Sunday, May 19, 2019
The Sunday Salon and Horsing Around with your Reading...
So, I've been meaning to share a couple of interesting books I found the week before last... all found around the time of The Kentucky Derby, the most exciting 2 minutes of sports you'll ever see (or so they say). As a little girl I loved horses (don't all little girls!), but horse racing never really excited me. My brother enjoys watching the ponies and at one point a few years back suggested I read Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. Well, I bought it because he suggested it (and he always has great recommendations) but I really did not think I would enjoy it... BUT, I DID! Not only did I enjoy it, I loved it! It really made horse racing and all that goes into it so exciting and come alive for me! The writing just drew me in and I was hooked... mostly on Laura Hillenbrand's writing. But recently a few other horse related books came out that caught me eye...
Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that re-creates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their jeeps.
Just the sheer gusts this girl had for entering the race made me want to read the book! I had never heard of this race before, but it sounds fascinating. It also brings to mind all the things that go on in the world that we have no clue about, and how lucky we are that we can READ about it all if we can't actually go to experience it! This one is on my shelves right now. It's next on my reading list. After leafing through it a bit and reading some sections, I found Laura's writing to be good and the story to be entertaining. I'm hoping this will be as good as Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which is a book I loved and would heartily recommend to anyone wanting to experience life on the Appalachian trail.
So as I was looking at this book, another book crosses my path about "Long Rides". Another something I had never heard about, but sounds so interesting. Especially in this day and age when technology reigns, "Long Rides" are all about journeys, travels, adventures with just you and your horse that are 1000 miles or more. There is actually a The Long Riders Guild and Bernice Ende writes about her adventures as a long rider in her memoir...
Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback by Bernice Ende... we are introduced to Bernice Ende, a solitary figure with the daunting goal of traveling from Trego, Montana to New Mexico in a single ride. At the age of 50, Bernice turned south into the unknown and began her first trip on her way to becoming a world-class long rider. Since that fateful decision she hasn't looked back. Accompanied by her horses and an exceptional dog named Claire, Ende has logged more than 29,000 miles in the saddle, crisscrossing North America and beyond.
She traversed the Great Plains, the Southwest deserts, the Cascade Range, and the Rocky Mountains and was the first person to ride coast-to-coast and back again in a single trek, winning acclaim from the international Long Riders Guild.Through her rides, Bernice shares the heartfelt and inspiring story of inner struggles and triumphs. She tests the limits of physical and mental stamina, learns to cope with inescapable solitude, and ultimately finds the reward of a life well-lived. Readers will be moved as Bernice discovers a renewed sense of self, profound and lasting friendships, and an understanding that home is a concept that extends beyond any border or map.
And of course one of my favorite books about horses, or one horse in particular...
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes:
Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
If you haven't read this book, read this book! It's so well written and edge of your seat kind of story. Eye opening too, because there is alot of interesting things Jockey's do to train themselves and their horses. They did make a movie based on the book, but not wanting to be disappointed or really needing to see what I already read, I've never seen it.
So there you have it, today's horse and racing post! The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday in May, but we can read about horses and racing all year round! And reading about these books, makes me want to jump on the back of a horse and find a trail... but it's been about 45 years since I've been on a horse, so I don't think I would be doing any "long rides".
Have you read any "horse" books that you liked?! I'd love to hear about them! I'll be sitting down this week and reading a book I talked about last week, The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. And in the meantime I'll be keeping my eyes open for those next great books!
Happy Reading... Suzanne