The Thirsty Zebra
Appreciating the harmony of life...from the saddle
Positive. Productive. Progressive.
Inspired by Race...
...a friend recommended this book and I found it wonderful! The ups and downs brought smiles and tears...
... an empowering book that personifies the human will to find and achieve one's passion in life.
I appreciated the originality, honesty and heartfelt emotion in the stories of Susan's horses, as well as her life. Although some tears were shed, I loved the adventures, the life lessons and the inspiring narrative of her never ending love for horses ...
I highly recommend this book!
---Dr Jennifer Posey, Equine Veterinarian and Acupuncturist,
Pacific Crest Sporthorse, Oregon City, Oregon
This book touched me as a horseman, a veterinarian and family man. It reaffirmed my conviction that horses are valued and loved members of my client's families...
---Bobby R Willard, DVM, Equiplex Veterinary Hospital, Flower Mound, Texas
The Horses I've Loved, A Memoir
Here is a brief excerpt from the book:
It’s interesting what will click a switch and get you going on something. For me, it was the sudden, tragic loss of my beloved horse, Race. Our connection was so close and our bond so deep that it was beyond understanding to most.
As I reflected back on my years with him, I felt I would never get over the gaping hole in my heart, a void so profound, that it was physically painful. I couldn’t see how I would ever be able to get myself past the agony of losing him. And still, my tears flow freely whenever I talk about him.
I thought of all of the wonderful horses I’ve had in my life. As waves of emotions and memories started to flood in, I remembered how special each one of them had been to me. I began to realize that maybe the best therapy in dealing with the seemingly unbearable loss of Race, would be to relive some of those unique moments of my life that revolved around my sweet horses; good times and bad, happy and sad, triumphant and tragic.
What started as a coping exercise to try to deal with my heartbreak has turned into this book.
So, here are the stories of the horses I’ve loved.
Race and Susan, June 2006
“My Beautiful Boy”
One of the most endearing things about Race was his perpetually relaxed lower lip.
I mentioned this charming characteristic to an old horseman once and he told me,
“You know, that’s the sign of a truly content horse.”
I loved that, it affirmed that he was happy.
A SNAPSHOT OF RACE . . .
Across from our home, there was a hayfield and beyond that, a trail on which Race and I had the pleasure of enjoying countless miles and hours together.
Next to the hayfield, was a pasture where Buddy, a charming, black and white speckled donkey resided. Each time we set out to that favored trail, we first had to pass by Buddy’s pasture.
To Race, something wasn’t quite right about Buddy. Maybe it was his enormous ears, maybe it was because the way that he whinnied was all wrong and not really a whinny at all! Whatever it was, when he would first notice that noisy little donkey, he could see no reason for us to wander too close.
Buddy, on the other hand, was always thrilled to see Race. As we would approach his pasture, Buddy would immediately perk up at the sight of his big handsome horse friend, and then he would come a runnin’. I’m not sure what you call a fairly fast donkey gallop, but as I think about Buddy, the word trollop comes to mind!
Race would see those long ears flopping accompanied by that frantic braying and he would seem to say “See ya!” and off we would fly, sideways across the hayfield. Once he finally deemed it safe enough to stop, Race would look back with his ears pricked, neck arched, eyes wide and every muscle in his body trembling. He would then snort and blow at the animated and enthusiastic donkey.
Race was always a “React first, then stop and ask if he should’ve panicked once he was a safe distance from the monster” kind of horse. The monster could be anything from a pile of black garbage bags, to a couple of miniature horses pulling a cart, to an overly friendly donkey named Buddy.
The extraordinary thing about Race, was that in spite of his occasional apprehensiveness, he would follow me to the moon … if I led him there. He was really brave, when I went first!
I quickly learned that every spring on our first ride by Buddy, it was best to dismount and lead Race up to the fence to let him get reacquainted with the sociable little donkey. He would arch his lovely neck over the top rail of the fence and then give Buddy’s ears and nose a good sniff. He’d have to reach way down over the fence because he was so much taller than the diminutive donkey.
After that first ride ritual, Race would look forward to visiting with Buddy. He’d confidently and calmly walk to Buddy’s fence and wait while the amiable donkey ran his hardest to get quickly across the pasture to say to his friend, “Heeaw, heeaw!” which, I’m pretty sure translated to “Hello, it’s great to see you again, Race!”
*** 1993 ***
When I first saw Race in the field next to his mom, Racy Rachel Lynn, I knew immediately he was going to be my next horse….
When I walked up to him out in the pasture and gave him a rub on the neck and a scratch on the rump, we instantly had a connection.
It was as if fate intended for us to be together.
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Help The Mustang Heritage Foundation
"We are honored that Susan will be donating a portion of the proceeds from her wonderful book to our organization."
---Byron Hogan, Program Coordinator, Mustang Heritage Foundation