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The Young Equestrian: Professional Instruction for Ambitious Riders

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This unique guide to learning to ride is designed to inspire and instill confidence in young riders, or inexperienced riders of any age. Providing in-depth yet easy-to-understand practical information, accomplished horsewoman and riding instructor Caroline Davis helps the reader progress from preparing for the first lesson through to jumping and 'going it alone.' The heart of the book is developing the special relationship between horse and rider, making this book particularly ...

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Overview

This unique guide to learning to ride is designed to inspire and instill confidence in young riders, or inexperienced riders of any age. Providing in-depth yet easy-to-understand practical information, accomplished horsewoman and riding instructor Caroline Davis helps the reader progress from preparing for the first lesson through to jumping and 'going it alone.' The heart of the book is developing the special relationship between horse and rider, making this book particularly appropriate for a shy rider.

Detailed sections offer advice on choosing the best riding school and instructor, how to care for and tack up a horse, how to pick riding gear, mounting, learning to walk, trot, canter and gallop, and beyond, and how to cope in a variety of riding situations. It explains what to expect in a riding lesson, how to work with the instructor and, for those who can, how to purchase and care for a horse.

The author's sensitive guidance is enhanced by comprehensive information, including:

  • handy-hint panels
  • clear, color illustrations and full color photographs
  • annotated drawings explaining riding postures and horse gaits and movements
  • point-by-point lessons
  • Question Times to cover common problems and concerns
  • extensive information on all of the various equestrian sports
  • the essentials of horse care
  • glossary, useful addresses and further reading.

The author's passion for horses and riding, her compassion for young students, and her experience as a teacher are evident in her empathetic tone and reasonable and comforting expert advice.

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Editorial Reviews

Horseman's Yankee Pedlar
Filled with full-color photographs and step-by-step instructions for novice riders of all ages... a wonderful way to engage the knowledge you'll need to approach riding... A must read for young people interested in learning to ride, or just for anyone that is planning to ride a horse on a trip or an outing.
Pat Ingram
Lots of color photos and excellent diagrams of basic dressage exercises make it ideal.
—The Quarter Horse Journal, March 2001
Lisa Falk
Readers eager to get in the saddle will find this coverage to be just what they need.
Marsha Valance
Davis provides a clearly written, thorough, basic guide to horse care ... highly recommended.
VOYA
Davis provides a clearly written, thorough, basic guide to horse care for riders aged twelve through adult. She covers the fundamentals of riding in an easily understood, step-by-step manner, illustrating each segment with photos and simple drawings that add to the reader's comprehension. For example, the dismount is broken down into seven simple steps that take the rider from ensuring that the horse is standing still, to placement of the hands, to movement of the body, and finally to keeping hold of the horse when dismount is complete. Photographs were carefully chosen to illustrate the right-and safe-way to perform each action. The only flaw here is that in one section, three of four photos show people riding without helmets, a serious omission that occurs nowhere else in this helpful book. This book probably is the best nonfiction horse book for young adults since Judy Chapple's Your Horse: A Step-by-Step Guide to Horse Ownership (Garden Way, 1984). Every middle school, junior high, or senior high library that serves horse lovers needs this highly recommended title. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Firefly, 178p, Glossary, Index, Illus, Photos, Charts, bibliography, Oversize pb. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Marsha Valance VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Despite its high-flown subtitle, this book really presents the usual basic principles and practices of good horsemanship. In a matter-of-fact, somewhat dry tone, Davis leads readers through the hows and whys of learning to ride and care for a horse that stress safety and consideration for the animal. Plenty of photographs and illustrations show both the fun and work that the sport can provide. A final chapter discusses equestrian activities and competitions. The depth of coverage is somewhat unique, offering more than Lucinda Green's Riding (DK, 2000) and less than Sibylle Luise Binder's Riding for Beginners (Sterling, 1999). Double-spaced text results in an open look. Readers eager to get in the saddle will find this coverage to be just what they need.-Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552094846
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/2/2000
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 9.14 (w) x 10.99 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Davis has extensive practical teaching and horsemanship experience, having owned and run a riding school for many years. As a journalist, she has been staff writer on Your Horse, consultant for Horse & Pony problem pages, and contributed features to Horse & Rider. She is currently Assistant Editor for Riding, England's longest running equestrian magazine. Caroline co-authored the best-selling book The Less than Perfect Rider.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Why Learn to Ride?
Chapter 2: The Aids Explained
Chapter 3: On the Move
Chapter 4: Learning to Ride -- The First Lesson
Chapter 5: School Exercises
Chapter 6: Riding Off the Lunge -- Learning to Walk
Chapter 7: Learning to Trot
Chapter 8: Learning to Canter
Chapter 9: Learning to Jump
Chapter 10: Going It Alone
Chapter 11: Horse Care
Chapter 12: Equestrian Activities and Competing

