Category Archives: Books

Jasmine shares her thoughts on “Pony Racer” – one of the many fabulous equestrian stories published by Forelock Books

By Jasmine O’Brien

‘PONY RACER’ BY LUCY JOHNSON

Jasmine Pony Racer 1

I enjoyed this book because you never knew what was going to happen next and it ended in a positive way. My favourite character was Leo the pony because he understood how to make Tom happy and he always tried his best to please everyone. My favourite section of the book was when Tom and Leo won the race as the way it was written made you feel like you were there. I would recommend this book to others who like horses and ponies because it shows if you are patient and you practice you could reach your goal. I would rate this book five stars!

Jasmine Pony Racer 3
Jasmine and her loan pony, Gryffindor Amber Flame 


 

If you are on a hunt for Christmas gifts already as I know many of you are (!) and you have some pony/horse loving book enthusiasts among your family and friends, check out Forelock Books 🙂 I have ordered from Michelle before and the books are beautifully published, always arrive nicely packaged and make a wonderful gift 🙂

This is not a sponsored post. Just a genuine appreciation shout out to a lovely book publisher! 

Wiola

For all Pony Mad kids’ parents ;) Forelock Books helps children tell their OWN story

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Forelock Books has launched its first Storytellers’ Activity Pack, aimed at keeping children with an active imagination busy over the summer holidays.

The pack, which is available to download from the Forelock Books website, will help budding writers create compelling storylines, characters and tantalising titles, but will also help them to map events, develop links and write a synopsis.

“I created the Storytellers’ Activity Pack after being asked by a countless number of parents if there was something available that would help their children formulate their ideas and encourage them to write their own stories,” said Michelle Charman from Forelock Books.

“Many of us document our lives through stories on social media, but this is not the same as storytelling. Good storytellers create adventures, develop characters and link events; they evoke emotions and care about the reader. Good storytellers are critical in today’s world.”

The Forelock Books Storytellers’ Activity Pack is supported by actors James Bolam and Susan Jameson, stars of Cbeebies “Grandpa in my Pocket’. Both James and Susan will be contributing by providing creative hints and tips in the form of video clips and Q&A sessions on Forelock Books’ social media pages.

The Forelock Books Storytellers’ Activity Pack is available to download from www.forelock-books.co.uk, priced at £2.49

Forelock Books is an independent publisher of family equestrian fiction, founded in 2014. They have published 12 titles over the last three years and have a stable of outstanding British authors, including KM Peyton MBE, Lady Kitson OBE, Ken Lake and Laura Quigley. Forelock have set out to bring back great stories that can be read over and over and to reinvent the book as something to be treasured and passed through generations. Great stories fuel the imagination and are what leads us to dream of things that would never otherwise be thought of. 

Prepared by:
Rhea Freeman PR
E: rhea@rheafreemanpr.co.uk
W: www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk
T: 07980 757910

And the Winner is…

Huge thank you for all the entires to the “Perfect Mind:Perfect Ride” book Give Away.

REVIEWED main picThe winner is: Tanja from www.dressagehafl.com (please check your emails! 🙂 ) 

It was so hard to chose from many really lovely entires and I so wish I had several books to give away!

I hope you’ll enjoy reading the book Tanja and find it useful. I am really looking forward to following your competition adventures after you tried some of the techniques Inga describes in her book 🙂

To everyone else – If you can, please do get hold of this book, I think every single rider who wrote to me will find it a very helpful and enjoyable read.

All the best,

Wiola

BOOK REVIEW AND GIVE AWAY (Wordlwide)! Perfect Mind: Perfect Ride. Sport Psychology for Successful Riding by Inga Wolframm

REVIEWED

How do you become a successsful rider? I’ve been asked this question many times and it’s never easy to come up with an answer. The rider, the horse, the training, the facilities, the support team – eventually all these elements need to come together to form a whole.

And yet, I’m convinced that it all starts with the rider. […]

I believe that, as riders, we’ll need to work on ourselves, every second of every day. Being patient and remaining calm and quiet at all times, regardless of whether we’re going for a hack around the block or are about to perform at a major competition, whether we’re at the top of our game or things aren’t working out quite the way we’d hoped. Anyone who wants to get to the top of their chosen discipline will have to deal with the inevitable highs and lows. They are all part of the experience: one day you’ll win an event and the next you’ll hit the deck. […]

Foreword by Mary King, Olympic three-day eventer

The above is a fragment of the Foreword by Mary King to Inga Wolframm’s brilliantly readable,  educational and engaging new book Perfect Mind” Perfect Ride.

When I first heard about this book I thought it was going to be a fairly dry and perhaps scientific material but I couldn’t be further from my assumptions. Packed with real life anecdotes and examples of experiences of top riders and amateurs alike, this book makes sports psychology enjoyably digestible and totally makes you feel like you want to try the stuff out rather than survive through a painful lecture!

Deep down, we all know that confidence makes or breaks our pleasure from riding, training and competing. The same goes for our horses. Shy, distrusting, worried and spooky horse is not one most riders would feel connected with and happy on. Yet, as riders, we could sometimes be described with exact same adjectives…

Inga’s book gives you a great tool, a starting point to sort your own attitude, develop mental skills that train your mind.

