Single Review: Reba McEntire, “Just Like Them Horses”

“Just Like Them Horses”
Reba McEntire

Written by Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James

It’s hard to put into words how exquisitely beautiful this record is. But if you’re familiar with Reba McEntire’s body of work, I’ll start by saying this. It could be dropped, as is, into the middle of the For My Broken Heart album and not only fit in, but elevate that collection.

“Just Like Them Horses” is a song about letting go of someone who is dying, which has always been fertile ground for timeless country songs. This one is special in that there isn’t an ounce of hesitation on the part of the one who is dying. He loves his wife, and will always carry that love. But his real life is just beginning, and the earthbound one he’s leaving behind was limiting in its restraint.

There’s a line at the end of the second verse that could’ve easily been, “I’ll see you again.” But instead, it’s  “I’ll be home again.”  Heaven is the destination, and he’s not looking back, “just like them horses when it’s time to run.”

McEntire is peerless as a vocalist, and there’s a moment before the final chorus where she communicates more emotion with a single breath than most singers can with a full range of notes.  She manages to convey both grief for herself and joy for what awaits her departed, and the tears flow from these contradictory emotions that can only be brought into harmony through faith, hope, and a belief in eternal love.

“Just Like Them Horses” is one of McEntire’s finest moments, and is a timely reminder of how and why she is such a timeless artist.

Grade: A



  1. Love Ella Mae….. buts she’s not the writer on this song..
    I am…. Liz hengber along with Tommylee james…
    Ella Mae wrote I’ll GO ON. wHICH IS ANOTHER incredible song.

  2. It’s a shame that McEntire didn’t come to the conclusion that singing songs in this manner is much superior to the ‘riding down a bumpy dirt road’ over-singing that she did most of her career. I may have enjoyed her songs a lot more.

  3. Spectacular, moving song. Spectacular album. Each time I listen to it, there is something more for me to appreciate regarding Reba and her talent.

  4. What a tremendous song. This is the type of material that an artist like an EmmyLou Harris, Lucinda Williams or Mary Chapin Carpenter records so regularly. So great to hear Reba’s tremendous voice on this record. I really hope we get more of these kinds of songs from her as her career ages on.

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