“Half Broke is a love song to the broken ones, be they human or beast, and all the ways they find to mend. Ginger Gaffney’s prose is as clean and lovely as the land she describes, and this story is one that hinges on some of the deepest truths. Among them, the facts that loving well is the best medicine, and though we may not recover in a way that preserves the person we were, such loss is not without mercy.”
An alternative prison ranch in New Mexico conducts a daring experiment: setting the troubled residents out to retrain an aggressive herd of horses. The horses and prisoners both arrive at the ranch broken in one way or many— the horses often abandoned and suspicious, the residents, some battling drug and alcohol addiction, emotionally, physically, and financially shattered. Ginger Gaffney’s job is to retrain the untrainable. With time, the horses and residents form a profound bond, and teach each other patience, control, and trust.
As Gaffney peels away the layers of her own story— a solitary childhood, painful introversion, and a trans-formative connection with her first horse, a filly named Belle— she, too, learns to trust people as much as she trusts horses. Half Broke is a resonant memoir with a spirited, memorable cast that describes the fascinating ways both horses and humans seek relationships to survive.