This year, Cayuse publisher Maddy Butcher, along with popular guest columnists, Katrin Silva and Amy Skinner, will unveil new volumes of work. Order Butcher’s new book here.
Katrin Silva, an accomplished dressage rider and instructor (as well as a competitive ultrarunner), is the author of the upcoming Ride with Feel: A Guide for the Rest of Us, a fun, informative volume for riders of all disciplines.
The concept of feel can sound like a mysterious holy grail. I’ve heard a couple of clinicians say, or imply, that the riders they teach will never have feel…I’ve also heard some say feel is reserved for those select few with natural talent for working with horses.
Feel then becomes something elusive that those of us who lack it will never grasp. Many of us believe that we just have to accept our place in the horse universe as riders with limited potential.
This is a story told so many times by so many people that it sounds true. But it isn’t. I certainly was not born with feel, or with any natural talent for connecting with horses. But over time, and through the right kind of experience, I learned how to feel. You can, too. Feel is something anyone can develop, with enough practice, on the right kind of horse, with the right kind of guidance from the right kind of teacher. So, don’t believe the story. Don’t drink that Kool-Aid. You, too, can learn to be a feeling rider.
This book is dedicated to my horse, Marlin, who opened my mind to listening, who painfully exposed my weakness and arrogance, who forced me to think outside the box and experiment. Because of Marlin, I have been able to rehabilitate many more tricky horses who didn’t fit into any category I would have previously known. Because of Marlin, I know that every horse can be peaceful when humans are peaceful, open, honest, and have the desire to get along with the horse above making horses obey.
Skinner is the author of To Catch a Horse: Finding the Heart of your Horsemanship
Maddy Butcher, director of the Best Horse Practices Summit and opinion writer for The Washington Post, writes Beasts of Being, with chapters on brain science and essays of our lives with horses. In Beasts of Being: Partnerships Unburdened she explores the parallel paths of horsemanship and humanship.
I share personal opportunities for growth, life lessons, and horsemanship travails because I know readers have similar stuff going on. We’re all works in progress, facing hurdles every season, probably every day. While the choices we make forge our unique characters and paths, there are undoubtedly universal connections in our specificities.
If you’re like me, you are noticing more and more that in order to be good with horses, you need to be good with yourself. You need to work at your humanship along with your horsemanship.
– Will we take a longer, more challenging path that involves unlearning bad habits while laying down better ones?
– Will we be honest with ourselves about fears and weaknesses in the saddle, in relationships, at work?
– Will we lift up our horses, our co-workers, our partners, and friends as we make our journeys?
– What does empathy feel like for us and how does it play out in our lives and our lives with horses?
Butcher is the author of Horse Head: Brain Science & Other Insights and A Rider’s Reader: Exploring Sense, Science, & Sentiment.
But wait! There’s another book coming to the Cayuse library. Read more here.