Synopses & Reviews
One day, at the age of thirty-one, Susan Richards realized that she was an alcoholic. She wrote it down in her journal, struck by the fact that it had taken nine years of waking up hung-over to name her illness. What had changed?
Susan had a new horse, a spirited Morgan named Georgia, and, as she says: andldquo;It had something to do with Georgia. It had something to do with making a commitment as enormous as caring for a horse that might live as my companion for the next forty years. It had something to do with love.andrdquo; Every day begins with a morning ride.
Every day Susan lives a little more and thinks about her mistakes a little less. Every day she learns a little more from Georgia, the kind of horse who doesnandrsquo;t go in for indecision, who doesnandrsquo;t apologize for her opinions, and who isnandrsquo;t afraid to be herself. In Georgia, Susan finds something to draw her back to herself, but also something to keep her steady and focused, to teach her about stepping carefully in unknown territory, to help her learn again about balance.
This is a memoir about the power of animals to carry us through the toughest times of our livesandmdash;about the importance of constancy, the beauty of quiet, steadfast love, the way loving a good (and sometimes bad!) animal can keep you going. Itandrsquo;s a wonderful story for Susanandrsquo;s (and Georgiaandrsquo;s) fans, and for anyone who has ever loved an animal enough to keep on living.
"Designed as a prequel to her memoir, Chosen by a Horse, Richards begins with the adoption of Georgia, the difficult Morgan mare who left such a stamp on the author's previous heart-warmer, and explores the deep, rehabilitative bond the two have forged. Georgia proves to be a feisty yet steady savior, giving Richards the courage to flee a bad marriage and beat an addiction. The responsibility she feels for her companion compels her to think beyond her own suffering and begin a new life devoid of old habits. Richards explores her transient childhood and unhealthy adult relationships, but these narrative threads tend to run wild, detracting from her main tale. However, a section on the death of her father is particularly affecting, when she shares her realization that she might face a similar untimely, solitary death. 'The word that kept coming to mind was waste.' Readers seeking the vicarious thrills they found with Georgia in Richard's earlier work might regret the back seat Georgia often takes here, longing for her storied personality to break in more often. Georgia may not be everywhere in Saddled, but she's never far away." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Uncover the power of animals to carry people through life's toughest times in this book about the importance of constancy, the beauty of quiet, steadfast love, and the way loving a good (and sometimes bad!) animal can keep one going.
The prequel to CHOSEN BY A HORSE, detailing how Richards met Georgia and her struggle through alcoholism
PRAISE FOR SADDLED:
"The unconditional love our animals feel for us is precious, but as Susan Richards so beautifully illustrates, it is the unconditional love we feel for our animals that can change our lives. This is an inspiring, life-changing book." --Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life
"Reading Saddled was like having an unflinchingly honest talk with a close friend about her struggle for meaning and hope. It took a horse to give Susan the strength to change. This book is a testament to the transforming power of animals in our lives; it was also impossible to put down." --Stacey O'Brien, author of Wesley the Owl
"Richards performs dual literary magic by giving us the history of a horsewoman retrieving her life from the bottom of the wine glass, and a mirror in which the sensitive reader will see herself again and again. I loved every sentence." --Melissa Pierson, author of Dark Horses and Black Beauties
"When Susan Richards needed one sane place to stand against the stresses of a crazy world, her Morgan horse, Georgia, was there to show her that loving an animal grounds you in a way that nothing else can." --Sharon Sakson, author of Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs
"Saddle up and enjoy the ride with Susan Richards. You'll love it." -- Rita Mae Brown , author of Catch as Cat Can
In the heartwarming sequel to Chosen by a Horse, Susan Richards tells of the continuing gifts brought to her life by her beloved horse, Lay Me Down.
Readers cried with Susan Richards when, at the end of Chosen by a Horse, her beloved mare was laid to rest in the paddock where she had met her herd -- Hot Shot, Tempo, and Georgia. Now they will cheer as Susan recounts the further wonders that came into her life as part of Lay Me Down's legacy: a bestselling book, a tour to support that book, the reconnection to friends and family who come to celebrate her success, and love-- unexpected, complicated, and true.
And so Chosen Forever works its magic as a sequel of self-discovery, as Susan continues to grow into her new life. Told in charming prose with her familiar and disarming sense of humor, and featuring a new supporting cast of animal characters (a Siamese cat, two pugs, tow Labs, and appearances by horses), this is another moving tale for readers facing their own challenges at recreating their lives. Chosen Forever is the story of what happens the day after all of your dreams come true-- how you learn to accept that you deserve to be happy, and how those we love continue to offer us gifts long after they are gone.
The horse Susan Richards chose for rescue wouldnt be corralled into her waiting trailer. Instead Lay Me Down, a former racehorse with a foal close on her heels, walked right up that ramp and into Susans life. This gentle creaturemalnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infectionhad endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seemed fated that she would come into Susans paddock and teach her how to embrace the joys of life despite the dangers of living.
An elegant and often heartbreaking tale filled with animal characters as complicated and lively as their human counterparts, this is an inspiring story of courage and hope and the ways in which all loveeven an animalshas the power to heal.
About the Author
SUSAN RICHARDS has a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and a masters degree in social work from Adelphi University. She lives with her husband Dennis Stock and their beloved gang of four dogs and one Siamese cat.