On the Shelf

The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding

The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding 

By Gincy Self Bucklin 

Softcover; 241 pages; Human Kinetics; $24.95; www.humankinetics.com

With more than 60 years of horseback-riding instruction to her credit, author Gincy Self Bucklin offers a solid overview of basic horsemanship that combines classical riding methods with Centered Riding imagery and a modern, compassionate approach. 

A retired Centered Riding instructor and American Riding Instructors Association Level IV instructor, Bucklin provides a wealth of no-nonsense advice in words as well as in photographs and diagrams. She begins with the basics: getting to know your horse and taking your first real ride. Then she moves on to more complex concepts: leg aids and advanced hand and rein effects as well as jumping. 

The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding is Bucklin’s fourth book, and she isn’t afraid to present ideas that may be considered a bit unconventional. For example, she recommends learning to ride bareback before using a saddle and getting to know a horse on the ground before riding. This book may appeal most to those just beginning to ride as well as instructors, who will find Bucklin’s step-by-step lesson format easy to use.

This article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue of Practical Horseman.

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