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Women & Horses by Mary D. Midkiff - horseback riding fitness techniques for women

Women & Horses, knowledge for the female equestrian; female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

Letters & Emails

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July 2001

Hi Mary! My name is Denise Manhart and I live in Grainfield, Ks (a small town in northwest Kansas). My dad is a farmer, like every other person out here, however I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to grow up with horses. I love riding to get my mind off of things I am worried about. Recently, I have been making decisions about college, etc, ( I am 18) and I don't know how i would have kept my sanity without being able to spend time with my horses! i just wanted to say that I just finished your book and i felt like someone read my mind! It was wonderfully written and I couldn't have said it better myself. Also, when i work with horses or talk to people about them patience is the main thing i like to stress. Without it, you achieve nothing and so many people don't want to take the time good horsemanship needs. So I wanted to share with you a quote that stresses you can do anything with a horse if you just take the time. I don't know the original author, and I have heard it said by more than one person. "When you go out to work with a horse, if you act like you have 10 minutes it will take you all day. If you act like you have all day, it will take you 10 minutes." Most people associate this with catching their horse in the pasture, but it applies to all aspects as well. and boy ain't it the truth!! Anyway, I can't praise you or your writing enough because of the tremendous way the joys and gifts gained from horses are portrayed. - Thank you! Denise Manhart


February, 2001

Dear Mary, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I have been looking for a book that specifically addresses the needs of a FEMALE equestrian. I have begun riding later in life (at 36 to be exact) and have found a greater need for exercises. I took the time to search for exercises and my search engine directed me to you. I am hoping to buy your second edition of the Fitness book this spring. I'll write and let you know how it's coming along. I have been using some of your hints and have noticed an improvement in my lessons -- I can't wait to "feel" how much your book helps.  L.


December, 2000

Dear Ms. Midkiff,

I just read the letter you shared on your website and I felt like I could
have written it myself with a few small changes, namely that I was 45 years old when I took my first horseback riding lesson 3 years ago after signing up with my then 14 year old son so we'd have an activity to do together. Soon thereafter, I purchased your book and refer to it often!

I, too, have never been the athletic type but being on the back of my horse makes me feel athletic. I never enjoyed being hot, sweaty or dirty but now I'd do anything for the sake of my horse! The one thing that is nagging at me is that I really don't exercise "formally". The more I ride the more I realize how much better it is for both the rider and the horse, if the rider is in shape.

Up until now, I've been learning to ride "Western" but a few weeks ago I moved my horse to a new barn where there are a lot of hunt seat and dressage riders of all ages, shapes, and sizes. I'm now thinking I might like to try riding in the English discipline but feel I need to be in much better shape, especially in my legs, for that to happen. SOOO, I've once again pulled out your book and am even contemplating purchasing your videos and exercise ball and bands!

Anyway, when I visited your Website and saw that letter that could have been mine, I just had to write and tell you how much your book has meant to me! Sincerely, a fan from Valencia, CA

Next email, several weeks later:

Happy New Year to you, Mary! Sure you can use my letter on your web site! That's great! I can't wait to read your new book as I really find horses to be a "spiritual" experience!

By the way, since I wrote that letter, I've just had my 3rd lesson in a dressage saddle on my 4 1/2 year old Andalusian horse (after a month or so of learning to post in my Western saddle) and I walked, trotted, and cantered successfully! It was such fun and I really felt balanced and coordinated (this is a first for me....feeling balanced and coordinated!). Again, after reading your book, I learned more about myself and riding and took the leap of faith and did it! I'm realizing that "horse people" are ageless and it doesn't matter how young or old you are when your learning....we're all just learning!

Take care and I'll write in the future.


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female equestrian fitness training and riding tips

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