7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman SNEAK PEEK!

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Check out this new SNEAK PEEK from Disc 1 of the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD series—Buck breaks down the Circle Exercise on the ground.

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.

 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Working on the Canter with Buck Brannaman–Another 7 Clinics Sneak Peek Just Released!

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Let’s aim for a fluid, upward transition into the New Year, shall we? Check out this “Sneak Peek” from Disc 4 of the hit instructional DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN: Buck talks about the importance of knowing the pattern of your horse’s footfalls in all gaits, and how understanding where his feet are (and being able to “feel” what they’re doing), can help you achieve smooth canter transitions.

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.

Take advantage of our annual FOR ME SALE and get an additional 15% off your purchase! Check out sale details HERE and hurry! The FOR ME SALE ends tomorrow!

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7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN SNEAK PEEK!

Check out this sneak peek from Disc 5 of the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD series–part of Buck’s lesson “Back & Across.”

You can still order 7 CLINICS along with hundreds of other bestselling Trafalgar Square horse books and DVDs and get FREE SHIPPING IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Order before MIDNIGHT EST SUNDAY DECEMBER 16TH!!!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER HORSE BOOKS AND DVDS NOW

 

Singer/Songwriter Templeton Thompson Talks About Choosing Nashville Over Law School, Making Music with Heart and Horse Sense, and 7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman

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We at TSB were thrilled to steal a little of singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson’s time, giving us a chance to ask her a little about her new album—a collection of the music inspired by and featured in the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD series—as well as the opportunity to ask her a little about her past with horses and her path to Nashville. SONGS FROM 7 CLINICS is available now on the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

TSB: How long have you been writing and singing and how did you know it was what you wanted to do with your life?

TT: Well, I started getting paid to write professionally in 1995. I had moved to Nashville, or “Nashvegas” as some of us call it, in 1992, right after I graduated from the University of Virginia. I had a gig as an intern at Arista Records when I got to town. I waited a lot of tables and tended bar to pay my rent and basically spent my “free time” learning how to write songs. I was “green as grass,” really clueless about singing, writing, the music biz, but I feel like those three years I spent in Nashville before I landed my first publishing deal were “grad school” for me. I think from a very young age, I knew in my heart and soul that I wanted to make music my career, but I had a lot of people in my life telling me to take the safe path, so, those were my plans for a while. I went to college with the intention of going to law school, I even took the LSATs (and promptly cancelled my scores after taking the test!) I knew to my soul that that wasn’t my path. I literally decided right then and there, “I’m going to Nashville!!” I am SO glad I followed my heart and not my head on that one.

Templeton Thomposon and her horses, Jane and Beau.

Templeton Thomposon and her horses, Jane and Beau.

TSB: Horses are often a feature in your songs. How long have you had horses in your life and how have they become a source of creative inspiration?

TT: I’ve had horses in my life even before I was born! My sweet horse crazy mommacita was riding while she was preggers with yours truly…I came into this world horse crazy!! I’ve had my big, “beauty~full” ROCKSTAR horses Jane and Beau for what feels like forever now. Sam and I met them when they were yearlings, and they came to live with us in Tennessee (and officially became our babies) when they were around two.

I’ve been writing songs with the “wonder~full” horses in my life since I was a kid. Now, who knows what kind of songs—I’m certainly not sayin’ they were any good but nonetheless, I’ve been singin’ from my horses’ backs since I was a kid. Jane and Beau are AMAZIN’ co-writers; they’re my horsey muses. They keep me honest and in the moment and are great at helping me “turn the editor OFF!!”

TSB: Your songs are featured on albums by country music superstars, including Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, and Little Texas. What is it like to hear a song you wrote sung by someone else?

TT: AWESOME!! Truly AWESOME!!:) I’ll never forget going through the drive thru at Taco Bell a while back now and hearing Reba singing the song of mine that she recorded…AND I was singing background with her on the record! I still can’t BELIEVE that!! she’s an AMAZING lady and cowgirl and I’m dreamin’ BIG that one day she’ll record another of my tunes. Maybe I’ll even get to sing with her again…

TSB: Your wonderful music adds so much to the new DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, and you now have an album available for purchase and download called SONGS FROM 7 CLINICS. How did you come to be involved in the project?

