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Horse Girls: Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond

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A compelling and provocative essay collection that smashes stereotypes and redefines the meaning of the term “horse girl,” broadening it for women of all cultural backgrounds.

As a child, horses consumed Halimah Marcus’ imagination. When she wasn’t around horses she was pretending to be one, cantering on two legs, hands poised to hold invisible reins. To her classmates, girls like Halimah were known as “horse girls,” weird and overzealous, absent from the social worlds of their peers. 

Decades later, when memes about “horse girl energy,” began appearing across social media—Halimah reluctantly recognized herself. The jokes imagine girls as blinkered as carriage ponies, oblivious to the mockery behind their backs. The stereotypical horse girl is also white, thin, rich, and straight, a daughter of privilege. Yet so many riders don’t fit this narrow, damaging ideal, and relate to horses in profound ways that include ambivalence and regret, as well as unbridled passion and devotion.

Featuring some of the most striking voices in contemporary literature—including Carmen Maria Machado, Pulitzer-prize winner Jane Smiley, T Kira Madden, Maggie Shipstead, and Courtney Maum—Horse Girls reframes the iconic bond between girls and horses with the complexity and nuance it deserves. And it showcases powerful emerging voices like Braudie Blais-Billie, on the connection between her Seminole and Quebecois heritage; Sarah Enelow-Snyder, on growing up as a Black barrel racer in central Texas; and Nur Nasreen Ibrahim, on the colonialist influence on horse culture in Pakistan.

By turns thought-provoking and personal, Horse Girls reclaims its titular stereotype to ask bold questions about autonomy and desire, privilege and ambition, identity and freedom, and the competing forces of domestication and wildness.

304 pages, Paperback

First published August 3, 2021

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Halimah Marcus

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 59 reviews
Profile Image for Nicole Wagner.
310 reviews11 followers
June 30, 2021
What was I looking for inside these covers?

I'm a former horse girl myself...aspirational, not actual. I collected Grand Champions horses (much cheaper than Breyer) and also I had a couple of cousins with access to horses. I envied and respected this wealth. This companionship with giant, sociable, warm animals, in green or muddy fields, on private backwoods trails and in splintery, hot or cold barns. I loved everything about horses. Even their shit. I cringed inside when I noticed one of my cousins' horses with a gnarly tangle in its mane. My heart ached to see how the horses would come when called, like puppies, with or without the presence of treats. I picked pieces of oat and molasses from grain buckets and nibbled.

I never actually outgrew this. I outgrew the toys -- in a fit of desperation I gave all of my Grand Champion horses to my grade school best friend when I felt her beginning to outgrow me. As I hit adolescence and my parents were able to leave me at home alone more, I saw less of my cousins and their horses. I never really had a personal relationship with horses, and my proximity to them gradually drifted away. It was all fantasy.

This book features a range of voices from various backgrounds, all who have "horse girl" in their resume someplace. It explores the murky themes of the horse-girl relationship: power, prestige, control, freedom. But while a few of the essays were especially poignant, like really deep explorations of coming of age, I was sharply disappointed at how few HORSE STORIES were here.

