Saturday, March 8, 2014

What are You Reading?

I seldom get many books read over the winter. But this winter I tackled several and I wanted to share. I feel I should tell you that reading has been one of my greatest accomplishments. After my wreck on Thunder and subsequent concussion several years ago, reading was extremely difficult for me. I got a lot of things mixed up thanks to my scrambled brain. My "Owyhee trail sisters", Josette, Linda and Tammie, gave me a book to read while I was recovering titled "Owyhee Trails". I think it took me three years to read it as I could read the words but I had no comprehension. Three pages later I was flipping back to page 1 to figure out what I was reading. I pretty much just looked at the pictures and read the captions for the first two years. Then a couple winters back I finally waded through a real novel! Hey let me tell you that was monumental!

The first book of winter was by Julie Suhr, "But It Wasn't The Horse's Fault".  A woman I have admired for many years. She is a wonderful person and to say she is an accomplished rider is a complete understatement. Julie is the Queen of endurance and I bow down to her. I was honored to "swap" books with Julie. This charming book is not only full of many entertaining whimsical stories but is also filled with lovely illustrations by another talented endurance rider, Judith Ogus. Julie is quite the story teller and you will love her many horses and tales. I love her story about wanting initials behind her name like a Ph.D or D.V.M.. She coined the initials E.R.J. for Endurance Ride Junkie! I can definitely relate to that one! It's a great book with all funds from sales benefiting the Center For Equine Health School of Veterinary Medicine at U.C. Davis. I also have Julie's other book, "Ten Feet Tall Still", also a wonderful read. 

I found Buck Brannaman and The Faraway Horses to be very inspirational. Here is a man who overcame an abusive childhood, and found horses to be his healers. Often people blame their past for the way they are and/or what they become. Despite his early childhood it leads up to his wonderful step family and how he learned more about horses and how to relate to them through Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. He now travels around helping others with their horses. Recall the novel and movie "The Horse Whisperer", Buck was part of that movie with Robert Redford. I've read this book twice and watched the movie "Buck" several times and each time I find a new message to improve myself. 

Shannon asked me if I'd like to trade books and I jumped on that opportunity! It is a very fun thing to do! Strike a Long Trot by Shannon Yewell Weil tells the amazing story of Linda Tellington Jones. It is packed full of great photographs of all the people in her magical life. I met Linda many years ago at an AERC Convention in Sparks, NV where she had horses on stage for a TTEAM demonstration that was wonderful. In this book you will find Linda's training regimen for her fantastic mare, Bint Gulida. You'll find how she developed the riding school and TTEAM. A truly fascinating book chock full of many lessons to learn. 

Carole Mercer's book, the Far Side of My Dreams, is packed full of life lessons and adventures. There are so many stories and tales in between the covers that it is more of an anthology of life. She is a strong and determined woman who rebuilds her life over and over. Carole is truly a survivor as she battles to overcome the tragic loss of her daughter. She meets many wonderful and famous people along the path of life and eventually performs at the WEG in 2010 with her Dancing Morgans. The only way the book could have been better would have been with photographs of her many accomplishments. Carole and I also had some fun trading books. Yes Mercer has emerged as one of my life heroes. I'm sure you will find her qualities inspiring. Enjoy! 

This book, A Cowboy's Whispered Psalms by Kip Sawdy, I am still reading. Written by a man who was ready to commit suicide then turned his life all around. Sawdy doesn't hide a thing as he leads you through his struggles, defeats and later victories. He mixes poetry with God's Word and he will inspire you to greater heights and a better way of life. As Sawdy commented to me, "Hope you enjoy it and the Lord speaks to your heart".

If you like to read and look for inspiration, check these out. :) All books can be purchased at Amazon except Julie Suhr's book is obtainable directly from her. 

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