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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
The special bond between women and horses has a long history. In affluent suburbs and rural communities, the sight of a young girl whose feet don't quite reach the stirrups perched on a beloved pony is hardly unusual. Chosen by a Horse reveals one of these special relationships -- that of a damaged woman in midlife and her charge, a critically ill former racehorse named Lay Me Down.
Caring for Lay Me Down, a Standardbred mare, was no picnic. Not because of her temperament, which, much like the prayer her name calls to mind, was fairly docile. But her ill health required frequent visits from the vet, special feedings, and lodging sequestered from Richards' other, healthy horses. And the mare arrived with a companion; at her side was a one-month-old foal, a wobbly little creature, not quite as sick as her mom but a kicking, bucking, handful all the same.
Richards' early life of privilege had its advantages, but a lack of emotional nurture left her susceptible to the usual vices -- too much alcohol and relationships with men who didn't have much to offer. Licking her wounds after a particularly bad divorce, Richards loses herself in the discipline required of a horsewoman; the therapy that's most healing isn't the physical kind, but the patience and sensitivity she's shown by an animal who has known little love at all. (Fall 2006 Selection)