One of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a while is Real Riding: How to Ride in Harmony With Your Horse by Perry Wood. The book is written with wit and humor that get the message across and keep the book from becoming a stuffy "instruction manual."
It's perfect for introducing novice riders to horses, and also for experienced riders. Everyone can get something useful from this book.
In the first chapter, "Horsework," Perry discusses how horses think and how you can use this information to improve your relationship with your horse and your riding at the same time
Other chapters cover such topics as "Riderwork," which shows you Perry's simple secrets of sitting beautifully and staying in balance; "Mindwork," which includes confidence-building techniques and how to develop that important virtue around horses -- patience; "Partnership Work," and "Horsemanship Work."
Real Riding is the sort of book you can read all the way through, or dip into different sections as you need them. Each chapter has a "Things to Do" and "Quick Reference" at the end, which give you an action plan to carry out the exercises and quickly begin improving both your riding and your relationship with any horse.
Perry Wood is from England, and currently lives on Exmoor (where the ponies come from). Possibly one of the things that really endeared me to this book is his writing style. It's very English,which I suppose may turn some people off. But, being from England myself, I really felt at home reading the book and even found my English accent coming back in my mind as I read it!
Although it's geared to the English style rider, the philosophies explained in the book - empathy, training horses naturally and classically - apply across the disciplines.
Truly a book for anyone who wishes to improve their riding and work in harmony with their horse!
Real Riding - How to Ride in Harmony With Your Horse is published by Half Halt Press and available online at their Web site.