Maddy Butcher’s third book, Beasts of Being: Partnerships Unburdened is now available. Order here and get free shipping.
The book, her third, is a collection of her work over several years. The loose parameter is “life with horses.” This book leads with the more academic and challenging research-supported topics. The later chapters consist of essays more reflective and fun in nature. Some are drawn from mainstream journalistic work, like opinion pieces for the Washington Post.
Butcher is the founder and publisher of Cayuse Communications and the executive director of the Best Horse Practices Summit, an annual conference with academic and arena presentations that enlighten and inform the horse-human connection. An award-winning blogger, Butcher has contributed to the Washington Post, High Country News, the Colorado Sun, the Boston Globe, and the Wall Street Journal. She authored A Rider’s Reader: Exploring Horse Sense, Science & Sentiment and Horse Head: Brain Science & Other Insights. The Maine native currently lives in Colorado.
Advance praise for Beasts of Being:
As a lover of horses and someone who is not around them as much as I would like to be, this collection of writings is balm to my soul. It stirs my imagination, my logical mind, and my spirit. From my armchair I can be around horses and around other people who love them. After reading this book, I am more motivated to move from my pandemic armchair to the barn once again.
I loved Beasts of Being. There were so many passages and chapters where I sat reading with a half grin, nodding my head in agreement and thinking, “you go, girl!” Maddy says what needs to be said with such simple elegance. I do love her writing style.
Although a sizable portion of the book is not specifically about horses, it expresses insights that directly relate to the relationship we should all be trying to cultivate with our horses, and I would argue, with our fellow man.
Beasts of Being relates horses to the big, wide world. Maddy Butcher’s essays illuminate intriguing, often unexpected directions, showing readers all sorts of pathways from the equestrian niche to much broader context. We begin to understand that horses are relevant to everything else, from how we experience quarantine to the changing use of public lands. Many of her essays relate scientific research to horsekeeping or training in a lively, thought-provoking way. She’s is an excellent writer who manages sincerity without dullness, wisdom without dogmatism. Her book left me curious to discover more of the subtle connections between horses and the rest of our lived experience.
Maddy’s done it again with an easy-to-read book filled with useful information, ranging from the scientific to the personal, to help make our lives with our equine partners more rewarding and fulfilling.
Maddy’s third book is a stimulating blend of short stories, articles, conversations, op-eds, and neurochemistry, well-suited to any nerdy horse person.
The science-y parts are well-seasoned with defined explanations, quotes from scientific studies, and practical summaries. Mercifully, she doesn’t beat you over the head with overly technical details.
Beasts of Being had me to asking myself many questions and taking a few notes. Oh, and WiseAssWallace, her alter ego, is perfect as an equine ambassador.