Excerpts from Angel Horses: Divine Messengers of Hope by Allen and Linda Anderson.
Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Love and Dreams
Emily's Song -- Kevin Schwaderer
The Artist Is a Horse -- Renée Chambers
Pajaro, the Horse Who Runs with the Wind -- Caroline Kane Aguiar
The New Animal Alchemy -- Amelia Kinkade 
Ladigan's Tears -- Carman Colwell-Baxter
Wee Lass and Promise -- Sharon Kay Roberts
To Love Full Circle -- Jo Ann Holbrook
Thanks to a Special Horse, I'm a Real Investment -- Janet L. Roper  
Take a Bow, Sparky -- Pamela Jenkins
Zeke and I: The Perfect Marriage of Dreams and Destinies -- Lois Stanfield  
Ask Zeke -- Zeke Stanfield          

Chapter 2: Healing and Health
The Heart of Whitehorse -- Sherril L. Green, DVM, PhD  
How to Embarrass a Horse -- Duane Isaacson      
Miracles Are Something to Believe In  -- Alexandra Best Flood  
Big Walter the Mule Led Our Family to Alternative Healing -- Leslie Robinson  
Shetland Pony Shaggy's Healing Journey -- Steve Schwertfeger   
Our Angel in a Horse Coat -- Sheryl Jordan      
Soul-Saver Horse -- Chrissy K. McVay    
Listening to Horses -- Lynn Baskfield    
Smooth As Silk -- Holly Leigh     
Ask Zeke  -- Zeke Stanfield   

Chapter 3: Courage and Endurance
Angel for a Day -- Robert (Bob) Wagner    
Horses Can Be Heroes -- Laura Cooper       
Horses and Hurricane Wilma -- Sheila Anderson 
The Little Sorrel Mare Who Saved My Life -- Dawn Nelson  
 Mule Intelligence -- Fred Wickert  
 Fashion -- Susan Chernak McElroy  
Ask Zeke -- Zeke Stanfield     

Chapter 4: Spiritual Connection and the Afterlife
A Lovely Freedom -- Holly Williams
Abby's Secret Life -- Kris Bowman       
Ginny Goes Home to Her Horses -- Margaret Nordeen  
Playing Games with My Pal, Brady -- Sam Younghans     
Living with the Mare Goddess, Chinamoon -- Flash Silvermoon     
Grace -- Jane Larson Wipf       
Benni Teaches Me to Trust in God -- Laura Steidl         
Five Star Winner -- Maureen Sinisi    
Pegasus in Disguise -- Renee van Asten   
Ask Zeke -- Zeke Stanfield          

Additional Photographers
About Allen and Linda Anderson  

Excerpt from Introduction to Angel Horses by Allen and Linda Anderson

Getting to Know Horse People

We observed that most horse people are straightforward, decisive, and somewhat fearless. Making commitments to care for animals who might live as long as fifty years and become equine lawn mowers instead of riding companions as they age requires people who keep their promises no matter what and are proud of it.

We also noticed that there seem to be two kinds of horse people - ones who get it and ones who don't. By it, we mean understanding and respecting horses as sentient, conscious spiritual beings. The ones who don't accept the higher nature, intelligence, and spirit of the horse often operate by dominance, control, and a sort of macho posturing designed to intimidate both horses and people. Of course, we are making generalizations here. Each species is complex, and individuals can't be glibly categorized or labeled. But you get the picture. You know the types.

Consequently, it appeared to us that before revealing themselves, horses always check out whether they're dealing with a horse person who gets it or one who does not. Horses wear blank expressions or masks of quiet wariness. A horse quickly learns the art of discretion. Humans are capricious at best and cruel at worst. There is not much the horse can do about it either way.

