Polar vortex got you down? You’re not alone.
And now with snow forecast this week as far south as Florida (yes, Florida!) the frozen precipitation is definitely dipping below the indoor arena belt. If your arena is frozen and your horse is buried under four blankets, what’s a good horseman to do? The answer is not to binge-watch Netflix and hope for spring to come, I’m afraid. It’s time to study — and gear up for a great warm season. Here are three inspirational reads to get you through the ice and snow.
The Faraway Horses: the Adventures and Wisdom of One of America’s Most Renowned Horsemen (by Buck Brannaman)
Trust and respect are the backbones of any relationship, transcending differences in discipline and even species. Whether you ride dressage, hunters, western pleasure, or you are reading this blog right now to try and understand your horse-crazy girlfriend better, there are lessons in this book to make you a better rider, and a better horseman, and probably a better human.
How Good Riders Get Good: Daily Choices That Lead to Success in Any Equestrian Sport (by Denny Emerson)
Getting to the top of your sport is based on affording the most expensive horse and the most prestigious trainer, right? Wrong! In this book, lifelong eventer and horsemen Denny Emerson lays it all out for every aspiring champion: look at your life, look at your choices, and make the right ones! There is food for thought (and active change) in this book that will help devoted riders move forward in their careers, as well as anyone else hoping to make a change in their lives — notice a theme here?
Dressage Masters: Techniques and Philosophies of Four Leading Trainers (by David Collins)
Lavishly illustrated with photographs demonstrating key moments in a horse’s action and a rider’s aids, this book is a joy to flip through. But it’s also a serious look at the different facets of dressage training. Interviews with Olympic-medal-winning dressage coaches Klaus Balkenhol, Ernst Hoyos, Dr. Uwe Schulten-Baumer, and George Theodorescu go deep into their personal philosophy and practices. A must for any devoted dressage rider.
Try these reads instead of reaching for the remote on stormy winter days. You’ll come out of the polar vortex a more inspired equestrian. And you’ll need that inspiration when you see all the mud out there.