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Larger print book for first-time owner

From: Sydney

Dear Jessica, my best friend just bought her first horse at the age of 58. She has wanted a horse forever and ever. We planned this for a long time. She was going to retire when she was 55 and buy a horse and I was going to board it for her. Due to a lot of changes in our lives, she didn't retire for another three years and I don't have my own place any more, I board my horse out and Ruth is going to be the one keeping her horse at home! She had the chance to buy a home that has two acres and a small barn (this is the reason she kept working for three more years) so of course she took it. But it isn't very near my home or where I board my horse, so I am building up a little "horse help library" for her. And that brings me at last to my question! I have shown her (and offered to give her) a lot of my own horse books, but she is not very interested in theory or history or anything about showing or horse sports. She really just wants to own and take care of and love her own horse at home. At this point I don't even know how much riding she is going to do, but she doesn't care as long as she has a horse to love. She asked me to find her a book that would give her good basic at-home horse care information, plus first aid and things like that, but that isn't complicated and doesn't have too many different things on one page and if possible is in larger print!

Ruth has bad eyesight that is getting unfortunately worse and she has never been much of a reader anyway, and most of my books are wrong for her and we both know she isn't going to read them. You know so much about books, every book you have ever recommended I have bought or checked out from the library and they have all been great. Can you tell me where I could find a book like the one Ruth wants, or even if a book like that even exists? I'm good at finding books on specific horse subjects, but I am stumped here. Do horse books even come in large print? It wouldn't have to be huge print, just bigger than usual book-size print. Thank you so much Jessica, it would mean the world to Ruth to have a book that she could read easily and if you recommended it that would mean even more. Sydney

Hi Sydney! Sometimes the stars line up exactly right. I had been thinking about your letter and looking through my collection of horse books and the most recent catalogues from publishers, trying to find something that would suit your friend Ruth, but with no luck. Then a new book arrived in the mail, and I think it's exactly what you're looking for, in an extremely convenient format: it's spiral-bound so that it can stay open at any page, and has holes so that it can also be hung on the wall like a calendar. One nail in the barn wall is all she'll need to have her reference material where she needs it. ;-)

The title is

Storey's Barn Guide to Horse Health Care + First Aid

and your local bookstore can order it for you.

This book should suit Ruth very well. It is clear and simple and easy to understand, there are plenty of illustrations (also clear and simple and easy to understand) and best of all for Ruth, the print IS large. The book begins with general information, then covers nutrition, dental care, hoof care, preventive care, first aid, lameness, treating wounds, and record keeping. Obviously this isn't an in-depth tome, but that's not what Ruth is looking for, and she has access to all of your books if she wants to learn more about any single subject. This "Barn Guide" should be a terrific resource for her, and for any other first-time horse owner. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to people who have owned horses for years, both because from time to time we ALL need to be reminded of the basics of horse care and first aid, and because the format and style of this book make it such a convenient and useful reference.

If Ruth likes it, you may have discovered a wonderful source of birthday and holiday gifts for her, because the publishers of this book have informed me that there will be more books in this same series. That's very good news. If you do get this for her, please drop me a line and let me know how she likes it.


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