Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2017 >Daily Dispatch #88

March 29, 2017: The Reading Life: New Year’s Resolution, Busted

I meant well in saying that my New Year’s resolution was to refrain from buying any new books for a year. And I vowed to keep to this resolution. My good intentions lasted about a month. I purchased two books at the Karen Pryor Clicker Training Expo – one is entitled Animal Training: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement,by Ken Ramirez. And the other is Clicker Training your Horse, by Alexandra Kurland. I have no regrets about purchasing either. I have started the Ramirez book and will soon get back to it. I have just finished with my first reading of the Kurland book. It is an incredible book. I’m going to go back through it soon and figure out exactly

what I might do in terms of clicker training with each of my ponies. I’m also going to write a review of this book for her website and maybe for the Icelandic Horse Quarterly magazine.

A few weeks ago I put in an order at Amazon for a handful of other books. They have now all arrived. Vanessa Bee’s Over, Under, and Through is for those wanting to do obstacle training with their horse. This is a must-have if I am going to be teaching agility. I also ordered and received the Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lapore, and Women who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Reading both, one after the other, seems like a good idea since both have a strong feminist bent. I am also thinking that the former might be a stylistic model for a book I want to write, entitled Women who Run with Horses. This book will be about how horses empower women.

Today the second half of the book order arrived. This order included Ruthie Alon’s Mindful Spontaneity: Moving in Tune with Nature: Lessons in the Feldenkrais Method. I have to get going on reading this book right now because next weekend I have Bones for Life training. I would not have ordered it, but the training manuals (to my knowledge) have not yet come in. This way, I’ll have a much-needed point of reference, one that right now is sadly lacking. I also got a copy of Anna Blake’s Stable Relations in the mail. This book is a memoir, and it came highly recommended to me by Susan Harris. This book might be a stylistic model for my own memoirs. I also received a copy of the Clever Hans Phenomena – this book is a must-have for anyone one who has any interest (and I do) in animal cognition. I am intrigued – most treatises on animal behavior start out with the story of the horse, Clever Hans, and how he (supposedly) went about interpreting his owner’s questions. Nothing conclusive was ever determined.

The subtext of this dispatch is that I have offered a rationalization for each and every one of these books. I suppose it is preferable to be addicted to acquiring books, this as opposed to being addicted to cigarettes or alcohol. The subject matter of these books (all of which are now scattered about the cabin), are animal cognition, feminist theory, body awareness, and horse training. My habit is a very healthy one. One can read books again and again. You can only drink the contents of a wine bottle once. The bottle is empty but the mind is full.

Next: 89. 3/30/17: Hurry Up and Wait – the Saga Continues

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles