Friday, 2 November 2012


Ahh, I love books. Each month I will aim to review a book from my (extensive) collection. For those poor non-horsey souls reading this blog, I apologise in advance. Many titles will be horse related. However, I promise to also include some of my *other* favourite reads.



How Good Riders Get Good:

Daily Choices That Lead to Success in Any Equestrian Sport 

By Denny Emerson
There's a lot of books out there that tell us about horse riding and training techniques. There's also a growing number of instructional books that focus on improving the rider's mental skills to become a more confident rider or better competitor. However, there's very few books that provide a true insight on all of the elements needed to become a good rider or trainer. This book does just that.

I have to say, I was so excited about the concept of this book I pre-ordered it …and when it arrived, it didn’t disappoint - I devoured it in less than a day! The blurb describes it as a “smart, honest, on-target kick-in-the-pants” and it is true! This book explores all elements of life that affect someone’s potential as a horseperson; in other words, what it is that separates those who achieve their goals from those who don’t.

How Good Riders Get Good looks at life circumstances and how they can affect an individuals' goals; the knowledge base a rider needs; the rider’s physique, the importance of a good support network and one of the most important considerations – the horse. In exploring each of these areas, Denny Emerson highlights many of his experiences as a successful rider in a range of different disciplines.

Although there is a competitive theme, winning competitions is not the sole definition of being a “successful” rider in this book –  many of the "Good Rider" profiles featured also include top trainers from a variety of disciplines. The principles discussed throughout How Good Riders Get Good could be equally applied to other areas of life and other pursuits. You don’t have to be aiming at Olympic glory to benefit from the advice Denny Emerson packs into this book.
This book came to me at a time of my life when I had set a lofty goal and it aided me in preparing in the best possible way. I was able to objectively look at the cards I’d been dealt and work out what it was that I needed to complete my journey. As riders (or indeed, as sports people) we are told we need to “think positive” and whilst it is true, it is somewhat misguided to believe that positive thought alone will solve all our problems! We need to “think constructively”…that is, thinking positively, but with a plan of action in place and an honest assessment of what needs to be done to move forward. How Good Riders Get Good forms part of a rider’s decision making tool-kit to make that action happen.

For anyone who has ambitions with their horses and riding, I thoroughly recommend this book. It is a delight to read and full of advice that otherwise could take a lifetime to learn!
The Haybale rating - 5/5 bales of sweet, leafy lucerne!

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