TT: Our ROCKSTAR COWGIRL dear friend and angel Patti Hall, who first introduced me and Sam to Buck Brannaman, is who introduced us to another ROCKSTAR COWGIRL, Cindy Meehl [the director of BUCK the documentary and 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN]!! While Cindy was filming the BUCK documentary, Patti kept trying to figure out ways for me and Sam to meet her. It never could come together while the documentary was being filmed BUT one “beauty~full” and life-changing April day, back when BUCK the film was being shown at the Nashville Film Festival, Patti made that meeting happen, and well, as they say, the rest is 7 CLINICS history!! We gave Cindy some music that day, stayed in touch and became buds. About a year later, she asked us to be a musical part of the 7 CLINICS series. We were SO GRATEFUL for the opportunity, and we feel INCREDIBLY BLESSED to be a part of the project, it is FANTABULOUS!!!!

TSB: You have had the wonderful opportunity to ride with Buck Brannaman, and you have said that 7 CLINICS “feels like being at a Buck clinic.” If you could be sure that viewers take away one lesson from the 7 CLINICS series, what would you hope it would be?

TT: I had to REALLY think about this question, and I had a REALLY hard time narrowing it down to just one thing…it’s ALL SO GREAT, and I know I may sound biased since I’m such a BIG FAN of both Buck and Cindy, but I mean it. This series has set the bar on a whole new level in the world of horsemanship DVDs. Even if I’d never ridden with Buck before, I’d be able to “get” what he’s talking about. I LOVE that the DVDs really get a point across, so if you missed something and you’re thinking, “Wow, I wish he’d explain that again,” well, he does, right at that exact moment when you need and want him to. It’s perfect!! The series is put together beautifully—not only am I learning every moment, I’m also entertained and drawn in, like I’m watching a continuation of, oh, I don’t know, the multi-award-winning documentary, BUCK! Like I said, this DVD series has set the bar HIGH.

I’ll say for me, that until I watched the series, I wasn’t aware of where my horses’ feet were. Now I find myself really paying attention and wanting to know where they are and finally starting to FEEL where they are. YEE HA!! Little light bulbs…I LOVE those moments!! I hope this series will help folks to slow down, to breathe, and to always, always CELEBRATE the TRY. It’s helped me SO MUCH and continues to help me be a better cowgirl for my horses and to ultimately just be BETTER. I’m a work in progress, but I’m gettin’ there.

CLICK HERE to order the music inspired by and written for 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN.

CLICK HERE to order the music inspired by and written for 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN.

TSB: Cindy Meehl, director of the award-winning documentary BUCK and 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, is directing your new music video. Can you tell us a little about the song from the video and what it has been like putting the video together?

TT: The song’s called “When I Get That Pony Rode,” and it is one of the songs we re-recorded exclusively for the 7 CLINICS project. It was inspired by Buck’s book, The Faraway Horses. At a point in the book, Buck talks about “the consequences of a fast turn,” and we actually tried writing a song with that title with our co-writer on the song, but it just wasn’t working. Then, magically, like they often tend to do, the title “When I Get That Pony Rode” appeared…the song is for everyone out there working their tails off doing what they LOVE and what they’re passionate about and knowing, really knowing, that they really are going to have somethin’ to show when they “get that pony rode.” The song is a metaphor for that journey and everything that goes with it—the joy and the pain of it all, what ya gotta go through to get there.

Making the video with Cindy and the whole ROCKSTAR team was AMAZING!! It was an absolute honor to work with Cindy, Jen, and the crème de la crème of the music video world…I am forever GRATEFUL to some of our ROCKSTAR friends in the business who helped us put together an over-the-top INCREDIBLE team. And, I am such a PROUD mama cowgirl of my BIG “beauty~full” horses Jane & Beau…they shined like the diamonds they are on the screen. I can’t wait for everyone to see them doin’ their thang.

I’ll be forever grateful to Cindy for her AMAZING kindness, friendship, belief, and generosity…getting to make the video was a dream come true for me. I’ve only ever been a fly on the wall on a music video set like that…I’m plannin’ on doin’ MORE of THAT…I like it A LOT!

Dreamin’ BIG!!

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

TT: For some reason I remember sitting bareback on an AWESOME horse named “Shorty” who belonged to my Godpapa, Charlie, in Texas. What a great horse and what an AWESOME cowboy. Even though he did try and convince a very naïve little girl that ropes actually grew in the ground! He got a kick out of pulling ropes out of the ground and acting as if it was their latest ranch “crop.” He thought he had me fooled but I knew what was goin’ on! Makes me grin BIG thinkin’ about him and sweet Shorty.

