Posts Tagged ‘How Good Riders Get Good’

TSB author Denny Emerson is great about sending along the notes and messages he’s received since we published his bestselling book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD. Some of the letters he has received reveal an older rider’s regret of past decisions made, perhaps those that made a competitive riding career difficult or impossible. Some of the emails show that, thankfully, hope to achieve one’s dreams rarely dies, and all many of us are waiting and wishing for is a sign, a mentor, or a bend in the road that very clearly points us in the direction we’d most like to travel.

We at TSB are thrilled that Denny’s book has reached so many riders, young and old, experienced and not, already. We know, from our own collective past with horses, that the desire to improve, to ride better, to “get good,” is a universal and eternal one. With the right self-examination, with a little instruction, with direction and drive, a career with horses is not only possible, it can be a means of making a living and making a happy life.

If you are 12 and dream of riding for the United States in the Olympics one day, read Denny’s book. If you’re 45 and finally picking up the reins again now that your kids are grown, don’t wait–get a copy today. HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD doesn’t have an expiration date: If you’re at the beginning, the middle, or the end of your equestrian career, find out how Denny’s advice and stories, tips and experiences, can make the difference in your own performance today and tomorrow, and discover all the ways it can help you improve your students’ chances of achieving their dreams, too.

Here’s what one new reader shared on her blog, Horses Are Our Lives, today:

“You MUST get this book. I sat down tonight (really, I did), after chores, with an ice tea, and outside on the lounge chair. I thought, ok… I’ll read the book cover and intro to see what this book is about. An hour later, I did NOT want to put the book down. The first chapter even had me leafing through the book to check out the other chapters. I especially checked out the chapter on personal characteristics! LOL It is a nuts and bolts book. Real Life. Tell it how it is. It sounds very familiar to how I used to be, and somewhere along the way, I’ve lost something. This is what the book makes me think, already! I need to get back to my true self, how I really am, and go for what I really want.  I am anxious to read more tomorrow!”

You can read the complete post about HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by clicking HERE

HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.



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The release of the new TSB book RIDING FREE got me reminiscing…the cover alone reminds me of carefree days in my youth when I was long on confidence and short on fear. From my earliest days on a horse, I was just as likely to clamber on board without a saddle as I was to stick my foot in the stirrup. I was just as comfortable steering my horse with a couple lead ropes tied to the halter as I was with leather reins and a bit in his mouth.

RIDING FREE is actually for REAL horse people. Andrea and Markus Eschbach explain that with correct training and preparation, a piece of metal across the tongue isn’t necessary to control a horse, and a piece of leather over the back isn’t needed to keep your seat. If you have spent any time asking yourself why it takes so much equipment between you and your horse in order to get close to him, then this book will speak to you. Our horses can be happier and more comfortable if we take the steps to communicate with them at the most elemental level, and the riding relationship that can arise from that can defy your expectations.

On my beloved first pony Misty, at age nine, with just a halter and lead rope (and yes, I should have been wearing a helmet).

Besides, it can be good for YOU as a rider to gain the seat necessary to control your horse’s direction and speed without a bit, and to stay in place without a saddle. In his bestselling book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD, USEA Hall-of-Fame Inductee Denny Emerson asks us if it is “possible to be a centaur in the suburbs.” He describes what it may have taken for young Plains Indians to become “part” of a horse in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries: “They learned naturally, by simply letting their body accommodate to the movements of the horse, and they didn’t have a saddle between them and the animal to use as a crutch, or in any way to impede their total feel of the living entity beneath them.” Denny says that today you can still learn to ride as well as the Plains Indians, “but only if you recreate those same conditions.”

Pretty much the only time I got my little brother on a horse---bareback (just halters and lead ropes) on Asil and Katrina. This was our favorite way to hit the trail.

“I’ve always been thankful that I had all those bareback years, galloping over the hills on [my first horse] Paint with only a halter and a lead rope,” writes Denny, “because I think even now, fifty years later, hip replacement and all, I could still gallop around bareback comfortably and confidently.”

So that security gained by dealing with, perhaps, the momentary insecurity you might feel riding without a bit or without a saddle, is a feeling of being able to really ride that never leaves you. But it isn’t just about being able to “stick” that appeals, it is indeed the “centaur” sensation that is more likely to be achieved when the saddle is shed. Bareback is about as close to being “one” with the horse as we can really get.

There were actually bareback equitation classes at the 4-H shows I attended as a kid--here I'm on Asil (the gray) at the Midstate Riding Club in Randolph, Vermont.

“I’ve never spent a lot of time on a horse bareback,” says TSB Managing Director Martha Cook, “but a winter doesn’t pass (at least not yet), when I don’t indulge in a few short rides without a saddle. There’s something wonderful about slipping onto a shaggy, warm horse on a cold, snowy day. The heat that radiates through my seat on a cold day is like putting on pants fresh from the dryer. It feels good!”