Having said all the above, the content is not just or all about nerves control as such. It is also an insight into elements of a roadmap to essential mental qualities that any rider needs: commitment, focus, ability to deal with adversity, controlling moods, constructive approach to analysing performances.

Through conversational style, Inga sparks your interest in various concepts rather than simply telling you about them, which I personally found very captivating.

Imagery. It’s all about seeing yourself perform, right?

Wrong. Or at least, not quite right.

Remember the descriptionists’ explanation for why imagery works? It is our language that makes an experience come to life. But words don’t merely paint a picture. They also describe how something might sound, smell and taste. Most importantly though, the words used during imagery should describe how an experience might feel.

What does it feel like as your horse engages his hind quarters? What does it feel like when he is soft in the contact? What do ‘keeping a rhythm’ or ‘collection’ feel like? […]

The book will also help those who always strive for perfection not just in their riding but also in other aspects of life – for me, it helped me with understanding and easing off pressure I put on myself to deliver best possible lessons and blaming myself if the rider isn’t doing as well as I think they should. There is a fine line between healthy desire for excellence and unhealthy expectations that don’t deal a hand of responsibility evenly.

Physical fitness isn’t much without mental fitness. ‘Perfect Mind: Perfect Ride’ is like a jolly, personal mental trainer with whom you will get to know yourself in ways you perhaps did not consider before…a trainer who will take you for a fascinating session in understanding that confidence is not something you have or don’t have, it’s something you work on every day.

AND THERE IS MORE 🙂 Inga and her publisher – Quiller Publishing – has kindly sent me a copy of the book and I would love to offer it as a Give Away. If you feel you would benefit from reading ‘Perfect Mind: Perfect Ride’ here is how to snap it! 🙂 

1) Share this blog post either by Re-blogging it, sharing on Twitter or Facebook or by emailing link to it to your friends.

2) Email me at aspire@outlook.com with a few sentences about why you would like this book and mention how you shared the post.

The deadline is 16th July 2015, 10pm UK time and I will email the lucky winner to ask for address and contact details by Monday 20th July.

Look forward to hearing from you and letting the book fly to someone who will make a great use of it 🙂

If you already read it, please share your thoughts in the comments!

Wiola

Equestrian Books Review: “Ride every stride” and ” Words of a Horseman – The life and teaching of Lars Sederholm”

Thanks to a wonderful world of e-books I’d been reading a lot this year and I thought I would share thoughts on some titles. Today, let me chat to you about Ride Every Stride by Amy Maltman (available on Kindle) and Words of a Horseman – The life and teaching of Lars Sederholm (I came across it at a little tack shop in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. It’s available to buy via Tina’s website here )

The first is what I think you could classify as a teen fiction, the second is a biographical account of a very successful coach – Lars Sederholm – as told by his daughter, Tina Sederholm.

resRIDE EVERY STRIDE

Fast paced story of one boy’s journey to the top of the sport. This book is both real enough to take you into the world of riding and grooming for a living and imaginative enough to give you hope you might be able to join in it too 😉

Plenty of little training insights, varied storyline and likeable characters should keep any horse mad teenager glued to the book. I heard the author is thinking of a sequel so if you do get attached to the riders, you might not have to say goodbye to them just yet!

If I was very picky I would say that sometimes the writing varies a bit, sometimes makes you very much part of the story, sometimes as if you were watching on fast forward. But hey, it’s a fun read, great especially for any show jumping enthusiasts but all young riders striving to ride with integrity should find something for themselves in it.

BOOK QUOTE

The book promotes thorough training, dedication to wellbeing of the competition horses and empathy with them – how could I not recommend it 🙂

WORDS OF A HORSEMAN – THE LIFE AND TEACHING OF LARS SEDERHOLM

I do love coaching biographies, regardless the sport. If you do too, grab hold of this book…It’s my life long dream to create a training yard for ambitious amateur riders like Sederholm created Waterstock for professional riders. You might say, he was very lucky, that circumstances were on his side and he met the right people at the right time and you would be most likely right. However, it takes more than luck to maintain the standards he did and to continue to train at the level he did.

“I worked out the idea for a training centre at an early stage[…] I explained this idea to Major Gold one day, but he was rather negative about it. ‘Be careful Lars’, he told me, ‘British people don’t like foreigners. Robert Orssich has been here thirty years, and has only just started to be accepted” Words of Horseman – The life and teaching of Lars Sederholm

Sederholm did open the centre, the Waterstock, and ended up as a trainer and mentor to Caroline Bradley, Mary King, Yogi Breisner, Michael Whitaker, William Fox-Pitt, David O’Connor, Lucinda Green, Richard Walker to name just a few…

Tina Sederholm tells the story of her father’s life with numerous quotes from Lars himself as well as from the riders he trained over the years.

lars sederholm book

I should mention that although the title suggests somewhat that the horses were Sederholm’s priority, I have an impression that it was more the riders’ education that took prime seat on his mind…The book makes it very clear that Lars’ top priority was to coach the top of the top and as such you learn about his strategies for coaching the winners.

