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Archive for the ‘Forthcoming Books’ Category

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan's work with George in 2013

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan’s work with George in Florida in 2013.

Canadian horseman Jonathan Field is recognized all over North America, and the world, for his engaging ability to explain and articulate his knowledge of horses and relate to his audiences. Like other trainers, he has a herd of horses he performs with live to sold out crowds, but what is wonderful about Jonathan is that most of his main demonstration and liberty horses are “cast away problem horses” that he has taken on, retrained, and grown with so that together they could become “stars” of the horse world.

After first traveling to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the 2012 Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Competition, Jonathan is now making a return trip south from his ranch in British Columbia to the 2014 competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

“It’s such an honor to be going back to Road to the Horse to represent my country while sharing my knowledge on starting young horses,” says Jonathan. “Traveling to Kentucky for a second Road to the Horse experience is exciting because I have much better idea about the event, how it is judged, and how to approach the competition in terms of strategy—however, having said all that, we must always remember that in the end it’s all about doing right by our young horses and their future. The horses that we are lucky to get to work with at Road to the Horse are the ones that ultimately determine how each of us go about our work over the weekend and how far we get.”

 

Watch this short video to hear Jonathan share a little bit of his story:

 

We at TSB wish Jonathan the best of luck the weekend of March 13-16, 2014, and we hope he, and the other competitors in the international field of horse trainers, can help demonstrate how we can all achieve a safe, educated, engaged start with young stock that can, “down the road,” lead to the ultimate connection with any horse.

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Jonathan Field’s forthcoming book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES is available for preorder from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, TSB couldn’t help but think of two individuals who clearly love horses and how life can be fuller and more joyful when horses are part of it. TSB is proud to announce the soon-to-be-released new book from Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon, the founding stars of the hit show Cavalia and authors of the bestselling book GALLOP TO FREEDOM. Their new book, BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE is their meaningful, beautiful, and personal account of  how people can begin, and then nurture, thriving and happy relationships with horses.

 

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“For the horse and our relationship to evolve in a good way, we have to remain open,” writes Frederic in BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE. “In my imagination, I see open doors between us so that we always feel that physically and mentally we can achieve anything we set our minds to. If we rest on the principles we have been taught or learned, the relationship with the horse will stay shuttered. Every day I try to make a fresh start: this is a new day for me and for this horse I am with. What will happen? If I do not take this approach—and there are plenty of people in the horse world who do not—I shall never really get through to this horse and learn about his true nature.

“With the passage of time and all the experiences we have had, both good and bad, Magali and I gave up wanting to control everything and, in fact, we listen more and more to what the horses tell us they want to do….To me, being open means being in tune with myself and others, not having immutable principles but always having the wish to be as fair as possible. For the horse to have a beneficial effect on us we must remain open. We must entertain a sense almost of abandon so that we are always ready to be surprised and moved, and ready to question all our previous experience in order to find the true way forward.”

 

Watch Magali and Frederic demonstrate their love of horses in these spectacular clips from Equitana 2013:

 

BuildingLifeTogether

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And CLICK HERE to pre-order a copy of BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon for the special horse person (and Valentine!) in your life.

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It’s debatable, really, whether most of the 100-million-plus people who will “watch” the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2, 2014, will be doing so to cheer on a favored football team or to enjoy, mock, and/or rate the commercials that monopolize the expensive minutes in between plays.

In honor of this annual nod to the supposed powers of television marketing, here are 10 great commercials featuring horses…and here’s hoping that we’ll see a few more come Sunday.

 

1  A “Super Bowl Commercial List” certainly wouldn’t be complete without the Budweiser Clydesdales. The 2013 Super Bowl ad was a winner in my book…I’m admittedly a “softy,” but it gets me every time.

