Or: Is there something I don’t know yet?
This summer, I received the generous offer to review a book. This happens every now and then and – just like I would expect from someone reviewing my work – I am dedicated to an honest opinion.
The book sounded like ‘another one of those’ horse tip books: “Horse Owners’ Essential Tips: Grooming, Care, Tack, Facilities, Riding, Pasture”. There must be hundreds of those books on the market, I thought, and did not have great expectations. (A horse owner’s) Life, however, can be full of surprises and this was a positive one!
Let’s examine the book’s promise:
“More than 500 Practical Ideas”
What sounds like a drag to read through, is actually a very well presented wealth of really good, imaginative, practical and downright frugal ideas, covering anything from grooming over tack care and facilities to riding and pasture.
Granted, some of the tips may not be down your alley (not wanting to create a hand-made net?) but many will. One I really liked and that alone would make it worth the purchase: Easy to make stirrup covers that will prevent the stirrups from scratching up your saddle when you put it up. It’s not rocket science, but the point is, I never had the idea!
“Horse Owner’s Essential Tips will quickly find a place in the stable office”.
Yes, indeed. It’s easy to read format and delightful illustrations make it wonderful to have at hand for perusing when you only have a little time to kill (waiting for the vet, for instance). In those 10 minutes of browsing through the book, something will catch your eye that will make a difference to your (horse) life, all while enjoying a well-illustrated book, written in a light and easily digestible style.
It is now a part of our barn library to be enjoyed by all.
Some of my favorite horse tips from the book:
- Oil to ‘cure’ chestnuts: Apply sunflower or olive oil to large, dry chestnuts daily until they fall off on their own. (I might add: Apply once or twice weekly afterward to keep them from growing back.) This is a low-cost, easy solution to a common unsightly problem.
- Secure blanket clasp: Many horse owners blanket their horses in the winter, only to find that their expensive blanket will not stay on the horse. The problem: The clasp keeps opening. Meyrier suggests an easy solution: Use a rubber gasket such as found on certain beer or lemonade bottles to prevent the clasp from opening. A nifty illustration shows how it’s done.
- Dried up tear stains on your horse’s face: Many horses don’t appreciate the feel of a wet sponge around their eyes, especially once you start rubbing. Philip Meyrier had an idea: Use moisturizing make-up remover pads: The dirt sticks to the wipes, it’s easy and the horse seems to like it better! (Of course, you could also use Aspire Natural Tear Stain Remover.)
- An enjoyable read, great to keep in the barn or take along on a show or horse camping trip.
- A chock full of innovative, imaginative and often frugal and funny tips and tricks to make your horse life easier.
- A useful addition to any horsey library.
- On my personal list of horse friend Xmas gifts!
So, if your are so inclined, I recommend you put Horse Owners’ Essential Tips: Grooming, Care, Tack, Facilities, Riding, Pasture in your shelf or on your Christmas list. It’s a keeper!
As always, Enjoy Your Horse!