on October 25, 2011
This a nice light reading book. I read a few of the "miracles" every night when I was winding down to go to bed. I agree with the reviewer who said many were not so much miracles, as horses being horses. One struck me in particular--a story of a skittish filly who, when confronted by roaring motorcycles with a toddler on her back, froze and did not shy at all. Frankly, I thought this was more of a story of a horse literally scared stiff rather than some innate sense of knowing what a precious bundle she had on her back and becoming brave rather than shying or running away.
There are some stories of horse "whisperers" and one on develping a sort of telepathic communication with your horse (I found this one rather strange). I have owned horses and never had need of this mental exercise to create a bond with them, although I am far from a "horse whisperer".
There is one story I will bring the authors to task over and that is the story of Secretariat because of the lack of accuracy. He did not lose only two races, as the authors claim, but five, one of which was a disqualification. He, like Man o' War, ran 21 times in his 2 year racing career, but he finished fourth in his debut, was second twice after winning the Triple Crown, and was third his last race before the Kentucky Derby (the Wood Memorial). His record then was he was first 16 times, 3 times second, one time third and one time fourth. It was Man o' War who was beaten only once in his 21 race career. Secretariat was voted the #2 American Thoroughbred of the 20th century. Man o' War was voted #1. Also, Secretariat's stablemate who ran in the Marlboro Cup was Riva Ridge, not River Ridge, and it was not a match race as the authors imply. As a horse racing fan, I did like the inclusion of the story of Kincsem, a Hungarian racemare who is not known to the casual fan since she raced in Europe and England and ran in the 19th century.
I have been a horse lover all of my life and have read about horses all of my life, and a few of the stories rather bored me. One, on shamanism, left me unclear about why it was even in this book, since it was only peripherially about horses and more the native American astrology of a horse based on its birthdate. None of my horses had the traits mentioned under their respective animal totems, for what that is worth.
This is not the worse collection of "true" horse stories (no mention of the sources of most of the stories), but it isn't the best either. All in all, a nice, light bedtime read that won't keep you up all night trying to read it in one go.