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This follow-up to the surprise hit, Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul, brings to the page the adoration we have for our horses with inspiring, funny and tender stories.
About the Author
Jack Canfield is co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Hometown:Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:August 19, 1944
Place of Birth:Fort Worth, Texas
Education:B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
Read an Excerpt
Of Wind and Dreams
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in a manner so that when you die the world cries and you rejoice.
Native American Proverb
I could hear their whispers as we began cantering around the rodeo grounds after our number was called, "I can't believe she's riding that horse in this competition, look at him!" "There's no way she can place on that animal, no way!"
As if in tandem, still echoing in my ears, were the words of my guidance counselor the morning before, "There's no way you'll get into that Eastern college you've got your heart set on. No way! Your test scores just aren't high enough. Maybe a secretarial school or a community college . . ."
Monte snorted as if he heard their collective voices in the wind. Yet, as always, his head was up, proud as ever and so was mine, hearing a stronger, unwavering voice. If the truth were told, he wasn't the most beautiful horse in the world.
His huge workhorse body and thoroughbred legs made him appear clumsy and out of proportion and, for my part, I certainly wasn't a top intellect in the left brain way of being. Yet,
Monte had learned a grace that could only have come from sheer spirit and determination and, despite all predictions to the contrary, I was graduating with honors at the top of my class. So much of what we become is born on the backs of dreams or nightmares. Monte and I had dreams fueled by a fire there was no accounting for other than blind faith, a survival strength from birth that was kindled by those along the way who believed in us.
Monte was found by the river bank by my adopted uncle when he was a colt, barely alive, unwanted from birth. The same man befriended me when I was ten. He had given Monte to me and me to Monte. We were spirit mates, Monte and I, from the beginning.
The first place I had gone after hearing the guidance counselor's dire predictions was the ranch. Monte was far out in the pasture but heard the sound of my old Studebaker and was at the gate before I got out of my car. I met him at the gate, his halter in my hand, and tears streaming down my face. As on similar days in the past, clouded by the same predictions of my unworthiness, we rode hard and fast into the desert, leaving the echoes of voices behind, our spirits fueling each other, until the voices in the winds changed and belief returned.
Soon in the distance, I could see the familiar house of my adopted grandmother and grandfather, two elders who had given life to my spirit as if they had given me birth. The smile on the aged face of my grandfather assured me of my worthiness, "Look a bit down today, Sunshine. Looks like Monte brought you to the right place." His voice, as always,
followed me on the ride home, "Remember, Sunshine, no one will ever hurt your spirit but you. You are in charge of your dreams. Without dreams and visions, we will be paralyzed never knowing on which path to place our feet. You and Monte make believers out of all of them tomorrow!"
"No way! No way!" The voices in the wind followed us as Monte galloped faster around the ring. My butt firmly in the saddle, my back straight, the reins held just right, we smoothly turned into the barrels. Western equitation had been as unfamiliar to Monte and me as five forks in a place setting in an upscale restaurant. Far from the bareback rides across the desert we had cherished over the years, it was a large part of the scoring and we had mastered the rules and were making believers out of the disbelievers in the crowd.
Monte, now almost on his side, was racing around the barrels as gracefully as if he had wings touched by angels, not grazing even one barrel.
I glanced at the crowd as we cantered out of the ring and suddenly all I could see were the faces of my adopted aunts and uncles and the gentle nod from my adopted grandfather.
"No one will hurt your spirit but you, Sunshine,"
echoed in the gentle wind that kissed my cheeks and my spirit, "No one!"
Before the judges called out our score, one came over and asked me to dismount. "We need to check for rosin on your saddle, little lady. It's hard to believe you could ride that huge animal, your rear never leaving the saddle, without some help, which you know is against the rules."
"No rosin, judge," I replied, "Check for yourself."
