Chosen by a Horse

By Susan Richards
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156031172, 256pp.)

Publication Date: June 2007

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“This beautifully written memoir tells the story of the author's relationship with a sick horse she adopts, and how, through the horse's gentle, forgiving nature, she begins recovery from her own childhood and marital abuse. Extraordinarily moving.”
-- Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC


The horse Susan Richards chose for rescue wouldn’t 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 Susan’s life. This gentle creature—malnourished, plagued by pneumonia and an eye infection—had endured a rough road, but somehow her heart was still open and generous. It seemed fated that she would come into Susan’s 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 love—even an animal’s—has the power to heal.

About the Author

SUSAN RICHARDS has a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado and a master’s 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.

Conversation Starters from


  1. How are Susan's horses a substitute for a human family? What needs do they fulfill that people in her life cannot? Does Susan use her horses to escape from "real life" (the pressures of romantic relationships, loneliness, et cetera), or do they represent it?

Praise For Chosen by a Horse


"This is an inspirational story of what family means, and what the loss of one can do to us, and for us."—THE BOSTON GLOBE

"Two kindred spirits find each other in this beautifully written memoir about the human-animal bond."—TEMPLE GRANDIN

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