Milly Hunt Porter gives a rare glimpse over the past thirty-plus years of subtle and not so subtle changes in the world of communication – communication between people and horses and people and people.
Her first work was the editing of Think Harmony with Horses written through the eyes of foremost equine clinician Ray Hunt. Her poignant poetry in Hey Elko is a collection that spans a time of personal healing. And, of course, there is True Unity a description of the ethereal understanding between man and horse as expressed by master of the art Tom Dorrance.
One wonders whether The Horse Gods is truly fiction – or is the longing of life’s search for itself. A lesson of ethics and love set to a background beginning on the wild 1950s Elko County range in Nevada to the urban 1980s San Joaquin Valley in California as seen through the eyes of a flashy little sorrel mare.
This story will be enjoyed, remembered and reread by people from nine to ninety, the characters will live on well past the last paragraph.
The Horse Gods opens with an aged mare marking time on an early fall afternoon. Half dozing, she flicks her tail at the pesky flies as she waits patiently for her last foal and her owner’s son to return from a most prestigious horse show. As the waiting continues, the mare relives her past—the pages in her memory book turn slowly from the time she ran free on the high desert of the untamed Nevada range and how dramatically that changed when she was roped by a determined rancher.
Each new person who enters her world leaves her with a definite impression as to that person’s character. Her observations are surprisingly insightful and one will learn to read expressions of deep emotion, not through the pages of this book, but by looking beyond the written word and into their own heart and soul.
The pages of our little mare’s memory book take unexpected twists and turns spread over a quarter of a century of horse and human history. And, although times change, it becomes crystal clear to readers that the importance of patience and understanding between human and horse and human and human is utmost in our journey through life.
softcover, 266 pages.
Excerpt from the book:
Looking back, Old Mama could see again that morning, not long after Hoss came, when she woke to an unusual quiet. She wandered out into her tiny run. She couldn’t quite take the change in her world. Every branch on every tree and bush, every board, post and wire, everything, everywhere was coated with a sparkling splendor. Hoss stood like a statue outside the bunkhouse door taking in the wonder. He fell in step beside Determined as he came by on his way to the barn. “Did you ever see such a hoarfrost?” he asked. Crystals of frost were floating through the air. Bonita could see the children coming out of the house and heard their excitement.
Hoss’ coming seemed to change even the weather. There were many more storms that winter, but they seemed to slide in during the night, pile up the snow, and be gone in the morning. The frantic winds of the previous months weren’t seen again that winter. Calmness and beauty reigned.
Eager and his family came to visit just before Valentine’s Day. With a little help from Hoss, Bitsy and Bossy had decorated Bonita’s stall with red and white crepe paper streamers and construction paper hearts.
The area 4-H Club was having a fund-raiser at the schoolhouse. There was to be an old fashioned box social and everybody was going. The women and girls each packed a good meal inside a fancy, decorated box that would them be auctioned off. Whoever bought the box ate the meal with the one who had prepared it.