These days, many riders are turning to what is termed “natural” horsemanship, based on building a close bond and seeking to mimic the ways horses communicate with each other. The results are satisfying to riders and to those who read about them.
Trail Horse Tales by Pamela DeMuth is a memoir of sorts, chronicling the author’s return to the world of horses in her adult years and the very special relationship she developed with Zorro, her trail horse. DeMuth had spent time around horses in her childhood years, but Zorro, a young Peruvian Paso, proved to be a bit of a challenge:
He was head high and excitable almost all of the time. I hoped that he would calm down as he became used to me and his new home; the first big changes in his life. He had just come from his birth home. There his trainers were men who spoke Spanish around the horses. It was not surprising that the he felt out of his element.
What follows is a heartwarming tale of building a relationship, little by little, through all the challenges of horse ownership. The vexations of boarding horses, a nerve-racking encounter with colic, participating in trail rides with an inexperienced mount, acquiring a second horse—all is described simply and with humor.
Along the way, readers will learn about DeMuth’s efforts to implement natural care and riding methods with her horses. She discusses topics such as shoeing, bitless bridles, and other key concerns. Never fear—the tone is by no means preachy, just a dedicated horse lover reminiscing about what worked and what didn’t.
Trail Horse Tales is not a how-to book. It is exactly what the title promises, a collection of short tales about Zorro and how his training progressed. It does offer considerable insight into the art of trail riding, but it is primarily just a delightful read. Enjoy!