I especially like his enthusiasm for training others which shows in his words and the words of his riders.

A very good read for any instructor or trainer with ambitious pupils as well as for anyone who likes to explore great coaching minds 🙂

Tiger Lily Redbrow takes me back to my teens aka quick review of Pippa Funnell’s book “Team Spirit”

Team Spirit This little book arrived this morning thanks to a little initiative between Pippa Funnell’s book’s publisher Orion and Twitter’s #equinehour which I took part in. The rosette that came with the book is from Burnham Market Horse Trials CIC** and is signed by Pippa – nice touch and made me nostalgic for competition times! One day, one day…;)

Right, onto the book – it took me a whole hour to read it within which I almost missed my train station (not ideal as a) I was already running late on the delayed train b) next stop was rather far away from my destination!). If you are a book lover who reads while travelling you will be able to relate to that panicky moment when the real world penetrates through the parallel reality you were in and you are frantically trying to remember if your mode of transport had stopped already and you missed it/is about to stop or where on earth are you 😉 Yes, that was me at Chapter 4 somewhere before Twyford.

Ok, now really onto the book – it’s a great little story of a girl called Tiger Lily (Tilly) and her eventing super star – Magic. Such an easy read with some very useful, cleverly incorporated training advice and big amount of eventing dream added in for a good measure 🙂

I think it would make a great stocking filler for any horse obsessed teenage girl and I must admit, even though my teens are rather far behind me, that I am looking forward to reading next part, Team Training! (bring on another nearly missed station!) This one will go to my teenage client now – Caitlin, if you are reading, the little book is coming to you on Saturday 🙂

Big thank you to Orion and #equinehour for such a lovely surprise! 

Old Horse Books. 1827. Secrets of top horse dealers by major S. von Tenneker…

The full title translates as something in the following lines: “Revealing of methods which horse dealers use to beautify horses, make them look younger and subsequently use those methods to cheat on horse buyers”

[rather long title!]. 

Written in 1827 by a major in the Royal Saxon cavalry, a vet and horse carer, member of some intellectual societies (couldn’t find any more information), this little book has been sitting in my horsey library since since around 1997 and as far as I am aware it’s available in German and Polish only. There is a 2001 edition (in Polish translation) available to buy through the below link:

Tenneker
Click on image above to go to the Bookstore (in Polish)

The book is full of fascinating bits of information and I will share a few gems! Although the title suggests it is all about how to cheat the buyer, the book actually is also a little bit of a guide of good practice for horse dealers too. Next to advice on how to trick the buyer there is usually a sound advice on how to avoid having to have to trick in the first place. However, there is plenty of questionable advice too!  Continue reading Old Horse Books. 1827. Secrets of top horse dealers by major S. von Tenneker…

WHAT TO READ? Learning Resources – Suggestions

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The most common question I get asked by riders is “what books should I read” or where to look for certain information. I thought it will be easier to just give a link with all the resources I personally found helpful than write it each time.

I have therefore added a new tab in the main menu (above) called Learning Resources where you can find interesting websites and links that will make you ponder and hopefully get excited about horse-friendly training. However, read and watch with your critical thinking cap on, not everything works for any horse and every rider.

There is no particular order there, I consider all resources mentioned of great value and I would really recommend them to be studied by all riders.

Continue reading WHAT TO READ? Learning Resources – Suggestions

BOOK REVIEW: “Equine Etiquette – A Guide to Your Horse’s Social Behaviour”

When this little book arrived for my view this morning, my first thought was that it would be a perfect birthday gift for horse owners that you could pop in an envelope together with a larger Birthday Card! Light and easy to send anywhere and yet substantial enough for an enjoyable present.

The book is a general overview of social behaviour in horses and looks at certain characteristics of socially confident and submissive individuals. It looks briefly at the evolution of social behaviour, how it develops and how it shapes relationships between horses and how we as horse owners, can use our knowledge of social behaviour to manage difficult situations like introduction of a new horse to an established herd.

Although I would say that it’s mostly for novice horse owners or those who have basic knowledge about equine behaviour I think that the biggest value of this little book is that it awakens your curiosity to dig deeper into the subject.

Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: “Equine Etiquette – A Guide to Your Horse’s Social Behaviour”

BORN OF THE PYRAMIDS, ROCKY’S STORY

“Take a peek at the reality of life in Egypt as a working equine through the eyes of Rocky, a horse Born of the Pyramids, as he navigates the often cruel path throughout life as a working animal.” – says Facebook page for the book by Susan Richards-Benson.

I searched for this book after reading an article about it on Hay Net: http://www.hay-net.co.uk/guest-blogging-page/5138/born-of-the-pyramids-rockys-story-by-susan-richards-benson. It just got on my To Read list!

Buy on Amazon: Born of the Pyramids, Rocky's Story
Buy on Amazon: Born of the Pyramids, Rocky’s Story

Continue reading BORN OF THE PYRAMIDS, ROCKY’S STORY