TPH Book Review – Come to the X by Julia Wendell

TPH Book Review by Elizabeth Sousa

We all understand what it’s like to try to fit life and horses together. It is not always easy, but as equestrians, we know it’s necessary, and we do it. Come to the X, a memoir written by poet Julia Wendell, captures the balancing act of being a horse owner. She details much of the decision-making we face on a daily basis, from finding the right bit, to setting the right pace to make it over the next fence, to making the decision to retire a horse. Along the way, Wendell confides in her dogs as well as her horses.

Wendell shares her human connections as well, such as her relationship with her husband, in whom she relies to drive the truck and trailer—even when he falls ill. Lessons with trainers, trail rides with friends, and a fight with her daughter add up to a well-rounded, dysfunctional, real-life person. We can all understand the feeling of trying to make sense of everything that happens in life. Unfortunately, we often get lost and find ourselves trying to piece it all back together.

Wendell’s story is a relatable one, as she enjoys the happy moments that brighten up long stretches of hardship. Riders young and young at heart can all find something to relate to in her story. We have all experienced loss and grief, found ourselves in a conflict with someone we were once very close to, and, in the equestrian community, we’ve all had a horse or two who makes us want to rip our hair out. But ultimately, it is love and passion that gets us through it all, and Come to the X is a book that shows us that love and passion, each step of  the way.

Originally from the August 2020 issue.