“This book astonished, excited, enlightened, and humbled me. I loved it, loved it, loved it. At its heart, Half Broke is about the myriad conscious and unconscious ways we communicate with one other, and with creatures of different species–language both spoken and wordless. This marvelous memoir, peopled with folks in serious trouble of one kind or another, and the horses they care for, creatures with their own sophisticated ways of communicating, taught me as much about language as have my 77 years on the planet. Hard earned wisdom, the best kind.”
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.