Read Beyond the Homestretch: What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses by Lynn Reardon Online


In Beyond the Homestretch, Lynn Reardon shares an unlikely story. In 2002, she quit her Washington DC–area office job and moved to rural Texas to open the racehorse adoption ranch LOPE (LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers). Since then, LOPE has helped transition more than 725 thoroughbreds into new homes. Though now the director of this high-profile organization, ReardonIn Beyond the Homestretch, Lynn Reardon shares an unlikely story. In 2002, she quit her Washington DC–area office job and moved to rural Texas to open the racehorse adoption ranch LOPE (LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers). Since then, LOPE has helped transition more than 725 thoroughbreds into new homes. Though now the director of this high-profile organization, Reardon didn’t learn to ride until she was an adult. Here she presents a vivid inside look into the world of horse racing, complete with colorful horses, jockeys, trainers, and gallop girls, depicting the insights horses can offer when we reevaluate our relationship with them.In this riveting account, Reardon encounters dozens of unruly racehorses, all with special needs, unusual histories, and distinct personalities. As she fumbles to help them find new careers, they return the favor by becoming her most memorable mentors in horsemanship and life philosophy.Horses such as Tawakoni, the son of a Kentucky Derby winner, and Endofthestorm, the speedy bay who required an emergency tracheotomy, give Reardon an apprenticeship in facing fear and finding a new life. Reardon may have saved these horses’ lives, but she points out that they saved hers as well....

Title : Beyond the Homestretch: What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781577316473
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Beyond the Homestretch: What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses Reviews

  • Lauren
    2019-03-24 10:55

    A 2.5 star read. I love the idea of the book but spent huge chunks of it wincing and ringing my hands while this admitted "beginner adult" repeatedly stuck her fingers into a pie much safer (for horse and human alike) for an experienced and skilled horse person. As much as the author looked down her nose at the comparison, TB rescue is a little like pit bull rescue in that most are charming, social and just dying for a new job but they need dedication and a lot of bone deep knowledge. I write this gently, because at almost 28 with nearly a quarter of a century of riding behind me and a veterinary degree to boot I am clearly not the audience here. Rather I am one of those riders the author describes who used to watch these adult beginners pick mounts far too wild and green for them and I stood back wincing and watching the usual inevitable crashes. I hope the author writes this with some tongue in cheek as to her riding skill. False humility is praise worthy. False bravado is dangerous and deadly and as an owner of an OTTB who is basically a golden retriever let me assure those beginner adults out there thinking an OTTB out there is a perfect match: maybe it is, but in my experience your typical OTTB needs months off to come down off drugs and the natural high that is racing. Even then they rarely wander off farm to go calmly trail riding days later. I can name several horses that once let down were almost immediately calm enough to trail ride with experienced riders who gave them the courage they deserved. I can also pull out my first OTTB who taught me more about how to ride a buck and when to bail than all of my other riding years combined.Rescue is great but in the wrong hands a TB is like every other horse out there: dangerous and powerful mixing with loyal and joyful. The author is incredibly lucky and likely far less dense and silly than she seems to have such amazing success. Kudos but for me reading the author mounting a young horse with no one home to even call 911 was just too stupidly naive for me. We all ride alone and take risks but there's dumb and there's suicidal. I hope she's learned a thing or 2 about stallions, young horses and so much more along the way and has curbed a lot of the behavior that brought back memories of 1 too many adult beginners assuring me their horse lurved them too much to hurt them while they attempted to gallop into the sunset with the horse's eyes rolling in horror at all the carrot sticks and flags waving around them. Most deplorable to me is the author admitting to passing herself off as a trainer to clients when clearly she is no such thing. Having come behind a few of these trainers and retrain ed horses who even after 60 days couldn't steer and barely knew one gait from the next I saw red more than once. I hate liars and that's lying and pulling an animal into it in my book. Probably not a great book for some established horse people but plenty of horses finding homes for the softies out there if you find dangerous human blunders mere blips on your radar in the grand scheme of keeping our TB's out of Mexican slaughter houses. Too cringeworthy for me to rate it well but kudos to 100's of horses finding new lives.

