Posts Tagged ‘USTRC’

We started the day in the Stockyards, then headed for Stephenville.

We started the day in the Stockyards, then headed for Stephenville.

This morning we set out to wander the Stockyards a bit before grabbing a terrific breakfast that involved fresh tortillas, darned good chorizo, and a lot of cheese (not to mention the biscuit that came gratis with the coffee!) at Esperanza’s on North Main Street in Fort Worth. Then, it was into the rental car for the drive out the Stephenville, which we had planned to put us right by the famous Teskey’s Saddle Shop in Weatherford (the cutting horse capital of the world), but sadly our GPS chose a different route, convincing us that old-fashioned maps and the powers of reasoning trump technology any day (at least when shopping for horse stuff is involved).

Oh well, we’re going BACK to Forth Worth tomorrow, a different way…and Teskey’s will be in the picture this time.

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We had a great lunch at the Hard 8 Pit BBQ with Pam DeFazio and Rachelle Wilhelm from Downunder Horsemanship (it sounds like all we are doing in Texas is eating, doesn’t it?) and had a chance to visit with TSB author Clinton Anderson at his offices before he leaves for his Walkabout Tour stop in Tampa, Florida.

We topped the day off by meeting up with Kayla Starnes, author of TEAM ROPING 101, endorsed by the USTRC, and it was great to talk horses, training, and Texas living with a native.

Hope to swing through the Cowgirl Museum tomorrow before we hit the skies and head for Florida!

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If you are planning your weekend of horses, music, and magic at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, TX June 1–3, 2012, be sure to make time to visit two of our bestselling authors! Melinda Folse, author of THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES, and Kayla Starnes, author of TEAM ROPING 101 will both be on hand, talking horses and signing their books.

Melinda Folse and THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES can be found at Booth #532/530, where she’ll also be talking about her new blog for DiscoverHorses.com. Melinda will be giving presentations over the weekend–she’s invited a few of the women featured in her book to stop by and share more of their stories from very different perspectives on the “Midlife Horse Adventure.” Discussion will open up for audience questions and encouragement (possibly in the form of chocolate!) in order to build and emphasize awareness of the wonderful the community we all share when we love and ride horses.

Kayla Starnes will be in the USTRC booth with her book TEAM ROPING 101. The public is invited to try roping a Hot Heels in the booth all three days, and  an instructor will be on hand to guide novices and answer questions.

Highlights of the three-day equine exposition and music festival include:

• More than 100 clinics, demonstrations and seminars in many disciplines in four venues led by expert presenters such as Craig Cameron and Gina Miles.

• Five major Coliseum shows starring 12-time Grammy-winner Emmylou Harris and five-time Grammy-winner Marty Stuart.

• A Texas-sized Xtreme Marketplace in the Amon G. Carter Building offering everything from tack, equine health products and ranch equipment to apparel, accessories, art, and home furnishings.

Kick off your summer with our TSB authors at the AmerEquine Festival of the Horse June 1-3 in Fort Worth, Texas! And don’t forget, THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES and TEAM ROPING 101 are both available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

Blog Bonus!!! Enter coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and receive 15% off your entire order!!

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When the eye-catching palomino stallion named Nu Chex To Cash—an NRHA Hall of Fame inductee—recently became the tenth NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire, TSB author Kayla Starnes couldn’t help but smile. His offspring’s official NRHA earnings now total $2,002,150. Hilldale Farm, of Brashear, Tex., has owned Nu Chex To Cash since 1995 and has bred his top three earning offspring.

Hilldale Farm was also formerly the home of Helluva Chex, a Nu Chex To Cash son who sired Kayla’s 2011 colt “Chex” (and who TSB featured on our 2011-2012 catalog, which you can download on our homepage HERE).

“It is quite an accomplishment for Nu Chex To Cash to reach the two million dollar mark,” says Kayla. “Congratulations to him and his owners for such consistency producing champions. I am proud to own a grandson!”

