A world-weary musician and a broken racehorse rescue each other in this inspirational memoir about second chances
At thea age of 56, Gillian Wills bought her first horse on a whim. Elvis was emaciated, scarred, unruly, saddle-phobic, and imbued with attitude. However, she sensed in him the remnants of a fierce pride that resonated with her own almost-lost sense of self-worth, depleted after leaving a high status job as head of a prestigious music conservatorium in Melbourne to move across the country with her partner to Queensland. Owning a horse pushed the need for paddocks to the top of Gillian s wish list. She and her partner bought a dilapidated weatherboard farmhouse on 2.5 acres and swapped city living in Brisbane for the pleasures of semi-rural life. Gillian gave up a busy career to focus on freelance writing. For a year she wore mud-stained boots and dusty jeans by day and shiny heels and black cocktail gear at night to mingle with the art cogniscenti. And she tried to ride Elvis. He had been pitched to Gillian as a quiet, beginner s "I ll-do-whatever-youwant-kind-of-horse" who could hardly summon up the energy to trot. The truth was very different. Rehabilitating Elvis through natural horsemanship methods (horse whispering) with the help of a trainer introduced Gillian to a whole new world where music was incidental and daily discussions centered on the weather, how to tell good grass from bad, and fear of the Hendra virus. She persevered with her riding lessons, ignoring the often not-so-subtle doubts that she would ever learn to ride competently, let alone be able to control a spirited mount like Elvis. Gradually Elvis s behavior improved and Gillian s confidence grew. Learning to assert her leadership over Elvis s daily rehabilitation program slowly but surely transformed her world."
Elvis and Me
How a World-Weary Music Teacher and a Broken Racehorse Rescued Each Other