  • Jennifer L.
    2019-03-12 10:57

    I love to read and especially to read a good horse book! I enjoy passing along my finds so hopefully you will discover them as well. I will confess that I am a little partial to books about Thoroughbreds (maybe because I have one!). If you have any suggestions on books I should try, feel free to shoot me a note with the information.I recently read Lynn Reardon’s book “Beyond the Homestretch: What Saving Racehorses Taught Me About Starting Over, Facing Fear, and Finding My Inner Cowgirl.” I thought it was wonderful! In the book, Lynn details accounts of individual horses and their stories. I found the stories fascinating and heartworming. I loved meeting the horses and learning about each one’s special personality. From the snake wrangler to the ranch manager, you will find each horse delightful. This book clearly demonstrates that the horror stories associated with ex-racehorses are not always grounded in truth. These horses are very special and unique, as shown in the story of the ex-racer adopted by a special needs girl. I thought Lynn’s stories were told well and were relatable, and her stories left me wanting more details. I headed over to her website for LOPE and was able to find those updates. I also thought this book provided insight into a problem that is running rampant in our country. Thousands of horses are bred each year for the racing industry, and thousands are deemed not competitive. What happens to these horses? Where do they go? Unfortunately, many end up in the slaughter houses. That is why programs like LOPE are so desperately needed. These horses need a chance to find their second career. Thank you, Lynn, for all that you do for these special horses. I definitely recommend this book. It reads easy and these horses will find a special place in your heart!

  • Julie
    2019-03-14 11:49

    This woman acheived her dream and made it look so easy, just give my job up as an accountant and move into a house with room for a few horses, and start rehoming ex-racehorses!Lynn Reardon was not even a horse expert, she was nervous of horses and still having riding lessons when this change happened !These are tales of the horses she has re-homed and their characters and some of the characters she met along the way. It is a heartwarming story, but she seemed to get a lot of funding and there was not the agonizing that comes with a lot of books regarding animal charities as funding run out.I must admit i had never really thought about the horses which do not make the top horse racing grade and what happens to them. At the end of the book it does give a list of several charities ( this is an American book ) in various states which have been set up to help ex race horses. yet there are sections of American society who are trying to eradicate the Mustang the wild horses of America, who played a pivotal part in the making of a nation, lets hope there are just as many people dedicated to these horses as there are to the racehorse industry.

  • C
    2019-03-13 10:39

    I enjoyed this glimpse into the lives of race horses after they leave the track. I also admit that I have held some of the same prejudices about Off-The-Track Thoroughbreds, and this book definitely enlightened me.I did have a few issues with the book itself. The typos and formatting issues (probably due to the kindle conversion) were irritating. Her story structure was also difficult to follow at times. Each chapter is named after a particular horse, and primarily focuses on that horse. However, the chapter also skips around in time, as the author shares other stories and remembrances that have nothing to do with that horse. Issues aside, I would recommend this title to my horsey friends.

  • Kelly Leonard
    2019-02-23 12:48

    Lynn is a dear friend so it's hard to be unbiased when talking about her new book. I've had the privilege of visiting her ranch outside Austin, TX and am in awe of what Lynn does with transitioning thoroughbreds off the race track and into new careers as pleasure horses. Her new book is destined to be a classic along side SEABISCUIT by Laura Hillenbrand and CHOSEN BY A HORSE by Susan Richards.

  • Mackenzie
    2019-02-28 12:29

    This is the first book I've read from Lynn Reardon, and it was pretty good. It kind of frustrates me about how most Thoroughbreds are ridden before their knees have fully developed, which then causes a ton of other health problems, usually sending them to places like LOPE or the slaughterhouse. I look up the people like Lynn who save these horses. But it's also hard to believe that not all horses can get adopted. The racing world can be cruel, and Lynn shows what it's like to rescue horses from that world and the injuries and troubles they face. Overall it was a great book, it kind of played on a little slowly, but not too bad.

  • Emily-Jane Orford
    2019-03-08 10:30

    I have a soft spot for those people who dedicate their lives to helping others, be they animal or human (or somewhere in between). I enjoy reading about their work, their successes and their failures, and the need for more recognition and support of the type of work that they do. Lynn Reardon's story is one of those stories that I enjoy to read. She writes in a very personal style, as if she's just sat down to tell the reader a story. It's a very interesting read, very thorough. In fact, I think I've learned more about equine medicine than I ever needed or wanted to know about, especially trachea surgery. Her story presents us all with a very strong message: that we can all help and that we can all be successful in our endeavours, no matter how little we think (or others make us think) that we know. It doesn't matter what the topic, there are always those people who think that they and only they are the experts because they have the piece of paper that says so. Lynn contradicts this elusive theory and rises above it as a shining example of one who can make a difference by trying and learning along the way. And, when you think about it, what's wrong with that?I enjoyed her collection of stories, both the racehorse rescue stories and the struggling equestrian student stories. My only problem with this book was the way in which it was presented. Each new racehorse rescue story included flashbacks to Lynn's previous 'learning how to ride' life; stories that somehow related. This jumping back and forth was, at times, confusing. I'm a reader who enjoys a story that reads sequentially, not back and forth. I would recommend this book as an interesting and good read. Emily-Jane Hills Orford, award-winning author of "The Whistling Bishop".