Despite facing some adversity in his first year, including a barn fire (which he luckily escaped with only minor injury), Kayla’s colt is blossoming into a beautiful horse his famous grandsire can be proud of—check out the recent photos Kayla shared with us:

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Kayla, a writer and a photographer, is the author of TEAM ROPING 101: THE COMPLETE SPORT FROM HEADER TO HEELER, a super introduction to the popular family sport, endorsed by the USTRC. Kayla and her book will be part of the USTRC booth at AmerEquine Festival of the Horse, June 1-3, in Fort Worth, Texas. Representatives from Hot Heels roping dummies will be there, as well, and the public is invited to stop by, meet Kayla, and try their hand at roping.

Watch our blog and Facebook page for more information about our authors at the AmerEquine event in the month to come!

And you can order TEAM ROPING 101 from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE! BLOG BONUS!! Enter the coupon code TSBBLOG15 at checkout and get 15% off your entire order!


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Last year I drafted a similar retrospective of the year’s accomplishments in print, and I remember at that time feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of titles Trafalgar Square Books had managed to release in 2010. This year I’m similarly impressed (albeit admittedly biased, seeing as I’m heavily involved in the production of our list!), and perhaps even a little prouder, as I do honestly believe 2011 saw some of our best content, by our best authors, come to life in very exciting ways.

In case you missed them, here is a look back at TSB’s year in books and DVDs—there’s a little something here for everyone! All our books and DVDs are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!

February 2011

CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE FROM THE GROUND UP by Peggy Cummings with Bobbie Jo Liebermann

Peggy really does have a very different way of handling and working the horse from the ground that can have a significant impact on his way of going under saddle. The before-and-after case studies featured in the book are astounding proof of just how much good her work can do.

March 2011


I don’t know that I can find sufficient words to describe the value of this fantastic book. Denny’s brilliant, no-nonsense advice is what we all wish we had when we were just starting our competitive riding careers. For some, his book will jumpstart a faltering riding habit. For others, his writing will inspire true dedication to the sport they love. Whoever you are, whatever your state of equestrian latency or possibility, this book is the Magic Mirror sure to tell you whether you really are giving it all you’ve got. And, Denny’s truths are easily applied to more than just riding and horsemanship.

April 2011


A special new edition of Jane’s phenomenal CROSS-TRAIN YOUR HORSE and MORE CROSS-TRAINING, which are no longer in print. The only book you need on dressage basics and flatwork, whatever your equestrian discipline.

May 2011


Spiral-bound, fabulously illustrated, Dr. Tucker’s guide to 27 body checkups YOU can do to determine if your horse hurts, where he hurts, and whether you need to call the veterinarian, farrier, chiropractor, or saddle-fitting expert is one of the most useful books I’ve seen in my years at TSB. You can do your horse a lot of good with this book.

June 2011


A terrific kids’ starter book, offering a guide to cultivating a gentle awareness when handling and riding horses through world-renowned bahaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones’ TTouch and TTEAM methods. Absolutely fantasic photos in this book.

TEAM ROPING 101 by Kayla Starnes

Endorsed by the USTRC and featuring tips from champion ropers Speed Williams, Rickey Green, and horse trainer Clinton Anderson, this book has all you need to get started in this fast-growing, family friendly sport.

July 2011


People always say they can come back to horses, and when women hit 40, or around there, give or take, it seems they are finally finding the time to invest their money wisely…in a horse of their own. Melinda’s bestselling book provides all the returnee or first-timer needs to find her way to the barn at last, with lots of laughs along the way. Melinda’s book is a huge e-book seller (available in both Kindle and ePub formats via Amazon.com and ebooks.com).

September 2011

RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze

Susanne made a name for herself with her terrific bestselling book and DVD BALANCE IN MOVEMENT. Now she’s back in a big way, with this new book, the DVD by the same name, as well as BALANCE IN MOVEMENT 2 on DVD. Susanne presented at the USDF Symposium in San Diego at the end of 2011.


This book is about REAL rider fitness—this isn’t some generic workout packaged to look equestrian-specific. The exercises are deceptively easy, and hugely rewarding when it comes to improving your ability to ride well and communicate with your horse in an accurate and efficient manner he can understand.

