In 2017, Karen Inkster completed a mission which saw her travel the length of the Outer Hebrides with her Standardbred Connie and collie Pip to raise more than £6,000 for Riding for the Disabled and Dogs Trust.
Karen, 45, went on to give talks about the trip and wrote a book about her adventure called The Deaf, The Daft and The Ditsy, donating proceeds from both to charities.
The gruelling 16-day journey saw the daring trio trek 270km from Vatersay near Barra to Stornoway, visiting 13 islands along the way.
Karen, who lives near Dunkeld, named the book The Deaf, The Daft and The Ditsy primarily due to Pip being hard of hearing and Connie being described as a bit “ditsy.”
The book has now won the International Equine Travel award from the Equus Film Festival 2020.
Heroic Animals : 100 Amazing Creatures Great and Small
Bobbie the Wonder dog crossed more than 2,500 miles of plains, desert and mountains to find his way home - and became the inspiration for Lassie. Cher Ami the pigeon, despite being shot twice, delivered a message that saved the lives of 194 soldiers in 1918. Trakr the police dog spent two days exhaustively searching Ground Zero and found the last survivor of the 9/11 attacks.Ever since Alexander the Great named a city after the horse who saved his life in battle (and another after his dog), human history wouldn't be the same without the awe-inspiring tales of amazing animals. Now BAFTA-winning presenter, no. 1 bestselling author and all-round national treasure Clare Balding picks out the most heroic and heartwarming (and sometimes hilarious) animals from history and tells their stories.From Simon the sea cat to Greyfriars Bobby's 14-year vigil over his master's grave, to the elephant that saved a small girl and Paul the World-Cup-predicting octopus, Heroic Animals brings to life incredible feats and moving moments which highlight the timeless special bond between human and animal.
The Return Journey
A freak accident took talented horsewoman Kathryn Bull from her husband Steve when she was thirty-nine years old. In a single moment, Steve was no longer part of the team they had created but alone, grieving the woman who had been his one constant. In the foggy aftermath of the accident, Steve was clear on one thing, a promise to Kathryn he made as she lay in the field; to look after her yard and animals.A last expedition dedicated to the woman who loved horses - and him - so very much. An experienced expedition leader, Steve was no stranger to challenges but this was without equal. He lost their expedition business, faced doubts from all quarters, and gained a renewed appreciation of Kathryn's talent, commitment and the legacy she left behind her in a field one April day.Tender and poignant, this memoir traces one man's return journey from the terrible tragedy that threatened to break him. It is a testimony to the strength of true love, and the inexplicable bond between man and horse.
One woman’s journey through love, loss and healing.
When her husband is diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and she is plunged into widowhood at the tender age of 37, Kathryn White’s world is shattered. Life Matters is a searing account of the days that follow.
Throughout, her unwavering love of horses weaves a golden thread of faith, providing strength through the darkest of times and warmth in a time of overwhelming grief. A tribute to the power of love and a testament to the strength and fortitude of the human spirit.
This memoir of grief and loss is written from the heart and soul.
An entertaining and inspiring autobiography. In 2008, 26-year old Tik Maynard faced a crossroads not unlike that of other young adults. A university graduate and modern pentathlete, he suffered both a career-ending injury and a painful breakup, leaving him suddenly adrift. The son of prominent Canadian equestrians, Maynard decided to spend the next year as a 'working student'. In the horse industry, working students aspire to become professional riders or trainers, and willingly trade labour for hands-on education. Here Maynard chronicles his experiences - good and bad - and we follow along as one year becomes three. What began as a casual adventure gradually transforms, and a life's purpose comes sharply into focus.
Abdul is just 7 years old when his parents are killed before his eyes. As a brutal war sweeps Sudan, Abdul and his 3-year-old brother are forced to flee. Their gruelling journey across the Sahara to a refugee camp in Chad is fraught with danger, and every day is a struggle against hunger and disease. Until one day Abdul is offered a chance to escape. A chance that could save him, but will force him to make the most heartbreaking decision of his life. Abdul's death-defying flight leaves deep scars.But his affinity with animals provides a lifeline, when he is offered the chance to work with elite racehorses. Including one owned by the Queen.
