Sunday, August 1, 2021

Show Strides Book Series: Published by The Plaid Horse

Read Show Strides! Our Very Own Series of Horse Novels

Stay Tuned! Book 4 of the Show Strides Series is Coming in 2021!

Here at The Plaid Horse, we are proud and excited to bring you Show Strides, a series of novels about riding, horse shows, and what it takes to succeed in the sport we all love.

Aimed at both young readers and horse lovers of all ages, Show Strides is written by The Plaid Horse publisher, Piper Klemm, and Rennie Dyball, an author, equestrian, and editorial coordinator for The Plaid Horse.

Show Strides is a proud member of The Bookstore for Horse Lovers. Click here to learn more.

Book 1: School Horses & Show Ponies

Meet the riders of Quince Oaks: Tally is a dedicated working student who takes lessons on the stable’s fleet of school horses, and Mac is pushing herself to improve on her own pony hunter. The girls become fast friends as Tally learns the ropes of catch riding and showing while Mac discovers that moving up a division isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. Together, and with the help of their trainer and barn friends, both riders will chase their dreams on horseback—one stride at a time.

Book #1 is available now. You can read the first chapter here on The Plaid Horse

Buy book one on Amazon.
Read book one on Kindle.
Listen to book one on Audible.

Excerpts from the Book

“Don’t forget to label those,” her dad said, nodding at the white and pink rosettes. Tally had actually been considering just throwing them out.
“Why? This isn’t exactly a show I want to remember.”
“I’ve told you this before, Tal. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. And you know I think you should label the back of every ribbon. You’ll look back at them one day and be happy you did.”

“Pick up your canter and then establish the pace you want. Ring speed. Get that canter and keep her there. We’ll work on finessing it, but for now, I just want you to get that number, so cowboy-kick if you have to.”
As they approached the first rail, Tally felt like they were flying. Almost as if they were going too fast.
“That’s the pace, Tal, don’t change it. Now jump in and count.”

The next morning, Tally’s alarm went off at 6 a.m. and she flew out of bed, having been awake for at least an hour already. This was it. An away show. An A-rated show. Just like she’d watched Mac do and wished to be a part of herself someday. And she was already getting to do it.

Book 2: Confidence Comeback

Tally Hart just went to her first A-rated show with the new trainer at her barn, Quince Oaks—and it was a competition she’ll never forget. But back at home, the working student and newly-minted catch rider faces an uncertain future. Will she get to keep riding sales ponies? Go back to lessons on the barn’s school horses? Meanwhile, her good friend Mac Bennett is finding her own footing in the medium pony hunter division and working toward the biggest show goal either rider could imagine.

Book #2 is available now. You can read the first chapter here on The Plaid Horse.

Buy book two on Amazon.
Read book two on Kindle.
Listen to book two on Audible.

Excerpts from the Book

He gave her a thumbs-up before asking her to start trotting around, working on some circles with the pony as he finished setting jumps. For the flatwork part of their lesson, Tally worked on lengthening and shortening Goose’s stride at the trot and canter. It took a lot of leg to keep him moving in the gait that she wanted while maintaining the collection. The answer to most questions while riding, it seemed, was to add leg.

“Oh my gosh, Goose, you are gorgeous!” Tally whispered. The pony perked his ears and took a couple of tentative steps toward her. He was a dark dapple gray—gray horses and ponies got lighter in color as they aged; Goose was obviously quite young, with a neatly pulled, silvery mane and the most adorable dished face. He had a pink muzzle and looked cozy in his plaid blanket. Meeting him reminded Tally of opening model horses on Christmas morning and marveling over just how perfect they looked.
“Outside, diagonal, outside, single. Go!” Mac said, taking off at the human version of the canter toward the first jump. Tally followed her, laughing as they counted their own strides down what would be a five-stride line for horses. Mac got twelve and Tally got eleven.
“Don’t cut your turn!” Mac yelled as Tally cantered ahead of her down the short side of the ring toward their next line.
“If I stay out, this … will take all day,” Tally shouted back between gulps of air, her stomach muscles tight from the effort and from laughing. They lost count down the diagonal line and Tally broke to a trot in front of the outside line, breathing hard.
“Automatic 55!” Mac shouted as the girls bumbled down their last jumps.
Panting and still laughing at the end of their course, Tally and Mac ambled out of the ring and down to the barn, fishing change out of their pockets for the soda machine.

Book 3: Moving Up & Moving On

After a successful trip to Devon, the Field Ridge team returns home to Oaks for the summer, where life at the barn is as busy as ever.

A jumper rider named Jacob and his horse Carlo begin trailering in for lessons with trainer Ryan, and the girls learn that being a boy in the sport has its own unique challenges.

Tally and Goose are improving with each show, and Mac struggles with body confidence as they head toward their big summer finale, Pony Finals.

Book #3 is available now. You can read the first chapter here on The Plaid Horse.

Buy book three on Amazon.
Read book three on Kindle.
Listen to book three on Audible.

Excerpts from the Book

Tally watched as Jacob slowed Carlo to a trot and then a walk, the little bay gelding holding his head high and proud. Jacob glanced around the ring, turning to say something to Ryan, and the buzzer sounded again.
“What’s he doing?” Tally asked.
“The jump-off,” Mac said.
“Wait! He has to jump the first course and then the jump-off right after it? Like, remembering them both at the same time?” Tally could hardly believe it. She’d never stress about memorizing a medal course again.”

“Let’s watch a few of the larges go,” Ryan said, gesturing for the girls to follow him to where the Large Pony over fences class was underway in the Walnut ring.
The ring was a vast expanse of fancy-looking show jumps, greenery, and long stretches of, well, nothing. Tally watched the pony on course cantering down a bending line and balking at something he saw. There was no shortage of sights for a pony to spook at in this ring.
“You must be in here for a full five minutes to get over all the jumps,” she whispered to Mac.

Tally steered G to the diagonal line, closing her fingers on the reins when he got a little strong, backing it up with her leg so he wouldn’t break to the trot. He came back to her, jumping in quietly. Tally opened his stride just a bit to the oxer in order to get the correct number of strides. It almost felt invisible. Landing off the diagonal, G leaned to the inside, and Tally felt her mental chatter starting up again, but when she shifted her weight to the outside and redirected G off his forehand, he got a nice, clean change. They cantered the outside line, coming home like they’d both been showing in big indoors their whole lives.

Learn More About the Books

Rennie Dyball comes on the Plaidcast to talk with Piper Klemm about writing the series Show Strides.

Ready to Take Your Riding to the Next Level?

The Plaid Horse is excited to announce the re-release of Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation: Develop a Winning Style; now with a note to the readers by our very own Piper Klemm. Let a top trainer teach you how to perfect a winning position, both on the flat and over fences.