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on April 18, 2012
I loved this memoir...I love Eli. Nancy Shulins is an amazing writer, and is able to capture for her readers the pathos and the humor as she moves from the devastating reality
that she will never have children to the joy of owning and caring for Eli, a "singular" character indeed. One doesn't need to know horses or experience infertility to identify with
Ms Shulin's journey from sorrow to hopefulness and love.
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on June 18, 2012
Conversation to the ER staff as I hobbled my way to registration mumbling something about my gentle quarter horse who has never ever bucked...well must have been spring fever - I should have seen the spark in his eyes, his ears snap to attention, when I made my way out to get him. Brushed, saddled and rider up - not for long - it was a long 8 week recovery for me - emotionally and physically. We have been a team for years, I thought to myself as I relived every moment of that ride - a few bedridden days later, scrolling through myriad on line books, I saw it - the face called out to me, and then the title - hmmm, I was looking for anything but a book on the love of a horse - in my mind I was done with horses, period. Eli came along. Nancy's personal journey, her honesty, her ability to articulate how Eli made her feel powerful and loved, how her life was more complete, the stories of learning to ride, made me cry, laugh, and got me through weeks of physical therapy and gave me the emotional support to get back in the saddle - women and horses - there is no stronger bond and no stronger love - thank you to Nancy and Eli - for giving me the courage to saddle up, again -
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on April 17, 2012
A friend of mine was reading this book and raved about it. Although I am not a rider (or a woman - it seems there aren't a lot of males in the world of horse riding) I really loved it. The writing is colorful, the characters are engaging, and I went from page to page following Nancy as she discovered herself and the joys and challenges of riding and ownership through her relationship with Eli. Along the way I learned a lot about the care and feeding of horses and the depth of feeling they share and can evoke. I think it a great read for any age!
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on February 3, 2014
A good book, song, story, play or movie can sometimes inspire you, teach you, move you to laughter, bring you to tears or touch the core of your soul. A great one can do all of these things. Eli is a great one. No, it's not Pulitzer Prize material (though the author was nominated for one as a journalist) but if one can make a dressage comparison here where a ride is "foot perfect" then I would have to say Eli's story is "word perfect." It engaged me from the outset and kept me engaged throughout. Admittedly, as I have a horse Eli's exact age, who has had her share of mishaps and confinements, I could readily identify with Eli's story. She is a dressage horse who was challenging in her youth, from whom I took a spill long ago that not only broke ribs but my pelvis as well and who, through patience and committed determination, gave me the best dancing partner a girl could hope for. A trusted partnership has been the best gift of all. Eli's story, Nancy's story, mirrors my own. Nancy is a gifted craftswoman. Her ability to crawl inside her feelings - my feelings - is truly remarkable. The joy of connecting with horses, the fear of actually owning and being responsible for one, the highs of a ride gone well and the lows of one gone wrong, the quiet, serene moments we spend in silent companionship, the ways we understand our charges' nuances and character, the utter protectiveness we have when placing them in someone else's care, the anxiety (and guilt) over decisions we make (or don't make) for our silent partners, that other worldly place we go to when a vet is giving us potentially devastating news, the friendships we make, the places we go, the things we experience, the lessons we learn, all of them are here in this beautiful book. If you don't have a horse this is still a great story of the remarkable bond that can exist between a human and an animal. If you do have a horse - you're in for a sweet ride.
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on May 29, 2015
What a frustrating read. I couldn't get past the abuse of the trainers towards Nancy (and Eli in the case of the first one). Grow a pair and take a cue from Dr. Phil who's one and only smartest line is "you teach people how to treat you". Zero tolerance, Nancy!!!

Second, why not ride this poor, injury-prone equine as a pleasure trail horse? All the dressage drama and subsequent pain could've been avoided. It's like the author was constantly punishing herself. So odd.

Third, but probably the most important, the CARROTS!!! On my lord, the carrots. 20 pounds a week?! Who in their right mind thinks that's okay? Over treat with something else for gods sake! I cringed every time I had to read about the carrots. Painful.

Lastly the book just up and ended out of nowhere. After making it through to the final pages I needed more than the trite parting sentences I got. Ugh.
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on December 15, 2014
what a wonderful horse, what a wonderful author. My emotions were all over the place, reading this book. But most of the time I was laughing. I too am one of those women who late in life has rediscovered my love of horses ... when on a fateful day a stranger knocked on my door, a year ago, and asked if he could lease my five acres and barn for his two roping horses. My passion for horses flared from spark to wildfire.

I've read many books about horses, since then, and many times I have found out that the horses died years earlier. Which really upset me. So the closer I got to the end of this book, the more anxious I got. I was so afraid, Eli had died too ... Not so!!! He is going strong. Check out his Facebook page. Love this book so much. Give Eli a carrot and a pat for me!

Only one downside ... wanted more pictures of Eli!
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on June 12, 2015
I'm not really sure who this book is supposed to appeal to. I already ride, and I found the way she talked about her horse to be very dumbed-down and basic. And I can't really see many people who aren't already interested in horses picking this book up. However, it was a breezy, mildly entertaining read, and it was somewhat comforting to see the all-too familiar characters and scenarios that an adult dressage rider encounters (controlling trainer who thinks she's headed to the olympics, disaster boarding barn, friend who thinks she's a trainer, etc.)
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on March 10, 2015
Wonderful story of a lady and her horse and how Eli healed her. Amazing dedication getting up and driving for an hour or so each way to feed Eli and then going to work. All animals have endless love for us and give us so much love that our lives are more richer for having them with us.
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on May 26, 2014
I usually love horse stories but I don't know how this got published. It is more like a boring diary than an interesting story. Maybe I'm not enough into the hose world to enjoy it but I have read tons of horse stories and just did not enjoy this one!
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on March 18, 2013
As a woman who's passionate about animals, especially dogs and horses, and a promotional and technical volunteer advisor for Doxy's Horse Recovery, Inc., I would recommend this book for all who believe in or are interested in the effects animals have on our lives. Ms. Shulins writes of how Eli made her feel like a "whole" woman with him as her 1,200 pound bundle of joy rather than the baby she could never have.

It is a well known fact that animals can improve the quality of life for special populations, particularly those who are physically disabled, mentally challenged or ill and the elderly. I wrote a short grant challenge piece for Purina's Good contest on this topic after taking 2 of our mini horses to visit a day program for mentally challenged adults. "Falling for Eli" sheds a new light on yet another way an animal can improve how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
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