Riding with Life by Melanie Smith Taylor and Jamie Caton

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In this comprehensive training guide, renowned horsewoman and Olympic Gold medalist Malanie Smith Taylor shares her unique program for setting horse and rider up for success. Blending her in-depth knowledge of groundwork and flatwork with her vast experience in the hunter/jumper discipline, she explains how to achieve a harmonious partnership with your horse and realize his full potential - whether you're a weekend trail rider or serious competitor.

Against the backdrop of her life story, Melanie presents a wealth of detailed exercises, instructional photographs, and valuable advice, as well as details about the many horses that have helped shape her approach.

Softcover, photographs, 360 pages.

About Melanie

Melanie Smith Taylor lives in Memphis Tennessee. She and her late husband, Lee, raised and trained Thoroughbreds for polo, hunter/jumpers, and pleasure on their Wildwood Farm in nearby Germantown. Melanie’s show jumping achievements are well known. From an early childhood on a farm in her home state of Tennessee, she went on to gain international recognition as both a competitor and a trainer. While training with George Morris in the early 1970s, Melanie was successful in amateur/owner jumper classes before graduating to the Grand Prix level. In 1978, she earned the American Grand Prix Association’s Lady Rider of the Year title as well as the AGA’s overall Rider of the Year. Her wonderful record that year convinced the AGA that women could perform on completely even terms with men, leading to a decision to discontinue the separate Lady Rider award. To cap off her year, Melanie’s Val de Loire was named AGA Horse of the Year.

Melanie became one of only two riders ever to win the Triple Crown of Show Jumping by winning the American Invitational, the International Jumping Derby, and the American Gold Cup; and the only person to win all three on the same horse, Calypso. Melanie was part of the USET’s gold medal team at the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico. At the Alternate Olympics in 1980, Melanie won the individual bronze medal aboard her beloved Calypso and placed second that same year in the World Cup Final. After winning the World Cup Final in 1982, she was named the United States Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year, as well as being inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Riding Calypso, she capped her show jumping career with a team gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984, a year in which she was a finalist for the Sullivan Award, an honor given to the nation’s top amateur athlete. Melanie retired from active competition in 1987 and continued to serve the horse world as a television broadcaster for events including the Olympic Games and World Championships. In addition to designing jumper courses and teaching clinics around the country, she is a recognized judge for hunter/jumpers, hunt seat equitation, and hunter breeding.

In 2007 and 2008, Melanie coached the Developing Rider Tours, which won numerous competitions and Nations Cups throughout Europe. She was honored as the Developmental Coach of the Year by the U.S. Equestrian Team in 2007. In 2009 she helped develop the Emerging Athlete Program (EAP) with the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association.

Melanie has completed a training book, Riding with Life: Lessons from the Horse, scheduled for release in the summer 2014. Blending her in-depth knowledge of groundwork and flatwork with her vast hunter/jumper experience, she explains how to achieve a harmonious partnership with your horse and realize his full athletic potential – whether you’re a weekend trail rider or a serious competitor.

Against the backdrop of her life story, Melanie presents a wealth of detailed exercises, instructional photographs, and valuable advice, as well as details about the many horses that have helped shape the TaylorMade program. Throughout, she encourages us to appreciate and honor the nobility of the horse and forge a true connection with this wonderful animal.


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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 04 May, 2015.

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