Monday, May 18, 2009

Two Book Reviews

Riding With Confidence!
Practical and inspirational advice to help you deal with your fear and enjoy your riding

I originally thought this book was more concerned about breaking through particular fear issues, which it does, but different fear issues than I've actually had. However, the information and format make it an interesting read, nonetheless.

A variety of female contributors from the horse world:
Christina Barlow-instructor and riding school proprietor from South Africa.
Julie Goodnight-instructor and natural horsemanship trainer from the U.S.
Abigail Hogg-author and equine trainer from the UK
Liz Morrison-ICF accredited NLP coach and Level 2 international instructor from the UK
Sharon Shinwell-professional hypnotherapist and counsellor from the UK.

My favorite chapter was chapter 1, Managing Your Fear by Julie Goodnight. Always clear and practical in her teaching she walks the reader through identifying fear, understanding fear, a plan for recovery, making your plan, polish your horsemanship and safety skills, and improve your riding skills. She describes the basis of many fears and how to learn to start dealing with them when they are interfering with your relationship with your horse or simply running your life. The whole fear concept can cover many aspects of life, not just riding or horses. Personally, I have never been afraid of horses themselves but as with anyone who has horses in their lives, there have been times when my own confidence issues with my riding ability have gotten in the way of enjoying my partnership with my horses.

For me, the other chapters weren't quite as interesting, though I did glean some helpful advice in my areas of interest. I think this book is a great read for older women who may be a little intimidated by riding again, or maybe have developed a fear, or lack of confidence in horse skills or riding skills. Very easy to read because it's divided into chunks you can spend as little or as much time as you choose at one sitting.

Chapter topics:
Understanding the Horse-Abigail Hogg
Teaching the Nervous Rider-Christina Barlow
Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis-Sharon Shinwell
The NLP Approach to Confident Riding-Liz Morrison

The forward had some helpful information also as Kelly Marks provides top ten tips for handling fear.

What Your Horse Wants You to Know
What Horses' "Bad" behavior means, and How to Correct It
Gincy Self Bucklin

I'm not sure what I expected from this book, some different insights I suppose. For me, most of the information became "ho hum" and I ended up skimming to the sections I thought might give me some different aspects of common misbehaviors.

Now, not to say this isn't a good book! It's definitely a great insight for people who may never have been around horses at all and have not experienced horse behavior or what their meanings may be. Definitely some great information and insight on horse behavior. If I'd found this book back in '04 (Copyright 2003) I'm sure I would have gobbled it up. It's an excellent source for anyone just getting into horses or who may have questions about some horse behaviors they've been dealing with on their own.

Simple short chapters on topics from Bathing to Tying: won't tie, in alphabetical order. The introduction was an excellent start: What You Need To Know To Help Your Horse. If every new horse owner, who has none to very little understanding or experience around horses, would read this, they'd be giving themselves a gift of knowledge and understanding, as well as their horse.

I appreciated many aspects of this book and believe it is one of the better guides on horse behavior. The importance of learning how to communicate with your horse in the right way and what he's trying to communicate to you can never be underestimated for the loving partnership most people want with their horses. There's an abundance of information in this book from a woman who has tons of experience and years of devotion to horses.

Gincy Self Bucklin has 60+ years of riding and training experience, 50+ years of teaching experience, and 30+ years of managing stables large and small. She is certified as an Expert Instructor by the American Riding Instructor's Association. She is the daughter of of well-known horsewoman and equestrian author Margaret Cabell Self. (excerpt from back cover)

Both of these books are excellent additions to your horse training library though you'll find, as I did, and depending on your own knowledge, you can breeze through some sections while taking in others.

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