October 2011

TEX by Dorie McCullough Lawson

A personal favorite, this completely adorable kids’ picture book brings the mystique of the cowboy and the hard-work-equals-good-work mentality to life for the under-five set. Authentic photos make it a crowd-pleaser, and the main character falling asleep at the end make it a parent-pleaser. You can’t go wrong with this one.

ANNE KURSINSKI’S RIDING & JUMPING CLINIC by Anne Kursinski with Miranda Lorraine

We’ve brought this great classic back in print, this time in paperback. Anne’s exercises on the flat and over fences, introductory and advanced, are beautifully spelled out. This book promises to be used well, and used often.

November 2011

MEDITATION FOR TWO by Dominique Barbier with Keron Psillas

A lovely book—gorgeous photos and deep thoughts for the thinking rider. Certain to appeal to the dressage rider, the classicist, or the city-dwelling horse lover with a nice coffee table and a little time for reading on quiet evenings…

RIDING FREE by Andrea and Markus Eschbach

As proponents for riding horses with minimal tack, Andrea and Markus do a marvelous job explaining how to prepare your horse with proper training so you can ride him safely without a bit, without a bridle, without a saddle, or even without all three! Inspiring reading with practical applications for those who dream of being with their horse in as natural a way as possible.

BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE by Jim Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold

Jim’s groundbreaking Masterson Method, now explained in this spiral-bound book and the DVD by the same name, has people talking. The pictures of the horses he’s worked say it all–they are obviously more comfortable after he has worked on them. Now, he tells you how YOU can give your horse the same level of comfort and release he can.

December 2011


This introduction to this exciting new horse sport is by the founder of the International Horse Agility Club. You may have seen the recent excerpt in EQUUS Magazine—we are all really looking forward to seeing Horse Agility take off as a super-fun alternative to riding competitions!


A terrifically useful resource with over 10,000 common words and phrases.

Here’s to a great year ahead, with dreams chased and dreams fulfilled, in horses and in life.

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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“New to team roping? Or dying to give it a try? Kayla Starnes has written the book for you,” says the review of TEAM ROPING 101 in the January issue of Horse&Rider Magazine.

“Endorsed by the United States Team Roping Championships, and with a foreword by Clinton Anderson, this book has all the facts you need to get your team roping career started,” writes book reviewer Laura Downey. “It provides information on what to look for in a roping horse; what kind of tack, ropes, and other equipment you’ll need; the horsemanship skills you can’t rope without; and of course, simple drills for the roping horse from H&R contributor Clinton Anderson.

“Throughout the book, you’ll also find tips from professional team ropers Speed Williams and Rickey Green. With information covering everything from picking the right horse to roping your first steer, this book will help you on your way to becoming a great team roper.”

TEAM ROPING 101 author and photographer Kayla Starnes signed books at the Hastings in Stephenville, Texas, in November.

Some of you may have had the chance to meet TEAM ROPING 101 author and photographer Kayla Starnes during her November book signing at the Hastings in Stephenville, Texas. “It was my first book signing in my hometown, which was a really fun dynamic,” says Kayla. “I had the opportunity to visit with supportive friends and family, as well as roping enthusiasts. Some of my models for TEAM ROPING 101 are local amateur ropers, and more than one visitor was excited to discover that they recognized friends and family in the pages. That sense of community and devotion to learning about their sport is exactly why I chose to portray everyday ropers, as well as professionals, in this book.”

TEAM ROPING 101 author and photographer Kayla Starnes really enjoyed signing books in her hometown of Stephenville.

TEAM ROPING 101 is available from the TSB online bookstore, where standard shipping in the US is always FREE. CLICK HERE TO ORDER TEAM ROPING 101 NOW.

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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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Everyone is gearing up for the biggest weekend in holiday shopping! Beginning with “Black Friday” (the notorious day after Thanksgiving that can make-or-break a retailer’s year), great sales and special events often extend into Saturday and Sunday, ensuring that visiting families and kids home from school have somewhere to go (and some way to spend their money!)

