Former NOLS instructor Tom Reed brings this 118-page book of outdoor, horse-related essays to life with an unassuming and affectionate voice. Tom’s love of horses, Western mountains and good friends makes this book a must-read for anyone who has ever loved heading up the trail on a good horse or wandered the backcountry in search of adventure.
But you don’t need to know horses or the mountains for Reed’s experience to be palpable; his is a passion that transcends mere ownership or being in the mountains. This collection of twelve, lyrical essays fosters reflection on the complex interrelationship of human, animal and place. Reed’s writing skills evoke a range of emotions, sights and senses in this reader.
Reed’s voice and powerful descriptions are straightforward: riding, camping, hoof beats, dew on the grass, elk in the meadows, trails ascending, the buzz of mosquitoes and the swish of horses tails. This is prosaic stuff and a quick read, but it’s surprisingly moving under Reed’s deft literary touch.
It’s seldom that a book brings me to recall and relive my times in the mountains and my relationship with mountain horses, but Tom Reed’s book breached that dike and caused a flood of powerful memories.
Jim Culver, formerly head of NOLS’ Three Peaks Ranch, put it very well, “If you know horses, you’ll recognize the ones in these stories because you’ve ridden them yourself somewhere along the way. And if you love the mountains, you’ll recognize the places he writes of, because you’ve been there too… or will be.”
Author Tom Reed now lives in the mountains outside Bozeman, Montana and works on public land issues for Trout Unlimited. Visit him and get a signed copy of Give Me Mountains For My Horses at this year’s Wyoming Book Festival in Cheyenne, Wyoming on September 14-15, 2007 or find it at your local bookseller.