If Horses Could Talk


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There has never been a man like Gary Witheford. He saved his own life by talking to horses and has now saved many horses lives by learning their language.

This is a book that will both shock and inspire, anger and inform. In Gary’s own colourful words it tells of an itinerant RAF childhood blighted by a pair of evil if outwardly god-fearing identical twins who groomed and abused him and all three of his brothers. How he found sanctuary in a racing stable, how his devotion made every horse he groomed a winner and how his obsession ruined his family and drove him to the very brink of suicide.

Salvation came in the world of ‘Horse Whispering’, although Gary prefers the more basic phrase ‘Natural Horsemanship’, which he has adapted from the work of Monty Roberts and other great practitioners from the American West. This chimed with his own rejection of the harsh systems still in common use and enabled him to educate young horses, redeem seemingly hopeless ones and become the leader of choice for top racehorses entering the starting stalls.

Guided by the authority of Brough Scott’s sympathetic but objective introductions Gary details the rollercoaster of his life and the personalities that have filled it. All too often the less likeable of these have been the humans and the reader as well as the author will warm to the likes of Royal Mail (the Grand National hero), Son Of A Gunner (the artful dodger), Brujo (the beloved white stallion he rescued from a Spanish abattoir) and of course Mombassa, the zebra who first brought him fame.

But amongst the equine tales and the human dramas a wider message comes through. It is that animals in general and horses in particular need to be given respect and understanding as animals not indulged as humans with the unhappy consequences which would have often proved fatal without Gary coming to the rescue.

If Horses Could Talk is a gripping tale of revival and redemption, both serious and sad. And it should change the way we communicate with horses forever.

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