Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘horse book’

 

paint

When I was a little girl, I had a herd of imaginary horses and rode them by turns. There was a golden palomino, with lots of chrome, and a chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. A coal black stallion with white stockings on all four legs and a broad star on his forehead galloped beside a buckskin with a stripe down his back and dark tips on his ears. I pictured them all in full color, and their invented personalities developed from the vibrant visions dancing in my head. Their coat color was more important than their size or breed—for a horse-crazy kid in the suburbs, that’s where the magic began.

But the horse color spectrum in real life is just as enchanting. So striking are the variations of bay, gray, chestnut, black, solid, and spotted that many people breed for specific combinations. This has led to a marked increase in international interest in the study of horse color genetics, and an active online community that shares and discusses the history, qualities, and names of tones, types, shades, and markings—as well as, of course, the science behind it all.

Horsewoman and genetics specialist Vera Kurskaya grew up with that same fascination with horses and all the many colors they could be, and she has spent much of the past decade researching and writing about the topic. Her new book HORSE COLOR EXPLORED provides a guide that aims to not only outline basic information about horse color appropriate for a general audience, but also explore the specifics of inheritance and recent color genetics research. Plus, she’s sourced over 160 color photographs from around the world, highlighting unusual breeds and lesser known examples of coat colors and characteristics many aficionados may yet know little about.

HORSE COLOR EXPLORED is available now from the Trafalgar Square Books online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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

Read Full Post »

KarenJump.png

Karen Robertson on Carlos at the Rose City Opener National Hunter Derby, Bend, Oregon (photo courtesy of Barbara Dudley).

TSB author Karen Robertson mulls over her upcoming date with The One and Only.

I started considered riding in a George Morris clinic in recent years. I know, I know… most of you are probably wondering why on earth I’d throw myself into the fire like that. And you’re right – I’m kind of freaking out about it. I’ve been freaking out for months! I haven’t ridden without stirrups enough and I’m not someone who rides five horses a day with a perfect position. George is sure to tell me my stirrup isn’t the correct angle on the ball of my foot, my leg isn’t strong enough, my hand isn’t educated enough, and that I sit “like a soup sandwich.” If I’m really lucky, he might even run behind me with a longe whip while I struggle to jump the water.

All that makes my heart race. Over the past five months I haven’t gone a day without thinking about the clinic. It truly scares me to put myself on a horse in front of George. He has laid eyes on every great hunter or jumper rider in the world for over six decades…and now he’s going to lay eyes on me.

Gulp.

I’m doing this for two reasons: My riding has in the last decade or so (I’m 39) begun resembling correct fundamentals to the extent that I think I can hold my own in this particular clinic that has a 1.00 meter group. And secondly, I helped George pen UNRELENTING, his no-holds-barred autobiography published last year. Working on UNRELENTING with George was like getting a whole new education on my best-loved sport. Just by being in George’s orbit, my ambition caught fire to work harder, be bolder, and take more risks. I’ve watched a dozen clinics first-hand over the past five years, and I know what he expects from riders. Now it’s my turn. And in one week, my friend and I will drive seven hours north with our horses to Potcreek Meadow Farm in Washington to ride with George.

K&GHM

Karen and George working on UNRELENTING in September 2015 (photo courtesy of Barbara Dudley).

Hang on, I had to put my head between my knees and breath deeply for a second there. Whew. Okay. I’m back.

What will it be like for me to ride with George? To feel those eyes that have an unmatched ability to instantly size up a rider and horse and then, in every pair’s case, fit a specific but well-worn key of wisdom into the right lock to help them reach their potential? What will it feel like to hear his deep, satisfied cry of “Thaaaaat’s it!” if I deliver what he commands?

I can only imagine how it will feel, but I hope that I have enough calm in my mind that I can absorb and enjoy the experience. No matter how well I ride each clinic day or what mistakes I ride through, the bottom line is that I will be riding with him: the timid boy too afraid to be off the lead line who became The Godfather of Hunt Seat Equitation and Chef d’Equipe of the Olympic Show Jumping Team; the reproach-impervious master who walks the fiery line between motivator and intimidator; the same coach who fifty years ago inspired a wily crew of American women to reach beyond their wildest dreams on the international show jumping stage and end the decades-long reign of European men.

George is also my dear friend. When I first met him in 2013, it took only hours for us to form a kinship that transcended the book and the horse world. With a kind of glee, we recognized in each other the same kind of professional ambition flanked by a sometimes reckless need for letting ourselves go and being wild. We grew close over the three years, and he listened kindly and gave me advice when I had hardship in my life. George shared his thoughts and feelings with me unreservedly, and I had the honor to hear hundreds of hours of stories from his life…only some of which made the book but which all fit together to help me understand how he wanted to tell his story. I was struck with awe and amusement in the moments I looked in at myself – sitting across from him at lunch or next to him as he drove the car or by his bedside interviewing him – when I wondered, “How did I get here? How is this my life? This is absolutely unbelievable that I get to be here.” It made me want to cry and laugh and collapse in wonder.