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

TT: You know, for the life of me I can’t remember but what IS coming to mind is me as a kid in Texas, probably 8 or 10, leadin’ my “beauty~full” sorrel mare, Anna, and not payin’ attention. I tripped and fell right in front of her and she did everything in her power not to step on me. She protected me. I’ll never forget that. She taught me so much.

Just thinkin’ about her and recalling that memory, I DO remember one time when we lived in Virginia, years later, loping through a pasture. Anna would jump everything—twigs, bushes, you name it—and she’d jump everything BIG too. I remember getting the giggles while we were running and suddenly Anna Banana shot me like a cannon straight up and out. I swear I was up in the wild blue yonder for what seemed like a lifetime! I remember bracing for impact and it hurting since I came down like, what does Buck say, “a lawn dart”! Oh yeah, it hurt, but I didn’t get hurt. That was back when I was young and I BOUNCED!!

Funny, I suddenly do recall a really, REALLY black eye somewhere around my year 16…shoot, that was nothin’ compared to the bumps and breaks I wound up with down the road, but “what doesn’t kill ya, only makes you stronger…there’s always a “lesson in there somewhere,” which reminds me of a little song:

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

TT: An AQHA mare named Jane and an AQHA appendix gelding named Beau…we’d read Seabiscuit and have too much fun playin’ on the beach and in the surf…we’d be like Alex Farley and the Black Stallion (oh yeah, we’d have that book too!!)

TSB: If your desert island had an iphone, WiFi, and 10 free song downloads, what would be on your playlist?

TT: Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Pink, Trisha Yearwood, Bonnie Raitt, Sara Bareilles, Dan Fogelberg, Kenny Edwards, Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Sheryl Crow…dang, that’s more than 10!

It’s too hard and there are too many other artists I’d LOVE to be listening to and too many songs to name, ughhh!!

TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?

TT: Canned cat food and carrots!

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

TT: Where I am right now. I am so, SO BLESSED and over the moon HAPPY and GRATEFUL. My “beauty~full” two- and four-legged family is happy and healthy, and I’m married to THE MOST AMAZIN’ COWBOY on the PLANET!! We have INCREDIBLE people in our lives who are family to us:) I know I keep usin’ the word but I mean it, we’re so dang BLESSED!!

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

TT: Loyalty, authenticity, honesty, communication.

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

TT: EVERYTHING I mentioned above! I LOVE how honest horses are and how they keep us two-leggeds honest and accountable. They will NOT let us lie, to ourselves or to ANYONE. I LOVE that. I swear this world would be such a better place if everyone spent some time with a horse.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

TT: Four-cheese pizza, Greek salad, and LOTS of CHOCOLATE!!

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

TT: What’s a vacation? HOME with my man and my babies!

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

TT: Man, y’all ask really hard, REALLY cool questions, hmmmm…Shakespeare, I’d LOVE to talk to him about his craft. I LOVED my Shakespeare class in college. I had an AMAZING Shakespeare professor at UVA. I can still see and hear him teaching with SO much JOY and PASSION; he obviously loved teaching and that love washed over his classroom. He was like a big kid talkin’ about Shakespeare. You know, for the life of me I can’t think of that “wonder~full” professor’s name, but just this moment, i’m realizing he played a really BIG part in me wanting to make a career in doing something I LOVED.

I reckon I owe that sweet man a BIG thank you and a BIG HUG!!

Here’s to doin’ what you LOVE and LOVIN’ what you do!

TSB: What is your motto?

TT: My hippie chic cowgirl philosophy pretty much sums it up…dream big * work hard * have faith!

