Nerve – Poise under Pressure, Serenity under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool, by Taylor Clark
How to Kick Fear out of the Saddle?
So you’ve had a bad fall, or there’s so much riding on you – family, work, mortgage – that you’re terrified of falling. Maybe there’s a jump you can’t face, a trail you won’t take, or a horse show class you don’t dare try. Maybe there’s a horse at the barn who makes your stomach churn just looking at him, or maybe your hands start shaking when you pick up any horse’s lead rope. Don’t worry: you’re not alone. Every horse-person – from the greenest newbie to the most decorated champion – has felt fear. And in his friendly (and often funny) new book, Nerve: Poise under Pressure, Serenity under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool, journalist Taylor Clark investigates and explains how each of us can tame our fear, harness anxiety, and turn the craziest stress into calm success.
The ability to be calm and confident in stressful – and even life-threatening – situations isn’t a mystery or a rare, special gift, Clark writes. Braiding the science behind “the circuitry of fear” and “grace under fire” with incredible true stories of athletes at the top of their game and soldiers in the darkest depths of battle, air traffic controllers choreographing dozens of planes and astronauts trapped on failing shuttles, this stirring book offers a clear understanding of how we can bridle and direct our reactions, as well as a relaxed (and even playful) way to partner with fear and reclaim our inner cool. Whether you’re a rider, a riding instructor, or an on-the-fence dreamer, if you want to kick fear out of the saddle – on your horse or in your life – Nerve is the book for you.
You’ll find more resources and articles about Nerve on Taylor Clark’s website, and, writers, be sure to check out his article, Nothing to Fear in Fear Itself, which describes how and why he braved his own anxiety to write the book. Reading Nerve as a stand-alone? Try pairing it with Jane Savoie’s iconic peak performance handbook for equestrians, It’s Not Just About the Ribbons: It’s About Enriching Riding (and Life) with a Winning Attitude!