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Do you remember the first time you saw a Fergus the Horse Cartoon? Was he trading super clever commentary with the ever-cynical Grace? Was he stepping slickly and not-so-innocently to one side, away from the mounting block where his brave rider (alas) was attempting to climb astride? Was he pulling a laden sleigh in the company of a joyfully mismatched team? Was he photobombing a famous landmark or equestrian event?

As horse lovers, we feel pretty darn lucky to have Fergus in our lives. His antics, and those of his equine friends, ring beautifully true—he is truly “everyone’s” horse. And sometimes, when things are tough at the barn or at work or in the world, it just feels good to indulge in that which makes us laugh.

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In the past four years, Fergus has starred in three books of his own. The first, THE ESSENTIAL FERGUS THE HORSE, is a compilation of popular Fergus comics, plus the history of how his cartoon self came to be. The second and third books are shorter and tell silly stories of particular Fergus adventures: FERGUS: A HORSE TO BE RECKONED WITH pairs our favorite cartoon horse with a young lad bent on starting a reticent Fergus the right way, with groundwork and thoughtful horsemanship. FERGUS AND THE GREENER GRASS is this year’s release—a delightfully surprising comic adventure in which Fergus leaves his life of comfort behind and sets off on a hilarious journey. His exploits lead him over, under, and through all manner of obstacles as he strives to reach the bigger, better prize that beckons, always just a little farther away…and on the other side.

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Whether you’re 5 or 95, whether you just “like” horses or have had them your entire life, Fergus will make you smile. And this time of year, there’s nothing better than that.

THE ESSENTIAL FERGUS THE HORSE, FERGUS: A HORSE TO BE RECKONED WITH, and FERGUS AND THE GREENER GRASS are all available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Watch as famous trainers read Fergus the Horse:

Here’s what people are saying about Fergus and his books:

“My family loves the Fergus comics and this book will make it even easier to share his wisdom and humor with others. I know what I’m buying for Christmas presents this year!”—Stacy Westfall, Clinician, Freestyle Reining Champion, Winner of the 2006 Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Competition, and 2012 Cowgirl Hall of Fame Inductee

“If Sgt. Reckless were alive today, she and Fergus would be the best of friends! Fergus brings a smile to my face every time I read his cartoon.”—Robin Hutton, Author of the New York Times Bestseller Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse

“How cool to have Fergus and his buddies corralled in one spot! I’ve enjoyed his escapades so much over the years. This book will be a great way to enjoy them again and share them with others.”—Christine Hamilton, Editor, Western Horseman Magazine

“Fergus is that rare example of a horse with his hooves in two communities: He speaks for horses, and he speaks for people who love them. When I read a Fergus comic panel, I always chuckle, first loudly and then ruefully because the comic is funny—and I’ve been in that situation before.”—Larri Jo Starkey, Editor, The American Quarter Horse Journal

“Jean Abernethy has an artistic gift and a comic wit that makes us all grin. I am thrilled that so many of Fergus’s adventures can now be viewed together in a book.”—Lisa Wysocky, Author of My Horse My Partner and the Cat Enright Equestrian Mystery Series

“I’ve only recently become acquainted with Fergus, but we immediately hit it off. He’s just the kind of horse I like to get to know and figure out—not afraid to speak his mind, a great sense of humor, and he can teach us all a thing or two. Horses have always been my greatest teachers…but Fergus is the first animated one!”—Jonathan Field, Trainer, Clinician, and Author of The Art of Liberty Training for Horses

“Just as Snoopy is cool and Calvin and Hobbes is imaginative, Fergus the Horse is gen-u-ine equine.”—Saddle Seeks Horse

“Have you seen Fergus the Horse? If not, you’re in for a treat. … Abernethy portrays Fergus with bright, colorful illustrations that will enthrall readers of all ages. You’ll likely recognize your own horse in his amusing predicaments.”—Trail Rider Magazine

Want more Fergus? Find him on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and INSTAGRAM!

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business located on a farm in rural Vermont.

 

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Grooming

On the left: That’s me at five years old. On the right: My son at eight.

 

I had my son in front of me on the back of a horse before he was three, hoping—like any formerly horse-mad woman who did little else than muck, groom, and ride throughout her childhood might—that maybe, just maybe, he’d have a little “horsiness” rub off on him. But it was more than five years and many wheeled vehicles later when he finally, out of the blue (although admittedly after rewatching A Knight’s Tale for the thousandth time) asked if he could ride a horse.

