Cynthia McFarland’s The Horseman’s Guide to Tack and Equipment: Form, Fit, and Function collects contributions from a number of different experts to provide lots of information on the currently available options for different types of equine gear. However, it’s much more than a buyer’s guide. Instead, it’s a user’s guide. Beyond recommending what kind of equipment to buy, it suggests how to best utilize that equipment for your needs and your horses build and range of motion.
Grooming is a short booklet by Joe and Cindy Weaver that simply demonstrates how to make your horse look better through grooming. Whether you’re getting ready for a show or just seeking some advice on day-to-day clipping, bathing, and tail and main care, Grooming will likely have something for you. It’s packed with photos to make the techniques clear for horse owners with any level of experience.
Charmayne James is one of the most successful barrel racers of all time, and in Charmayne James on Barrel Racing she brings her wisdom and experience to the masses. She demonstrates her techniques and overarching philosophies as well as specific examples and experiences from her storied career. It also includes more than 150 photographs and illustrations to make the techniques more clear. Charmayne James on Barrel Racing is catered towards more experienced barrel racers, but riders of all experience levels will still learn something from it.
Horse ownership can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. Fran Devereaux Smith, a Western Horseman managing editor, realizes this, and in First Horse she passes on tons of advice to help first time horse owners with all aspects of the process, from choosing and purchasing the right horse to finding a spot to keep it to selecting the right gear to feeding and basic health care. Help make sure that your first horse isn’t your last with First Horse!
Curt Pate’s Ranch Horsemanship demonstrates working cowboy methods to make a horse a safer, more enjoyable mount. It’s just as suitable for recreational riders as it is for actual ranch riding, and riders of all skill and experience levels are likely to find some useful information here. Pate uses step by step instructions and diagrams to teach all readers the preventative basics that can be applied to all sorts of riding situations.
Rodeo Legends traces the lives and exploits of some of rodeo’s biggest stars from the past, both men and women. From bull riding to barrel racing to calf roping to saddle bronc riding, many rodeo disciplines are covered. You’ll gain new insights into the lives of these legends, and with the beautiful photographs that are included, Rodeo Legends makes a good read for rodeo fans of all ages.
Legends Volume 7 is another collection of profiles and stories of influential quarter horses from a collection of established Western Horseman contributors. It focuses on both stallions and mares, many of whom were at the top of their specific discipline, be it racing, reining, cutting, or anything else. It includes technical details like pedigrees, show records, and sire records, but perhaps even more interesting are the stories and photographs from trainers and other people who worked closely with the horses, allowing you the reader a peek behind the scenes.
Lameness is one of the most painful equine afflictions, both for the horse itself as well as you its owner and friend. In Understanding Lameness, veterinarian Terry Swanson examines lameness and its effects on your horse’s present and future. He also explores causes, symptoms, and the diagnostics and treatment options that might be best for your horse. Lameness will always be scary, but with Understanding Lameness it will hopefully be a little less scary for you.
In World Class Reining, Shaw Flarida and Craig Schmersal—two of the most successful and respected trainers in the discipline—bring you a complete training program that helped them get to the top. They cover every aspect of reining, from selecting a horse and equipment to the training process that’s broken down into individual maneuvers to show day psychology and preparation. World Class Reining is filled with illustrations and photographs of such high quality that it even makes an enjoyable coffee table book!
Baxter Black’s column has long been one of readers’ favorite parts of Western Horseman magazine. Black is a veterinarian who just happens to also be a gifted writer and humorist. The Back Page collects some of his finest work and the illustrations that originally accompanied it in a single volume. Black’s observations and cowboy philosophy are sure to bring a smile to your face time and time again.
Even the most experienced horse owner can occasionally come across a horse that has a seemingly new problem. Regardless of your experience level, Marty Merten’s Problem Solving Volume 2 should be able to shed some light on it. Merten covers specific issues in each chapter, but is quick to point out that what most people recognize as a problem is often a symptom of a deeper problem. He stresses prevention and good horsemanship, so even if a specific chapter is covering a problem you haven’t encountered, it will likely still contain information that’s useful to you.
More than Color: Paint Horse Legends, Volume 2 provides profiles and backgrounds of 20 of the horses that helped make the breed as iconic as it is today. It contains profiles on stallions, mares, and geldings that had a long-term impact on the breed, and the stories are told through interviews of the people who worked with these horses day in and day out, giving More than Color a uniquely personal voice.
Between Chris Cox’s words of wisdom and the beautiful 200-plus photographs, Ride the Journey is sure to help improve your horsemanship skills. Cox, a four time winner of the Road to the Horse championship, provides his years of experience on topics such as groundwork, creating a natural head set, leg-yielding exercises, cattle work, and so much more! Riders of all experience levels are sure to find something useful in Ride the Journey.
In Starting Colts, lifelong horse trainer Mike Kevil provides advice that horse owners, expert and novice alike, can learn from. He focuses on the tried and true stimulus-response-reward system, and how to apply it effectively and humanely. With chapters on everything from the first saddling and introduction to the bit to trailer loading, there’s something for everyone here, regardless of what job you use your horses for.
Craig Cameron’s Ride Smarter is meant for readers who already ride horses but who want to take their technique to the next level for a better riding experience. Whether your goal is to ride in the arena, on trails, or just around your own land, Ride Smarter will provide a number of tips and tricks that will help you have a better experience and develop a closer, more understanding relationship with your horse.
Legends Volume 6 is another collection of stories and profiles of quarter horse stallions and mares that have had a significant impact on the breed, usually through dominating a discipline such as racing, reining, halter, or cutting. Each profile includes technical details such as pedigree, race/show record, and sire record, but it also includes more personal details including interviews of the people who worked with them and extensive, never before seen photographs.
In Cow-Horse Confidence, expert trainer Martin Black provides an inside look at some of his techniques to develop exceptional working horses. He also explores ways in which you can better understand your cattle in order to become a better stock handler. Other topics range from using A-pens to train your horse to low-stress trailer loading to ranch roping. We’re confident that if you spend some time with Cow-Horse Confidence you’ll be able to better understand your horses and improve your overall stock-handling skills.
In Ranch-Horse Versatility, multiple world champion versatility rider Mike Major explores some of the things you can do to set you up for success in ranch-horse versatility competitions. While it was written for an audience of competitive riders, the tips and tricks in Ranch-Horse Versatility should be able to help riders of all skill levels improve their skills and the responsiveness of their mounts.
This revised edition of Barrel Racing, by four-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Sharon Camarillo, can teach something to barrel racers of all skill levels. She covers all aspects of the process, from selecting your horse and gear to the day of the competition itself, and she’ll guide you through her technique that emphasizes the approach, rate, and turn. Barrel Racing is loaded with over 150 photos and illustrations that make certain techniques clear in a way that words alone cannot.
Whether you’re wanting to shoe your own horses or just evaluate the work of the person you’re paying to do it, Don Baskins’s Well-Shod is a great starting point. It’s packed with diagrams and illustrations to make the techniques easier to grasp, and it covers almost all aspects of horse shoeing, from getting your horse to stand still long enough for a good fitting shoe to corrective shoeing for horses with foot and leg problems.