Posts Tagged ‘great books for horse lovers’

We are all devoted Denny Emerson fans at TSB. His intensity, smarts, and sharp perceptions regarding the world of riding and horse sports are some of the indicators of, and reasons for, his great competitive and personal success within the equine industry. We hoped that his, frankly, flat out terrific new book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD would not only share his knowledge of how to get where you need to go, reach goals, and follow your riding dreams, but also ensure that the lessons he’s learned, and those he’s witnessed others learn, will be passed on to educate aspiring riders for generations to come.

It is always a thrill when someone “gets” your book–your message, your intent, perhaps your clever jokes. Since his book has come out, Denny has reminded us that the characteristics of the successful individual he describes in his book really apply to any sport, any career…to life in general. And it’s true. When I read HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD for the first time, I actually kept a handwritten list of all the things I needed to do and/or change in my life (regarding my career, my writing, my family) in order to take control and “get good”…while riding horses is the medium he uses, in a way it is just a little sugar to help the self-help medicine go down.

In case you haven’t gotten it yet, this is GOOD medicine. Vanessa Wright at “Great Books for Horse Lovers” agrees. Check out what she posted in her blog last month:

“Written with Chronicle of the Horse’s “One of the 50 Most Influential Horsemen of the 20th Century” – international gold medalist eventer, Tevis Cup winner, and former USEA president Denny Emerson – and featuring profiles of 23 jaw-droppingly accomplished riders in nine internationally celebrated equestrian sports, you’d think that How Good Riders Get Good: Daily Choices that Lead to Success in Any Equestrian Sport would be a practical how-to-make-it manual for those high-octane riders who dream of winning at the Olympics, Worlds, or Medal-Maclay. And it is. But How Good Riders Get Good is also an essential guide for any rider, riding instructor, and rider parent or spouse, because it isn’t only a book about how the world’s best riders become the best, it’s a book about how every rider can become his or her best.

“Success in riding isn’t based on talent, wealth, or plain old luck, Emerson explains, it’s the result of a rider’s choices. Outlining seven Areas of Choice – ‘your horse sport, your life circumstances, your support network, your character, your body, your knowledge, and your horse’ – he describes how riders of any age, background, and ability level can take up – or take back – the reins of their riding lives and move purposefully toward their goals. It can be challenging to be that frank about our circumstances, priorities, and choices, but it’s also freeing. Once you know what success truly means to you, it’s easy to take great strides toward becoming a ‘good’ rider.

“I would know: at first, this book stopped me and my horse, Pegasus, in our tracks. I couldn’t simply read it as I’d planned; I started going through the questions myself. I was shocked to discover how much my goals have changed since I first brought Peg home ten years ago. At that time, I planned to compete him at Preliminary level in eventing, and gallop to a constellation of one-star wins. What happened? Job changes, family changes, moves, injuries. Somehow my nearly-seven-year-old horse had become nearly-seventeen, and for me, success had come to mean something very different. What I truly want most, I realized, is to help Pegasus have a decade or two of healthy, happy senior years, and for us to have fun together through them.

“So I thought: What would it mean for me to be a good rider now? Paging through Good Riders, I decided that I’d need to be fitter and more sensitive in the saddle, so that my riding could be more like gentle yoga for Peg’s aging joints and muscles. I’d have to find a sport or two that my old campaigner could enjoy with a minimum of risk. And I’d definitely need to know as much as possible about every aspect of caring for a senior horse.

“The right choices – for me – were suddenly clear. I added a weekly longe lesson on one of my instructor’s horses to improve my seat. I signed up for the free fitness analysis our local health club offers, and I’m sticking to the exercise program they gave me. (Would I do it for myself? Maybe. But what wouldn’t we do for our horses? 🙂 ) I also found a hunter pace and a trail ride Pegasus and I could attend this fall. Most importantly, though, I asked our (wonderful!) vet to give Peg his first annual ‘healthy horse’ ears-to-tail checkup, asked her a million questions, and have been following her recommendations for his feeding and care.