Two Trafalgar Square Books authors are doing their share by participating in special book signing events this Saturday, November 26–the “day after” Black Friday. Check it out:


Dorie McCullough Lawson, wife of painter T. Allen Lawson and daughter of historian David McCullough, is reading her fabulous new children’s book TEX, discussing the story behind it, and signing books at Bunch of Grapes, 44 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. She will be upstairs in Kid’s Corner beginning at 10:30 am.

TEX is the perfect picture book for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, with wonderful color photographs, a story about imagination, work ethic, and the beauty of the American West, and a main character who goes to sleep at the end (very important!) Watch the video of one little boy “reading” TEX by clicking HERE.


Kayla Starnes, the writer and photographer behind the new USTRC-endorsed book TEAM ROPING 101 will be signing books at the Hastings in the Texas horse-capital of Stephenville, 2900 West Washington Street, #10, from 3 to 6 pm.

TEAM ROPING 101 is all you need to know to get started in the hottest new sport for those who like riding horses, going out with the family, and winning great cash prizes. Endorsed by the USTRC and featuring tips from champion ropers Speed Williams and Rickey Green, as well as training tips and a foreword from Stephenville celebrity horseman Clinton Anderson, Kayla’s book is a surefire way to rope up some fun.

Don’t miss these two great opportunities to get terrific holiday gifts, personalized by the author!

Both TEX and TEAM ROPING 101 are also available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

The Trafalgar Square Books Crew says HAPPY THANKSGIVING with 15% off your online order at HorseandRiderBooks.com! Just enter the coupon code THANKS15 at checkout (sale runs through 12-2-2011 and cannot be combined with other offers).

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This month, TSB had a chance to catch up with author and photographer Kayla Starnes and talk about her brand new book TEAM ROPING 101, as well as what it was like to work with the USTRC and champion team ropers Speed Williams and Rickey Green. (TEAM ROPING 101 is available now from the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.)

TSB: You have been working publicist and photographer for the APHA for a number of years. What first got you involved with Paint Horses and/or the organization?

 KS: I worked for APHA for almost four years, and can honestly say I loved every day I was a part of the PR & Marketing team. I was the worst kind of marketing person—one who truly believed in their product. Today, I am in the same field, working in PR and media relations for a manufacturing company called Pro Equine Group, as well as working for myself.

TSB author Kayla Starnes and her Quarter Horse mare "Cutie"

I first got involved with Paint Horses and APHA as a young teenager, when my parents bought me a Paint mare and a Youth membership. Later, I got a job at APHA because I was too nosey for my own good and God just put me in the right place at the right time. I had just finished a college internship with a horse magazine and my last assignment for them was supposed to be interviewing some APHA officials at a special competition. But, I couldn’t accept because the event was set for the same day as graduation. Fortunately, it was held in my hometown and one of my friends was assigned the story instead. So, that afternoon, I traded my graduation cap for a Western hat and went to the arena to see what I was missing.

When I got there, my friend was interviewing a few APHA Executive Committee members. Because she hadn’t had time to prep like I had for that event, I thought she was missing some of the hard questions that I believed readers would really want to know. So, she let me cut in and fire away. And, the EC members were kind enough to accommodate me.

Afterward, my friend had to leave for a bit to chase down another interview. So, I decided to wait for her, and happened to find myself standing next to Jerry Circelli, APHA’s Director of PR & Marketing. We struck up a conversation, and before I left, he asked me to send him my resume.

With that, I moved back to Fort Worth, where two weeks turned into four years.

TSB: You have a new foal that was born right around the time you were finishing up TEAM ROPING 101. What made you decide to breed your mare and what are your future plans for your colt?

Kayla, "Cutie," and her new Helluva Chex colt.

KS: Yes, my foal and Team Roping 101 were “born” at the same time. Those last couple of weeks I spent my nights sitting around watching my mare for signs of foaling while reviewing final proofs. He’s a palomino overo AQHA/APHA colt, whose name is still pending with the associations. His mother has the kindest, most forgiving personality, and she gave me my first taste of showing. When I retired her, it was time to think about a replacement and I knew I wanted a foal from her. I chose a stallion that was a mix of two bloodlines I highly respected and thought would cross well with her Bell Ranch breeding. The sire, Helluva Chex is a son of Nu Chex to Cash and a King Ranch mare.