 

2  Carrying on with the Fleetwood Mac theme, and bookending the “Big Horse” nicely with a wee Shetland, we get this treat:

 

3  In case Number 2 on our list didn’t convince you that horses like to get their groove on, check out OPI’s offering:

 

4  It would appear that script writers and commercial producers are itching for a good reason to show a horse flashing some fancy footwork:

 

5  And sticking with the laughs, Will Ferrell proves that he is NOT a horse person:

 

6  It’s not surprising that the automobile industry features horses in its ads—but as a horseWOMAN, this one, in particular, speaks to me:

 

There’s certainly little that embodies “drama” and “heart” like the racetrack, and this black-and-white piece from Longines succeeds in increasing your pulse:

 

8  And sticking with the black-and-white (and utterly effective), who’d have thought Guinness could get me all choked up? But something about this vintage-type imagery just GETS me:

 

9  Here’s a “someday horse story” with which many of us can identify, and Prudential has done a marvelous job transmitting their message while speaking to our heart:

 

10  And last, but certainly not least, our own Jonathan Field, horse trainer and author of the forthcoming TSB book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES, broke into the mainstream with this fabulous commercial from Blackberry:

 

You can preorder Jonathan Field’s book at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

And shop all our great horse books and DVDs at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com.

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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In this lesson from THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK, trainer and founder of the International Horse Agility Club Vanessa Bee helps us learn not to pull on our horse (so he, in turn, doesn’t pull on us!) with an easy exercise to try with a friend at home or at the barn.

 

I can lead my horse Secret with a loose lead rope—she “reads” me for direction rather than relying on a tug of the lead rope.

I can lead my horse Secret with a loose lead rope—she “reads” me for direction rather than relying on a tug of the lead rope.

 

Have you ever tried to pull a horse along by the lead rope? Hard work, isn’t it? That’s because when you pull on a horse, he pulls back against you. However, it’s very easy to train a horse to stop pulling on you—just stop pulling on him. It takes two to pull! When you ask the horse to walk with you, it should feel as if he’s “floating along” on the end of the lead rope. However, he’ll never do this if you pull on him because he will always look for the lead rope to “guide” him rather than “read” the handler for direction.

By starting off with a polite request and increasing the pressure very slightly until the horse gives to that pressure—and then rewarding him by releasing instantly—you can train the horse to move quietly and softly on a loose lead.

 

The “Learning Not to Pull” Game: Human to Human

1  Find a friend and hold a lead rope between you. The person holding the clip end is the “horse” and the person at the other end is the “handler.” (It doesn’t matter who is the “horse” first because you can swap positions later.) The “horse” may find it easier to close her eyes in order to feel communication traveling down the rope.

2  The rope should be slack with no feeling of a connection between “handler” and “horse.” The “handler” then lifts and shortens the rope slowly until the “horse” can feel a connection.

 

Lucy (left) is the horse and Vanessa (right) is the handler. Vanessa "invites" her "horse" to walk toward her.

Lucy (left) is the horse and Vanessa (right) is the handler. Vanessa “invites” her “horse” to walk toward her with a little squeeze on the rope.

 

3  The “handler” then puts a tiny squeeze on the rope, inviting the “horse” to walk towards her. The aim is for the human players to see how little pressure is needed to communicate the human request to the horse. (You will be amazed how tiny this feel can be—when a real horse is trained to look for these tiny signals, communication between horse and handler becomes almost invisible.)

4  The willing “horse” feels the squeeze and walks. As soon as the “handler” feels the “horse” give to the pressure, the “handler” must release, too. If she doesn’t, there is no reward for the “horse,” who may well just pull back.

5  You can enact various real-life scenarios: a pulling horse, a “stuck” horse, an easy horse. Start the game again, but this time the “horse” doesn’t immediately walk but pulls back a tiny bit. The “handler” must hold on without pulling harder because that may well cause the “horse” to pull harder, and I can tell you, a real horse will win!

 

Lucy and Vanessa switch roles. Vanessa, the "horse," closes her eyes to really feel Lucy communicating with her through the lead rope.

Lucy and Vanessa switch roles. Vanessa, the “horse,” closes her eyes to really feel Lucy communicating with her through the lead rope.

 

6  Try that next: Start the game again, only this time when the “horse” answers the squeeze and walks forward, the “handler” just goes on pulling. Ask the “horse” how she felt about it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the “horse” will say she wanted to pull back. Whenever the horse gives to pressure, the handler must release instantly.

7  Take turns watching each other as the “handler,” and notice what you do before you squeeze the rope. This is the beginning of the “horse” reading the “handler’s” body language instead of being guided by the rope.

 

Now Take What You Learned and Play with a Real Horse!

To prepare the horse to walk forward on the lead:

1  Raise your energy level (to get his attention), run your hand down the rope to set up a vibration, lean forward into the direction of the movement, lift the rope, and point in the direction you want him to go. Using very little pressure on the rope, ask him to walk with you.