In this day and age of merchandising and marketing it is so easy to think the trappings are what riding is all about. It might actually be difficult for many people to imagine taking a lesson bareback, or riding their horse on the trail with a bitless bridle, or bringing their horse in from the pasture, on board, with nothing but a lead rope looped around his neck. The thing is, really, truly, this shouldn’t be hard to imagine. It should be what we all dream about constantly—is it not the epitome of all that a horse-and-rider partnership should embody?

Misty was in her late twenties when this picture was taken...an all-out gallop across the field below my house, no saddle, no bridle. Nothing better.

I would never have thought twice about hopping on my horses without tack when I was a kid. It wasn’t just youthful bravado, it was that I could think of absolutely nothing better in the world. Bare legs on warm coat, muscle on muscle, and no ulterior motives…just friendship in a common space and time.


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Yes, Trafalgar Square Books is slowly but surely going digital. It is our goal to provide the same quality content you get in the print versions of our highly illustrated horse books in an ebook, if that’s your preferred means of reading. Our backlist is extensive and it will take some time to make all our bestselling titles available via all formats, but sign up here for email notifications (see right side of the blog page) and you’ll be the first to know which top-selling horse book you can download onto your e-reader, smartphone, or iPad, as soon as it comes available.

To kick off the New Year, the bestselling book everyone is talking about, HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by Denny Emerson, is now available in Kindle and ePub formats!

Denny’s book is all you need to get where you want to go in the horse world–order the book today from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

You can order HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD for Kindle on Amazon.com and the ePub version for multiple platforms on eBooks.com.

ALSO, Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation is now available in Kindle and ePub formats!

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TSB is still taking online orders and shipping for Christmas. All orders made before midnight on December 18 will ship for FREE with delivery by Christmas. There is no guarantee on orders placed after the 18th unless arrangements are made for expedited shipping—call to confirm expedited shipping costs and arrival dates toll free at 800.423.4525.

TSB is accepting holiday orders through December 21st. Orders placed after the 21st will not arrive in time for Christmas.

AND we’re offering 15% off your order now through the holidays! Don’t miss this opportunity to save money on a great gift!

Our Top 5 TSB Gift Recommendations are:


You may not know this, but Trafalgar Square Books published a fabulous photographic field guide for New England and it just won the National Outdoor Book Award for best new nature guide! It is IN STOCK and will SHIP IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS from our website. CLICK HERE TO ORDER NATURALLY CURIOUS NOW.

2  TEX by Dorie McCullough Lawson

This wonderful illustrated children’s book uses ranch life and the splendor of the American West as a backdrop for a bedtime book that instills work ethic and the value of animals as companions. Click HERE to listen to the interview with author Dorie McCullough Lawson on the Horse Radio Network. TSB is donating 10% of all online sales of TEX through January 1 to the Pajama Program, which provides books and warm jammies to children in need. CLICK HERE TO ORDER A SIGNED COPY OF TEX NOW.

3  RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze

Susanne just presented at the USDF Symposium in San Diego, California, where her new book (and the new DVD by the same name) were a huge hit. A great purchase for the dressage rider in your life. CLICK HERE TO ORDER RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK NOW.

4  HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by Denny Emerson

There is no other book like this for the aspiring equestrian competitor, whatever their chosen discipline. This is a no-nonsense, self-empowering guide to navigating the horse industry and succeeding. Click HERE to check out Denny’s blog and what some of the top names in the world of horses are saying about his blog. CLICK HERE TO ORDER HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD NOW.


Sean’s book by the same name is a bestseller, with readers and reviewers claiming it teaches training fundamentals like no book out there. Here, Sean has taken his winning “Countdown” and demonstrated the 33 steps in live action—the perfect complement to the book or a wonderful way to aid the visual learner in his or her pursuit of better horse-and-handler communication. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE COUNTDOWN TO BROKE 4-DISK DVD SET NOW.

For more gift recommendations, checkout our holiday shopping lists HERE.

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With Thanksgiving over, many of us have entered the fun-filled season dedicated to holiday shopping…and what wasn’t purchased on Black Friday can always be bought on Cyber Monday!

Still not sure what to get the horsey friend or family member when you’re on a budget? Here are five SUPER books for five different kinds of horsemen or women, and all for less than $30.

1  For the grownup girl who always wanted a horse, but maybe never got one….


Funny, smart, self-help with a shot of reality, a dash of dreams, and a whole lotta horse.

2  For the ambitious young rider with big-time competitive dreams…


Whatever the discipline, whatever the finances, here’s the how-to for going somewhere both in riding, and in life.

