I know I’m not the only equestrian to fall in love with a horse who isn’t the easiest or best horse in the barn. The horse who “shys” at the shadow of a tree, or who is determined to turn a nice trail ride into an all day buffet. Author Nancy Shulins, she chronicled her challenging horse Eli in an incredibly touching book Falling for Eli. The book follows the story of her and Eli, who I think would have had a lot in common with my first horse Jonah. The spooking, the “you’ve got some explaining to do” look and most importantly how there is nothing in the world that can match the welcoming nicker when you come in the barn.
More than just a story of a woman who loves her horse, Falling for Eli details how Shulins dreamed of having a child but unfortunately couldn’t. She then turned that dream and ambition into an unruly young horse who needed her as much as she needed him.
Shulins’ book Falling for Eli perfectly tells the story of the bond between horse and rider and how we store our hopes and dreams in the muzzle and flanks of our partner and that is why it is our October MyHorse Books selection.
Horse&Rider assistant editor Julie Preble recently read Falling for Eli. As you read her thoughts on the book, you can order your copy from HorseBooksEtc. Then come back here and you can join in the discussion with your opinions and thoughts on our latest MyHorse Books selection:
Horse&Rider Book Review of Falling for Eli
This is the story of a woman who came into the horse world after she let got of her dream of becoming a mother.
Author Nancy Shulins takes you through her story of being reintroduced to horses and, eventually, horse ownership–from her first lesson to meeting Eli for the first time (it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight).
The 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding didn’t impress her that first visit to his stall, but his calm demeanor and good personality won her over in the end.
Theirs is a horse-human partnership that every horsewoman can relate to. Shulins writes about all the challenges she faced, like the decision to switch trainers and barns and handling all of Eli’s major medical issues (sorry, no spoilers!).
My favorite part of the story is when Shulins’ friends threw her a “Bridle” Shower, where the horse-themed gifts abounded, right before she purchased Eli.
If you enjoy reading about the horse-human connection, this is a good read for you. I certainly enjoyed it!
On the back cover:
Nearly twenty years ago, Nancy Shulins let go of one dream—having a child—and worked toward another one: learning to ride and, eventually, having her own horse. In the process, she learned what it means to love another being so much you can’t imagine life without them. Falling for Eli is about learning to break a sweat rather than break down, to try your best even if you’ll never be the best; it’s about learning to stand on your own six feet.