If you’re looking to raise a horse for shows, or just ride one in your spare time, there’s a new book out that can show you how.

Athens horse trainer and writer Laurie Truskauskas Knott released her latest guide on horseback riding in the fall of 2006.

“Western Training: Beyond the Basics” is a 170-page guide to training horses for shows, recreation and work. The book is written in clear language and includes photographs demonstrating proper riding technique on nearly every page.

“I’ve gotten a lot of compliments,” Knott said. “People have told me it’s very easy to read.”

The guide includes tips for outfitting your horse and step-by-step guides for teaching horses to walk a straight line, stop on command, spin and perform other maneuvers. There’s also a section on effective ways to break bad habits.

Knott writes in the book’s preface, “...You are dealing with a living, breathing, very large animal that has a mind of its own. You cannot ‘program’ a horse as you would a computer or make him go as you drive a car. You must talk to a horse in a language that a horse can understand.”

“They tell you to write what you know, and horses are what I know,” Knott said. “It’s not easy to learn how to write. It takes a while to learn how to put words together.”

Knott, co-owner of Silver Creek Farm on U.S. Highway 175, has trained horses professionally for 30 years. Born and raised in Burlington, Conn., she said there is no history of horsemanship in her family — one day, her parents just brought home a pony.

“I got my first horse at the age of six,” she said. “I was the youngest of six, so I was the one who got the horse.

“I’ve been addicted to them ever since.”

Knott “fell in love” with Texas while seeking a warmer climate. She moved to Athens about 10 years ago and purchased her 25-acre horse facility.

She’s trained and cared for horses with the help of her husband, John, since their marriage a year and a half ago.

“(John) brought me a horse to train,” she said. “We got married on horses.”

Knott got her start in writing on the advice of Joe Ferro, whom she worked under as a young adult. Ferro, owner of the Grand View Ranch in Harwinton, Conn., is one of the founders of the American Quarterhorse Association.

“(Ferro) is the man who taught me the way,” Knott said. “He told me he didn’t want to take all of his information to the grave with him. I started taking notes and putting things together.”

Her first published writing was an article in Horse and Rider magazine. Other articles by Knott — about 150 in all, by her estimate — have appeared in Western Horseman, The Quarterhorse Journal and other national magazines.

Her first book, “Training the Two-Year-Old Colt,” was published in 2000. Her other works, aside from “Western Training,” include two full-length books and three pocket guides covering everything from

The books were published under Alpine Publications in Colorado. They are available through Amazon.com and at the Fort Worth Paint World Show.

“I’ve probably sold 20,000 (books) so far,” Knott said. “When this book gets out, I think it’ll sell really well.

“I think it’ll have a broader appeal,” she added. “This one applies to everyone.”

Her next two titles are “Training the Hunter Under Saddle,” expected to be released later this year, and “Horse Speak: Training From the Horse’s Perspective,” slated for publication in 2008.

“I’ll try to do one a year if I can,” Knott said.


On the Net: www.alpinepub.com

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