There are approximately seven million horses in the United States. Each year, over 70,000 end up going to slaughter. Hundreds of thousands more are abused, neglected, or abandoned by callous and irresponsible owners. With a heart as big as a pasture, author Melanie Bowles takes some of these horses into her sanctuary called Proud Spirit. Here, horses that arrive listless and broken find a home where they finally know safety.
The bond between horse and caretaker does not happen overnight. It hangs by a fine thread of trust, which the author earns with endless patience and a full commitment to the well-being of the horses in her care. The horses, some of which have suffered severe abuse, astound her time and again with their ability to trust, return the love they are given, and enjoy the companionship of other horses.
You will meet an entire stableful of remarkable horses: Dusty, a young Thoroughbred who recovered from severe injuries to reveal a rambunctious personality and a knack for stealing hats. Maddy, an elderly mare, and Dancer, a gallant Appaloosa, both of whom had been isolated for years but whose ecstatic first acquaintance at Proud Spirit was, mysteriously, like the reunion of two soul mates. Annie, a little sorrel mare who will break your heart with her weary kindness and who found peace, at last, under an old oak tree in a pasture at Proud Spirit. Wrangler, a Miniature whose premature separation from his dam turned him into a tiny tormentor. His rowdy innocence helped Marshal, a huge palomino Draft horse with neurological trauma, become playful and engaged as he educated Wrangler in horsy manners.
"The Horses of Proud Spirit" is an homage to the spirit of these alluring creatures and a moving memoir of lessons learned in compassion, strength, and loss.