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Saddled: How a Spirited Horse Reined Me In and Set Me Free Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; None, 1-8pp b/w insert prints on 80# Mohawk 50/50 c/w stock edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547241720
  • ASIN: B005IUR2KS
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Designed as a prequel to her memoir, Chosen by a Horse, Richards begins with the adoption of Georgia, the difficult Morgan mare who left such a stamp on the author's previous heart-warmer, and explores the deep, rehabilitative bond the two have forged. Georgia proves to be a feisty yet steady savior, giving Richards the courage to flee a bad marriage and beat an addiction. The responsibility she feels for her companion compels her to think beyond her own suffering and begin a new life devoid of old habits. Richards explores her transient childhood and unhealthy adult relationships, but these narrative threads tend to run wild, detracting from her main tale. However, a section on the death of her father is particularly affecting, when she shares her realization that she might face a similar untimely, solitary death. "The word that kept coming to mind was waste." Readers seeking the vicarious thrills they found with Georgia in Richard's earlier work might regret the back seat Georgia often takes here, longing for her storied personality to break in more often. Georgia may not be everywhere in Saddled, but she's never far away.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When author Richards had owned her red Morgan mare, Georgia, for about a week, she found herself galloping down an old logging road, laughing because she always laughed when she was galloping on a horse, laughter that ripped through her overwhelming depression and despair. That morning she had written in her journal, �I�m an alcoholic. My life, my marriage�it�s all a sham.� Georgia, an opinionated horse who was always the alpha, who didn�t apologize for her opinions, and who demanded the author�s devotion, had begun the healing process that Susan so desperately needed. In this memoir of a recovery from a bad childhood haunted by indifferent or downright hostile relatives who took her in after her mother died and her alcoholic father couldn�t keep her, of an abusive husband who also drank, Richards was able to save herself by cleaving to one thought�Georgia. Needing a place to live after she left her husband, the author knew she also needed a place for the mare and so found a haven in the Catskills. Georgia needed companions, so two other horses were added; needing to keep all of her new family fed and sheltered led Richards to a new career as a social worker. Georgia kept her going, and this book is an homage to Georgia and to the healing power of animals. --Nancy Bent

More About the Author

Susan Richards was born December 12, 1949 in New York City and was raised in Rye, NY. When Richards was five, her mother, Marguerite Richards, died of leukemia, and her father, Peter Richards, abandoned Richards and her older brother, Lloyd. Richards and

Customer Reviews

I appreciate the honesty of this writer.
Patrick Reeves
The story of her life is compelling, however the way she writes is sublime.
Elise van Hijfte
I bet if you read it you'll really like it.
jason mardell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mahlers2nd TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book sat on my "to be read" pile for quite awhile. But after my husband moved out and I was separated and pretty much at the bottom of the barrel, I decided to read this book -- figuring that I could use reading about the experiences of someone who had been as low as I was.

I also own a horse and while I was stuck in my emotional fetal position, I was not giving him the attention that he deserved. He is boarded at a great barn so his physical needs are taken care of. However, I realized that I was not doing my part to take care of his emotional and fitness needs. My horse is very sensitive -- much like a dog and when he doesn't get the human attention and work from his person, he becomes depressed.

This book uses self-deprecating humor and shares her own experience to describe how she was able to lift herself out of her funk because she realized that there was something that needed her and that it was time to get off the pity pot and get back to living. It was just the message i needed to hear.

This book isn't intended to be a self-help book per se. However, it was sort of like talking to a friend who was experiencing similar life pain which was interfering with her ability to be a productive adult and how focusing on something/someone else that needed her was the wake up call she needed to get back in the game.

An excellent book when I needed it the most.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Crystal M. Toegel on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Saddled spoke very deeply of Ms. Richards abusive childhood and the influences that shaped her into the adult she grew to be. Saddled outlines in great detail the lonely, neglected childhood that the Richards children led. This book brings into sharp focus the realities of the author's previous 2 books. As I read this book, I kept saying "aha"! to myself, as I learned of the terrible injustices that were laid on the author and her brother. The people who were responsible for raising Ms. Richards and her brother caused much damage and it takes a lot of time and energy to overcome such damage. Ms. Richards has overcome her abusive childhood experiences with grace. Ms. Richards writes with candor, transparency and extreme courage. I found it extremely inspirational.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd D. Richards on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
At too early an age, after the complete disassemblage of her family -- her mother had died of leukemia, a manic depressive father had disappeared down a bottle, and her older brother was sent off to boarding school in South Carolina -- the author was sent away to live with her maternal grandfather, his scornful second wife, Jean, and their adoptive daughter, Nancy -- to Susan, all human thorns who made clear one thing. That she was not wanted. Poor grades kept the author standing beside the rail day after day, watching Nancy at her riding lesson, seeing how uncomfortable the adoptive daughter rode in her saddle, not in tune with her horse. Nancy's horse's bit becomes painful steel between the author's teeth, the horse's bad day, hers. Too strong a jerk on the reins, and the author's mouth aches. Spur kicks transmit to the author's own back. It was then, reflecting by the rail, that Nancy's horse's travails became a direct extension of the author's young painful life. "She [Nancy] never connects to her horse because she doesn't understand her horse at all, that it is a being, an entity, a whole separate personality with likes and dislikes, good days and bad days and everything else. It is only missing the ability to speak. But I know how a horse talks. It's all there in the eyes, the angle of the head, the posture, the gait, and how she carries her tail. It will tell you who a horse is, what she thinks of you, what she thinks of what you're doing, and what she wants. Nancy doesn't see any of this. She rides her horse like a bike, something without thought or feeling. They go around and around the ring, but they're like two strangers on a sidewalk. They're walking in the same direction, but they're not together.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By H on May 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Susan Richards. I find her highly inspirational, and I love her writing style. I agree with one of the other reviews that this is my least favorite of her three books. She tells a lot more about her life before the first book. However it wasn't as good a read, and I found myself not feeling as inspired by her as before.
It's still a good book overall, and a quick read. Susan Richards is still an author that I will read everytime she publishes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Draper VINE VOICE on February 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book because I really love horses, and reading them is as close as I'll ever come to knowing what it is like to own one. Two good things about the book are that it is short, and the narrative flows nicely. Susan Richards went from a miserable childhood living with her grandmother to a horrible marriage to an abusive, alcoholic man whom she did not really take the time to get to know well enough before jumping into matrimony. On top of that, she had "saddled" herself with alcoholism. I can't personally relate to this. It's hard for me to understand why someone would get so mired in self-abuse of that sort; maybe if you have been or are an alcoholic, it will speak to you.

Anyway, she was fortunate in the fact that her grandmother, much to Ms. Richards surprise, left her a large fortune when she died, and with that she was able to buy a wonderful property in the adorondacks, complete with horses, etc. But she went looking for "the one" horse that truly spoke to her spirit. I can believe that; I've had my own heart animals at times, and I think horses and humans connect on a very deep level. She was searching for a special Morgan horse and she found Georgia. Georgia was a green, but quite strong-willed young mare. Perhaps training her, riding her, loving her gave Susan the will and strength to finally get rid of her abuser and also the alcohol abuse. I did not like that she did not take the horse with her when she left him; apparently she had to get away, and it was not possible to bring Georgia with her. Getting the horse back proved to be extremely costly and time consuming because of her ex's vindictive ways.

Altogether the book was not bad, but I didn't like hearing about her disastrous personal life so much as I did reading about her relationship with Georgia.
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