The hippie chic cowgirl philosophy:

it’s a way of thinkin,’ livin’ and lovin’

it’s dreamin’ and doin,’
 always reachin’ and never quittin’

it’s jumpin’ in with both feet without worryin’ too much if your boots get wet

runnin’ wide open with the wind in your mane
 and havin’ it made in the shade of the tallest tree

it’s seein’ through kind and loving eyes 
and knowin’ who you are clear down to your soul

it’s sittin’ down when you need to rest
and standin’ up for what you believe in

it’s followin’ your heart, hangin’ on by your fingernails and learnin’ to let go

it’s seein’ a beauty~full blue sky beyond the clouds, even if it’s rainin’
and always keepin’ a little sunshine in your pocket, saved up for that rainy day

it’s takin’ the trail less traveled even if it’s a bumpy road 
and bein’ in the here and now and right at home in the company of dreamers, colorin’ way outside the lines

and it’s always sayin, “now, bring on that horizon, i am not afraid, ’cause i know who i am…
for I am a hippie chic cowgirl, proud to call this planet cowgirl home!!!!!!!!!

dream big 
work hard 
have faith 

©templeton thompson

CLICK HERE TO ORDER TEMPLETON THOMPSON’S SONGS FROM 7 CLINICS TODAY

What Everyone’s Saying About 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN

In September 2012, Cindy Meehl, director of the award-winning documentary BUCK, completed her mission to bring legendary horseman Buck Brannaman’s philosophy and training methods to more people—therefore bettering the lives of more horses—all over the world. The highly anticipated release of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, the seven-disc instructional series Cindy created with the unused footage shot during the making of BUCK, proved Cindy’s instincts right: horsemen and women of all ages and experience levels hunger for the intuition, hard-won wisdom, and straight talk Buck Brannaman delivers in his clinics and live appearances.

To put it simply, everyone wants more Buck.

Trafalgar Square Books, the official distributor of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, is proud to offer this truly unique DVD series of unparalleled quality for sale at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com. (Resellers and tack shops interested in carrying 7 CLINICS should contact Kim Cook at kimcook@sover.net or 800.423.4525.)

Here’s what some of those who have already seen 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN are saying:

“The 7 CLINICS DVD series is probably the best single investment in ‘horsemanship training’ I have ever made. Every time I watch one of the sessions I pick up a new view of an idea or nuance I didn’t think of before. To say there is a wealth of knowledge in each of the sessions is a gross understatement! 7 CLINICS will keep me busy with my horses from this point forward. It has also increased my passion for helping people and my faith in horses. My horses benefit more from this $150 DVD set than they do my $60,000 trailer and $40,000 truck. Thank you. Thanks Buck.” –Tom Austerman, Serenity Golden Quarter Horses

“I truly believe [7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN] are the very best training videos on the market today.” –Dottie Davis, Buck Brannaman Clinic Sponsor

“These 7 DVDs are a classic.  I think they are one of the most important contributions to horse knowledge and know-how to come along in decades.” –Deb Goldeen, Palo Alto, CA

“ I recently received a copy of [7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN] in Australia and absolutely love it.  I have been to three clinics of Buck’s in Australia and always leave the clinics saddened that it will be another two years or so before Buck returns.  Now I have Buck in my own lounge room (along with Buck’s older DVDs) … I am one VERY HAPPY HAPPY customer!!” –Tamara Watson, Australia

“Thank you so much for the 7 CLINICS DVDs. Every DVD is packed full of great information. The backdrop of the clinics out West are breathtaking.” –Marsha Jessup, Saline, MI

“ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT! A great refresher course that I will review time and time again! I picked up some wonderful new tidbits as well and cannot wait to present them to my horses! The editing was superb!!! Thank you for all the hard work it took to put 7 CLINICS together!” –Mary Wood, Trout Creek, MT

CLICK HERE TO ORDER 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN THE COMPLETE SERIES NOW

Start Thinking “Gift Sets” for the Horseperson in Your Life

We’re back from a super-fun and really busy five-day stint at Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts. Thanks again to everyone who made sure to stop by and meet Cindy Meehl, director of the award-winning documentary BUCK and the new 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD series!

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s time to start thinking about holiday gifts for the horsepeople in your life. We featured two great ideas at EA, and they are still available on our website!

7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman the complete series makes a great gift set!

The complete series (all 7 discs and 10 hours) of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available for $145 from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE) where shipping in the US is always FREE.

“The tone of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is undoubtedly one of learning and communicating with the horse,” says the review in the November issue of Western Horseman. “Brannaman’s message from the documentary rings true in the seven-disc package: Do better by the horse in order to do better in life.”

Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged make a great gift set for the young horse lover in your life!

And, for all the young horse lovers you know, the first two books in the exciting new fiction series by Linda Snow McLoon, CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, are available for purchase together for $17.95 (CLICK HERE).