Riding with George will be a whole new relationship paradigm for us, and I will ride onto that grass field with no expectations for special treatment. I know he will measure me in a new way: as a rider and horsewoman rather than a writer and a friend. I’m a little afraid that he might lose respect for me if I’m not a sharp enough rider, but I hope so completely that this experience will bring us even closer.

This is scary, to take this risk. But sometimes you say yes to scary and the rewards are better than any ordinary day ever could be.

When I asked my childhood show jumping heroes during interviews for UNRELENTING what it was like to have George take them to the ring when the stakes were high, they all said that their trust in George and his belief that they could win made them feel like they could jump anything – A house! The moon! Besides the incredible learning opportunities, and taking to heart the critical comments (of which there are bound to be many), what I really want to feel in the clinic is just one moment where his voice lifts me up and I feel invincible.

 

K&C2

Karen and Carlos at HITS Coachella Desert Circuit, January 2016 (photo by Jose Ruiz).

Read Karen Robertson’s follow-up post, written after her clinic with George Morris, here.

 

UNRELENTING by George Morris with Karen Robertson, is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

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

Read Full Post »

 

Did you read a great book this summer that featured horses? Did you find one that struck a chord deep within…one that moved you? These readers all found a reason to pick up RIDING BARRANCA by Laura Chester, and here’s what they’ve chosen to say about it:

 

Riding Barranca is tender, beautiful, complicated, simple, wondrous, and mystical—much like the endeavor of riding a horse. Laura Chester masterfully orchestrates two parallel narratives: her complex family upbringing amidst her mother’s slow descent into Alzheimer’s, and Laura’s soul-infused love of her horses and her life with them.”

–Carew Papritz, Author of The Legacy Letters

“Laura Chester takes us on her ride between the worlds – through landscapes of chaos, fear, and pain, as well as grace, inspiration, and transcendence. Always an adventure, and never without danger, we experience the rhythms of her life, her growth and healing, through difficult passages of loss and liberation, as she enters the ultimate solo chapter of living on beyond her parents. Of letting go, and letting healing begin.”

–Bicoastal (on Amazon.com)

“Chester celebrates the vast beauty all around her, as well as the darker regions of her childhood. The counterpoint of Chester’s explorations into the emotional turmoil of her upbringing set against the joy found on the back of her equine soulmate, Barranca, make this a compelling read, hard to put down.”

–Elizabeth Ervin, Author of Heart’s Blood

“I have not lived my life with horses, and reading Chester’s account, I ached for something comparable. In addition to companionship, horses have provided her with a detour from the cares of daily life, a vehicle into the natural world, a bridge to a different kind of love, and intimate communing with another animal. Beautifully interwoven with the rich and vivid log of rides around the world is her emotional and sometimes painful personal journey. The riding doubles for the bumpy terrain of her own life trail.”

–Summer Brenner (on Amazon.com)

“A mini retreat from life. If you have horses, you’ll appreciate the insights into the horses on the page. If you don’t, you’ll gain insight to the fascinating creatures that captivate little girls, and adults, the world over.”

–Jan Hoadley (on Amazon.com)

“Partly autobiography, partly travel writing, this is a horsewoman’s tale. Laura Chester had a fraught relationship with her mother and riding was a way to escape from tension and just be herself…This book is especially good for horsey readers but the honesty of speech about family and appreciation of nature’s beauty have a message for us all.”

–Clare O’Beara, Author of Master at Arms

“This is a beautifully written, heart-felt memoir. When I was reading, Chester’s descriptions were so vivid I could see, smell and feel the settings. Her bond with her horse(s) is so strong, I envy her that ability to relate. What I did not envy was her family dynamic. Her complicated childhood, family life and relationship with her mother were at times, almost too much to comprehend. That she is able to write bout her past with such clarity and compassion is a gift.”

–Janet (on Amazon.com)

 

Riding-Barranca-final-300RIDING BARRANCA is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT AND TO ORDER

Read Full Post »

TSB caught up with horse trainer and author Clinton Anderson a few weeks before he’s scheduled to appear at “The Road to the Horse” Colt Starting Competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, February 25, 26, and 27. If you haven’t heard about this event yet, it has been dubbed the “Legends” competition, as it pits Clinton’s impressive training skills against those of Pat Parelli and Chris Cox.

