Who hasn’t shaken their head in amused scorn at the silly mistakes in our own areas of expertise that so often creep into books and movies? Whether it’s an inedible apple pie recipe, a mechanic who can’t drive stick, or experienced horse people making elemental equestrian errors, a single short scene can ruin the moment for the reader and cause them to discard an otherwise excellent book. Luckily, a little research can go a long way to protect authors from embarrassment.
In “Horse and Writer,” writer and horsewoman Victoria Rouch gives a clear and simple explanation of the kinds of things writers who want to include horses in their works should know. The book is compact and quick to read, but contains an introduction to different breeds, different riding styles and the tack and attire that goes with them, basic riding knowledge and what it feels like to ride (and to fall off!), and horse care and veterinary treatment.
While far from exhaustive, this is an excellent introduction to the world of horses and equestrianism for writers who want to learn more and may not know where to begin. Each chapter will get the reader started in the right direction, and there are links within the book to more detailed sources of information for each topic for those who want to expand their knowledge further. There is also a quiz and writing prompts for those who want to put their new information to the test. Never fear, however: this is not written in a dry textbook style, but is conversational and engaging, as well as informative. As a former horsewoman and riding instructor myself, I found myself enjoying the ride and nodding along as I encountered familiar point after familiar point. A very helpful first stop for non-horsey authors who want to include horses in their books.
My thanks to the author for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Want your own copy? You can get it here (Amazon Affiliate link):