Scenes from the Riding Life
by Michael Korda
This book is everything the previous one was not. Excellently written, thoughtful and full of information, it is a wide-ranging yet well-focused narrative on experiences with horses. It follows the author's personal journey into the world of horses, from rented rides in New York's Central Park to a privately owned stable in the countryside. Along the way he relates many stories of friends and acquaintances with horses, as well as the relationship of horse to man throughout history.
It is curious that, like Horseplay, this book also features a romance and divorce, with the narrator/main character leaving city life to be closer to horses. But those are all background notes, here. The horse is in the spotlight. Horse People touches on horses in art (introducing me to Rita Dee), horses owned by famous people (I glossed over most of the name-dropping) and all things horsey: formal dressage, casual trail rides, small-town rodeos, little girls and their ponies, the foxhunting elite, three-day eventing, backyard horses and thoroughbreds rescued from the racetrack. It expounds a bit on a few breeds: Arabians, quarter horses and thoroughbreds. The strongest impression I came away with was the sheer amount of work involved in caring for a horse.
Full of humor, interesting anecdotes and lots of good sense, this is a great book. I am certainly going to look for more books by this author.
Rating: 4/5 Published: 2003, pp 367