“Don’t get me wrong: these changes have created a mountain of work, they’ve demanded some tough choices, and I know they’re only the beginning. But with Peg’s bright eyes and smiling muzzle greeting me every morning, and How Good Riders Get Good sitting on my tack box for inspiration – which echoes even when the Nationals-bound riders borrow my copy! 🙂 – I know it will all get done, and I feel confident that it will all be ‘good.’

“Want to accomplish anything with horses, and get a leg up on any success you want to achieve in life? Read Denny Emerson and Sandra Cooke’s How Good Riders Get Good. The only question the book doesn’t answer is the question just for you: How successful do you want to be?”

Get your copy at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

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In a new review of the (not equestrian specific) book Nerve by Taylor Clark, the reading horseman’s go-to blog Great Books for Horse Lovers recommends pairing it with the “iconic” best-selling book IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS by international rider, trainer, and motivational speaker Jane Savoie.

This reminded me of all the fabulous tips (supported by wonderful graphic art colored with a dash of humor) Jane included in her book, a follow-up to her worldwide hit THAT WINNING FEELING! Jane is a master at providing the images we need to envision to shape our mind and attitude and thus achieve peak performance, both in and out of the saddle.

This is what she says about “belly breathing,” a common relaxation technique that many of us have heard of but few probably actually have mastered or are able to employ when we need it:

Jane says to start by watching your dog or cat as he or she sleeps (ideally, not in the midst of an exciting dream involving bacon or catnip). Rest a book upon your belly and breathe in so deeply you can see the book rise. Jane likes to use the image of plus/minus signs—she envisions inhaling plus signs (positive energy) through her nose and minus signs (negative energy) through her mouth.

Bye-bye tension, hello confidence!

You can order IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS, THAT WINNING FEELING!, and Jane’s newest book JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101 at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

And you only have ONE MORE DAY to sign up to win a $100 gift certificate to http://www.horseandriderbooks.com/. Click the green banner at the bottom of our home page or visit us on Facebook. The contest closes at the end of the day today (Friday).

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We here at TSB are THRILLED to see another great review for TSB author Lucinda Dyer’s ECO-HORSEKEEPING…this time on the Great Books for Horse Lovers blog (a great resource for reading recommendations). Check it out:

“So you’ve wanted to go eco—and take your horse with you—but it’s seemed too expensive? Now there’s a way to keep the planet and your wallet full of green. TSB author Lucinda Dyer’s ECO-HORSEKEEPING offers clever, quick changes and innovative longer-term projects that will help you save the Earth – and energy, time, and cash—without compromising on style, convenience, and fun.

“Dyer makes it easy to get started. Sure, you have a recycle bin at your home, school, or office, so why not add one to the barn? Instead of worrying about scrubbing your horse’s water tank with harsh chemicals, let a handful of goldfish—yes, goldfish!—do the work for you naturally. Feeling ambitious? Learn how you can use rain, wind, and sunlight to power your farm, and meet the nationwide network of eco-experts who would be happy to help you, free of charge.

“It may all sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. Dyer includes profiles of real equestrians, stables, and other horse-centered businesses that have made the switch, and the book itself walks its talk, printed on 100% recycled paper. Crack open ECO-HORSEKEEPING, and in less than five minutes, you and your horse can be greener—and so can your purse and your planet!”

In the spirit of greening up the barn and tack room, a TSB friend has started Ribbon Recycling, a program that collects new and used show ribbons from donors, and distributes them to therapeutic riding facilities and other therapy programs. Many such facilities are unable to afford their own ribbons. Without donations, their riders and participants might never experience the joy of getting one.

Do you have an “eco-horsekeeping” idea of your own? Share it with us on our blog or Facebook page so we can spread the “green word.”

And don’t forget to stop by the TSB bookstore homepage and register to win a $100 gift certificate for other great horse books and DVDs—look for the green banner at the bottom of the page.

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