A handy quick-reference guide to braiding a horse's mane, with step-by-step colour photos and easy-to-follow instructions from two professional grooms.
Braiding a horse’s mane kind of comes with the territory—who can resist playing with all that hair? While it may begin as a downtime activity on a rainy afternoon or fun with friends after riding lessons, braiding takes on a life of its own when it comes to competition.
Professional grooms and others who braid on the show circuit can make a living doing just that when they have the skills to do it fast and do it well. Professional grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford, co-authors of the bestselling World-Class Grooming for Horses, have braided thousands of horses for a variety of disciplines over the course of their esteemed careers in the equestrian industry. Now they’ve highlighted those skills in a book conceived to be a helpful barn companion—one you can take with you and keep in your tack trunk, providing a go-to reference whenever you need it.
Chock full of full-colour photographs that illustrate every step of the process, readers learn techniques for:
Braiding down—a nice, tight, smooth braid is the key to a sophisticated finish.
Using thread, yarn, or rubber bands.
Properly finishing and removing braids to avoid hair damage.
Button braids two ways.
Unpulled manes and long manes.
With their expertise, top-tier standards, and trademark clarity as professionals who have made teaching their trade an integral part of their lives, Hill and Ford provide everything you need to know to turn a horse out with professional polish, ready to impress the judges and wow the crowds.
Authors: Cat Hill & Emma Ford
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
The Scales of Training
The "scales of training" are the components of a progressive training system that has evolved from the teaching of the great riding masters of Italy, France, and Germany. The scales apply to the basic schooling of every horse, whether the rider wishes to concentrate on dressage, jumping, or eventing, and provide an essential foundation for the horse's physical and mental development. If the scales are not observed at novice level, then it is unlikely that horse and rider will progress to advanced levels or be able to maintain a consistent level of performance. In this illustrated workbook Claire Lilley explains how to use the scales when schooling and jumping at home. She describes the principles of each training scale and includes in each section a number of exercises designed to improve performance, with notes on what to look for, training tips, and solutions to common mistakes and misunderstandings.
Equine Training with Compassion and Respect
This book is for Horse lovers and riders who wish to learn and understand better how the horse's body works under a rider and how best to enhance and develop that body so we put the horse's welfare first at all times and never damage or break down our horse through the ridden work that we do. It explains in depth the posture that the horse should work in to carry a rider with ease and how we should all achieve that posture.
Mary explains well the pain and the discomfort that horses can suffer when being ridden with undetected problems and seeks to share much information to those who ride to be able to avoid these damaging scenarios.
Mary seeks to help those who read this book to understand how to be in Tune with their horse mentally, and physically and to hear and listen to what is being said by the horse.
Author: Mary L Frances
Themed Lesson Plans for Riding Instructors
As an instructor it takes time to develop a repertoire of exercises to suit all ages and abilities. This book has the answer: it provides a wide range of ideas for lesson plans, with notes on how these can be adapted and developed for different levels of recreational rider, from beginner to advanced, whether children or adults.
The lesson plans are organised into teaching subjects to allow instructors to go straight to a chosen topic and find exercises to suit riders of different abilities, along with teaching tips for a professional delivery.
Author: Melissa Troup
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.
Dave and Darcy Save Christmas
Santa’s reindeer are all poorly so there is nobody to fly the sleigh and deliver presents. Join Dave and Darcy as they whizz around the world and help to save Christmas!
Children’s picture books for ages 3-7.
Author: Lois Kingscott
A Pony's Christmas Story
Every Christmas the little yard at the bottom of a hill in Lancashire comes alive when an amazing group of animals and humans create a magical experience for children and families who need an extra special bit of love over the festive period.
This story is based on true events that happened during one of our Christmas nativities. All the horses and ponies featured in the story are real and all have been much loved members of our team. Our charity Stable Lives creates a calm, quiet place where those dealing with mental health challenges can come to rest, relax and reconnect into society.
Throughout the year we have the privilege of watching our amazing team of horses help children and adults through challenging times in their lives. If you are reading this book at Christmas, then we encourage you to reach out into your community to spread a little bit of kindness. If you are reading this at any other time of the year, then get planning on how you can spread joy for next Christmas!
Author: Carrie Byrom
Dave and Darcy have a Birthday Party
It’s Dave’s birthday and the whole gang have come to celebrate with him and Darcy! There will be lots of fun games and lots of yummy cake. Make sure you don’t miss the party!
