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How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Starting Out, Starting Over Hardcover

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Frequently Bought Together

How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Starting Out, Starting Over + What Your Horse Wants You to Know: What Horses' ""Bad"" Behavior Means, and How to Correct It + How to Think Like A Horse: The Essential Handbook for Understanding Why Horses Do What They Do
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; 1 edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764570994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764570995
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Learn to ride correctly, safely, and confidently

In this breakthrough guide, renowned riding expert Gincy Self Bucklin offers adult riders a unique, proven method for developing a good physical, mental, and emotional relationship with a horse. Whether you’re a beginner, a more experienced rider looking to enhance your skills, or someone who used to ride but is reluctant to try again, Bucklin’s step-by-step exercises–slowly and carefully practiced first on the ground and then on your horse–will have you riding with confidence and without fear. You’ll build a safe and caring partnership with your horse as you:

  • Understand how your actions affect your horse
  • Improve your form, release tensions, and find balance
  • Communicate with your horse to gain his trust
  • Stay in charge without being controlling
  • Observe your horse’s responses and learn from them
  • Increase your horse’s comfort–both physically and psychologically

"If you’ ve ever said to yourself, ‘Why can’ t I . . . ?,’ you’ ll find the answer here to why you can’ t, and exactly how to solve the problem. Whatever your level, you’ll gain greater understanding and become a better rider and horseman from reading this book."
–George H. Morris, internationally renowned clinician, USEF Show Jumping vice-president, ARIA master instructor, and member of the U. S. Equestrian Federation Board of Directors

"How Your Horse Wants You To Ride is chock full of innovative and practical tools presented in a thoroughly entertaining style. A delightful read for riders at all levels!"
–Jane Savoie, olympic alternate and author of That Winning Feeling!, Cross Train Your Horse, More Cross Training, and It’s Not Just About the Ribbons

About the Author

GINCY SELF BUCKLIN, the daughter of well-known horsewoman and equestrian author Margaret Cabell Self, has sixty plus years of riding, training, and teaching experience. She is certified as an Expert Instructor by the American Riding Instructor’s Association. Bucklin is also the author of What Your Horse Wants You to Know (Wiley).

More About the Author

Gincy Self Bucklin has been teaching riding for more than 60 years. Her students have included recreational riders of all ages and levels, many of whom have also shown successfully and some of whom have become professionals themselves. While many experienced instructors teach only advanced riders, Gincy has also worked extensively with beginners and intermediates, believing that in order to be successful at the advanced level, riders must know and perfect the fundamentals from the start. She now works with instructors to share the teaching methods presented in her books.

Gincy's mother was well-known equestrian author Margaret Cabell Self. Gincy was also fortunate to grow up in an area that had many world-class instructors and clinicians, including Sally Swift, George Morris, and Nuno Oliveira. Some of her early instructors trained with European trainers during the 1920s and '30s while the cavalry, where much of the equine knowledge was developed, was still in existence. Gincy is a retired Centered Riding instructor and is an American Riding Instructors Association level IV instructor.

Gincy has been writing about horses and riding since 1987. She is the author of What Your Horse Wants You to Know, How Your Horse Wants You to Ride, and More How Your Horse Wants You to Ride. She has been a contributor to national horse magazines, including Equus and Horse Illustrated. Currently she writes a regular column for Riding Instructor, the quarterly publication of the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA), and maintains her own website,

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
Make intelligent, safe decisions, get a great trainer and know as much about horses as you can.
P. Targan
Also an excellent book for trainers as Gincy suggests a more useful progression to create a skilled and confident rider and a relaxed and happy horse.
Barbara A. Seidel
This book has all the basics that a beginner would need to create habits in riding that will be best for the horse as well as the rider.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By P. Gluckin on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have ridden horses since I was a young child. I thought I was a good rider. Bless the horses who have continually forgiven me all of my riding blunders. Now it is my turn to return their kindness by becoming a better rider.

I am currently taking riding lessons with an excellent instructor. I find it helpful to refer to parts in this book that coincide with my lessons so that I can better understand what is going on between me and my horse. Gincy's 7-Steps help me to mentally and physically prepare for the lessons.

