Saving Red by Susan L. Newman is the heartfelt true story of a rescued horse that became a rescuer, set in southeast Arizona.
Big and not much to look at, Red was in rough shape. He was by himself in a bare, wire-fenced pasture at the end of a long dirt road. He'd lost three horseshoes, but the fourth clung to a hoof grown nearly six inches. He was left by a family forced to move when their old adobe house was condemned, and they needed to sell him fast. When she saw him, she knew she had to get him out of there-he was ready for the killer buyers. They stared at each other across the pasture, and she heard "Get me out of here."
From the moment Red arrived at her stable, she knew there were huge lessons to be learned. She thought she was rescuing an older horse suitable for guests, but that was not to be the plan. It took the farrier four trims to fix his hobbled walk, and the level of his abuse was so intense, he forced her to 'listen in' before she could do anything with him. He became a Master Teacher. Over the years, she gave him everything she could, and it was almost as if giving could somehow surgically remove the sadness of those old, horrific abuses…and perhaps hers, too. In return, once saddled, he was safe and very careful with her.
In due time, others were drawn to his stall, and a woman came once just to lead him around. She stood talking to someone in the barnyard, holding his lead line, her feet crossed as she talked. She looked down and noticed that Red's feet were crossed, too. She looked up in surprise and slowly switched her stance. So did he. Red became a mirror…and one of the most important lessons he forced was about learning to get there quietly and safely. He taught her self-understanding followed by patient interaction. Healing rarely occurs along a straight path.
During her work with Red and other horses, she continued the enormous task of recovering an old racing stable that had been about to face the bulldozer. People came to help, some not sure why, but all eager to be involved in the dream of bringing the stable back to life. The recovery of both stable and Red were intertwined.
Susan L. Newman was born in 1941 and grew up in New Jersey. Family visits to Tucson over the years embedded the 'Western Woman' in her soul. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in the Sciences, and in 1968 completed her M.A. (abt) in Photojournalism at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse. Susan married that same year, lived in Connecticut, and had one child. She worked as a photographer for 30 years, along with multiple jobs in printing and human resources communications. After a corporate downsizing, Susan moved to Tucson in 1994. She has never really retired, and this is her first book.