Like, I realize that serious writers consider anthropomorphism to be anathema. But these are HORSE GIRLS. Tell me about the look in his eye. Tell me about how gentle she was when she accidentally put her teeth on you. There were precious few of these moments here. They weren't absent, but I get the feeling that they were frowned on a bit in the editing. Lots of looking back at the past, not so much mindfulness about what it's like being around horses. What a letdown.
Profile Image for Becca Louw.
4 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2021
Can you not give half a star?? 3.5. Glad this book exists, I never thought I would read some of my oldest and truest and most uncomfortable horse girl feelings written on paper. Some stories are dull, but worth it for T Kira’s horse girl love story.
Profile Image for Terri M..
647 reviews79 followers
March 1, 2021
I grew up loving horses like many girls. However, I didn't get the opportunity to experience them beyond the rare trail ride I convinced family members to take while on vacation. In 2007, I started taking lessons. I wanted to be competent on a horse and around horses. I will admit, since I didn't grow up with horses, I haven't felt completely comfortable around other horse people. These essays made me feel seen. It's not about knowing the most about horses or winning all the ribbons, but understanding what horses mean to you, how they make you feel, their place in our lives and our history. Each of the essays touches on one or more of these points. Every essay was accessible and made me feel a part of the large horse community.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
3 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2021
I'm a horse. I felt this collection of essays by women about horses (descriptor which, taxonomically and/or biologically accurate as it may be, far from encompasses or defines me, as any identitarian syllogism tends) was upsettingly speciest. There seem to have been no actual horses consulted, and throughout, horses like myself seemed to be reduced to little more than romantic vectors of projection for the desires and ruminations of that other species mentioned in the title. Disappointing to say in the least. PETA will boycott, though that association of animal zealots have hardly themselves a better track record in the above-mentioned political fetishism, not to mention the literary analysis chops (oops!) with which to review these scribblings. Neigh, I say.
Profile Image for Christie Bane.
1,084 reviews11 followers
August 27, 2021
This is a collection of essays about the various ways horses were intertwined with the lives of the girls who wrote the essays. The book is “about” horses and the way they shape lives, but every essay also has themes of culture, family, belonging, race, gender, and other concepts that are both bigger and less interesting than horses. These essays are extraordinarily well-written (and no wonder, read through the bibliography and you will see these are some very accomplished writers) but a little too pretentiously literary for me to love them. The voices (both in writing and in narration) sound so similar that it’s almost like good writing training has edged out originality. It’s good, but not great.
Profile Image for Cheyne.
22 reviews2 followers
June 7, 2021
"If you were to lean in close and breathe deep, she would smell like heterosexuality, independence, whiteness, femininity."
As a horse girl, I was so excited when my dog walker dropped off an uncorrected proof of this book that they'd found in a book box near my house. Horse Girls is not like other "horse books", each essay is unique and offers a fresh perspective of what it is to be a Horse Girl. My favourites were Carmen Maria Machado's "Horse Girl: An Inquiry", T Kira Madden's "I Don't Love Horses", Alex Marzano-Lesnevich's "Hungry And Carefree", Braudie Blais-Billie's "Unconquered", and Rosebud Ben-Oni's "We Aren't Close To Anywhere".
Profile Image for Jacqie.
1,655 reviews80 followers
July 18, 2022
Three and a half stars, really.

This is not a book about horses. This is a book about horse girls, and there is a difference.

Most of the essays are about the authors themselves: what it was like for them to grow up and maybe grow out of (although we never do that, really) horses. What it was like to discover themselves and what it was like to be Black, be queer, be different than all the other horse girls. None of the authors thought of themselves as typical. Interesting, huh?

I was a horse girl and I don't think I was typical either. I was not rich and never owned a horse. After my initial lessons, I mostly learned solo and didn't have a barn of other girls to compare myself to. I showed at the small local shows, using second-hand gear, and the best I ever did was second place. I have a friend that I sometimes ride with (on her horses), or at least I did before several broken bones took me out of the game for years, but those rides are about as casual as you can get. Now I'm a bit worried about getting back on a horse. I'm older and not as strong and a bit more conscious about how easy I am to break. But I don't think I've grown out of horses; I have grown older and more timid, that's all.

No one talks much about injuries in these essays, but getting hurt is part of the deal with horses. You will get stepped on (that's the least of your worries), you'll fall off, you'll get run away with, you might get blisters on your hands and legs. It's kind of too bad that no one wrote about this, but then almost all these writers focused on when they were young. They don't talk much about what it's like to be a horse person as an adult, and that's unfortunate, because there are a lot of origin stories, but what about after that?

I liked best the pieces written by women who did talk about this. Courtney Maum talked about how she could sometimes move past fear and sometimes couldn't as an adult rider. Jane Smiley talked about her whole life around horses. Maggie Shipstead talked again about how riding was about overcoming or moving through fear again and again as she continued to be around horses. Laura Maylene Walter's somewhat famous piece on visiting Breyerfest (Breyers are model horses that many horse girls collect) was about looking back on your past self and being a bit uncomfortable with it and missing it at the same time. All very relatable!

Mostly, the authors used horses as a way to talk about themselves. What were they looking for that they found in a horse? I don't think most of them ever came right out and said it. Some of them did feel like they had outgrown horses, for good or ill. Some of them were more interested in talking about their own alienation or about how horse culture continues to uphold the white, blond, rich standards of female beauty. No horse boys here.

That's probably the other thing that I was after in the book and I didn't get it. What is it about horses that makes a girl fall in love? They are beautiful. You might think that you'll have a magical bond with a horse, but you won't. You might get lucky and have a special bond, though. Are they a way to feel powerful? Are they a way to feel free? Are they a way to discover yourself? I think for me, the last is partly the answer. I was different around horses than I was anywhere else in my life. There's a pragmatism and hard-headedness about horse people that appealed and felt familiar. I got to see how tough I was, how fearless I could be. I could learn. Really, when you're riding, it's just you and the horse. It's just what you do and what they do and how you work together, no matter if you are riding in a group or alone. That partnership with animals is unique to them and it was different than anything else in my life.

So there I go, talking about me. It's hard to get past yourself when you're talking about horses, and I think a lot of the pieces in this book show that. Just so you know if you're considering reading this book.
Profile Image for Mackay.
Author 3 books24 followers
August 12, 2021
I reckon I'm older than the contributors to this collection. None of their experiences echo at all with mine as a "horse girl," which most seem to think a pejorative term. (I had never heard it used in the way most of these essay writers do till I read this book.) But I clearly was one, worshiping horses from who knows how young.
I enjoyed some of these pieces and found several of the experience detailed fascinating but sad. But I do wonder...what was the point?
For me, horses are pure magic, and making a connection with another mind while riding well comes as close to exaltation as I have ever achieved. For me, it wasn't about Freudian substitution, competition (though I did compete), or any of the other tropes detailed in this book. It was about the animals themselves, each different, each beautiful, confusing, contrary, sweet, mean, and wonderful. People don't wonder why others keep dogs or cats or lizards... why stereotype those who love equines?
Profile Image for Natalie.
Author 50 books274 followers
November 15, 2021
Let me just preface by saying I'm a Horse Girl.

I'm a grown-up Horse Girl - we exist, we are many, we read, we listen to audiobooks while we muck our horse's stalls or clean our horse paddocks. As an author who specializes in fiction with equestrian settings, a lot of readers asked my opinion of this book, with its evocative title that seemed ready-made for our ranks.

That's what HORSE GIRLS isn't - it's not really a book for the grown-up horse girls who are looking for a read about their own lifestyle and struggles. I think it's important to say that because no one wants to sell a book to the wrong person, or recommend a book to the wrong audience. Everyone just ends up feeling kind of bummed out.


HORSE GIRLS is a lot of things - it's a collection of essays, after all, so every writer has her own take on the subject - and a lot of it is people looking back at their horsey childhoods, or sharing their experiences on what horsey childhoods are like from a non-white, non-cisgender background. All valuable, all valid, and all important, since the equestrian world is struggling with diversification and inclusion.

Riders who are interested in learning more about these challenges will enjoy this book. Former equestrians who are looking for stories from people who look back at their horsey years with a sort of conflicted but fond amusement will likely enjoy this book, as well. But in a lot of ways, HORSE GIRLS does feel a little too baffled by the concept of adult horsewomen, which is the prevailing sentiment in publishing. Good writing, but I'm a bit sad they snatched this title from our ranks.

I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Frederick Hopkins  Russell.
3 reviews2 followers
November 24, 2022
You were determined not to get bit.
But in a totally different meaning of the word, you were equally determined that your horse would accept one. Without a bit in his mouth, he wouldn’t turn, slow down, or stop when you wanted to ride.
Profile Image for Madelyn Pollack.
27 reviews
November 17, 2022
i would recommend this to any horse girl! very literary and cathartic collection of essays that address whiteness, heteronormativity, sexualization, wealth, privilege, and beauty standards in the equestrian world. favs were "turnout," "a racer without a pedigree," "daredevils," "for the roses," and "we aren't close to anywhere." also loved the intro- it put thoughts i didn't know i had into words. overall emphasizes that the horse-girl bond can just be about horses!
Profile Image for Liv.
316 reviews26 followers
April 19, 2021
God, what a stunner. I got approved to read this 3 weeks into a bad book slump, picked it up expecting to put it right back down again thanks to the wildness of ~life circumstances~ but was HOOKED from the first sentence of T Kira's essay. Following that one with Carmen Maria Machado's was a 1-2 punch of perfection.

The book bogged for me in the middle, to the point where I set it aside. These middle essays weren't as formally daring as the opening ones, and I didn't connect with their subject matter much (or at all). This is the frustration I have with anthologies, that hit-or-miss quality, but I suspect this is where other readers will find their favorite material, so. [insert shrug] I'm happy to report the book piqued my interest again with "Daredevils" and ran right along to a satisfying end.

Favorites include "I Don't Love Horses," "Horse Girl: An Inquiry," "Daredevils," "Unconquered," "For the Roses," and "We Aren't Close to Anywhere."

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for the ARC. Out 8/3/21.
Profile Image for Tori.
469 reviews6 followers
October 22, 2021
I can't even begin to fully explain how much I loved this book. The deep dive into how many horse girls don't get to become horse women or have a 10-20 year gap between the two identities was phenomenal. I learned so much about my younger self and it gave me hope for my future self. This quickly became not only a favorite book of 2021, but probably a life long favorite.
August 11, 2021
I tell my friends with children that it's good for a girl to grow up around horses; I think it's true. It teaches you about power--how to wield it responsibly, when you must let go. It teaches you self-possession and the ability to stay calm when you're afraid. It makes you strong...
Horse Girls
Recovering, Aspiring, and Devoted Riders Redefine the Iconic Bond
Halimah Marcus/C.Morgan Babst

Horses are a huge part of my family's life and Horse Girls was a perfect little book because it combines two of my greatest loves. It is is a compilation of essays from some big names in the literary world (Jane Smiley, Carmen Maria Machado, and Maggie Shipstead to name just a few) that aims to debunk some of the glamorous and stereotypical images of women and horses and replace them with real life experiences from horse women. Not women who ride competitively for a living, but women for whom horses have either filled a void, calmed a fear or healed a wound. Those of us who have been blessed to have horses be a part of our lives know that these animals have a power to do all of these and more and these essays bring those powers to life.

I am often asked how our daughters turned out so hard working and resilient and my husband and I always have a one word answer: HORSES.

This book is the perfect gift for the "horse girl" in your life. It will help you understand her devotion to these magnificent creatures and give you a unique perspective on a very special and hard to describe bond, one I feel the pull of every day.

"If we could entrust this planet to only one kind, I'd stake my life on the horses.
May they inherit the earth."
Last quote, but there are many.
Profile Image for Liralen.
2,849 reviews186 followers
November 12, 2021
Once a year for the last five years, I have taken this path, moved from this kind of day into this same muted space and then, the Coliseum. Each year I have ridden to win a World Championship in Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure, a division made up of girls under eighteen years old, and their Morgan horses, all of us outfitted for a hunt we'll never ride. We ride, instead, in circles, performing the commands of a disembodied announcer: walk, please, ladies, come down to the walk, reverse directions at the trot, canter please, riders, canter please. The most beautiful pair to follow these commands without fault wins. (Allie Rowbottom, 180)
I was never a horse girl—enchanted by the idea of horses as a child, yes, but with the clear sense that riding lessons were something for girls of a different class, that they would never be for me. My father and siblings and I went on trail rides a few times, in places far, far away from cities, and that was good enough.

And yes, the sense I get here is that riding as a sport—as it is practiced today—is something that is largely about image and class. Custom-fit riding boots costing hundreds of dollars, and time and money applied to the care and keeping of big animals, and travelling for competitions with no practical purpose...most major sports have no practical background that I know of, but it feels particularly striking here, where some of the competitions (see above) mimic something with a real-life application but in a way that is entirely divested of that application.

Some of the most interesting parts of the book connect to race, and to who thinks about race:
One day, because I’d been following some accounts connected to prominent Black travelers, I stumbled across photos from Outdoor Afro, a group of Black outdoor enthusiasts that included horseback riders. Besides photographs of myself, I couldn’t remember seeing images of a Black person on a horse before. (Sarah Enelow-Snyder, 136)
Our history classes also taught them [white classmates] that Natives were dangerous “savages” who were vanquished by our forefathers because they were intellectually inferior. We learned that the first “American Dream” was “Manifest Destiny,” the delusion, veiled as divine purpose, that Christian settlers were destined by God to expand across the New World. I’ve lost count of how many times children and adults alike have said, “I didn’t know you still existed” to my face. Off the Rez, I was either invisible or an uncivilized relic on horseback. (Braudie Blais-Billie, 173)
Not surprisingly, it's the non-white riders who have the clearest sense of just how much whiteness and privilege there is in this form of riding. Don't get me wrong—riding was clearly a financial sacrifice for many of the writers' families—but the level of awareness varies.