The Mongol Derby is the world's toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, competitors ride 25 horses across a distance of 1000km. Many riders don't make it to the finish line.In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer - nineteen, underprepared but seeking the great unknown - decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she found she had nothing to lose, and tore through the field with her motley crew of horses. In one of the Derby's most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.A tale of adventure, fortitude and poetry, Rough Magic is the extraordinary story of one young woman's encounter with oblivion, and herself.
Horse Crazy : The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal
In the bestselling tradition of works by such authors as Susan Orlean and Mary Roach, a New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist explores why so many people-including herself-are obsessed with horses. It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America-even more than when they were the only means of transportation-and nearly two million horse owners. Acclaimed journalist and avid equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir is one of them; she began riding horses when she was just two years old and hasn't stopped since.Horse Crazy is a fascinating, funny, and moving love letter to these graceful animals and the people who-like her-are obsessed with them. It is also a coming-of-age story of Nir growing up an outsider within the world's most elite inner circles, and finding her true north in horses. Nir takes readers into the lesser-known corners of the riding world and profiles some of its most captivating figures.We meet Monty Roberts, the California trainer whose prowess earned him the nickname "the man who listens to horses," and his pet deer; George and Ann Blair, who at their riding academy on a tiny island in Manhattan's Harlem River seek to resurrect the erased legacy of the African American cowboy; and Francesca Kelly, whose love for an Indian nobleman shaped her life's mission: to protect an endangered Indian breed of horse and bring them to America. Woven into these compelling character studies, Nir shares her own moving personal narrative. She details her father's harrowing tale of surviving the Holocaust, and describes an enchanted but deeply lonely upbringing in Manhattan, where horses became her family.She found them even in the middle of the city, in a stable disguised in an old townhouse and in Central Park, when she chased down truants as an auxiliary mounted patrol officer. And she speaks candidly of how horses have helped her overcome heartbreak and loss. Infused with heart and wit, and with each chapter named after a horse Nir has loved, Horse Crazy is an unforgettable blend of beautifully written memoir and first-rate reporting.
On the Hoof - a 3,800 mile adventure: Pacific to Atlantic
The true tale of a voyage that broke a man down and built him back up, with the help of one special horse.
At 37 Jesse McNeil - at times carpenter, commercial fisherman, dabbler in real estate - decided to buy an untrained horse, make himself into a horseman, and ride all the way across the United States, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
A fiercely independent traveller, Jesse had navigated previous coast-to-coast trips - solo journeys by moped, bicycle, and small airplane. This time, however, he had a partner: a five-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse named Pepper.
An inexperienced horseman with an equally inexperienced mount, Jesse would quickly discover the immense challenges of his new undertaking. Over the course of eight months and fourteen states - beginning in Oregon and ending on a beach in New Hampshire - he would be tested many times over as he learned not only what it took to keep Pepper safe and healthy, but the true value of qualities that he had once easily dismissed: patience and companionship.
The generosity of strangers, from helpful ranchers and storekeepers to suburban families, shaped the pair's journey east. And while at some points the miles didn't unfold as Jesse hoped, others yielded unexpected events that changed his perspective - and quite possibly, his future. Written with honesty, grit, and grace, On the Hoof captures an arduous voyage that broke a man down and built him back up, with the help of one special horse.
Half Broke : A Memoir
At the start of this remarkable story of recovery, healing, and redemption, Ginger Gaffney answers a call to help retrain the troubled horses at an alternative prison ranch in New Mexico, a facility run entirely by the prisoners. The horses are scavenging through the dumpsters, kicking and running down the residents when they bring the trash out after meals. One horse is severely injured.
