Category: Good Reads

  • 5 Horse Books for the Holidays

    5 Horse Books for the Holidays

    If you’re searching for gifts for the horse lover in your life, consider this: Reading a book about horses is almost as good as the real thing. Bibliotherapy is a type of therapy that uses literature to support good mental health. “A 2011 study published in the Annual Review of Psychology, based on analysis of fMRI […]

  • 47 True Stories of Winning, Losing, and “Achieving the Dream” from 8 Equestrian Sports

    47 True Stories of Winning, Losing, and “Achieving the Dream” from 8 Equestrian Sports

    “To win for the USA.” Many young athletes grow up with a goal of reaching the Olympics and the glories of their sport’s highest levels. It is no different for equestrians, whether they ride English, Western, vault, or drive a carriage. From playing with plastic ponies and taking their first riding lessons, to finding success in the arena, thousands of horse lovers hope […]

  • Eventer and Coach Eric Smiley Tells Us Which Breed of Horse Is Bright Enough to Build a Boat…and Admits Two Surprising Fears

    Eventer and Coach Eric Smiley Tells Us Which Breed of Horse Is Bright Enough to Build a Boat…and Admits Two Surprising Fears

    Having coffee with equestrian coach Eric Smiley is a delightful occurrence worth repeating. Certainly, a clinic with him has a similar effect. A former international event rider who represented Ireland at European, World, and Olympic level, winning team bronze medals on two occasions, he’s “been there, done that” but is also incredibly present in the here […]

  • Food for Thought: A Scientific Argument Against Using Treats in Horse Training

    Food for Thought: A Scientific Argument Against Using Treats in Horse Training

    Sugar cubes. Peppermints. Carrots. Carefully sliced pieces of apple. “Cookies.” Admit it: We all have one. A favorite treat. When your horse comes trotting up in the pasture, it feels good, right? When he turns and looks over his shoulder after a square halt, your heart melts a little. When he walks, trots, and stays […]

  • “His Confidence Was a Bit Like Porcelain: Easy to Crack.” Jonathan Field and His Horse Hal to Perform at Breyerfest 2019

    “His Confidence Was a Bit Like Porcelain: Easy to Crack.” Jonathan Field and His Horse Hal to Perform at Breyerfest 2019

    Are you packed and ready to head to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of BreyerFest? That’s right, July 12-14, 2019, marks 30 years that Breyer Animal Creations has brought to life a fabulous family festival that combines the excitement of a real horse fair with model horse activities, […]

  • How Horses Save Humans: The Miraculous World of Equine-Partnered Therapy

    Survivors of trauma, loss, illness, abuse, stress, and depression can face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But today, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that horses play a crucial role in therapy for those struggling with significant psychological and emotional challenges. Horses respond to angry, inhibited, heartbroken, defiant, terrified clients in many different ways, often breaking through defensive barriers […]

  • So a Rider Walked into a Bar…

    Apparently, equestrians played a key role in popular bar design. Never mind the obvious (sometimes a horse girl needs a drink)—theory has it, back pain, likely related to hours in the saddle, was the key influencer in this equation. “Back pain affects four out of five people at some time during their lives,” explains retired neurosurgeon […]

  • Take a Tour of Possible Paths to “Real Dressage”

    In the 1970s, the sport of dressage was still in its infancy in the United States. Unlike the countries of Europe, there was neither an established tradition nor a written history to educate and inspire. A rider intent on learning the discipline had to be prepared to travel, to immerse himself in other cultures, and […]

  • Fat, Hairy (Thelwell) Memories

    There is something completely timeless about a fat hairy pony, scheming to, in some way, take advantage of its naive young rider. It is a concept so familiar in size, shape, and flavor that all it takes is one word—“Thelwell“—to instantly register as an image and a memory for many. “My father bought her from […]

  • Having a Lesson Barn Affair

      Switching trainers, moving from one barn to another, trying a new hairdresser…isn’t it amazing how all these things make us feel a sharp pang of guilt, like we are somehow being unfaithful? I mean, rarely is there a contract involved or even promises of fidelity, and yet… Susan Conley’s new memoir MANY BRAVE FOOLS […]