THE FLYING CHANGES BOOK CLUB The ill-fated book club, it looks like.
Once I started thinking about writing about all the books I’d read, the air went out of the balloon, in a manner of speaking. If only I’d written something out as I’d gone along! Seemed like homework, all of a sudden. Remember book reports? Love reading— hated book reports.
But let’s give it a try. Here’s a selective list of what’s on my shelves:
The Tao of Riding and Riding Between the Worlds, Linda Kohanov: Inspirational and deeply thought, Kohanov talks about the spiritual aspect of the horse-human relationship, and how patient communication is the key to the improvement of that relationship. Given my history with Rebel, these books may be worth another look…
Horse Sense and the Human Heart, Adele von Rust McCormick, PhD and Marlena Deborah McCormick, PhD: This mother and daughter team employ their herd of Peruvian Paso horses in their work as therapists. The stories they relate are amazing.
The Horses in my Life, Monty Roberts; Dancing with Your Dark Horse, Chris Irwin; Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse, Mark Rashid: lest you think that all my books were written by the female of the species [although I prefer those]. Excellent anecdotes. Practical advice. I like girl horses stories, I suspect.
A Year at the Races and Horse Heaven, Jane Smiley: The first is a memoir, the second fiction, and both have been re-read by me countless times. Not only a Pulitzer Prize-winning author [A Thousand Acres], but an experienced horsewoman, Smiley gets it, and gets it down beautifully on the page. Must read Horse Heaven if you haven’t. It’s glorious.
Getting in TTouch: Understand and Influence you Horse’s Personality, Linda Tellington-Jones, with Sybil Taylor: Now, this one’s promising, because I only browsed over the pictures. Tellington-Jones painstakingly has assessed and recorded myriad qualities of the horse— from number of swirls on the forehead to types of ears to aspects of nostrils— that allow riders a way in to analysing equine personality. I will definitely get on to this one— I don’t know when!— as I feel that I could use a few more pointers in dealing with my friend, er, Rebel. Okay, that one doesn’t go back on the shelf.
Enlightened Equitation: Riding in True Harmony with Your Horse, Heather Moffat: I believe this may be a latter-day bible for the horseperson. Lots of practical advice, photos, and anecdotes. This one is going to get another look, as well.
Interspersed are art-y photography books of equines, volumes of collected stories, memoirs, and hands-on guides to owning your own horse. There’s not enough horse fiction for grown-ups, I must say [watch this space]. I even kept a teeny little cube of a book chock full of horse portraits on my desk, when I had a desk job. It lifted my spirits.
So, I’ll do my best, and would love to hear about other tomes that I may not have read yet.