I jumped at the chance to see my kid in the saddle at long last. Luckily, while I currently do not own a horse of my own, TSB Managing Director Martha Cook has a Morgan who draws children to him like moths to a porch light.

We arranged for an evening introduction to the ritual of riding…the cross-ties, the currycomb, the names of the different brushes (are the bristles hard or soft?), the order of go when it comes to tack. And while I stood back and allowed my son to learn from another, I felt an intense rush of pleasure, tinged as it so often is, with a distinct sadness.

Gone are my long days of dirty fingernails and face and boots as I passed the time raking aisleways, shoveling the track smooth in the indoor, bringing horses in and turning them out. Oh, and how I used to love to clean tack! The community of the warm room filled with steaming buckets and leather things on a cold day, as I rinsed and wiped and polished alongside others. The satisfaction of the bridles neatly wrapped and hung evenly along the wall, the saddles oiled and covered for another night.

Time used to pass slowly then. Whether it was the slower rhythms of barn life or merely the fact that I was literally counting down the minutes between the horses I’d get to ride, it is a pulse I can barely imagine now, when I sit down at my desk early each morning and suddenly look up to find that it is already time to make dinner.

But for an hour that evening last week, I tasted it again: time slowing. I allowed myself to imagine that I was five again, my first brush strokes on a pony’s side, my first steps beside him, leading him to a mounting block, my first attempts to direct him with a pull of the reins right and left. For that hour, all my worries about the world and our places in it fell away, and I felt, in all its simplicity, happy.

 

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Then…and now.

 

Why should little boys ride horses?

Because it will, even if only for a moment, make their mothers very, very happy.

 

Rebecca Didier, Managing Editor

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When it came time to write a follow-up to her bestselling DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, FEI/USEF dressage judge Janet Foy knew what she wanted to do.

“I thought it would be a great way to answer all the questions I have from my dressage friends,” she says. “It is my hope it will help readers on their dressage journey…making learning easier and more fun.”

So far, from Janet’s reports, the release of DRESSAGE Q&A WITH JANET FOY has inspired fun—for all involved!

“We sold out at the Madison book signing last week!” says Janet. “The WDCTA chapter of USDF is a very active group, and Mary Hanneman is the best organizer in the world! I always enjoy doing clinics for them, as they are well attended with good riders and also many auditors.”

 

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And how do the horses get in on this?

“Since attending Janet’s USEF Dressage Judge clinic in Colorado last September, I have been reading her first [DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE] and now her second book [DRESSAGE Q&A WITH JANET FOY],” says USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold-medal rider Michell Combs (she’s also an L Graduate with Distinction). “The other night I pulled a chair into Cosmo’s stall expecting to hang out with him and read while it was raining, but he kept coming over to snuggle and get attention.”

 

Cosmopolitan is an eight-year-old Dutch/TB cross that is schooling First/Second Level dressage. He's in his second career. "I was looking for a new project horse to lease and train while Cosmo's eventing trainer (Barb Crabo) and owner (Paige Hipsley) were looking for someone to train him full time in dressage," explains Michell Combs. "I've been riding 'Cosmo' for four months so far."

Cosmopolitan is an eight-year-old Dutch/TB cross that is schooling First/Second Level dressage. He’s in his second career. “I was looking for a new project horse to lease and train while Cosmo’s eventing trainer (Barb Crabo) and owner (Paige Hipsley) were looking for someone to train him full time in dressage,” explains Michell Combs. “I’ve been riding ‘Cosmo’ for four months so far.”

 

What was it about DRESSAGE Q&A that had Cosmo so interested? Perhaps it was the chapter on how horses learn (or perhaps, more importantly, the one on how riders do!)

“Remember that each horse will teach you something,” Janet writes in her new book. “Sometimes, the horse will also teach you what not to do. Take these lessons in stride, and keep learning and questioning. With dressage we are never really a ‘finished’ product! When you think you know it all, you will fail.”

If you and your horse have been so busy this summer you haven’t spent an evening just snuggling and reading together, take a tip from Janet, Michell, and Cosmo. It’s essential to keep learning and educating yourself…but even more important to spend quality “friend time” with your horse.

After all, he’s the most important “dressage friend” you have.

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

 

DRESSAGE Q&A WITH JANET FOY is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information and to download a free sample chapter.

 

Check out the article about Janet judging at the upcoming Australian Dressage Championships on EquestrianLife.com!

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