2  When he takes the first step, release the pressure on the rope and take a step, too. You will find that you are walking together with a loose rope. Stay relaxed but focus on the speed and direction of the walk while remaining aware of the horse. The lead rope between you and the horse should remain loose—it is only there as a “safety belt”—it is not for dragging the horse. Walk with intention, looking forward to where you want to go.

 

THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

And watch for the NEW BOOK coming from Vanessa Bee! 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP: 60 AMAZINGLY ACHIEVABLE LESSONS TO IMPROVE YOUR HORSE (AND YOURSELF) WHEN TIME IS SHORT will be released in February 2014.

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP NOW

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TSB author Daniel Stewart just wrapped up his sold-out 2013 Summer Clinic Tour.

TSB author Daniel Stewart just wrapped up his sold-out 2013 Summer Clinic Tour.

TSB author and equestrian sport psychology expert Daniel Stewart just wrapped up his sold-out 2013 Summer Clinic Tour! From early June to late August he crisscrossed the United States bringing his intoxicating brand of enthusiasm and positive coaching to a riders of all ages and abilities at dozens of barns, farms, and training facilities.

“From Portland to Princeton to Philadelphia and Providence, and from San Francisco to Seattle to Steamboat Springs and Spokane, it was a pleasure teaching all the wonderful riders, trainers, and auditors who participated in my 2013 Summer Clinic Tour,” says Daniel. “I want to send a special thanks to all the organizers who set-up my many clinics. Without your hard work the riders wouldn’t have had the opportunity to participate in this tour. Lastly, I want to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome in your barns and at your pony clubs. I hope you all had as much fun learning from me as I had teaching you!”

Here’s a sum up of Daniel’s Summer Clinic Tour… by the numbers:

2 Months

 

50 Clinics

 

42 Cities

 

18 States

 

630 Horses & Riders

 

1,100 Auditors

 

0 days of rain (!)

 

7 days over 100 degrees

 

4 sunburns

 

Wore out 2 pairs of boots

 

Earned a trillion frequent flyer miles

 

Donated over $4,000 to the United States Pony Club!

(Daniel pledged to donate a portion of all his 2013 clinic fees to the USPC.)

You can preorder Daniel's new book at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com!

You can preorder Daniel’s new book at http://www.HorseandRiderBooks.com!

Even if you missed Daniel on tour this summer, you can still jump-start your confidence, your cool, and your general riding performance so you can “do what you love and love what you do” with the help of Daniel’s forthcoming book PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING. Within its fun, invigorating, highly illustrated pages, Daniel shares dozens of specific tools and tricks that can be used to manage the stress, nerves, distraction, anxiety, and panic that so often hinder performance. And he does it as only Daniel can—with humor, candor, and honesty so we not only believe in him, we learn to believe in ourselves.

You can preorder PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING by Daniel Stewart at the TSB online bookstore now!

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT AND TO ORDER

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Pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today for a great excerpt from TSB author Sylvia Loch's new book!

Pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today for a great excerpt from TSB author Sylvia Loch’s new book!

TSB has a lot to be proud of in the August issue of Dressage Today magazine, with special sections by authors Susanne von Dietze (BALANCE IN MOVEMENT and RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK) and Janet Foy (DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE), as well as a travel piece and cover photo by photographer Keron Psillas (MEDITATION FOR TWO and the forthcoming THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS).

In addition, the “Annual Baroque Issue” features an excerpt from Sylvia Loch’s new book  THE BALANCED HORSE: THE AIDS BY FEEL, NOT FORCE, which is now available from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

Take a close look at this photo from the book and see if you can name the celebrity in the audience!

See if you can spot the celebrity in the audience at this Sylvia Loch clinic!

See if you can spot the celebrity in the audience at this Sylvia Loch clinic!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today magazine, wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold.

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TSB author Daniel Stewart hits 50 tour stops across the country this summer!

TSB author Daniel Stewart hits 50 tour stops across the country this summer!

TSB author Daniel Stewart has been a successful international trainer and instructor for over 25 years, training riders in the United States, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Greece, and the West Indies, and coaching riders on several US Equestrian Teams to success at World Championships, World Equestrian Games, and the Olympics.

Daniel is widely considered one of the world’s leading experts on equestrian sport psychology, biomechanics, and athletics. He teaches clinics and seminars to thousands of riders each year, and this year is broadening his reach further with an amazing 50-CLINIC SUMMER TOUR that will weave its way back and forth across the country, beginning this weekend (June 1) and ending in mid-August.

“I’m thrilled that my sold-out ‘Pressure Proof’ summer clinic tour is finally here!” said Daniel when we spoke to him earlier this week. “I’m scheduled to teach 50 clinics in 60 days—from the West Coast to Colorado and from the Northwest to the Northeast. I’m looking forward to each and every clinic and can’t wait to help everyone become more confident, focused and Pressure Proof!”

PressureProofYourRiding

CLICK IMAGE TO PREORDER NOW

We at TSB are excited about the success of the summer clinic tour, as it is leading up to the release of Daniel’s highly anticipated new book PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING, due out in September 2013.

“I truly believe, regardless of your understanding of sports psychology, PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING is an essential read,” says Kevin Price, CEO of US Pony Club.

“Daniel’s enthusiasm is infectious,” agrees Leslie Threlkeld, editor of Eventing USA. “His attitude toward emotional challenges makes having nerves and insecurities seem so normal—and so manageable.”

In PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING Daniel explains that while riders love to do what they do, this love is sometimes lost in the panic of showing and performing. He then walks the rider through specific tools and tricks to manage and overcome stress, fear, and anxiety, and how to embrace and enjoy every minute of performing with our equine partners.

It’s not too late to see Daniel in action, too! Check out the list of summer tour dates (see below) and see if there’s one near you.

“A big thanks to everyone hosting one of my ‘Pressure Proof’ clinics this summer!” says Daniel. “I’ve pledged to donate a portion of my summer clinic fees to the US Pony Club, and thanks to all those I’ll be seeing this summer, I’ll be able to donate over $4,000 to this wonderful organization!”

If you’d like to audit or ride in one of Daniel Stewart’s clinics on his summer tour, please contact the email address following each date for more information:

 

Daniel is known world-over as an enthusiastic, energetic, fun-loving speaker with great knowledge, innovative ideas, and an honest desire to help riders love what they do---ride!

Daniel is known world-over as an enthusiastic, energetic, fun-loving speaker with great knowledge, innovative ideas, and an honest desire to help riders love what they do—ride!

Alpharetta GA

June 1 – 2

inyourdreamsfarm@yahoo.com

Davis CA

June 18

amdennie@sbcglobal.net

Sacramento CA

June 19

jen@solusns.com

Grass Valley CA

June 20

dressagerocks@gmail.com

Nipomo CA

June 22

marclyfarms@yahoo.com

Gilroy CA

June 23

brucette123@aol.com

Portola Valley CA

June 25

Private Clinic

Eureka CA

June 26 – 28

anyat2@suddenlink.net

Bend OR

June 29 – 30

Private Clinic

Beaverton OR

July 1 – 2

tracimwheeler@mac.com

Olympia WA

July 9

speters1669@gmail.com

Tacoma WA

July 10

dcloe@msn.com

Spokane WA

July 12 – 14

reginaahern@gmail.com

Deary ID

July 15 – 16

kswpharm@gmail.com

Missoula MT

July 17 – 18

reddishhm@yahoo.com

Nathrop CO

July 22 – 23

eoco@realwest.com

Carbondale CO

July 24 – 26

staceysevers@gmail.com

Steamboat Springs CO

July 27 – 28

athenadesigns@msn.com

Cheyenne WY

July 29

horsemom3@gmail.com

University of New Hampshire

July 31

latherton08@yahoo.com

Warner NH

Aug 1 – 2

cathf28@aol.com

Shaftsbury VT

Aug 3

nnash182@gmail.com

Simsbury CT

Aug 4 – 5

horseluve@cox.net

Bristol CT

Aug 4 – 5

mrkost@sbcglobal.net

Providence RI

Aug 7

kkiley@cox.net

Princeton NJ

Aug 9 – 10

alexis_tm17@yahoo.com

Warwick NY

Aug 11

jenpasquale@optonline.net

Elkton MD

Aug 12

clarinda.gerow@gmail.com

Coopersburg PA

Aug 13 – 14

carlyextra@aol.com

Pittstown NJ

Aug 15 – 16

paige@avhpc.org

You can preorder PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING from the TSB online bookstore. Books ship September 1, 2013.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Thejoglegs

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event unofficially begins Wednesday with the first jog or horse inspection, scheduled at 3:00 p.m EST. At all Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) sanctioned events, the veterinary delegate and the ground jury evaluate each competing horse twice–once prior to the competition (Wednesday) and once prior to the show jumping phase (the third and final phase)–to ensure he is fit to compete (Sunday).

“During the (first veterinary) exam the horse is identified according to its passport, its vaccination status is verified, and it is established that the horse does not have apparent contagious or infectious disease,” explained Lisa Crump, DVM, associate veterinarian for the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, in TheHorse.com Article #29022. “The baseline health is evaluated by a physical examination, including listening to heart and lungs, palpating limbs to investigate abnormalities, and (making) general observations.”

In addition to the practical matters of fitness and soundness, and particularly when the public is admitted to the jog, horse appearance and “trot-up outfits” (the rider’s attire) are of importance. In the following excerpt from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON, Phillip’s former “Head Girl” Emma Ford shares her secrets to a successful jog, and Phillip provides a rundown on basic attire Dos and Donts.

Sign up to WIN THIS! Stop by the Cosequin booth in the Sponsor Village at Rolex Kentucky!

Sign up to WIN THIS! Stop by the Cosequin booth in the Sponsor Village at Rolex Kentucky!

A limited number of copies of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON will be available for purchase and signing at Rolex Kentucky. CLICK HERE to read more about the special events planned for the weekend, and be sure to stop by the Cosequin booth in the Sponsor Village to find out the exact times for book signings and your chance to win great prizes, including a Gift Bucket full of Cosequin products, plus a copy of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON and a $50 gift certificate to spend on books and DVDs at the TSB online bookstore (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com).

PREP FOR THE JOG

from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by Phillip Dutton with Amber Heintzberger

Out of respect for the judges (and because sometimes they offer great prizes for the best turned-out horse and rider), both should be immaculately turned out for the presentation to the Ground Jury. Below is a step-by-step description of how Phillip Dutton’s former “Head Girl” Emma Ford prepares each horse for the jog:

For the Wednesday jog Phillip normally rides the horse in the morning and then jogs him by hand to make sure that he is sound.

  • I give each horse a full bath including twice cleaning any white socks.
  • After the bath I use Cowboy Magic Super Bodyshine™ (CHARMAR ®) and spray it all over the horse and rub it in with a towel. It doesn’t make the coat slippery.
  • I put some detangler in the tail then put a tail wrap on while the tail is still wet; this remains on until just before Phillip jogs him out.
  • I braid the horse, increasing the number of braids from the 12–15 that I normally put in for a Horse Trials competition to 14–18 in for the jog. This lengthens the appearance of the horse’s neck—for aesthetic purposes.
  • Once the horse is ready I make sure the jog bridle is spotless and use metal polish to bring buckles to a shine.
  • Phillip likes to have the horse walking about 20 to 30 minutes prior to his jog time, so 30 minutes before that I bring him out of his stall, brush him off, rub him over with a towel, put Afro-Sheen™ (Johnson Products) in the tail and make sure the tail wrap is still in place.
  • I put baby oil on the skin around the eyes and muzzle.
  • For chestnuts, bays and black horses, I rub baby oil into my hands and run it down the crest of their neck and their legs to pick up any dust that might have accumulated.
  • I pick out the feet.
  • I use hoof oil on the walls and soles.
  • I add quarter markers to the hindquarters.
  • I like to put boots on prior to the jog to prevent any silly accidents that might prevent the horse from jogging up sound.
  • Then, I put the bridle on, and he’s ready for Phillip. (If you’re riding and by yourself, get the horse ready, then get dressed before you put the bridle on.)
  • Be aware of the weather; when it’s on the cool side, ensure the horse is warm while you are waiting so his muscles don’t tighten up.

Fashion Dos and Don’ts from Phillip:

Clean and conservative is always appropriate for the horse inspection. Photo by Amber Heintzberger from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com).

Clean and conservative is always appropriate for the horse inspection. Photo by Amber Heintzberger from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com).

It is important to wear something comfortable enough to jog in, which will not distract you or the ground jury from the main focus: your horse. Men are safe wearing khaki pants and a sport coat, adding a touch of style with an accessory like a hat or cowboy boots. Women can be a little more daring with skirts or dresses and fancy shoes, but a flapping mini skirt or tottering heels is unprofessional and distracting. Keep your style classic and simple for the best results, especially when it comes to footwear. Unless you are really comfortable jogging along next to a thousand pounds of horseflesh while wearing 3-inch heels, opt for something a little more practical.

