By Cheryl Dudley
Hardcover, 200 pages, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., $12.95 at HorseBooksEtc.com
"The horse has no favorites. He never takes sides. He just gives and gives unconditionally," says Cheryl Dudley in the introduction of Rescued by a Horse: Inspirational True Stories of Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing. In the book, Cheryl and 25 other equine enthusiasts recount how their horses helped them through difficult times.
In his story, "Carnival: The King that Saved My Life," Ryan Towne shares how a car accident when he was 25 left him paralyzed and emotionally devastated. He started to regain a sense of control in his life when he began therapeutic riding. He was "rescued by a horse" when he found a loyal friend in Carnival King, a former dressage champion. "When I was on Carnival King's back, I felt like I was someone again," Ryan writes. He credits the horse with his progress in moving beyond his confining wheelchair and now aspires to walk on his own again one day. Another writer, Cassey Cattell, details a similar experience in her story, "A Memoir to Clancy." At age 12, she found a beautiful Thoroughbred named Clancy, who helped her exercise her legs, bent from the mild case of cerebral palsy she was born with.
The stories included in Rescued by a Horse are inspirational and reminders of the healing effect horses can have on ordinary people's lives. Even in the darkest of days, horses serve as a shining beacon of hope for the future.
This review originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Practical Horseman.