3  For the Western rider with a passion for fun, family, and the rush of roping…

TEAM ROPING 101 by Kayla Starnes, endorsed by the USTRC

All you need to know about the exciting, big-money sport of team roping—how to get started, and get good.

4  For the philosopher-in-the-saddle, the dressage aficionado, the classicist…

MEDITATIONS FOR TWO by Dominique Barbier and Keron Psillas

Beautiful, poignant, poetic, and deep—a book to ponder and move you.

5  For the son, daughter, grandchild, niece, or nephew…

TEX by Dorie McCullough Lawson

A beautiful children’s picture book about hard work, the American West, and sleep! (See a short video HERE) Through January 1, 2012, 10% of all online sales of TEX from HorseandRiderBooks.com will go to the Pajama Program—join us in our efforts to give warm pajamas and good books to the children who need them most! Read about TSB’s donation HERE.

These books, and many more, can be found at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE, and where you can get 15% your order all this week by entering the coupon code THANKS15 at checkout.

Offer ends 12-2-11 and cannot be combined with other offers.

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At Trafalgar Square Books, we think our horses are thankful for the books we've read and the DVDs we've watched this year.

It’s that time of year when we remind each other, and ourselves, to be thankful….thankful for friends, family, and the horses in our life.

We at Trafalgar Square Books took a moment to wonder what our horses might be thankful for. Deep bedding and that extra flake of hay? Probably. The new Rambo and the flash set of boots? Perhaps. But we also think what our horses appreciate most this year are the books we’ve read, the DVDs we’ve watched, and the direct impact—both observable and invisible—our broadened horse knowledge then has on our horse’s health and happiness. We ride better, we communicate better, and we pay better attention to our horse’s body and brain because of the books we’ve read.

Here are the new Trafalgar Square Books and DVDs we think our horses are most thankful for—get 15% off these and the rest of our books and DVDs (plus FREE SHIPPING) during our Thanksgiving Sale! Enter coupon code THANKS15 at checkout.

Where Does My Horse Hurt by Dr. Renee Tucker

An easy-to-use, graphically clear method of finding the location of aches and pains in your horse’s body.


How Good Riders Get Good by Denny Emerson

Hands-down the best source of inspiration and guidance if you really want to succeed in the horse industry.


Beyond Horse Massage (Book and DVD) by Jim Masterson

An incredible new form of bodywork that releases tension in the horse so he can perform his best.


Rider & Horse Back to Back (Book and DVD) by Susanne von Dietze

A guide to “back-friendly” riding by the renowned physiotherapist and dressage rider who brought you the bestselling Balance in Movement.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Trafalgar Square Crew! Get 15% off, plus FREE SHIPPING at HorseandRiderBooks.com when you enter coupon code THANKS15 at checkout.

Offer valid 11-22-11 through 12-2-11. Cannot be combined with other offers.

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Trafalgar Square Books will be on-hand at this year’s Equine Affaire in Springfield, Massachusetts. We have a booth in the Better Living Center–come find us at stand #843-844–and we’ll be there all four days of the event. Not only will we have our bestselling books and DVDs available, we’ll also have our newest releases and hottest new items for sale at special show-only discounts.

Stop by and you’ll find books and DVDs to suit you, or your favorite horse-crazy person, whatever your favorite breed or equestrian discipline. We’ll have our new release RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze, as well as her two new DVD programs and the perennial bestseller BALANCE IN MOVEMENT. The United States Team Roping Championships endorsed our new book TEAM ROPING 101, which features all you need to know to get started in the sport, including tips from top team ropers Rickey Green and Speed Williams. Plus, you can find copies of our completely charming children’s book TEX, signed by the author and the perfect gift for your favorite little cowboy or cowgirl this holiday season. (Have you seen the video for TEX? If not, check it out HERE.)

We’ve got practical, how-to texts WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT and BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE, both spiral-bound and great for using at the barn. Not to mention THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES, as you’ve no doubt seen featured in EQUUS, HORSE & RIDER, and COWGIRL MAGAZINE this fall. And if you’re looking for the show-stopping gift-book for the horseman-at-heart, Dominique Barbier’s MEDITATION FOR TWO is sure to provide both reading pleasure and riding inspiration.

In addition, the TSB booth will host book signings with top riders and EA presenters, offering you the chance to meet your riding mentor or idol!

We’ll have Anne Kursinski, EA presenter and author of ANNE KURSINSKI’S RIDING AND JUMPING CLINIC, on Thursday, November 10, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.

Denny Emerson, eventer and author of HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD on Saturday, November 12, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.

Jim Wofford, EA presenter and author of CROSS-COUNTRY WITH JIM WOFFORD on Saturday, November 12, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, and Sunday, November 13, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.

Don’t miss our sale bins and special discounts for Equine Affaire…it will all be waiting for you at the TSB booth in the Better Living Center at EA in Massachusetts. See you there!

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