My instructor and I have discussed some of Gincy's techniques and have found that my horse responds beautifully and my riding skills are improving.

This book offers clear,concise instructions with explanations of how, why and when along with tons of encouragement. The author has a way of presenting the material without the reader feeling like a buffoon (and you won't even need a dictionary or thesaurus to get through it!) She shares her riding bloopers and many of her ups and downs while she was learning. Gincy is a real person writing in a down-to-earth, no-nonsense fashion. There is no waste in this book!

This is one book you might prefer not to pass around to friends. For one thing, you might not get it back. For another, it is handy for quick reference when needed. I ended up buying 3 more(for Christmas gifts) so I could selfishly keep mine yet let my friends in on a great reading discovery.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Elly on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gincy's Book How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Starting Out, Starting Over, is a true gem! So many books seem to assume you know a lot already, where as this book really starts with the basics and allows you to progress very quickly with confidence.

Throughout the book Gincy gives exercises that you can do by yourself or with a partner. These exercises allow you to feel what the horse feels when ridden incorrectly versus correctly. This is a real eye opener, suddenly it all starts to make sense. I thought sitting tall was for my appearance and posture, now I understand how my position affects the horses ability to do his job and more importantly I understand WHY.

I have found that the Seven steps which Gincy teaches can be used for more than just riding.

Although I have been riding for six years, I never really felt safe and secure with my abilities. Since starting over with this book, I am very confident in what I have accomplished and I am confident enough to take it slow, and at my own pace. Both my horse and myself are so grateful to Gincy for writing her books and I highly recommend this one for all riders, there is something in it for everyone.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By AvidReader on November 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book will work for riders at any level. The author presents essential, practical information in clear, understandable language. Some of this material is found in other books, but written in vague terms, or reserved for the advanced rider. The author compiles many ideas in one place, and gives the information concisely to the reader at all levels, so that incorrect habits can be corrected or prevented. The ideas are presented with case studies, visuals, and hands-on learning tools, not just as abstract theories. The book will be invaluable to the riding instructor as well, as it offers alternative ways to explain basic concepts to students with different learning styles. Whether you wish to add to an extensive library, or on a budget that restricts you to only a few books, this is one to have in your hands.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia D. Eliason on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Returning to riding after many years away from horses, I was injured just when I was starting to get my confidence back. This added an element of fear that I hadn't ever had to deal with before.

I haven't even finished reading it yet, but have been working on the program outlined in the book and it has been the most wonderful help for building confidence. When I'm following the instructions in How Your Horse Wants You to Ride I always feel safe. I've never met the author, but it seems as if the book was written just for me. I'm very glad I found it, and will definitely be buying Gincy Bucklin's other books.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lila Collamore on January 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book while I was taking lessons over a period of months. I was returning to riding after a 30-year hiatus and was in effect starting over. This made me an ideal candidate for the author, except I wasn't fearful. I found very little in this book that was helpful to me, although I think it may be useful to the fearful beginner who has the necessary resources available.
1. I found the style tedious, boring, self-congratulatory, and patronizing.
2. The author's way is the only "right" way and any other way is not just wrong but detrimental. Never mind that many of these "wrong" ways are standard riding and horse handling by many highly regarded systems and first-class riders.
3. Anybody who has seriously pursued a physical skill, such as a sport or playing a musical instrument, will have developed a technique for focusing and relaxing under stress. To such as person, the author's "Seven Steps" are unnecessary and even silly. They may be helpful to someone who has never developed this technique.
4. I could do few of the exercises in the book because I lacked a suitable horse and helpers, and I suspect this will be true of many readers. Maybe readers should form a reading club to help each others do the exercises if they want to get the benefit of the book.
5. The author encourages the emergency dismount whenever the rider feels insecure in trying a new exercise. What about working through difficulties? You can't learn to balance at the canter if you won't stay on as you canter - you have to tolerate the gait to learn to balance to it.
6. Per the above, bailing out at any difficulty may be helpful to building confidence in the fearful rider, but it, like many techniques in this book, lends itself to slower progress in riding.
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