People Whisperer

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available at, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for book website:

Now, on to my blog:

Cuddling She's a CharmerBuck Brannaman was the model for the 1998 movie “The Horse Whisperer” starring Robert Redford. He was a man with a sensitive way who could “talk” to horses, calm them down, gentle them.

Can a horse be a People Whisperer? I think so, because I met one. We were a group from the Horse Enthusiast’s Club who took a behind-the-scenes tour at a race track.

We saw the trainers trotting the young horses around the track, accompanying them astride an older, more experienced horse. We watched the horses being bathed, swaddled in blankets, and hooked to a huge, circular device called a hot walker reminiscent of old-fashioned clotheslines.  This allowed them to walk slowly around in a circle to relax and cool down their muscles after a demanding workout on the track.

Training on the TrackWe then went into the stable area where some horses were in their individual stalls with their heads and necks poking out over the half doors. That’s where we met the “people whisperer,” a three-year-old, thoroughbred filly aptly named She’s a Charmer, and she was.

This sweet equine refused the horse treats offered to her, instead placing her head against the chest of any of us who approached her. In this photograph, I’m relaxed, calm, and in the moment as I cuddle with She’s a Charmer.

We were so enamored with our new, hoofed friend that we hatched a free-Willy-type plan. We would each contribute a like amount of money and buy her, freeing her from her life as a racehorse and bringing her into our fold. Although abandoning our plan as completely unrealistic for an almost thousand pound, high maintenance animal, we continue to think about her, talk about her, and check up on her. These endeavors alone perpetuate the contentment and good feelings she brought to each of us.

Bathtime at Race Track 10-25-15Horses are used as therapy animals for the disabled, children with emotional or behavioral problems, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, etc. There have been wonderful stories of bonding between autistic people and horses. Yes, their size might seem intimidating. However, just being in their presence is a privilege and can be soul-cleansing.

Try hanging around with horses. See if their magic works on you.

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2 responses to “People Whisperer

  1. …another good one, LGG. I like horses but haven’t had any real exposure to them.

  2. Well, in that case, put horses on your bucket list, Rog.

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