  • Shi
    2019-02-27 11:39

    I was excited about this book and sorely disappointed when I missed a chance to meet the author at our local Austin-area tack shop. When I finally read it I found myself really enjoying it and relating to her experiences - until Ms. Reardon likened herself to a social worker when she was communicating her self-perceptions of inadequacy and inexperience. :/I am a life-long equine lover, horse owner (a rescue) as well as a social worker. There is nothing inadequate about being a social worker - in fact you must possess a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in a human science though the vast majority of practicing social workers have Master's degrees or above.I have meant to write Ms. Reardon and tell her that I was hurt. The social work profession strives to work with disadvantaged populations - the underdogs if you will - which is the same group that her organization was aiming to assist. I know that she likely did this by mistake....but it took my ability to be objective about the rest of the story away.

  • Caroline
    2019-03-11 08:57

    A thoroughly enjoyable (and inspiring) book, even though, as a race fan, I'm probably biased. Reardon tells the story of her evolution as an accountant turned horse care-person turned horse trainer through stories about individual horses at her ranch. Reardon successfully manages to weave legitimate writing talent with interesting stories about what she has been through with her horses. The format can get a little bit repetitive (introduce horse and horse's problem, tell about a past time that taught her something, tell about how she helped the horse) but all of it sheds light on her struggles and skills with horses. The book might not necessarily deserve five stars based purely on literary merit, but the story itself is so compelling I would have to give her five stars just for being awesome.

  • Joseph Mccaleb
    2019-03-05 13:55

    I posted some comments on this book in my blog: final part is: The anecdotal texture of the book reveals again and again the extraordinarily special act of discerning true capacity. A horse’s huge heart makes her vulnerable to humans’ tendency to impose our own intentions on others. Even a mostly well-intentioned buyer looks for a jumper or a beginner’s lesson horse or whatever. Teachers, parents, and partners do it, too. Only a soul-centered lover looks deeply enough, cares enough, and gives so that authentic nature, often shy or even fiercely guarded, ventures out and stretches into its own beauty and power. Lynn Reardon tells of this.The treasure at the end of the rainbow waits just inside the heart’s door, but it often takes a thousand miles of walking and someone else’s eyes to reach the key.

  • Marg
    2019-02-22 09:37

    The book is organized into different chapters based on different horses Lynn has worked with. Within each chapter, however, are also stories based on her past experience - such as when she was still in D.C. as a working student or with other horses she is currently or has worked with in the past. It is not done chronologically. Part of me thinks it would have been better if it was done chronologically, however, having those past insights did enhance the work.I did, however, really like all of the insight into each of the horse's characters - it was quite well done. I especially liked the description of LB's sneer.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommended it to horse and animal lovers (and everyone else as well).

  • Daelynleopard
    2019-03-11 10:38

    Lynn Reardon beschreibt rührend ihre Erfahrungen mit der Rettung von Vollblütern, die nicht gut genug für den Rennsport waren oder sich verletzt haben. Die Pferde, oft komisch benannt und alle mit ganz eigenem Charakter, wachsen einem schnell ans Herz. Und schlussendlich wird wohl jedem klar: Vollblüter sind keine Monster, sondern einfach nur Pferde.Außerdem macht Lynn Hoffnung, seinen Traum zu verwirklichen. Und dass nicht nur Profi-Trainer Pferdeleben retten können.Ich habe selber einen Ex-Galopper bei mir und ich würde es jederzeit wieder tun. Schön, dass es Leute wie Lynn Reardon gibt!

  • Jennifer Nelson
    2019-03-06 05:42

    This is the story of Lynn Reardon, an ordinary gal with limited horse skills who loved horses so much she was willing to give up her career to start a rescue operation for ex-racehorses. Along the way she learns much about horses and the people who love horses, telling her adventures with grace, humility, and humor. This was a very enjoyable book - I loved reading about each of the horses' individual personalities and got a good laugh over some of the crazy people who populate the "horse world." I hope that Lynn has many more years ahead of her finding homes for horses. Makes me want to adopt one of her horses. *smile*

  • Rochelle
    2019-03-11 13:49

    This is a really charming book that showcases the best and worst sides of learning to take on something new, in this case horseback riding, as an adult. Extremely well organized into chapters about different horses, Reardon weaves into the descriptions of horse personalities stories about the humans and barn experiences that lead her to open her own adoption program. I would have given it 5 stars if I didn't reserve such status for classic type literature.

  • Abby
    2019-03-14 06:38

    I am a huge horse racing fan, but I was not familiar at all as far as what happens to race-horses after their racing days, or what happens to the ones who aren't good enough to race. Reardon is a bold woman for taking in so many horses, even with her minimal knowladge or horses. I can totaly relate to being the clueless, utterly unexpirenced rider in a barn of rich riders with 10+ years of riding expirence. Great story, great woman.

