There are a few books that I read over and over again before our Thoroughbreds arrived to make sure that I was ready for what was in store.  Most of these are available through Amazon or addall.  My own journey with horses has been shaped by these books.

 Beyond the Track by Anna Morgan Ford is invaluable to anyone attempting the retraining of an OTTB. I highly recommend thoroughly reading and take notes.  You are in a college class and the new Thoroughbred is your professor!  Really read and understand - you will be tested on this!!!! 

I have posted in the past about Horses in the Green Valley by Vian Smith.  I did not specify in that post that some of the book is too harsh for sensitive types like me.  Vian Smith chronicles the history of the horse in his family and in his country, England.  He is unbelievably kind to horses, no worry there, but in history, man's use of the horse is not often a pretty story, so I avoid those parts.  I think there are amazing nuggets of training tips hidden throughout this book, and I re-learned my riding craft by reading and rereading these parts for the seven years I was raising Maizie and didn't have a horse.  Here are the pages and chapters that work best for me:  all of Chapter 1; all of Chapter 4; pages 71 - 75;  Chapter 12 (a little rough, I skip the sad parts); and then, the entire last chapter, "The Making of a Steeplechaser" is the absolute best part about training. 

This is the best book of the bunch in my opinion.  Afraid to Ride by C. W. Anderson, is a children's book, but do not avoid it for that reason.  Even if you are not afraid to ride, or have never been afraid to ride, chances are you have been on a horse who is afraid to ride.  This book is about that very fact.  I explain, in detail, my love of this book in my Confidence page.

The next group are books by Jessica JahielAnything Jessica Jahiel  has to say about horses and riders is sound advice.  She is kind and knowledgeable.  I do not own all of these books, but I am a regular visitor to her excellent newsletter, HORSE - SENSE.  She ALWAYS puts the horse first.  ALWAYS.

Our favorite library while in Florida has this classic book, The Queen Rides by Judith Campbell.  I personally have never been a huge monarchy follower except in their pursuit of all things horse.  I love this book, published in 1965.  It details the lives of all Queenie's horses from childhood right up through and has lovely photos of where she rides.   

The inscription on the inside front cover is enough to make me check the book out each year and flirt with stealing it!  (Don't tell on me if it ever goes missing!)

Have you ever seen anything as cute as this photo. 
No you haven't.

Then, there is this.  The Three Mile Walk that just tempts me.  Sigh.  My dream is to ride here everyday.  Not sure how that is ever going to work out, but I will think on it for more hours than I should.


  1. Yippee for this page!!! ;-) I had been trying to find out which book I saw you mention once (Green Valley), and the Monarchy book looks like fun. It definitely is reading time! And Beyond the Track is on my wish list... Thank you for the point to the C.W. Anderson book. My kids have all his Billy & Blaze books so I'm sure we'll be collecting/reading this one, too.

  2. Allison - Maizie read the Billy and Blaze books too.

  3. Ok, it's IN! Horses in the Green Valley. Of course I have already read Ch. 13 and am now eating the rest of the book...

  4. Well Juliette I did love the last chapter and the book and my absolute favorite page in Green Valley is p.82! :-)

    Now I am on Beyond the Track and you are right, it IS a college course and helping us a lot. How does the author know our Dreamport? lol

  5. Allison, I am so glad you liked Horses in the Green Valley. I have to go look up page 82. Beyond the Track is the best too - I had to reread again 1000 times this month because of Foggy's arrival!

  6. Well, it's me clogging up your book comments again! :-) I just HAD to tell you how much I am enjoying Jessica Jahiel. I LOVE her 'voice' and sense and balance. Right now I am on the Training problem solver, with plans to read at least one other of her books and definitely to check out the newsletter. Thank you for the recommendation!


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