Is Susan Friedland-Smith the Bridget Jones of the equestrian world? Certainly, her new memoir, Horses Adored and Men Endured captures the same humor (albeit with a decidedly more Christian slant) in her description of bad dates on the search for Mr. Right. If you’ve read Susan’s blog, Saddle Seeks Horse, I’m sure you’ll enjoy her book. I certainly did!
Along the way, she is continually reminded (as we already know) that Horses Make Bad Times Better. Horses have been a part of Susan’s life since childhood.
“When I was 10 I wanted to marry a horse. When I was in my mid-30’s I thought I would have to marry my horse. I had such a heck of a time dating for the duration of my single years. Can you relate a little? Horses Adored and Men Endured explores the age-old question of whether or not horses are God’s apology for men.”
I think most of us can relate to the fact that although we all complain that it’s hard to find a good horse, it’s even harder to find a good husband. Especially one that’s willing to share their spouse’s affections with a four-legged money-eating beast. Of course, as I always tell my husband, he should be grateful that the “other man” in my life is a chestnut gelding.
Susan manages to make her bad dates sound so funny that you’ll laugh out loud and wonder why the losers you dated never turned in a performance worthy of retelling. Of course, you know, right from the start, that her perseverance and good humor will win out in the end. It’s just a matter of sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Then, their are her horses. Like me, Susan didn’t get a horse right away. Her early years were spent riding other people’s horses — Jim Dandy, the loaner; Daytona, her teen-age crush; and DC, her first heart horse. I think we can all divide up the years of our lives by the horses who were important to us.
I am still grateful for the trainers who found horses of all shapes, sizes and abilities for me to ride when I was in high school: Fred, the junior jumper who was “mine” for a summer and who taught me how to jump the big fences; Dudley, the four year old warmblood (who belonged to the owner of a tack store. She offered me the ride on him one day when I went to get a pair of boots stretched, the very first time she laid eyes on me! Okay, she didn’t mention the few bad habits he had, like throwing himself against the side of the indoor arena when he got mad, but you never look a free horse in the mouth, right?); and Bogie the first horse I ever owned and a true heart horse. Those were the horses who took me through my teen age years and into adulthood.
Who hasn’t told their deepest, darkest secrets to their horse? Horses are terribly good listeners, especially if you have a few carrots in your pocket. And I’m not sure there’s better therapy than a good gallop on a fast horse.
So, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of Susan’s book. In fact, buy one for your horse-obsessed friends, too. Not only will you laugh, it will help you remember how those fabulous horses in your life balanced out the bad dates and the boring jobs.