The horses and residents arrive at the ranch broken in one way or many: the horses are defensive and terrified, while the residents, some battling drug and alcohol addictions, are emotionally and physically shattered. With deep insight into how animals and humans communicate through posture, body language, and honesty of spirit, Gaffney walks us through her struggle to train the untrainable. Gaffney peels away the layers of her own story-a solitary childhood, painful introversion, and a transformative connection with her first horse, a filly named Belle-and she, too, learns to trust people as much as she trusts horses.
As her year-long odyssey builds toward a dramatic conclusion, the group experiences triumphs and failures, brave recoveries and relapses, as well as betrayals and moving stories of trust and belonging. Resonant, smart, and beautifully written, Half Broke tears at the heart of what it takes to find wholeness after years of trauma and addiction and offers profound insight on how working with animals can satisfy our universal need for connection.
Relaxed & Forward : Relationship Advice From Your Horse
Do you still watch those old horse movies that you've seen a dozen times, just for the scenes of the horse galloping in slow motion? Do you hold your breath just a bit? Do you get something in your eye?
We've been besotted with horses since they had three toes. From the popular Relaxed and Forward blog comes training advice combining the everyday fundamentals of dressage with mutual listening skills. Blake writes with a profound respect for horses and an articulate voice for humans, blending equal parts inspiration and un-common sense. It's serious training communicated with humor and lightness, because horses like us when we laugh.
Most riders want to build a better relationship with their horse. These short essays are geared as much toward attitude as technique, and include topics ranging from reading calming signals from your horse to using breath as your best communication tool. Blake's writing uses clear descriptions, storytelling, and humor to inspire meaningful, positive communication. Less correction and more direction. Horses are honest; they answer us in kind. If we want a better response, a more fluid conversation and relationship with a horse, we have to be the ones to change first. The other word for that is leadership.
By Anna Blake, the author of Stable Relation, A Memoir of One Woman's Spirited Journey Home, by Way of the Barn.
My Horsy Life : An Unconventional Equine Memoir
Janet Rising has written sixteen pony books for young readers including, with Carl Hester MBE, FBHS, the life story of Valegro, the greatest dressage horse that has ever lived.
Although no stranger to writing fiction for adults, this is her first book for that audience: a hilarious, hair-raising and often thought-provoking look back at over fifty years of equestrian memories. Older readers will find themselves reminiscing about their own horsy memories; younger readers will marvel at how times have changed - but all will share a common empathy with the author's love of all things equine.
From East to West by Saddle is Best
What started as an idea on maps spread out along the length of her kitchen floor, turned into a challenging journey over mountains, through glens and around lochs. Against the backdrop of stunning Highland scenery, Claire Alldritt made her way from the east coast of Scotland, journeying with her two horses, working her way across to the west to dip her toes in the Atlantic Ocean.
Often using old drovers’ roads and avoiding as much tarmac as she could, this is a story of exploration, trust and resilience mixed with insightful glances into the history of the land passed through. Claire’s journey shows the value of friends old and new (whether with four legs or two) written with lively imagination and humour as they make their way along the trail.
Saddle up and take a ride across the Highlands with Claire, Swift and Yogi! Want to find out more? Claire recorded a podcast with BBC Radio Scotland and you can listen to Claire and her adventures by following this link https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrtq1/episodes/downloads
Black Beauty is a handsome, sweet-tempered colt with a strong spirit. As a young colt he is free to gallop in the fresh green meadows with his beloved mother, Duchess, and their kind master. But when his owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty goes from a life of comfort and kindness to one of hard labour and cruelty. Bravely he works as hard as he can, suffering at the hands of men who treat animals badly. But Black Beauty has an unbreakable spirit and will, and is determined to survive . . .
Sometimes in life you have to take chances. Growing up on a tough estate has taught fifteen-year-old Amber Evans not to trust anyone or anything. She's learned to put her own hopes aside and, unable to afford riding lessons, Amber knows her love of horses can never be more than a dream. But when her mother's admitted to hospital, Amber's life turns upside down. Placed with a foster family in the countryside, she's determined to be sent home until an unexpected meeting with Drake Owen, the gorgeous eventing star, and the arrival of a spirited Arab horse change everything...