Horse Whisperer Analysis by Andrew Forster

This is Analysis of Horse Whisperer by Andrew Forster taken from the character and voice section of the AQA English literature GCSE anthology.


They shouted for me
when their horses snorted, when restless
hooves traced circles in the earth
and shimmering muscles refused the plough.
My secret was a spongy tissue, pulled bloody
from the mouth of a just-born foal,
scented with rosemary, cinnamon,
a charm to draw the tender giants to my hands.

They shouted for me
when their horses reared at burning straw
and eyes revolved in stately heads.
I would pull a frog’s wishbone,
tainted by meat, from a pouch,
a new fear to fight the fear of fire,
so I could lead the horses,
like helpless children, to safety.

I swore I would protect
this legacy of whispers
but the tractor came over the fields
like a warning. I was the life-blood
no longer. From pulpits
I was scorned as demon and witch.
Pitchforks drove me from villages and farms.

My gifts were the tools of revenge.
A foul hex above a stable door
so a trusted stallion could be ridden
no more. Then I joined the stampede,
with others of my kind,
to countries far from our trade.

Still I miss them. Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk.
The searing breath, glistening veins,
steady tread and the pride,
most of all the pride.

Horse Whisperer Analysis:

In this poem, the poet fascinated by the experiences and the techniques used by Horse Whisperers. So adopts the voice of a created Horse Whisperer in order to explore how they were treated and the techniques that they were used. And indeed in the pony creates a very evocative and mysterious tone to celebrate the work of Horse Whisperers.

The poet uses repetition start with they shouted for me they shouted for me and that petition emphasizes how resentful the owners were and how desperate they were but also how aggressive they were in their treatment not only of the walls whisper but the horses themselves. Throughout the poem, you get the impression the horse whisperer believes that the reason the horses would not listen to their masters is because of the way that they were brutally treated. And verbs such as shouted and snorted emphasizes the difficult relationship between the owners and the horses.

In contrast to the Horse Whisperer who uses imagery such as tender Giants and like helpless children to show how he sees the vulnerability of the horses. Yes then serve and powerful and strong and yet they need to be treated with softness and tenderness and respect in order to get the best out of them and that's the contrast in the poem.

He talks about how once he has mastered the horses him selves. The Masters the owners of the horse is turned on him. And they ostracized him he was driven out demonized accused of witchcraft and therefore he used his tools his techniques in order to take revenge.

But Forster talks at the end of the poem about a longing and it's very wistful at the end of the poem because he misses the horses and here we list the different types of horses that he works but it worked with. But the notion then of the searing breath the glistening veins the beauty he adored the horses he studied them and he understood them.

Most of all he repeats at the end of the poem the use of pride. The horses obviously his own pride, pride in his own work and how proud he was of his techniques and the skills that used.

The poet uses an individual voice in the poem but he represents the experiences of all Horse Whisperers.

He writes in free verse narrative potentially to show that he couldn't be controlled and that actually that control that the Masters and wasn't effective.


He recounts the experience of horse whisperers who were first sought out but then hounded for their gifts. It's a created character he adopts the voice he writes in first-person and creates it's very mysterious and evocative tone through his use in particular imagery. And it's the beautiful tender imagery that uses to describe the horses that show and emphasizes his love and adoration for the horses.

Then at the end of the poem "Horse Whisperer" is the use of repetition to demonstrate his pride and his longing for his work.


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