“I really enjoyed the characters, the story line, and the writing, and more than anything else, the horsemanship that is woven into Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged,” says Susan Harris, author of  the US Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship; Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement; Anatomy in Motion DVDs; and Grooming to Win. “I found the characters (especially Sarah Wagner), the horses, and the problems they face, believable and interesting, and the setting (a good boarding and teaching barn) authentic in today’s horse world, right down to the Jack Russell terriers. The reader will learn a lot about horses, good riding and horsemanship through these novels, but it’s part of the story, not a ‘lesson.’ I enjoyed the first book so much that I went right on to the second, and now I’m hoping the author is working on the next one! I highly recommend these books!”

Don’t wait to start on your holiday shopping! Order now while these great gift sets are available!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE COMPLETE SERIES OF 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN

CLICK HERE TO ORDER CROWN PRINCE AND CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED

We Are Having a Blast at Equine Affaire! Come See Us in the Better Living Center Booth #846-#847

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The Trafalgar Square Books booth in the Better Living Center at Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts is hoppin’! Be sure to stop by to meet Cindy Meehl, director of BUCK and 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, as well as take advantage of our great show deals and giveaways. We have gift sets of the 7 CLINICS DVD series and the all-new fiction series for young horse lovers CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, as well as titles from featured presenters and your favorite riders, trainers and clinicians.

Plus, there is a LIMITED supply of singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson’s new CD SONGS FROM 7 CLINICS and the SunBody “Reata” hat, as seen in the hit documentary BUCK and 7 CLINICS.

Mention you saw this blog post and you’ll get a free gift at our booth!

Can’t make it to EA? Follow what’s happening on Instagram at horseandriderbooks.

See you in Springfield!

There Are Lots of Things to Fear on Halloween…Don’t Let Your Horse Be One of Them

With Buck’s methods, neither your nor your horse has anything to fear.

When  you’ve worked with and ridden horses long enough, you can usually easily summon at least one metallic-tasting memory of an instance when you were completely and utterly afraid—afraid of getting kicked, bitten, thrown, hurt…afraid of losing control…afraid of not knowing what to do…afraid of where you were in that moment and where you’d be in the next.

I’ve had horses in my life for most of my years, and there are two sharply clear memories that rise to the surface instantly when I think about being scared. In both instances, I was on horseback—once when I was about five years old, and the other later…I was maybe ten. The horses I was on in both scenarios ran away with me, and both times I was frightened enough to throw myself from the saddle in a rough-and-tumble form of an emergency dismount that left me bruised and battered, but alive. (The helmet helped, too.)

And then there was the “afterward”…the fear I battled when I faced those horses again, and when urged by my instructor, I put my foot in the stirrup and swung back up.

Maybe I was lucky because the only times I remember being afraid of a horse I was young enough to conquer fear before it metamorphosed into something large, ugly, and all-consuming. Maybe I was lucky because I had people with me who could support me as I conquered the awful challenge of being suddenly scared of what I’d always loved. Maybe I was lucky because the horses I was afraid of weren’t actually dangerous, or poorly trained, or unmanageable runaways.

Not everyone is so lucky.

“Fear is a big thing,” says Buck Brannaman in the new seven-disc instructional DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN. “It just owns some people…it can be overwhelming.”

Watch Buck talk about fear in this short video:

“Fear is about despair. It’s about looking into the darkness and not seeing,” he says. “The more things about the horse that become predictable, it’s like you’re slowly turning on the light.”

When you think about that, about that darkness by which you can feel overwhelmed when you work with and ride horses but don’t have the tools you need to understand them and help them to understand you, then the idea of having a light to plug in and turn on is an instant and unbelievable relief.

People around the world have come to discover that Buck Brannaman’s form of horsemanship is the source of this light, and the 7 CLINICS DVD SERIES helps share his methods and philosophies with those who might never have the chance to see him teach in person.

“It is possible to get to the point where you can say, ‘I am absolutely not afraid of any horse, anywhere,'” says Buck.

There’s no reason we can’t all get started right now.

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER 7 CLINICS THE COMPLETE SERIES TODAY

Check Out the Review of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN in the November Gift Guide Issue of Western Horseman

Be sure to pick up a copy of the November issue of Western Horseman, available now for purchase where quality magazines are sold. Not only is it their special holiday issue, with tons of great gift ideas for the horseperson in your life, it also has a full-page review of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN!