If I imagine riding horses now, it's a more practical version than this: Wyoming, or Montana, or Saskatchewan, somewhere that it has a practical purpose (and wide, wide-open skies) and doesn't culminate in competitions where your posture is judged. But then, I was never a horse girl.
Profile Image for Zibby Owens.
Author 6 books17.3k followers
January 29, 2022
This new anthology, Horse Girls, was inspired by the author's lifelong love of horses. The stories are penned by an impressive roster of writers, including Carmen Maria Machado, Maggie Shipstead, and Courtney Maum. The stories reflect how special the relationship is between women and horses. The book reveals the essence of a "horse woman," the equivalent of a tough cowboy who rides through injuries and has devoted their life to riding horses.

The stories show women on one side who are daredevils. On the flip side, it also shows fearful people drawn to horses because it's outside of that cage and almost therapeutic. There are a lot of authors in the book who revealed their attitudes towards competition and figured out how to enjoy horses without being competitive so they could find value in it.

To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at:
Profile Image for Amy.
33 reviews16 followers
August 2, 2023
Whether you're a horse person or trying to understand one, I think the stories in this book will expand the ways in which you think about our relationship to horses, ourselves, and each other. And as with short story compilations, some stories may speak to you more than others, but the collection as a whole is really great and flows nicely.
Profile Image for Lyn.
688 reviews3 followers
February 11, 2022
This is a truly wonderful collection of essays by women writers exploring their love of horses. Most of them were horse-riding children and teens, some at a competitive level, while others yearned to be horse girls and have only managed to be around horses in their adulthood. Some of the cruelty inflicted on horses in the name of "sport" is explored, plus the family privilege that enables a girl to become a rider and the heartache of selling your beloved horse when you go to college, grow up, leave home. But most of all this book is about love, connection with an animal and the sense of safety, recognition and healing friendship that comes from trying to understand a horse.
Profile Image for J. L. Linn.
97 reviews21 followers
August 4, 2021
This is a lovely book! It is a perfect read for horse lovers. The bond you have with a horse really is hard to put into words, and it is such a beautiful gift to have. My horse has helped me through stages of grief and healed my heart. I appreciate that this book isn’t your typical horse book. I really enjoyed this collection of essays as it explores beyond the cliche notion of what and who a horse girl is.
Profile Image for Jessica.
527 reviews43 followers
January 20, 2022
A collection of essays about horses, horse girls, the horse and horse girl culture, and riding. Made me want to get on a horse again even though I know I'd be unable to walk the next day.
Profile Image for Abigail Smith.
383 reviews
December 4, 2021
I feel like I only liked two of these essays. For someone whose life is so grounded in animal care, I certainly seem to have a hard time enjoying animal lit.
Profile Image for Thomas Stimson.
Author 6 books15 followers
October 26, 2021
I received a copy of Horse Girls by Halimah Marcus as part of a Goodreads Giveaway. The book contains a collection of essays by women who share the common bond of having been horse riders/competitors, leaving the hobby for a length of time (typically decades), then re-connecting with their love of horses and riding. The writers come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances but their love of horses and the connections found all resonate in their personal stories.

As a middle-aged man who has rarely ridden a horse and knows little of the nomenclature, I found myself captivated and educated in how horses and humans must learn to trust each other in order to blend as individuals into a single working unit for the benefit of both.

