My 1st Horse Book and Me by Tracy Scott, Collections One, ISBN 978-0-9927057-5-6 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-9927057-6-3 (e-book print replica)
Tracy trained under Olympic instructors, qualified as an instructor at seventeen and started her own riding school when still a teenager. Within fifteen years she had sixteen horses and ponies. She writes regularly about horse care. This book is packed with information and advice on horse care that will be indispensible to the first-time rider and horse owner. It should also be of great interest to those of us who know little about horses and ponies. Tracy gives tips on choosing a riding school, buying a horse, catching up, turning out, grooming, feeding and watering, health issues and First Aid. She also looks at the different requirements of ponies and horses that are kept in stables compared with those living out in a field or paddock.
This is an attractive, easy-to-read book pitched at youngsters up to teenage years. There is nothing non-adult about it, however. Tracy stresses the commitment a youngster must have if she or he is to take on the responsibility of caring for a horse. "He is totally reliant on you for his daily needs," she writes under the heading Feeding. "Look after him well, show patience and kindness and always remember the three letters TLC."
One of the most endearing features of the book is the central section in which the young horse-owner/ rider can insert or write details of her horse, his feeding regime, competitions she has taken part in and details of professionals such as the local vet, farrier and tack shop. She can therefore insert pictures and information that make the book special to that horse (with his name written on the back cover). It becomes, in effect, a log book for the animal. The idea is that this information is readily to hand on the occasions where she is not able to feed or look after her animal. It will also remain a future record to be treasured.
My 1st Horse Book and Me is Book One in the publisher's "Really Useful Books" series. There are more than 50 mono illustrations. Thirty-two of them are photographs that range from a picture of the author's great-grandfather standing by his horse and wagon in Manchester in the early 20th Century, to some of Tracy's young charges at her riding school proudly holding their ponies, to a herd of rare Przewalski horses in breeding captivity in Denmark. There are also 19 information boxes on horse matters.
Book size 170 mm x 244 mm high (6.69" x 9.61"), 82 pages, mono interior, published December 2014. Cover illustration "Chloe with Fuggy." The book contains 52 mono illustrations including 34 photographs, with a further 19 Horse Notes boxes.
"This is a brilliant book. I love how you can personalise sections of the book for your own horse. We're new to this game and the book gives a step by step guide on everything you need to take care of your animal, from choosing stables to grooming and feed. You can tell that the author is passionate about her horses. All in all a really helpful book for somebody starting out." Les Bone
"A very informative book which is easy to follow and understand. The pictures and drawings are really helpful and ideal to add your own personal touch. Would definitely recommend to anybody seeking advice on the care of a horse or pony." Joe Hayton