DO

  • Wear pants that fit well. It may be worth hiring a tailor to get the right length and cut.
  • Coordinate your outfit to complement your horse. This is your chance to highlight your assets—take advantage of the opportunity.
  • Polish your shoes. You polish your riding boots, you polish your horse’s hooves, so take the time to polish your “jog” shoes, as well. Whether they are old paddock boots or Italian dress shoes, make sure they are clean and shiny.
  • Wear something that you like that flatters your body type. Fashion trends come and go, but nothing compares to feeling your best in whatever clothes you wear. If you like to take fashion risks, feel free to express yourself within reason, but if your style is more conservative, that’s fine, too.

DON’T

  • Wear clogs. Sprawling head over heels as you twist an ankle in these barn favorites will not earn favor with the ground jury.
  • Wear a skirt shorter than knee length. It should be of a heavy enough fabric that it does not flap around.
  • Wear a big floppy hat without securing it to your head.
  • Dress as if you are going out clubbing or to a dance party.
  • Wear anything with stains on it. Yes, it’s hard to stay clean when you are working with horses. Wear something over your nice clothes to keep them clean while you are getting ready, or have someone help you with your horse.

ModEventwPhilDutwebRead another FREE EXCERPT from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by CLICKING HERE.

Look for the Free Chapter Download link in red! And don’t forget to preorder your copy. Books ship at the end of May, 2013.

Click the image above to see photos (and "outfits"!) from the first horse inspection at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky on Eventing Nation.

Click the image above to see photos (and “outfits”!) from the first horse inspection at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky on Eventing Nation.

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RB Here

It has been professed by others before that human beings find soul on the back of a horse and solace in wide open spaces. Riding out, out into the plains, the desert, the mountains, the woodlands, allows one to get lost…and then find oneself. And the very rhythms of riding—the thud of the horse’s hooves, his breathing, the swish of his tail, the squeak of the tack—form an integral interface between human and earth.

In RIDING BARRANCA, a remarkable new book from Trafalgar Square Books, author Laura Chester has explored and described her experiences riding and searching—for resolution, for the ability to forgive and be forgiven—in the most lucid of prose. A year’s journey on horseback in such diverse settings as Arizona, Massachusetts, Mexico, India, and Australia, spurs the release of memories both bitter and joyous as she struggles to deal with her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s Disease.

“The counterpoint of horses and family makes this book unusually satisfying,” writes Thomas Moore, bestselling author of Care of the Soul, in his foreword to the book. “This intrigue, the unanswered questions, the mysterious juxtapositions, are what makes this book, to me, a work of art.”

We caught up with Laura, currently in Arizona, and asked her to share a little about her writing, her horses, and the personal journey that makes her newest book poignant, painful, and yet ultimately, liberating.

TSB: Horses, and obviously, one particular horse (Barranca) figure prominently in your new book. What is your history with riding and horses, and what is it about both that support human growth, or recovery from loss or trauma?

LCC: Riding has always been a big part of my life. My family kept a stable of varied horses, and growing up in the country with an extended family, we often took rides together. For the most part, we had little training, but we all managed to have good seats. I grew up riding in a relaxed manner, rather than entering into the pressures of the show ring. While I am a competitive person, I’m grateful that I took the trail ride route, exploring nature on horseback. I know that a ride will almost always put me in a good mood (especially when I’m on Barranca)—for me it is a way to find my center. I don’t know how or why riding and writing can help one “work it out.” Perhaps if one is quiet and connected, then you find yourself in the moment, in a kind of reverie where thoughts come and go—it is a healing process because of the balance between presence and absence.

TSB:  You have had many books published, fiction and nonfiction. How is RIDING BARRANCA, your newest work, different from your previous titles?

LCC:  I began writing and publishing as a poet when I was a teenager, but I’ve had various books of fiction and non-fiction. I find that the different forms are like walk, trot and canter—why not try them all? My first non-fiction book was Primagravida, an account of my first pregnancy and birth. One of my favorites is Lupus Novice, which describes my encounter with the auto-immune disease of the same name. When I have an idea for a non-fiction book, like Holy Personal, the trick is to just begin, not knowing where the story will go. When I began RIDING BARRANCA, I didn’t anticipate that it would include personal family dynamics, but life itself leads the writing.