Conclusion
Glossary
Useful Addresses and Further Reading
Index
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Introduction

Introduction:

Horses and ponies have a magical quality. For some people, old and young alike, these magnificent beasts have an attraction that is almost magnetic. Throughout history, equines have played a major part in human development.

Without equines transport, trade, and the production and distribution of necessities such as food and clothing would have been severely compromised. It is probably due to their long-standing role in human society that many humans today have a great fondness for the horse, even if they themselves do not ride or have any wish to. But for others the desire to get closer to these animals and share their world is overwhelming. It is an almost indefinable need; a need that cannot be explained in words. You have to touch horses, stroke them, groom them, care for them, and, ultimately, ride or drive them, to feel fulfilled. It is a grande passion that must be indulged.

While the majority of humans do not rely on equines for everyday living now, they still play important roles-as a means of making a living, to provide pleasure, and by helping some disadvantaged humans regain self-respect, enjoyment of life, and even find employment. Successful schemes include riding for the physically and mentally challenged and rehabilitation programs involving people with behavioral problems.

You do not have to be young to take up the sport of riding horses and be competent at it. For all beginners, dedication to the task in hand as well as enthusiasm, coupled with patience, care, and thought are all essential parts of the primary equation. Actually staying on a horse and directing it are the relatively easy parts for willing participants. If you lack the boldness to jump fences and "gallop with the wind," it is important to note that a quiet ride on a rented horse, with the wherewithal to control your horse in unexpected situations, is the pure essence of enjoyable riding. It is essential to realize that a person should take part in equestrian activities for his or her own pleasure, and not to please others, because this can lead to a loss of confidence and dissatisfaction.

The Young Equestrian is not aimed exclusively at young people who want to learn to ride horses; it is intended for people of all ages. Whatever your age, the capacity to learn to ride, and ride well, is there if you choose to embrace this unique sport wholeheartedly-providing you find the best possible instructor to help you share and master the delights that riding horses provides. If you have a basic level of fitness and are "young at heart," this book will help you considerably.

As an instructor, my primary joy is opening up the special world that exists for horse and rider. I hope that this book will impress upon you the need to be patient, sympathetic, and wholly dedicated to the needs of the horses and ponies in your hands. They are dependent and reliant upon your emotions and requirements when under your control, whatever your age and whether you are a student at a riding school or an owner.

To be part of this world requires a certain amount of self-discipline. If you don't have this to begin with, you most certainly will have it before too long if equines have anything to do with it. Equines are great revelers of human pride. Whatever a person's social status, horses treat and view everyone in exactly the same way. They don't care whether a person is a prince or a pauper-but all people feel like kings when they are privileged to ride a horse or pony! In return, equines simply require that they be treated with the care and respect they deserve so they can carry out the tasks asked of them by their rider.

There is no mystery at all about learning to ride -- people have been doing it for centuries. Therefore the intention of this book is simple -- it is to help and encourage novice riders to master the basics of handling and riding equines with common sense and step-by-step advice and tips. For those who wish to ride competently and safely in harmony with their mount, without being put off or confused by complicated techniques and difficult terminology, I hope you will find The Young Equestrian helpful in achieving that aim.

Enjoy your riding.

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