Clinton tells us about his first two appearances at “The Road to the Horse” in his bestselling book LESSONS WELL LEARNED (15% off this month during our SHAPE UP YOUR HORSE sale special). He pulled out impressive wins both times with difficult horses, so we just know this year’s competition is going to be super exciting. We also think his new show on Fox Sports Net is super exciting–the man continues to amaze us with his energy…how does he do it all? See what he thinks about his new television gig, as well as read a couple other little-known Clinton stories in the interview below:

TSB: You have a brand new show on Fox Sports Net. How does it feel to have Downunder Horsemanship broadcast far beyond the devoted audience you’ve gained over the years on RFD-TV?

CA: It feels wonderful, and we’re very excited that FSN invited us to be on their network. It’s an incredible opportunity to spread the Downunder Horsemanship Method and to help more people reach their horsemanship goals and stay safe while doing it.

Clinton demonstrating his trademark Method.

TSB: What are your personal goals for 2011 and beyond?

CA: I want to spend more time at my ranch in Stephenville to do more filming and teach horsemanship clinics.  I recently just completed building an all-new clinic facility that includes an obstacle course. I have a lot of fun working my own horses over the obstacle course as well as watching my students create better partnerships with their horses as they work through the obstacles. I also plan to show my reining horses a lot more. I love to compete.

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?

CA: A Quarter Horse, and Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.

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

CA: All kinds of meat.

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

CA: Being able to stay home and do nothing but train my reining and cow horses all day.

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

CA: I can’t remember the first time I sat on a horse, but I do remember the velvet softness of touching a horse’s nose for the first time. My grandmother, who was very influential in getting me started with horses, used to lead me around the paddock on her Thoroughbred mare.

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

CA: Loyalty.

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

CA: Trainability.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

CA: Lamb chops at Del Friscos.

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

CA: J.D. Wilton–a famous Australian trick horse trainer.

TSB: What is your motto?

CA: To get ahead in life you have to work harder and smarter than everybody else.

Read Full Post »

This month TSB talked to Sean Patrick, author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE BOOK and the new companion DVD SET about his idea of the perfect meal, and what his 18-month-old daughter thinks of horses.

TSB: You have an 18-month-old daughter. Does she like horses? Has she been in the saddle yet?

SP: Madilyn loves spending time with the horses.  While Dad is a bit more reluctant, Mom takes her riding often.

TSB: What are your personal goals for 2011?

SP: I want to spend more time on better horses.

TSB author Sean Patrick.

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?

SP: I would choose a 15.1-hand, chocolate-colored, easy-going, cow-bred, Quarter Horse gelding.  I would read Living Alone and Loving It by Barbara Feldon.

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

SP: Half-and-half.  Coffee without it is wrong.

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

SP: When a horse stays between your hands and legs.

Sean riding Belle without a bridle.

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

SP: Behind my childhood home was a large park where the local annual fair was held.  I “borrowed” 50 pennies out of Dad’s missionary jar and ordered one pony ride around the pen.  I’ve since repented for the “borrowing” and repaid that debt.

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

SP: I was just a kid and sitting backward on an un-haltered broodmare.  After tolerating my antics for a few minutes, she simply launched me into the air.  She never took a step.

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

SP: I admire and befriend gracious people.

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

SP: A horse that naturally looks for the answer without protest.

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

SP: Ride the range with Buck Brannaman.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

SP: I’ve had it!  We were late getting into camp.  It had been a long day climbing in the mountains with new horses.  It was well below freezing with the wind carrying a few flakes.  Everyone was spent.  But, by the time those grilled pork chops were served, it was heaven.  I’ll never forget that day.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

SP: A big mountain with a lot of snow and a chairlift to the top.

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

SP: Winston Churchill.

TSB: What is your motto?

SP: Ask more questions than you answer.

Read Full Post »

TSB author Vanessa Bee practices an agility course with one of her horses. Check HorseandRiderBooks.com in the coming months for a chance to pre-order her forthcoming book: THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK.

We’ve all heard of dog agility, and many of us have even tried it (horse people are so often dog people, too). Speaking from experience, it’s not only great fun for the dog and the handler, but it is a hoot for the spectators–both exciting and, at times, comical.

It seems it was only a matter of time before someone “got smart” and turned the groundwork and liberty work most of us now recognize as good for our horses into a proper sport of its own, with organized judging and competition. The result is the Federation of International Horse Agility Clubs, founded by TSB author Vanessa Bee. We’re publishing her book THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK, which will serve as a proper introduction to training and competing, later this year. Check our SNEAK PEEKS in the months to come for chances to pre-order your copy and updates for when the book will be available.

Horse Agility Club USA is getting off the ground, and you’ll want to be in on the fun as this new craze sweeps the horse world. Check the Horse Agility Club Web site for play dates in your area, or get together with some friends and organize one! We’ll keep you updated here at TSB as we know more.

Until then, check out the fun that lies ahead for YOU and YOUR horse!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: