The Classical Riding Club
�Substantial� was the first (printable) word that sprung to mind when I glimpsed this new work by Sue Devereux! Weighing in at approximately 5.5kg (it�s actually 3kg), I admit that I expected to find the contents similarly daunting. Not so, however, - after spending time with it, I would urge others to definitely NOT pre-judge this book by the slightly intimidating appearance.
Definitely a reference source vs. a cover-to-cover read, the author�s stated aim is �to help everyone involved with horses to understand the vet�s approach and provide the best care for their horses.� I determined that the best way to judge this book was to start by seeking out information on some of the situations I have come across personally - hence a trawl through sections dealing with fractured tibia; squamous cell carcinoma; uveitis; mud fever; laminitis to mention but a few of challenges of recent years. The information I found was presented in clear terms and gave a reasonably thorough overview of conditions, symptoms, causes and potential treatment approaches. The author does stress - and it bears repetition- that a carer should never rely on such a book in lieu of seeking veterinary advice, however I totally agree with her that there are times when it is useful to have a reference source to perhaps read further about a condition or to refresh what the vet may have said (and we may have missed in the heat of emergency callout/ first aid situation).
The author comments that this book has been revised and re-published in the light of reader requests for additional information, and to incorporate latest advances in knowledge and practice in the equine veterinary world. To this end, the scope is - with Therapies (e.g. physiotherapy) and Complementary Therapies (e.g. acupuncture, hands-on healing, osteotherapy etc) being explored, whilst Behaviour issues are also given a dedicated section. There are also extremely useful sections which will deal with first aid techniques, e.g. Wound Management, Poulticing and Bandaging.
In all honesty I did find the layout of the text a little confusing- and would have preferred to have numeric section/ bullet markers to clearly differentiate what, at times, were confusing long sub-sections - but that�s a minor quibble with such a comprehensive resource.
In summary, this is a serious book- not a quick read, nor one intended to be read from front cover to back - however it does have a huge amount to offer a horse owner/ carer. The sheer scope of topics covered is impressive and ensure that this book is one which can be turned to for advice on matters as diverse as Windgalls to Transporting Your Horse. I believe the author is both enlightened and brave to include her section on various therapies - reflecting the more open-minded and holistic approach to equine care and management which has become accepted in recent years.
I do believe each of us should have access to at least one book of this calibre in our home library - albeit the bookshelf may have to be strengthened to accommodate this one!