By Jojo Moyes
Once in awhile, I need to dive deep into a novel free from bloody criminal cases or real-life dramas. As drawn to horse stories as I am, a novel with both the word “horse” in the title AND an illustration of a horse on the cover, has to be good. I have been let down before but this didn’t let me down. Although the plot and characters were just average developed, the book was worth my time reading. Moyes knows her horses. You can tell from how she writes and describes the interactions between the girl, Sarah, and the horse, Boo. I realised when reading that not many authors manage to describe the fine-tuned understanding of a horse that is required. Most novels and movies I’ve read and seen has a foundation of the horse-human interaction based on a traditional way of handling horses, often forcefully and militant. Moyes displayed a finer sense, a more horse friendly approach without pointing fingers. Sarah’s – and her grandfather’s – philosophy of how to handle horses becomes central and is beautifully depicted in the story. A perfect way to weave some horse sense into the stories. It reminds me of The Clan of the Horses by Live Bonnevie, a novel that also pinpoints the relationship between human and horses.
Under his breath, he repeated the words of Xenophon: “Anger undermines effective communication with your horse.”