So horses have perfected passive-aggressiveness to assert their individuality and covertly express their opinions. Horses make jokes at humans' expense - playfully if the person is nice and secretly if the human is mean. To be themselves, spooked or stubborn horses rise up on powerful haunches and toss their human riders. They bite and kick when threatened or guarding their turf. Horses escape by using whatever resources they can muster to unlock paddock or stall gates with their teeth or kick down doors. Freeing themselves of human burdens becomes a mission for those who long to run freely and feel the blood of wild animals coursing through their veins.

Fortunately for readers of this book and for us, bona fide horse people who get it were willing to share their stories. They honor and respect horses and here provide glimpses of the experiences and relationships that are possible between spiritual beings who view one another as equals.

Excerpt from Angel Horses by Allen and Linda Anderson

Soul-Saver Horse
Chrissy K. McVay, Little Switzerland, North Carolina

When I was fifteen I went through the usual high school peer pressure and started to hang out with kids who preferred booze parties to studying. My grades did a cliff dive, and so did my attitude toward life. The only time I felt like my soul was alive was when I partied. I turned belligerent toward my parents, lied to them, and sneaked out of the house as often as possible at night. I attended secret parties in cornfields or abandoned houses scattered along country roads in our small farming community.

My mother recognized the symptoms of a troubled teen and realized I needed a strong distraction from the bad influences. She also knew the power of love could teach responsibility and bolster self-worth far faster than any lectures from parents or counselors. I'd always had a tremendous adoration of animals and dreamed that one day I would own a horse. When my mother had the money, an opportunity to buy a young, Arabian gelding named Renegade seemed a gift from heaven. I'd just turned sixteen. My mother's birthday gift to me would change my life forever.

People cautioned my mother that buying such a high-strung creature was crazy. Renegade had a wild streak and needed dedicated, gentle discipline, but so did I. My mother was wise enough to know I needed a special challenge far outside of myself. Focusing only on my own selfish desires was leading me down dangerous avenues.

I saw in Renegade not only his untamed spirit but also his fear of the unknown. Renegade was struggling with a deep uncertainty that often afflicts inexperienced youth. I didn't know how to reassure him but believed that we could get through the uncertainty together. I wanted him to trust me, and I had to be worthy of that trust by making more mature choices.

I was immediately consumed with tutoring my bay gelding. He had a beautiful white crescent on his fiery, brown forehead and a black mane and socks. I kept his burgundy-colored coat well groomed. The neighbors teased me that he was so shiny, he blinded them when they drove down the road. I barely thought of anything other than taking care of Renegade. I no longer had time for surly boozers, and they quickly lost interest in "that horse girl."

As soon as my homework was finished in the evenings, I rode Renegade. We joined a local 4-H Club and spent our weekends either practicing or at horse shows. I met new friends who had positive goals in life, and they urged me on as I pursued my own.

Renegade and I learned about discipline together. At first, partly out of fear and stubbornness, he refused to do simple things like backing up, crossing a shallow mud puddle, or getting into a trailer. It took patience and constant reassurance, but I soon taught him that I wasn't there just to show my authority. I wanted to help him get past these obstacles. Eventually he seemed to see how easy my requests were and started responding to my voice and gentle commands with confidence and without hesitation.

The melancholy person I'd been before seemed so far behind me that I never once looked back at that downward lifestyle until I was an adult and Renegade had died. At the time of his death he was twenty-nine years old and enjoying retirement at a nice boarding stable with another Arabian gelding named Rajah. Renegade died two weeks after his friend Rajah's death and two weeks before Christmas.

I knew a broken heart had caused Renegade's heart attack. Rajah was about the same age as Renegade and had been his friend for nearly ten years. They were the only two horses still boarded in a huge pasture. Renegade and Rajah seldom wandered very far from one another, even when grazing.

Losing my special friend, Renegade, left me with a broken heart too, but I was grateful for how he'd helped me through my adolescent struggles. I cringe sometimes when I ponder what direction my life might have taken if Renegade hadn't come along when he did. He was so much more than an undisciplined, spirited horse. Renegade was a true soul saver.


Angel Horses:
Divine Messengers of Hope
New World Library,
September 2006)