I like a book that feels good in my hands. If a book is manageable, well-sized, and easy to hold, chances are good that I’ll return to it time after time (assuming I like its contents, of course). Whether read from beginning to end or hit up for quick reference before heading out to the horses, books with thoughtful, intentional design lighten and brighten my day. Okay, the truth is out: I’m a book nerd.
From The Essential Hoof to Jim Masterson’s Beyond Horse Massage to Jec Ballou’s 55 Corrective Exercises, the folks at Trafalgar Square and Horse and Rider Books are masters at delivering reader-friendly design and content. They’ve done it again with Cathy Woods’ Yoga for Riders: Principles and Postures to Improve Your Horsemanship.
Cathy’s book is an excellent resource for those new to yoga as well as those riders with some understanding of it. It successfully argues that blending yoga practice with your horsemanship can augment your experience and improve your well-being as well as your connection to your equine partner.
The 200-page book has hundreds of images and is well-organized into chapters and two parts: understanding yoga and practical application. The images are diverse with subjects demonstrating on mats to riding English, Western, and bareback. I particularly enjoyed the short anecdotes which often opened chapters: one, of a visit to a Denny’s restaurant, and another, of a woman coming off her horse, ‘yoga style.’