Author: Lois Kingscott
Stride control (striding) is an essential part of any rider’s development when jumping obstacles, and jumping them well, is a goal. Understanding and implementing stride control (being able to adjust the number of strides before and between fences) improves a horse’s rideability and allows the rider to further improve the horse’s technique over an obstacle.
Jen Marsden Hamilton discovered striding from the master himself: former US Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe credits her as being the first student to whom he taught the method that he’d learned from Bertalan De Némethy, one of his mentors. Now, after coaching countless riders and horses around the world in the striding techniques that brought her success during her own impressive competitive career, Hamilton has compiled her knowledge in a concise book of exercises and insightful strategies.
This fun, approachable guide will help all riders train with correctness and form good habits at home so they can be stars at their next jumping or eventing competition. Exercises include detailed set-up instructions and illustrations for reference; clear discussion of the purpose and strategy for the training session; and helpful tips, to ensure all involved are benefiting from the lesson.
Throughout, Hamilton’s straight-talk and wry humour provides entertainment as well as advice, providing an all-around superb guide to this necessary jumping skill.
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.
Bolder, Braver, Brighter
Exciting ideas for achieving riding and training goals from the master of mental training for the equestrian athlete. Coach Daniel Stewart, author of the hit mind-and-body equestrian workout Fit and Focused in 52, is back with new plans to power you up, bolster your confidence, and supply you with the mental tools you need to be all you can be, in and out of the saddle. With Coach Stewart's infectious optimism and indomitable sense of fun, readers will find themselves embracing exhilarating changes in their outlook and their abilities.
The evolution from “good enough” to “better” begins with:
Understanding the attributes that create success.
Comprehending the four stages of competence.
Improving mindfulness of actions and reactions.
Identifying good stress and bad stress—and handling both.
Eliminating pressure as a threat.
Managing nervousness, hesitation, and doubt.
Overcoming failure and perfectionism.
Removing limiting beliefs.
Moving beyond expectations and comparisons to others.
Becoming a good “mirror” for ourselves and others.
Beating blind spot biases—beliefs you're not aware of that harm you.
Mastering memories and how the brain processes information.
Infusing his words with energy and compassion, Coach Stewart offers everyone a chance of attaining self-fulfilment and joy when working with and riding horses. His concepts are friendly, fun, and easy to implement, making his book chock full of potential—just like you. Bolder, Braver, Brighter is for every rider seeking improved performance in the saddle and partnership with the horse.
An easy-to-implement framework proven to grow rider confidence, tested by the world’s leading equestrian athletes.
Without confidence, achievement in competition is unattainable. When confidence is lacking in any sport, equestrian included, chances are your career will be short. Renowned performance coach John Haime has written the book to counter this challenge, providing the mental tools riders need to be better under pressure of all kinds and consistently succeed.
Haime invites readers to dive into three clear and informative areas of exploration:
The Confidence Base: Firm up the fundamentals.
The Confidence Builders: Systems and tips to help you build confidence.
The Confidence Threats: An inside look at what to watch out for in riding and in competition.
Throughout, those who have reached the highest levels on horseback in a number of disciplines share their stories, including Michael Jung, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Laura Tomlinson, Harry Meade, Oliver Townend, and Beth Underhill. These Olympians, champions, and medallists explain what they do in the saddle and how their techniques for performing under world-class pressure might help other riders develop a similar kind of confidence.
Perhaps even more valuable are the struggles these top competitors share, giving readers the rare opportunity to see how even “the best of the best” are human, too. The way riders develop confidence in their equestrian lives is transferable to everything they do: a confident rider can be a confident businessperson, confident worker, confident spouse, confident parent, and confident friend. In this way, Ride Big!™ instills a skill of worth and promise that extends far beyond the show ring.
Dressage Between the Jumps - The Secret to Improving Your Horse's Performance Over Fences
Jane Savoie's books have changed the way people ride. She was the first to promote mental training tools and techniques as integral to competitive riding success, and her cross-training concepts for the horse-how to use dressage fundamentals for every equestrian sport-have been called 'not just a read, but a must read for every hunter-jumper rider' by George Morris, former Chef d'Equipe of the US Show Jumping Team.
