I have always loved a good story. Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, if you have a good story to share, then I volunteer as tribute listener! Not surprisingly, I am a huge fan of the memoir genre, and author Susan Richards has absolutely captivated me by her three books.
Chosen by a Horse, Susan’s first memoir, was published in 2006, and I believe I picked it up at my local Barnes & Noble shortly thereafter. In this book, we meet Lay Me Down, a rescue mare and retired Standardbred racer. And even though Susan opens up her farm to Lay Me Down, it is the horse who does the rescuing. The horse has led a difficult life, but she is still sweet, friendly, and trusting, and she becomes an inspiration to her new caretaker. Quite simply, she changes Susan’s life.
Susan’s next memoir is Chosen Forever, and while it is less ‘horsey’ because all of her beloved equines have passed away by this point in her life, we are still regaled by her memories of them. This book takes a look at Susan’s life during the period in which she publishes Chosen by a Horse, which is a fascinating process. We also meet Dennis Stock, a handsome and determined man who is to become Susan’s husband.
Finally, we continue onto Saddled, Susan’s final memoir to date. Here, Susan takes us back into her past and explores the journey she takes with Georgia, her fiery Morgan mare. Susan had struggled with abuse and alcoholism for quite some time, but she didn’t realize that anything is truly amiss until Georgia comes into her life and puts everything back into place.
Below are two favorite quotes, both from Chosen Forever.
“The morning after Georgia died I woke up and I didn’t know who I was. During the twenty years she’d lived under my care, I was unaware of how much she had slowly become the defining symbol of my identity, of what my life represented. If I had to name just one thing, one essential truth about myself, to this day, it would be Georgia. She was, and remains still, the great love of my life. Not that she reciprocated it, but that never mattered to me. It was enough that I loved her, that her enormous, often difficult personality filled my heart every time I looked at her.”
“And just like that, horses were back in my life. Beginning that day, I started to remember who I was. I emailed my brother to tell him. ‘I finally understand who I am, what my purpose in life really is. I have been put here to take care of horses. I am someone who is meant to love horses.’”
If you, too, are “someone who is meant to love horses,” then I highly recommend you read all three of Susan’s memoirs.