I grew up just over the hill from Tamarack Hill Farm, Denny Emerson’s Vermont headquarters, and as a little horse-crazy girl who loved to gallop fast at sturdy fences, I dreamed of one day being good enough and brave enough to “train with Denny,” as other, older girls I knew did. For one reason or another, that dream never came to pass—my horses weren’t right, money was tight, I was distracted by other interests that kept me from being all-horses-all-the-time. I grew up, found a job, made a family, but the “horse ache” never went away, and the awe I felt for Denny never waned.
So it was just as amazing for me at age 33 as it would have been at age 10 to finally meet Denny Emerson, speak with him candidly about all things horse- and riding-related, and glory-of-glories, work on his book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD. My role as Senior Editor at his publisher, Trafalgar Square Books, gave me the opportunity that escaped me in my youth. In a way, I got to finally “train with Denny.” Reading his book gave me quite the wakeup call—I realized, as I was looking for typos, that I should be looking for something else, too: All the lessons Denny had provided for aspiring riders could be applied to other interests and areas of one’s life. What was he saying about “getting good” that could make what I was doing that much better?
A whole heck of a lot.
I feel completely honored to have the opportunity to share my feelings about HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD on Denny’s new blog—an online forum that he hopes will provide riders from all disciplines a touchstone for progress—with horses, with people, with goals, with “becoming.” His book is, to me, the very best, most grounded, most honest look at what it takes to truly make riding horses (and riding them well) your life’s work and ambition. On top of that, it helps us all take a good, long look in the mirror, consider our life, how we got to where we are, and how we’ll get to where we’re going.
It’s sure worth reading.
—Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor, Trafalgar Square Books