Monte and I tied for first place that day and he looked as proud as if he had run for the roses and won. I finished college and went on to graduate school, never learning until I was thirty that I was dyslexic—not just an "under-achiever,"
as I had been labeled. I finished writing my thirteenth book a month ago; copies of the first two were sent to my high school guidance counselor. Although Monte died when I was in graduate school, not a day goes by that I don't think of him and all those in my life that believed in both of us. In some strange way, I also often recall the gifts of those who didn't believe, who served to strengthen both my determination and the voices in the wind that have always gently guided me, challenged me and allowed me to follow my dreams.
Table of Contents
1 On Companionship and Commitment
The Heart of a Champion Alison Gieschen 2
Abandoned Hay Kathleen Hooks 8
The Wonder Pony Lauren Thoma 12
Of Wind and Dreams Jane Middelton-Moz 16
B.J.'s Way Vikki Marshall 19
Strips of Ribbon Sandra Newell 22
Side by Side, Together Again Sissy Burggraf 28
Compassion, Thy Name Is Anna Fred Glueckstein 32
Dawn Magic Lori Hein 36
Found and Lost Tracy Van Buskirk 41
On Call Anne Hope 45
The Little Clydesdale That Could Dawn Stumm 50
Those Chosen by the Horse Valerie Shull 53
A Final Texas Sunset Jeanna C. Godfrey, D.V.M. 54
2 Horses as Teachers
Bending the Rules Janet Steinberg 62
God's Gift Mikkel Becker 66
The Will to Survive Carrol Abel 70
When the Student Becomes the Teacher Dawn Hill 74
Summer Treasures Jane Middelton-Moz 77
Horse D'oeuvres Lawrence Schimel 80
The Horse That Taught Me to Fly Marty Rice as told to Marty Becker 81
A Prince of a Horse Janice Willard, D.V.M., M.S. 86
Tough Decisions Barbara S. Greenstreet 90
Mr. Feelin' Good Tracy Schumer 95
The String Evelyn B. Hanggi, M.S., Ph.D. 99
A Bridge Beyond Heidi Bylsma 104
Hero of the Week Susan Winslow 108
3 Horses as Healers
Gracie Wendy Wade Morton, D.V.M. 114
A Mustang Night Cheryl Dudley 119
The Quiet Man Tom Maupin 124
Let Me Say "Thank You" Kim Morton 128
The Little Horse That Heals Leslie A. Paradise Jan Clare 131
Helping Hooves Jennifer Williams, Ph.D 136
A Gambler's Instinct Kathryn Navarra 140
Peanut Cooky McClung 143
Not All Art Hangs in Galleries Janice Willard, D.V.M., M.S. 147
The Winged Horse Joyce Stark 150
The Glory of an Imperfect Resurrection Linda K. Hren 153
4 A Special Bond
Sandy's Miracle Sissy Burggraf 160
Wind Spirit Katrina L. Wood 165
For the Love of Racehorses Merri Melde 169
Class and Courage Eileen Watkins 174
Dirty Trick Lawrence Schimel 179
Angels in Winter Therese Evans 180
The Fifty-Cent Ride Jean Stewart 184
On My Left Side Katie Reynolds 188
A Work of Art Renee Chambers 192
Finding My Way Home Melissa Dymock 195
A Friend Like No Other Jennifer Forsberg Meyer 200
Second Chances Stephanie Shertzer Lawson 204
A Procession for Kohen Sissy Burggraf 208
5 Just Horsin' Around
The Good Deed Amelia Gagliano 212
Oats in My Pocket Cindy Johnson Harper 216
Horse Laugh Teresa Becker 220
Easy Boot Bridge Vicki Austin 225
Begin with the End in Mind Marty Becker 228
Auction Madness Carrie Young 232
Kids Bounce, Adults Don't! Jan Westmark 237
The View Between My Horse's Ears Karen Bumgarner 240
Southern Spirit Janie Dempsey Watts 245
Therapeutic Intervention Nancy Bailey 248
Horse Mania-An Incurable Affliction Jacklyn Lee Lindstrom 250
Who Is Jack Canfield? 254
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 255
Who Are the Coauthors? 256