Firstly, this isn't a story on Novel Updates, it was a published book (an anthology of short stories) that I first read this. I tend to buy at local thrift stores and used book stores $1 paperbacks. So the chances that this story is OLD and out of print are good. But hey, Lord of the Rings was published in the 1950's, some of the best sci-fi and fantasy is old as dust. The plot: A young woman is about to inherit the family company as she comes of age in the outer planet of a vast galactic human empire set in the distant future. Descendants of animals of Earth are now all sentient, if I'm not remembering this wrong, lions that talk work as guards to her family estate. I'm not sure if this is the results of genetic modification, but regardless they live and work for humans in the empire and are protected by laws for basic rights. For example it is illegal for a human to ride a horse as that is considered demeaning subjection of a intelligent life form. So a horse from the central worlds comes to her house unannounced and wishes to talk to her. A horse that history will write as both a genius and as an artist. He has a business proposal for her. You see, even though this rich girl is by law and tradition set to inherit everything, that's a lot of work for someone just barely an adult, so the plan is she going to sign of control over the business to an older family member and just relax on the profits like a trust fund kid. The horse has a dream to do something that takes a mega ton of money and wants to become her partner to further that goal. Basically they take a walk outside to where he tries to convince her and they don't say what was said. Next thing you know they are partners and there's montage time skip where that girl and financial guru horse make their business the biggest on planet, then expand of multiple planets and while still a small business by central planet mega corp standards is filthy rich and now they are old and grey and they have a chat about if it's time to start the horses "plan" So first they find an old lost abandoned world, then secure the rights/buy it as the sole owner. Turns out it's Earth and it's an uninhabitable shit hole. They do find some life at the deep sea vents and microscopic life at the poles. This gives them hope and they throw money at the problem and hire an army of experts to terraform the planet back into a livable place. They find Earth plants that were taken to other planets as ancient humans colonized the galaxy, even find red woods(Sequoia) trees preserved in a obscure seed bank/botanical garden. So Earth was restored and they now made an announcement that all the sentient animals of the galactic empire where welcome to come back to Earth, but humans were not allowed. As the sole owners of the planet the girl and horse can write who can and can not live there. Only the girl and her direct descendants can set foot on Earth as the sole exception to the no human policy. The planet is now a paradise to the animals that never really felt comfortable in the humans civilization. "And the meek shall inherit the Earth" Some humans were not happy about that. One last thing, the history noted that the horse was both a genius and an artist, but no records were found of any art. The deal with the girl and the horse was thus, the horse was "poetry in motion" and he offered her a ride all those years ago and promised her more when he had created the world of his dream, the ancient homeland. And since they pretty much make the laws on their planet, consensual riding on animals was perfectly legal. Also, to note the horse and the girl had their youth restored, for their retirement to Earth and their ride together. Any one know the name of this story? The author? What anthology it was in?