One day I met with a dear friend for lunch and during our conversation, she was telling me about a book, “The Horse Lover’s Quotation Book,” that contained quotations about horses and wanted to know if I would be interested in writing a review on it and to choose 10 quotes that are my favorites and I agreed.
Before I start, I’ll give y’all a little background about me.
I grew up in a little fishing town on the coast of Massachusetts, which was a tourist area so our season was from Memorial Day to Labor Day and then back to a sleepy little town again. I lived about a 15 minute walk from a local stable which became my second home. There, I learned to take care of horses and to ride. I ended up working there for 22 years as a trail guide, where I would take tourists on trails through the sand dunes and along the beach of the Atlantic Ocean.
I found being around horses is not so much learned, but it a passion that consumes your whole soul, a gift that God blesses you with.
So, I will list the quotes I picked and a little word or two on how I can relate to each one. There are more than 200 quotes in this lovely book.
“The horse is the protection of people’s dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.” – Pam Brown
What little girl doesn’t dream of riding a black stallion at a full gallop across an open field, feeling the power underneath her and knowing that she is in full control of her steed? As you get older, that feeling doesn’t change, because when life happens and things get out of your control, the moment you get up on your horse – that is your escape and as you ride off, you and your horse become one and nothing else seems to matter; you are at peace. At least, that is how it is for me.
“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
I recently had an incident with my mare; as I was riding, she began acting up, which was unusual for her. She flung her head back and hit me in the face and broke my nose. Well, I rode her back to her paddock and got off and went to the ER. I began feeling anxiety and fear, wondering if I would be able to get back on her. I decided the day before going for surgery to fix my nose that if I didn’t get back on her now, I would have problems getting back on her again. Well, I got back on her; I don’t know if it was courage or just refusing to be defeated by my fear … either way, I did it.
“To many, the words love, hope and dreams are synonymous with horses.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
It is hard to describe the calming effect a horse has on a person, how the smell of a horse is like a sedative, while hugging them and listening to them breath makes you feel at ease. It is a love that you are born with, it is in your DNA and a love that never fades with time.
“True cowboys are the ones who aren’t afraid to get dirty.” – Lane Frost
Being around and working with horses is not for the faint of heart. It is a hard and dirty job. You can show up at the barn with your hair done, clothes clean and smelling pretty. It is kind of like the weather, just wait five minutes and it’ll change; no one will recognize you when you’re done. Your hair is a mess, fingernails are dirty and you smell like a manure pile, but you wouldn’t change it for the world.
“There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, when you ain’t nothing.” – Will Rogers
Growing up and hanging out with other neighborhood kids at a riding stable up the street from where I lived, we couldn’t wait for the 4th of July to come around because we knew we would get to ride in the parade on the 4th. The barn was our escape from loneliness; some of us came from dysfunctional families and didn’t have much, so the horses were our saving grace. We would all camp out at the barn the night before the parade, getting our horses and tack cleaned for the next day. We would get up pretty early and decorate our horses: paint their hooves, braid their manes and tails and get dressed up. What a day it was, riding through the center of town, people lined the streets and oh, we felt so special with our horses prancing and people cheering as we rode by. For those few hours, we went from nothing to something special being carried by our faithful steeds.
“There are friends and faces that maybe forgotten, but there are horses that never will be.” – Andy Adams
I’ll talk to my friends that I have known for years and they will ask me if I remember so-and-so from 30 years ago and I’ll say, “Nope, don’t remember them.” But, if they ask me about a bay gelding from the ’70s at the barn with a certain quirk, I know exactly the horse they are asking about, his name and personality. I guess you know who left more of an impression on me.
“The horse is God’s gift to mankind.” – Arabian Proverb
Absolutely, when you look at a horse and watch it move, only God could create such a magnificent animal. Every time I look at my Friesian and hug him, I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful gift.
“Bread may feed my body but my horse feeds my soul.” – Anonymous
I can go with missing a meal, but I cannot go a day without being around my horses.
“No hour of life is wasted spent in the saddle.” – Winston Churchill
There is no better place to be than in the saddle to solve life’s problems, especially when you are atop your best friend who will listen to your every word and never pass judgment.
“If you act like you’ve only got 15 minutes, it’ll take all day. Act like you’ve got all day and it’ll take fifteen minutes.” – Monty Roberts
There are days when I am in such a hurry because I have so much to do and it never fails, something always goes wrong and takes me twice as long with the task at hand like trying to find where the electric fence is grounding out and realizing that I forgot to unplug the fence charger and I wasn’t really hit by a bolt of lightning and have to walk back a half mile to the shed to unplug the charger and walk back out to the back pasture to put the insulator back on the post. If I had only unplugged it to begin with.
The little book was wonderful and so many great quotes, it was hard to choose only 10. It is a great read and anyone who reads it – whether they deal with horses or not – will surely glean something from it.
Purchase “The Horse Lovers Quotation Book,” by Jackie Corley, at Amazon.
Nora Betts lives in the Ozarks of Missouri on a hilltop with her family and horses. She describes her life as a horse lover this way: “My love for horses began at a local stable in my home town where I ended up working as a trail guide for 22 years. I was truly blessed with a job that gave me the opportunity to meet some famous and interesting people from all over the world.
“As time went on and I moved around, I have always been involved in the equine industry – whether it was working as a veterinary assistant on a mobile unit in Florida or working for a company that sold equine health products globally in South Carolina.
“Now as I aged, it gets a little harder each morning to get up and get moving heading out to do chores, but by the time I get to my horses and hear them nickering ‘Good morning’ to me, that’s what make life worth living.”