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Xenophon Press

Riding in Rhyme: A Humorous and Poetic Guide to the Equestrian Arts by John Anthony Davies

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Riding in Rhyme: A Humorous Poetic Guide to the Equestrian Arts
by John Anthony Davies

The verses in Riding in Rhyme were written over a period of years while John Davies was head instructor/trainer at The Grange Farm Center in London, England, and The St. James Equestrian Facility in Chicago, Illinois. The verses are intended to be humorous and easily remembered, practical lessons, written basically for children, teenagers, and young adult students. They include actual lessons in horsemanship, stable management, and certain personal experiences derived from self-participation in equestrian activities.

Serious young riders should keep this book close at hand as a simple reference while they progress in ability. The accompanying illustrations reinforce the enjoyment and encourage learning.

The humorous verses and accompanying cartoons will not only amuse and delight but also educate. Every aspect of the equestrian art from mounting to stable management is described in a very unique and simple form. Younger equestrians in particular will find the "lessons" very easy to assimilate

This books makes an ideal gift for horse lovers for Christmas, birthdays, prize giving and special occasions. 

Groups and associations may wish to purchase at special bulk rates to enable selling of RIDING IN RHYME at fund raising events.

A humorous Poetic Guide to the Equestrian Arts,

Riding and rhyme it could be said 

Together form a rhythmic tread 

So within these pages it is my intention 

To describe the equine and equitation. 

Not by the usual methods you'll find 

But by planting a rhythm within your mind 

For rhythm is needed and never brute force 

When you are learning to ride a horse.

So many people have so little time 

Or cannot be bothered, so maybe a rhyme 

Will help them remember or help them to know

All about horses and what makes them go 

And how they regard us, so that in the end 

They will know how it feels with a horse as a friend.

Sample Poem:

Horses’ feet need particular attention
So maybe it’s as well to mention
A few of the things that a farrier can do
To ensure that your horse will always go true.
To be certain the feet will stay healthy and strong
Shoes must be checked as a month rolls along
They may be left on for six weeks or more
But then there’s a risk of the feet getting sore.
When horses are shod be it hot iron or cold
There are points we should note that will help them to hold
The clip that is made to fit at the toe
Should be broad and even and arrowed in low.
Nails that secure must be driven in tight
Between the edge of the hoof and the line that is white
When they appear through the wall at the side
The clenches are turned down and hammered out wide.
Heels should be level and well opened out
There cannot be any sharp edges about
The shoe must rest level no daylight at all
From the flat of the iron to the edge of the wall.
The sole and the frog may be trimmed but with care
Or the elasticity of the heels will not wear
A farrier can help to improve conformation
By fitting a shoe that corrects faulty action.

You may think it’s easy to make a new shoe
But blacksmiths can make their own tools too!
There’s a thing called a buffer, one called a stamp
A parer or searcher, a tripod or ramp.
There are foot or hoof nippers and a sharp pritchelin
That enlarges the hole when the point is knocked in
A weighty iron anvil with a large beaky horn
A razor-sharp knife that exposes the corn.
Then tongs are for holding the shoe when it’s hot
If you count all his tools you will find quite a lot
The blacksmith will make and shape each one of those
Which is probably why you must pay through the nose.
But it’s worth every penny for your horse to stay sound
Particularly when working on rough or hard ground
If you skimp on your shoes you’ll save money of course
But please do remember, no foot means no horse!!

Copyright John Davies
ISBN: 9780933316119

About John Davies

John Anthony Davies was born near London, England.

A total of thirteen years of military service abroad included tours of duty in Japan, Hong Kong, Middle East and Western Europe. In the last three years he was Chief Instructor of the Middle East Land Forces Military Saddle Club.

In 1959 he trained and competed with the Military Team in the Riding Clubs’ Team Event at the International Horse Show, White City, London. Following demobilization the same year, he attended the Silver Hound Riding Center in Surrey, England, and qualified for his BHS Instructors Certificate.

From 1960 through 1963 he was Chief Instructor at the South London School of Equitation, where he first began teaching blind and physically handicapped students.

In 1964 he became Chief Instructor of the famous Chigwell Center, which was the first purpose-built establishment in the world designed solely for the training of disabled riders. The center was administered by the Riding for the Disabled Trust who were founding members of the British Riding for the Disabled Association,

In 1966 he wrote The Reins of Life, the first manual ever published on teaching riding to the handicapped. The poem I Saw a Child published in the book has become internationally known and was published in translations in numerous languages. Three riding centers for the handicapped, in the United States, France and Canada, have been named after the poem.

Acknowledged as one of the foremost authorities on teaching riding as a therapeutic recreational activity for the disabled, he was adviser to the German, French, Dutch and Canadian national associations.

In 1969 John Davies became active in the early formation of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NAHRA).

The Cheff Center for the Handicapped in Augusta, MI, which is the largest and most modern facility of its kind, followed his guidelines in planning their buildings and programs. He also invented and developed most of the special riding equipment now being used by centers throughout the world.

In 1973 he moved to the United States to set up programs and assist in the growth of riding for the handicapped in North America. A year later he became the director/trainer at the St. James Equestrian Farm, a one thousand acre facility near Chicago, which he developed for all equestrian disciplines.

In 1976 he was elected President of NAHRA (the national advisory and controlling body throughout the United states, with over 300 affiliated groups) for three consecutive terms. He was examiner for the NAHRA Instructor Certification program, as well as a member of the accreditation committee. As Honorary Past-President, John Davies acted as liaison between the national committees of the United States and Canada and has represented NAHRA at International Conferences on Riding for the Disabled.

Currently, John Davies continues teaching regular Pony Club clinics and is an adviser to regular and disabled riders programs, and lectures at seminars and conferences throughout the world. He trains horses and riders for hunting, combined training and dressage up to Grand Prix level

John Davies was Race Chairman of the St. James Steeplechase meet held annually near Chicago for more than a decade.

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