Yes, I had to look up terms like posting, canter, dressage, gelding and the difference between Western and English styles, but I am the better for it. I not only enjoyed the variety of stories and the messages they contain, I am gifting my copy to a good friend who is also a "horse girl" with the same general background as the authors of these wonderful stories. I know she will connect with this book in ways I can not, and I now have a better understanding of her passion for riding and owning horses.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to either re-live their horse-girl days or learn something new and wonderful about the connections we humans have with our age-old friends, the horse.
Profile Image for Sarah Babkov.
52 reviews4 followers
December 1, 2021
When I first started reading, I almost put this down. It’s a collection of essays, and I didn’t feel like the first few really resonated with me. Some of them barely had anything to do with horses! I am giving this 4 stars overall though, as some of the later essays (especially Jane Smiley’s!) were much better and focused more on the relationships we form with these incredible animals. As someone who came to riding later on, I enjoyed seeing a mix of experiences from those who grew up riding, those who came to it later, as well as a mix of western, English, and other disciplines.

I’d give it one to two stars based on some of the other essays though. I’m still confused as to how some of these essays were chosen to be included, as there was the vaguest notion of “horsey-ness” when the story was more focused on other aspects of the narrator’s life. That’s all fine, but the tagline for this book is about the “iconic bond,” so it was odd that many of the essays included… no horses? The Breyerfest essay could have been improved by talking more about her relationship with her mom and the horses they had together. I know the point of the essay was the odd festival that happens every year, but it felt like that could have been condensed or re-organized to focus on something more meaningful than people who are obsessed with collecting plastic horses.
Profile Image for Ann.
201 reviews
August 25, 2021
A good variety of essays in that they aren't all strictly about horses. Some are coming-of-age stories, some are slanted towards travel or adventure, a couple have dysfunctional family issues. Race and gender are issues inherent in the horse world and some essays address those issues.

The essays that are mainly horse focused really hit the mark as far as my own experience as a horse girl. Especially Jane Smiley's No Regrets. She talks about why letting horses be who they are is crucial to having a true friendship with them and how they are not our servants but our collaborators. And that they have opinions about collaborating with us. This rings true for me.

We horse girls can spend hours talking about our favorite subject and bore the hell out of non-horse folks. This book won't do that. Most of the essays are broad in their scope and I think there's something for everyone here.
Profile Image for Shannon.
10 reviews
March 29, 2022
Horse Girl is a collection of short essays/stories written by women that show the bond between horses and girls. Suprisingly, the stories where not cliché, which was what was expected, but ran a gamut of experiences and subjects. From a black barrel racer in Texas to a writer inspired by her research while writing a western novel to a Pakistani girl and what influenced the horse culture in her region, there is a spectrum of experiences in this book that almost anyone can relate to, even if they are not a "horse girl". Overall this book is well written and a fresh take on many equestrian style books.
Profile Image for Amber Estlund.
15 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2022
As a former (half) horse girl myself, and currently feeling the nostalgia of my horse days as an adult, I was delighted to find this collection and even more delighted to find so many diverse essays that reflected on the complicated issues of class, race, sexuality, etc. that are inextricably linked to girls who love horses and follow them into adulthood. Though some essays were a little dry, the collection overall was a thoughtful, sometimes provocative meditation on the girl-horse bond and the later in life desire to rekindle the connection with such a powerful animal.
August 15, 2023
Honestly, it wasn't what I was expecting. I originally would have given it a 2.5 stars, but I decided to round up.

A very carefully composed group of essays summarizing what it means to be a horse girl, of people who were horse girls (or still are), and the stereotype of being a horse girl (good and bad).
There were some essays that took a lot of effort to get through, but also some that were really thought-provoking and well written!
Overall, not a bad book by any means, but the writing style in some of the essays just didn't cut it for me personally.
Profile Image for ánh.
3 reviews
July 1, 2022
“Embodiment is a burden, a history, we (women) can’t escape; horses, valued or discarded for their bodies depending on situation and cultural mood, remind us of ourselves.”

Wonderful, and even at times heartbreaking, read. Explores issues of gender, girlhood, freedom, sex, and race in the framework of what it means to be a horse girl. My favorite essays were at the beginning and end, and I found the middle essays a bit less intriguing than others. Nonetheless, still a great 5/5.
Profile Image for piratesPencil.
269 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2022
As both a writer and a lover of horses, lots of this book felt almost eerily relatable to me. I really enjoyed the variety of perspectives - some stories more nostalgic than others, some more about horses themselves and others more about life experiences (both good and bad) as experienced in relation to horses. A good read for anyone who was (or is) a horse girl, and has complicated feelings about what that term really means.
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