Reading Old Books (Or At Least Ordering Them)

We’ve all had someone in our lives throw out some variation of the following question: “Lessons? But I thought you already knew how to ride?” It is almost always asked with confusion or perhaps an edge of derision. If I’m honest, I haven’t quite perfected the snappy comeback to that one just yet, but I’ve got a few in my pocket for when that gem gets trotted out.

In my mind, one of the biggest things that separates the casual riders from the horsemen and women is an understanding that you will never stop learning when it comes to horses. There is an endless world of things to learn and see and do, even if you dial in to one specific area of expertise, be it eventing, nutrition or European tack trends of the 1950s. Different opinions and controversies, catalogues of books and schools of thought await your exploration.

Because of this vast wealth of material, I’m having a hard time settling in on how to best continue my quest to obey George’s Commandment. There are so many old books out there that I know I ought to sit down with and yet so few extra hours in my day. On top of that, I’ve received so many good suggestions from you fabulous readers. Add in a dash of classic Erin indecisiveness and I find myself spinning my wheels and getting what my father would call “all whirra-whirra” about what should be a silly little thing and a relatively simple decision.

After at least whittling it down to a short list, I asked a non-riding coworker which title sounded the most interesting. I got a pretty useless response of “they all sound about the same.” I was about to offer my most exasperated of sighs when tech-geek brilliance saved the day and prevented me from making a terrible social faux-pas. “Why don’t you just see which ones are available on iTunes or whatever?”

Duh, Erin. Duh. So with that said, I grabbed my iPhone to see what I could see and was happy to find that the first book on my short-list was available, Denny Emerson’s “How Good Riders Get Good.” Granted, the book isn’t that old, but I suspect George would approve.

I clicked purchase and then wandered to the section marked “Readers Also Bought” just to see if there was anything else I should grab while I was thinking about it. I must admit I had a good laugh when I saw “Fifty Shades of Grey” listed there. With my download completed, I’m on to book two in my quest.

Go Team DF. Go Technology. Go Eventing.

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