Sarah Montague's The Adult Rider describes everything you need to know if you are interested in introducing (or reintroducing) horses to your life. The book begins with a thorough description of all equestrian disciplines-from Western (barrel racing, reining, cutting, penning) to English (show jumping, dressage, eventing) and so much more! You might try endurance riding, in which you and your equine partner hit the trails for miles, or maybe you've considered polo, a sport gaining popularity in the United States and creating opportunities for eager beginners. Perhaps you love horses, but aren't so sure you want to ride—Montague will introduce you to the thrill of driving, the artistry of in-hand competitions, and the joys of miniature horses.
Whichever discipline you consider, the author takes you step by step through the process, from choosing a stable (what to look for in an instructor and in a barn) to picking out your new riding clothes (you need only a helmet and sturdy shoes to start, but there's a world of apparel and accessories once you're hooked). Do you think you might want to buy a horse someday? The Adult Rider describes this process as well, but also introduces you to other alternatives—like leasing, a month-to-month arrangement that lets you see how a horse fits into your life in both time and money before you make a commitment.
The Adult Rider recognizes that we are not the same as the resilient kids who fearlessly hop their pony over a fence for that very first time. Montague discusses what makes adults mentally and physically different, and how to overcome these challenges. In the chapter "The View from the Other Side of the Arena," Montague interviews several riding instructors on the difference between teaching kids and adults and the ways in which adults learn differently. All in all, the point is to have fun and The Adult Rider provides you with the know-how to jump into the horse world with both eyes open.
Sarah Montague is the co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Horses, and has contributed to Eventing, among other publications. She is a cultural feature and documentary writer and producer for public radio, and rides in upstate New York.