For those of you who haven’t heard of THE EIGHTY-DOLLAR CHAMPION, you should check out ElizabethLetts.com and see what all the fuss is about. In her New York Times bestseller, Letts has shared the amazing story of Snowman, a plain-headed horse bound for slaughter that, through chance, was bought by a man named Harry for $80.
And that is the humble beginning of a fabulous journey: Against all odds, Snowman rises to stardom to eventually compete at the highest levels of show jumping against the finest horses in the world.
Because she is the author of a book about dreams, goals, and making something great out of something many would consider of little worth, it is no surprise, really, that Elizabeth Letts found messages that rang true in Denny Emerson’s book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD. Both books are about hard work, good horsemanship, and aiming high—one simply details a story of successes past, while the other lays the foundation for successes in the future. They dovetail nicely, really, offering the kind of feel-good inspiration we all require to remind us why horses and riding are so special to us in the first place, alongside no-nonsense advice for taking the riding dream and making it a reality. Together, they feed both the soul and the mind.
If you harbor big dreams about riding horses, get your hands on BOTH books!
Here’s some of what Elizabeth had to say about HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD:
“Denny Emerson doesn’t know this. In fact, we’ve never met, but I once almost dropped out of college for him. In 1982, my life was divided: all summer I taught riding and competed in three day events; in the winter, I was a student and never got near a horse. But I was having a hard time letting go. So, I came up with a scheme. An old Pony Club friend recommended that I spend a year as a working student at Tamarack Hill Farm in Vermont. Seems crazy in retrospect. Give up my spot at Yale to spend my days mucking out stalls? I was transitioning out of competitive riding then: my school did not have an equestrian program, and bringing my horse to school was too expensive to contemplate. In the end, I didn’t do it. But that’s okay. I was not destined for a career in riding.
“Like all really great competitors, Denny Emerson knows how to ride. Like all really great teachers, he knows how to teach…Like all truly great teachers, Denny has something to say to all of us: even those of us who no longer compete. In my adult career as an author, I still rely on many of the skills I learned while competing in three-day-eventing. Both require focus, determination, and a willingness to take a hard fall sometimes. Both require bravery—a person who has approached an enormous solid fence made of telephone poles at a fast gallop down a slippery hill, is well-equipped to face down the public scrutiny of being a writer in a world where everyone has a chance to review and comment on your books.
“As Denny says in the book, ‘The only thing that each of us can guarantee is that we are prepared to take advantage of those opportunities that come our way.’”
You can read Elizabeth’s full review of HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD on her blog at ElizabethLetts.com. You can order your copy of HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD from the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.