores a year in the life of three grooms, all working with champion thoroughbreds. The profession is largely dominated by young women, who work for no glory but their love of horses. Nusser tells the story of a stud groom in the ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company
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In Service to the Horse by Susan Nusser is a great book about show jumping and other high-class horse competitions through the perspective of the grooms that dedicate their whole lives to these horses. It starts a little slow and takes a while to get into, but once you do, it is so engaging that you feel like you are actually there in the story as one of the grooms. Not only does it tell a good story and give lots of good information but it also teaches many themes such as not giving up on your ...more
This book started slow for me, but after a bit I was swept up into the worlds it portrays. There is some sadness, as the author discusses some scandals in the horse business. Having worked as a thoroughbred groom and on a breeding farm, I think the author's portrayal of the relationship between horse and grooms is very true to life. There is a definite attachment there, and the more you, as a groom, can "read' a horse and make him or her happy and confident, the better the horse will behave and ...more
Nusser's _In Service to the Horse_ is the one book that convinced me I would be just as happy working as a groom to horses as I would be riding them. The way she explores these grooms' bonds to their horses, delves into what the lifestyle consists of, covers both the grueling and the most loving parts of the job - it's enough to make anyone want to try one of the most taxing positions in the world.
A great book that gives the perspective of top competition horses through the eyes of the grooms who care for them. The book brought back memories of long days spent in breeding barns, hunter/jumper, and dressage barns making everything just so, for the comfort of the horse, not the praise from the owners. It also brought up some of the ugly things that can happen in the higher echelons of horse sports and the very reason I now keep a few horses at home in my own care without the drama.
were you a horse girl? read this and cry repeatedly even as you know animals shouldn't be personified to the degree the author is doing and also competitive riding can be hella fucked up. were you not a horse girl? there is nothing in this book for you, sorry.
In addition to Kentucky Derby Dreams, Susan Nusser is also the author of In Service to the Horse, which explored the bond that develops between competition horses and their grooms, and between that of one of Kentucky’s most valuable stallion and his groom. She has written about both the politics and culture of the human and animal relationship for Milwaukee Magazine and teaches writing at Carroll ...moreMore about Susan Nusser...