The little guy seems to have inherited the best from both parents. His mother gave him her mild temperament and tough-as-nails conformation, and his father gave him his stunning color and refinement, like a beautiful head.  Future plans are to direct him to the show pen when he is old enough.

TSB: You worked with the USTRC in putting TEAM ROPING 101 together. What impressed you most about the organization?

KS: I can’t say enough great things about the staff at USTRC and their level of professionalism. The first time I stepped into their offices, I was immediately impressed with the cutting-edge handicapping system they have in place. I have seen nothing in the equine world that is similar, and they work very hard to stay at the forefront of that technology. The enormous volume of performance statistics they maintain for any given run or roper is amazing. The only sports I can think of to compare it to are golf or baseball.

TSB: You had the opportunity to watch champion team ropers Speed Williams and Rickey Green in action, as well as interview them as they are featured in TEAM ROPING 101. What were some of the most important pointers you gained from their expertise?

KS: I am always in awe of a professional athlete in action. Whatever they do, they make it look so effortless. When I visited Rickey Green for one of the book’s photo shoot, he had such control of the entire run. He actually asked me to show him exactly where I wanted him to place an uncooperative steer for me to get a certain shot during a run. And, he did it perfectly—more than once, with three independent-minded animals and a novice teammate to consider. However, he is the first to say he didn’t get that amount of control overnight, as does Speed. They both have worked very hard to reach that level.

Both pros stress that talent begins on the ground, learning the basics. That is where correct technique is born and developed. I think that is the most important lesson they have to share. Each is acutely aware of novice safety, and I think they take great care to ensure their students learn properly and gradually step up the challenge.

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?

KS: Of course, I would need The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley. It was always one of my favorites and a must-have manual for deserted island living with a horse. However, I’d have to say my equine companion would have to be a stock horse. It’s hard to beat a Quarter Horse’s or Paint’s calm, easy-going temperament.

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

KS:  Something green and hairy! I’d rather be outside on a sunny day than cleaning the fridge, so I’m afraid I put it off way too long, especially during the summer.

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

KS: A warm summer evening, sitting on a bucket, petting the dog and listening to the horses eat dinner. I have had much more exhilarating experiences with horses, but not much beats the everyday stuff.

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

KS: I don’t remember the first time I sat on a horse, but I definitely remember my first horse. Her name was Goldie. She was an old, grade palomino Quarter Horse that my brother and I shared. She let me be everything from the Kentucky Derby-winning teenaged jockey from the Thoroughbred book series, to a world champion with giant rosette, to just a little, horse-crazy girl with big dreams.

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

KS: See the jockey reference in the previous question. I was riding bareback, pretending to cross the finish-line Secretariat style, and bounced right off. Goldie stopped, looked down at me, and if horses could roll their eyes and sigh, I think she would have. Of course, I was fine. It was soft grass and I was young!

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

KS: Loyalty

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

KS: The natural ability to think through a problem, rather than just react.

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

KS: I would compete in reining, either as an exhibitor as a proud owner. I love the precision and obedience of it, which carries over to any task.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

KS: Anything involving pasta or chocolate is heaven. Wish I could say that about water and lettuce!

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

KS: Anywhere without cell phone or internet service! Really, I enjoy vacations that teach you something about the people and landscape you are visiting.

I’d love to visit the beautiful and little-known Abaco Wild Horses. Believed to be the direct descendents of horses brought over by Spanish explorers like Columbus, they are the rarest breed in the world. With only five left, they exist today only on one tiny island. But, they have a tireless supporter named Milanne Rehor, who has made it her mission to save them. And, with recent scientific breakthroughs in equine breeding, she has a better chance than ever.

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

KS: Jane Austen. She may have lived in a different era, but she nailed human interaction.

TSB: What is your motto?

KS: Hmmm. I don’t really have one, but I think Dorrie from Finding Nemo had it right: Just keep swimming.

No matter what happens, never give up.

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