’m going to state the obvious - many riders are extremely busy. From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. schedules are packed with fitting in rides, cleaning the barn, tending to horses, and getting to paperwork—if there’s time. The few moments between tasks are most likely filled with checking phones, taking a quick snooze, or squeezing in the odd appointment. Who has time to read a book?
A personal resolution I made this year was to read more—whether that entailed reading the newspaper, a good book, or the occasional gossip magazine. I have to admit that it’s hard to fit in. My saving grace? Audiobooks. Not only are they quick to download (most are available with Amazon’s Audible app), they’re easy to listen to during the daily commute or even a long hack in the country.
It’s been two years since Nick Skelton and the legendary Big Star made history and won Individual Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, but I’m still reveling in their incredible performance. Skelton’s autobiography spans his illustrious forty-year career in the saddle from the beginning on his beloved pony, Oxo, to setting records and winning gold for Great Britain. Gold: My Autobiography is a must listen.
George Morris is known for cut and dry rules in his equitation books, however, his autobiography is a rare glimpse at the man who typically protects his private life. Unrelenting allows readers a glimpse into the life of the man who most equitation and hunter riders worship as a god. From wild parties in New York City during the 1980s to his struggles with his sexuality and personal life, Unrelenting is a book I couldn’t stop listening to.
Most known for Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel, and most recently the Broadway play, War Horse is one of those stories that just makes you feel. The novel follows the voice of farm-raised Joey, a half-Thoroughbred, who is separated from his owner during World War I. From brave battles to falling under the hands of German troops, Joey’s epic journey through the war shows the powerful impact and important roles of horses before machine guns and tanks took over.
In a matter of moments, tragedy can strike and a family is ruined. A New York Times Bestseller, The Horse Whisperer follows the story of three people—a mother, daughter, and a man who has a knack for speaking to horses. Bonded together by a terrible accident, Annie Graves brings her daughter, Grace, and injured horse to Montana to “the Whisperer,” Tom Booker, who she believes can mend their lives and transform trauma into hope. An adventurous tale, The Horse Whisperer is a story of healing, love, and self-discovery.
Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? Based on a true story, Hillenbrand tracks the epic tale of a crooked-legged racehorse, Seabiscuit, during a time of uncertainty in America preceding World War II. The year 1938, an unlikely trio of men—failed boxer, automobile millionaire, and a mysterious horse whisperer, are bonded together over the drive to produce the best racehorse of its time against all odds.