Book Club: ‘How Good Riders Get Good’

Several weeks back, I set out to better myself as a rider and horsewoman by sitting down with some reading material. At present, I’ve got a long list that seems daunting, but once winter comes, I will undoubtedly mow through it like an escaped pony in the grain room.

Work has been an absolute mad house, but I finally found time to finish Denny Emerson’s “How Good Riders Get Good” a few days ago. I was especially interested in this book, as in addition to Denny’s eventing expertise, he also is quite knowledgeable about Morgans, another area that I’ve been known to dabble in every once in a while. The writing is straightforward and no-nonsense, which makes for a breezy and enjoyable read.

Denny does a great job of telling honest truths about the kinds of questions that a person needs to ask if he or she well and truly wants to make it to the top of the sport. I’ll be honest, though, I felt like I was well acquainted with a lot of these concepts already. I do catch Denny’s posts on Facebook from time to time, and many of the concepts from the book are echoed in Denny’s posts.

I also suspect that at least part of my “already acquainted with this” feeling stems from the distinct possibility that I’m not really the target audience at this point in my life, as I have no aspirations to make it to the big leagues or to be a professional. Even so, it did give me enough of a push to get back on track towars goals that I’ve set for myself.  Who can’t use that every once in a while?

This is a book that I will absolutely be handing to any of the starry eyed kids I know when they begin to approach the point where they need to start having answers to the questions and life choices Denny discusses. I’m also contemplating if it would be a tactful thing to hand the book to a friend who has the utterly wrong horse for her goals, as Denny addresses the importance of having the right horse to meet your goals in as tactful of a manner as anyone ever could.

I was also pleasantly surprised that “How Good Riders Get Good” included a suggested reading list, which has helped me narrow down the options for the next book on my quest. Onward to the next book, assuming I can make a decision. As always, please leave the titles of your favorite horse books in the comments below.

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