  • Brittany
    2019-03-23 06:37

    This was a glorious book about a woman who quits her DC accounting job and moves to Texas to rescue and rehabilitate Thoroughbred racehorses. It's wonderfully and casually written, just like you're talking to a good friend over lunch. She talks about the challenges she faced, the ongoing worry that she's not a "real" horsewoman, and the horses and characters she encounters. It's very enjoyable, very educational, and a fun read.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-24 08:32

    2 stars. I love the idea of this book. I love that this lady wanted to do good things for ex-racers. Having been in the racing industry myself since college this whole book make me shake my head, cringe and occasionally yell expletives (and I didn't even finish it!) because some of the ignorant stereotypical thoughts ad beliefs about racing and racehorses. I couldn't deal with it and quit reading.

  • Jamie
    2019-03-01 06:48

    This was such an inspirational book. If you are a horse lover or an animal lover in general, you will really enjoy this book. It gives great information about the Thoroughbred racing industry and the sad lives many injured or unsuccessful horses face when their careers are over. I think anyone would enjoy learning about the chance Lynn took by opening her rescue ranch. It's great for anyone who wonders if they are doing what they really want to do. It's about taking chances.

  • Stephanie Tracy
    2019-03-14 06:33

    This was a heartfelt and inspirational story about a woman who dedicated her life to caring for and finding new homes for retired race horses. Lynn Reardon tells the story in a very funny and easy-to-read way, and it's easy to see just by reading this book that she loves what she is doing with her life.

  • Paula Johnson
    2019-03-06 12:46

    I started watching the derby's a few years back and wondered what happen to some of these horses. I did a little research and found this book. I love how Lynn describes the horses and how they acted when they came to her ranch. Her and her husband take on a challenge saving these horses and I commend them for it.

  • Eventer79
    2019-02-26 08:45

    I felt a little misled as many people told me this book helped them better understand retraining their own ex-racehorses. Instead, it is a collection of anecdotes from the author on her journey starting LOPE in Texas. Great stories and wonderful rescues, but definitely not a training assistance book.

  • Patty
    2019-03-03 12:56

    Well, as I'm already under the spell of horses I am now thoroughly inspired by the dedication and determination of some people and their quest to live the life they really want...and amazed at how they figure it out. This book has really given me hope that I will again rekindle my relationships with horses and all I have to do is try.

  • Patty
    2019-02-21 12:57

    I'm not sure if a non-horselover would enjoy this book as much as I did, but it turned out to be an easy, fun to read account of the author's journey to start a horse rescue for race horses. There were lots of stories and anecdotes to keep it entertaining while also giving a realistic view of what it takes to found a rescue like this and work with the animals on a day to day basis.

  • Carol
    2019-03-21 08:54

    Non-fiction about a woman's efforts to start a re-training and re-homing program for Thoroughbred who are no longer race-worthy, due to either injury, age, or lack of speed.It's an enjoyable book, but I didn't find quite as interesting as some other horse rescue books I've read. The stories of these horses are not as varied as when the horses come from many different backgrounds.

  • Kat
    2019-03-11 07:37

    Reading this at bedtime on my Kindle...and loving this from page 1. I'm done and didn't want this book to end. It was wonderful to read all about the Thoroughbreds and background of how LOPE got started. A beautiful person who followed her heart and the horses got blessed because she came into their lives. Loved this book!

  • Deb
    2019-02-25 13:59

    I enjoyed the author's honesty. She admitted she had minimal knowledge about horsecare when she started her rescue operation. I admire her for her fierce determination and self motivation in wanting to make her operation a success and to do right by all of the horses donated to her adoption program by their trainers.

  • Anya
    2019-02-26 08:41

    A woman's personal account of her spearheading a racehorse rescue operation. The book is divided into chapters focused on specific horses, interspersed with anecdotes from the author's early horse experiences.All in all an interesting read, that could have been improved by a more chronologically told story.

  • Susana
    2019-02-28 07:40

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's well written, touching yet laced with well-placed humor, both a biography and a book of animal tales. Having learned to ride on ex-racing Thoroughbreds who found a second career as lesson horses, I have a love of the breed and an appreciation for what Lynn does. Great read for horse/animal lovers.

  • Lucy Prybylski
    2019-03-15 06:54

    Well written and interesting story..Good reading for horse people as well as others unfamiliar with horses. The author tells her story in a humble way as personal anecdotes from her life with horses. However she has made a major accomplishment saving the lives of hundreds of thoroughbred race horses.

  • Sumiko
    2019-03-21 07:45

    I loved this book. It's the story of a woman who moved to Texas and despite her lack of expertise founded a racetrack adoption/rescue ranch.She writes about her experiences and the horses that she rescues in a very engaging manner. A quick and enjoyable read.