TSB: “Place” and setting play an important part in RIDING BARRANCA. Can you share a little about your home in the Berkshires and your home in Arizona, and how the two parts of the country with their very different atmospheres invite self-exploration?

LCC: You couldn’t ask for two more different environments than the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the desert of southern Arizona, but both of our homes are rather remote, set in tranquil locations. Arizona is very expansive, and tends to allow the mind to soar and empty out, while the close comforts of the East, make one go more inward—this book has elements of both—memory and release.

TSB author Laura Chester and her horse Barranca.

TSB author Laura Chester and her horse Barranca.

TSB:  Barranca is a Missouri Fox Trotter, one of four gaited horses you own. In your writing you often reference the soothing nature of your horse’s gaits. How is physical sensation an important part of emotional release?

LCC:  I feel very lucky to have discovered gaited horses in my fifties. After having two unpredictable Thoroughbred-Warmbloods, who were prone to bolt if a wild turkey flew across the trail, I was ready for something more bomb-proof. I have had a bit of trouble with my back, and I didn’t want to struggle with a horse. I simply wanted to relax and enjoy my new geldings with their gliding gaits. Each of my horses moves differently, but I rarely have the feeling that any of them would hurt me. Perhaps that feeling of confidence and relaxation allows me to have more emotional release. If one is tense and worried the opposite seems to occur. I probably experience the most enjoyment while riding Barranca, because of our heart connection and the ease he makes me feel while in the saddle. How lucky I was to find him!

TSB: RIDING BARRANCA is really a kind of travel memoir, as you bring readers along on an emotional and personal journey, while also dealing with your mother’s failing health and your relationship with her. What is it that you think readers will most identify with in this journey?

LCC: Various non-riders have already read this book and responded to my descriptions of the natural world, to my relationship with animals and family. I hope that I can bring any reader into my realm. Certainly many women have struggled with their mothers—perhaps this relationship can be one of the most difficultbut what a joy it is to be able to let go of old grievances and find compassion. I think most people want family harmony, but what a rare thing it is! When you are telling the truth, you are bound to offend somebody, but that’s the risk a writer takes. Everyone has problems, flaws and conflicts—so there is a lot to identify with here. Certainly people who already love horses will be right at home in this book, and may recognize some of my own failings and mishaps, and will join me in the many delights.

TSB: You grew up loving and riding horses, as well as writing from an early age. What was your favorite horse book as a little girl?

LCC: I was not much of a reader as a child—I liked it best when my grandmother read out loud to me, and I could get all cozy and comfortable. I remember my grandmother reading me Black Beauty and how she was so upset over the mistreatment of this poor creature that she stopped mid-sentence and could not go on for a while. I think I realized the power of the written word through her reaction. I not only sympathized with the beaten horse, but felt for my grandmother as well.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

LCC: My very first memory was of the shadow of my rocking horse against the bedroom wall while I was lying in my crib. As I grew a bit older, I madly rode this red wooden rocking horse that propelled me back and forth on its four springs. As for “real” horses—I don’t know if I truly remember being strapped into the saddle as a two-year-old, or if I just remember the photograph. In any case, I was introduced to ponies at a very early age. Our Shetland pony, Texas, was brown and white, and I remember that he had the markings of the Lone Star State on his side. He was so small I had no fear of falling.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

LCC: I was told repeatedly that I could not consider myself “a real rider” until I’d fallen off three times. I achieved this status early on. We were also supposed to“get back on your horse”after a fall, and I think I always did, because who would want to walk back to the barn? My favorite pony, Bunko, (shared with numerous cousins), was very naughty, and he would often canter along, and stop abruptly, putting his head down, and I would catapult over his head, but I never hurt myself falling, until I was an adult, and tried to jump my Swedish Warmblood over a stack of hay bales at dusk on a slanted hillside. He stopped and did a leap-frog jump veering off to the right and I fell and broke my arm. Arnica does help.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

LCC: I think I like the freedom of intimacy with a friend, knowing that I can say almost anything and my confidence will be held.  Sharing humor is also a quality I enjoy, for I love to laugh and am very lucky to have wonderful women friends. What would life be without them?