“The tone of 7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman is undoubtedly one of learning and communicating with the horse,” says Western Horseman Assistant Editor Kate Bradley. “Followers of Brannaman’s style of horsemanship will recognize his methods and have the opportunity to watch him work with problem horses first-hand. Those new to Brannaman’s style, or who have seen his work only in the documentary Buck, will be able to understand how he thinks about the horse…Brannaman’s message from the documentary rings true in the seven-disc package: Do better by the horse in order to do better in life.”

Check out the full review in the November issue of Western Horseman!

 

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE COMPLETE SERIES TODAY

How Horse Fiction Leaves an Indelible Mark—Top Riders, Trainers, and Judges Weigh in on The Favorite Titles from Their Childhood

Some of the horse books from my childhood remaining in my collection.

My “grownup” bookshelf still holds the tattered remnants of what once were my favorite books. I was a voracious reader as a child, and though the topics of interest were many and varied, you could always sell me a horse book. The story lines were usually familiar—there was often a young boy or girl with a dream of a horse of his or her own; a plot that highlighted ambition in the show ring or on the racetrack; there might also be a challenge to conquer a jealous rival or a need to overcome an injury that threatened tragic loss.

One of my all-time favorite horse books.

Whatever the formula, horse fiction was a winner, and I especially liked the books that rang true to my young equestrian ear. An old favorite of mine was called The Horsemasters by Don Stanford—there’s a scene where the main character has to ride through a grid with no reins and no stirrups, and my heart still speeds up as I think about facing the daunting exercise! When I first started at Trafalgar Square Books, Managing Director Martha Cook and I bonded over a common love of this particular book.

As TSB now releases an all-new fiction series for young horse lovers, beginning with CROWN PRINCE and its exciting followup CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, it seems a good moment to ask the other horse people in my life which books they remember reading as horse-crazy kids.

“That’s easy for me,” responded TSB Promotions Director Julie Beaulieu. “I loved the ‘Billy and Blaze’ books [by CW Anderson] and a book named Moorland Mousie [by Golden Gorse].”

FEI and USEF dressage judge Janet Foy, author of the bestselling DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, was also prompt in her reply.

“I had two favorites that I read over and over,” she said. “Afraid to Ride by C.W. Anderson was a great story about a girl who had a horse accident and was afraid to ride, until she found the perfect horse, and then King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry.”

Janet wasn’t the only one to give Henry’s book about Arabians the nod.

“My favorite book growing up was King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry,” said Cindy Meehl, director of the award-winning documentary BUCK and the new instructional series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN. “I loved it, and it made me cry.”

I also asked Denny Emerson, USEA Hall-of-Fame Inductee and author of the phenomenal HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD, his thoughts on the subject.

“Early on, the whole Black Stallion series,” replied Denny. “Then the Mary O`Hara trilogy: My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead, and Green Grass of Wyoming.”

“When I was 10 I read My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara and became addicted!” agreed Vanessa Bee, Founder of the International Horse Agility Club and author of THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK. “I now read the trilogy at least once a year; they are my soul food. Although I must have read My Friend Flicka a hundred times, I still hope that Flicka survives, and I cry at the end when she calls to Ken as he runs to her in the pasture! (I’m welling up now…) This deep love that Ken found in his relationship with Flicka, it’s what I look for every time I reach out to a horse.”

Flicka was a horse that left an indelible mark on many of us. Melinda Folse, author of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES counts herself as one of them. When I asked her which books meant the most to her in her early years, she replied, “Well, My Friend Flicka, of course…and The Black Stallion, of course…and the rest of each series. And there was a kind of obscure one that I read so many times it fell apart…” Melinda went on. “It was called A Horse Called Bonnie, and its sequel, The Sweet Running Filly [by Barbara van Tuyl and Pat Johnson].” 

Well wouldn’t you know it, I loved both those books, too. The “Bonnie Books,” as we used to call them, were rereleased in 2010.

 

There’s a whole generation of young readers out there who deserve stories about horses, good horsemanship, the value of hard work, and dreams that come true. We hope the characters from THE BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES by Linda Snow McLoon—beginning with CROWN PRINCE and its followup CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED—both entertain and teach lessons, with a healthy dose of “horse” along the way.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

—Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor