Friday, November 24, 2017

Book review II

For those who have been reading my blog all this time, (Thank You!) you know that I don't normally do book reviews. Since my trip back to Hell to see my girls and going to the 1/2 Price Bookstore while there, I had picked up a few books. Obviously they have made an impact or I would not feel the need to be mentioning them here.

The second book I am reading is "100 Ways to Improve Your Horse's Schooling" by Susan McBane. In the store I flipped thru the pages to get a vibe and quick feeling that this book contains a lot of useful information and tips on things to do and try.

Even though I'm not quite finished reading this one, (I'm in the 70's) there have been several moments of pause and things that have made me think. Isn't that the reason we read? To learn. And to learn, sometimes we have to think about the way we do things and why. Obviously we wish to Improve and that's why we look to books or others for input. Hello?!?!?!

In my last post I had mentioned that dressage has been drawing me in more and more and I'm finding it increasingly fascinating. While this book is geared towards basic schooling, it is certainly feeding that fascination, because after all, Dressage means Training. This book delves into how your seat, weight, legs, hands and simply looking where you want to go influences the horse. Another thing mentioned frequently is picturing in your mind how you want the horse to do things.

One of the things about this book is that each exercise is broken down into a quite simple and basic explanation of how to do things. Not only does the author explain the "how" of it, but the "why" that makes it work. For those that look for the logic behind the results- good or bad, they are explained.

This book covers a lot of things we face in training and while there are chapters on ground work, flatwork and lateral work, (for the dressage junkies) there is also chapters on work with poles, basic jumping, hacking and competition for those who aren't so focused only on dressage. The author also makes several references to a list of useful addresses and further reading included at the end of the book. Some of the addresses include websites for a quicker way to get information.

I love this photo which is at the very back of the book.

While reading this, I kept finding close similarities in how the author explains things, with how my friend Cheryl explains things. Cheryl definitely has the creds(!) and we have shared many discussions about horses on a variety of topics. I have yet to be disappointed in what she has shared with me. To find a book like this one? It is almost like having a Cheryl on the shelf in my growing library where I can consult with her at any time about any issue I'm having.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! But as the author states, it is not exactly a book for the stark beginner. Although Ms. McBane often suggests having a trainer or sensible friend on the ground to assist,  she understands that you are looking for help in trying to improve you horse's schooling on your own because these may not be available resources. What you get out of it also depends on what you're looking to impove in your horse and your riding. If you have a decent foundation to your riding, there is a plethora of information in the pages which can certainly be applied to any discipline.  Price in the UK is $20, US- $30 and Canada- $42. I scored my copy for a whopping $8. 

*If I sounded like I was rambling or disconnected in my thoughts, I blame the turkey from yesterday. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. I read this book and was pretty meh about it. It had some gems and I loved the pictures but I ended up giving it away.