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

LCC: I like the feeling of silent communion and trust. Any horse can do the unexpected, but having that basic trusting understanding with a horse, (who is also affectionate and reasonable as well as athletic and willing), is important to me.

Laura rides whenever and wherever she can!

Laura rides whenever and wherever she can!

TSB: If you could ride one place on horseback that you haven’t yet, where would it be?

LCC: Maybe on the beaches of Bali? Is that possible? I hope someday to meet up with my sons and grandsons in Bali, and ride with them there. I would also love to ride in South America—I’ve never been there, but I have to improve my Spanish first! HOLA Pinacates.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

LCC: Mario Batali once cooked a birthday dinner for my writer friend, Jim Harrison, and it was as close to a perfect meal as I can imagine. In the company of several friends, we ate one splendid course after another, and drank great wine for hours. The pasta dish in particular, with a generous portion of shaved white truffles, was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

LCC: I especially enjoy family vacations, when my son Clovis brings my grandsons from Australia and we meet up in some exotic place. A year ago, we rented a house for a week in Maui, and it was splendid. My niece, Daphne, joined us from Hong Kong, and we also had other family members living on the island, so we had that additional personal connection. No vacation is truly perfect without a ride or two, and I was able to join my sister-in-law on her horses, riding on cliffs above the ocean, and later, Daphne and I rode on some of the most gorgeous ranch terrain—it was blissful, though our guide didn’t want us to canter—thus, returning home to one’s own good horses can be almost as sweet as escaping daily chores.

TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

LCC: I think I would like to have a chat, and some tea, perhaps, with Virginia Woolf.  I admire her writing tremendously, and I can imagine sitting in her cozy English cottage and being inspired by her mere presence, not to mention her words.

Riding Barranca Final Cover webTSB: What are you working on now? Is there a new book in the works to follow RIDING BARRANCA?

LCC: It’s a little soon to begin a new book. My first copy of RIDING BARRANCA just arrived yesterday—I’m thrilled with it, but now it is time to try and do what I can to get it out into the world. I believe in allowing for some fallow time, and will not rush myself into a new project, but I do have one idea percolating—”Becoming Emily Rose”—(I often begin with a title). In this case it came from my mother-in-law, who passed away at 102. She was a great inspiration to me. My sons encouraged me to buy her house next-door to ours on Rose Hill and keep it in the family. It is a charming rabbit-warren of a place, with fabulous gardens. I am excited to begin renovation, as decorating is another one of my passions. I love color and beauty and casualness in a home, inspired comfort. I’m not quite sure what kind of book this would be, but it might begin as non-fiction and segue into fiction—so perhaps we’ll call it“friction!”

RIDING BARRANCA is available from the TSB online bookstore. CLICK HERE to read more about the book and download a FREE EXCERPT.

Books ship May 1, 2013, but PREORDER YOUR COPY today!

 

 

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Trafalgar Square Books is thrilled to have two new books by two amazing contributors to the equestrian world featured in the May 2013 issues of Dressage Today and Practical Horseman magazines.

Check out the feature excerpt from Linda Tellington-Jones’ new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL in DT. Linda explains some of her training revelations, insights concerning horse behavior, and fresh ways of looking at the Classical Training Scale.

“Foremost in Linda’s technique is the idea of trust,” says Ingrid Klimke in her foreword for DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, “inspiring trust in the horse, nurturing that trust, and helping it evolve into a base so strong that your riding partnership can withstand all manner of challenges from without and within.”

You can download a free excerpt from Linda’s new book from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE), and be sure to pick up a copy of the May issue of Dressage Today!

Practical Horseman’s special eventing issue sports a great photo of TSB author Phillip Dutton on the cover, and inside you’ll find an excerpt from the forthcoming book MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON. A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip’s new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (CLICK HERE to read more about this).

“For a very quiet and humble person, Phillip Dutton has had an enormous impact on producing the best event riders in America, without question,” says US Eventing Team member Boyd Martin in his introduction to MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON. “If you look at the top 50 riders in this country at any point in the last ten years, the majority of them have been influenced by the greatest trainer this country has ever seen. No one has matched in American history the number of advanced horses produced by Phillip and no one has come close to his record of USEA Rider of the Year twelve times.”

You can download an additional excerpt from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE).

TSB is proud of its authors and their fabulous new features in these two top equestrian magazines. Pick up your copies of DT and PH wherever quality magazines are sold.

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