Now Savoie has created a book specifically for equestrian sports with a jumping component-hunter, jumper, equitation, and eventing. In Dressage Between the Jumps, she breaks down the six most common problem areas she sees when horses jump: 'whoa' and 'go'; rhythm; suppleness through the poll, neck, body, back, and hindquarters; contact and connection; collection; and flying changes. Then she fills the rider's toolbox with targeted exercises on the flat-simple solutions to the nagging problems that prevent riders and horses from doing their best over all kinds of obstacles. Her excellent lessons gradually incorporate ground poles and low fences to build skills without stressing the horse's body.
Throughout, top riders share their own stories and insight, demonstrating numerous ways dressage exercises helped solve real problems over fences. With incredible clarity and her trademark enthusiasm, Savoie arms readers with knowledge, confidence, and problem-solving prowess that will result not only in clear rounds, but a happier horse, ready and willing to perform in partnership.
Understanding the Horse's Skin and Coat
The quality of the skin and coat is affected by many internal and external factors. Understanding the Horse's Skin and Coat shows the reader how these factors affect the horse's welfare and appearance. The book is written in clear, non-technical language and is well illustrated. It is suitable for interested horse owners, vets wanting a quick refresher, and veterinary students.
Understanding the Horse's Skin and Coat explains the function of the skin and coat, and what changes in their condition might indicate. The book will help the reader understand what they are seeing when examining a horse's skin and coat, and what sort of changes to look out for.
Topics covered include:
The structure and function of the skin and coat.
Genetics, coat colour and markings.
Parasites and skin diseases.
Signs of illness.
Wounds and healing.
External and internal treatments.
Author: Jane Coatesworth
Balancing Act : the Horse in Sport
In no uncertain terms, this book asks what it means to be a responsible rider, and whether, in today's society, it is indeed possible for equestrians in any horse sport to put the good of the horse first and foremost, and above ambition and fame. With vibrantly clear illustrations of the horse's anatomy and how it is impacted by various riding techniques, Balancing Act presents proof that, although some steps have been taken to prevent the use of forceful and cruel techniques, many sport horses still perform in pain and discomfort.
Readers will also find five chapters full of researched and proven recommendations for retraining horses with behavioural or biomechanical issues related to poor training techniques, including: the tense horse; the rein-lame horse; the horse with gait deviations; the hyperflexed horse; and the unbalanced horse that is completely off the aids. In paperback for the first time with new observations from the author, Balancing Act is for every conscientious horse person intent on riding and training with the good of the horse in mind.
Author: Gerd Heuschmann
A Guide to Plants Poisonous to Horses
The current move away from the extensive use of agricultural chemicals and the employment of more traditional methods of farming means that the number of different plant species is on the increase. Along with the nutritional benefits that this brings, there is also a risk that many potentially poisonous species of wild plants may return in greater number, together with those which, although not outright poisons in themselves, may be toxic to some degree. Most horse owners are aware of and can identify plants which are the most common cause of poisoning such as ragwort, yew, laburnum and bracken, but other dangerous species such as cowbane or hemlock are not usually referred to except in specialist literature.
This book lists over 50 plants which are commonly regarded as being poisonous in their own right. An illustration and profile of each is given, together with its prevalence, poisonous principle and symptoms.
Author: Keith Allison
War Horse Picture Book
Michael Morpurgo's global bestselling children's book War Horse has been adapted into a picture book for the first time. Illustrated throughout, it brings the beloved children's classic to life for kids aged 5 and up. Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has adapted his much-loved novel, War Horse, for a picture book audience.
This powerful book for younger readers tells the enduring story of a friendship between a boy and his horse and is a gateway to help children understand the history and chaos of the First World War. As we move beyond centenary commemorations and continue to strive for peace across the world, War Horse remains an important book for generations to come. Review for the novel:War Horse is a story of universal suffering for a universal audience by a writer who 'has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers' - Guardian Michael Morpurgo has written more than one hundred books for children and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children's Book Award and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times.
A prehistoric survival adventure about a boy and a horse who rescue one another, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Apache and Buffalo Soldier. "A boy without a clan was nothing. No one. A boy without a clan was easy prey".
Oak, son of the Deer clan chief, hopes that this summer he will finally be allowed to join the hunt and make his father proud of him. But this year is not like other years - the rains have failed, his father has fallen out with the Bear chief, and everyone is mistrustful of the new creatures that have been spotted near their encampment: horses. Then Oak becomes separated from his clan with only a young horse for company, and it seems that surely the worst has happened.
But perhaps not all animals are prey. Perhaps Horse can be clan too.