Book Review: In the Middle are the Horsemen
By Tik Maynard
Trafalgar Square Books; Non-fiction; ISBN 9781570768323; 369 pages; Paperback, Kindle
Reviewed by April Ray-Peterson
With rave reviews from such iconic horseman as Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli, Jonathan Field, and David O’Connor, this book is a must-read for every horse lover out there. An inspiring story about horses, life, and everything in between, Tik Maynard dives into what makes him a true horseman.
Maynard started riding at Southlands, a small suburb of Vancouver, BC, with the Vancouver Pony Club. Horses are in his blood, quite literally, with both of his parents being grand prix riders themselves, his mom in dressage and his dad in show jumping. Maynard competed in modern pentathlon representing Canada at three World Championships, and at the 2007 Pan American Games.
When faced with a career-ending injury and a devastating break-up, we learn how he picked up the pieces and put them all back together in his journey to learn more about horses, and in the process more about people, himself included. This book is as easy to read as it is for horse folk to relate to, and I couldn’t put it down. For anyone who has worked in a barn or followed the “working student” path, his story is incredibly relatable, and you feel as if you are right there in the narrative with him.
Following Maynard’s working student career in Canada, the US, and Europe – including working with the Millars of Millar Brooke Farm – his journey is beautifully documented and includes all the good and bad that’s involved in trying to make it in the horse world.
The variety in Maynard’s work experience really underlines the fact that as horse people we can learn from everyone and could certainly benefit from being more open-minded on our very own horsemanship journey. Ultimately, it should be about the horse and how we interact with them and learn from them. What they have to teach us is endless if we’re willing to listen. We can start by reading In The Middle Are The Horsemen.
Today, Maynard he runs a farm in Florida with his wife, Sinead Halpin, US Eventing Team Member, and they just welcomed a baby boy into the family in September of 2018. In addition to this book, he has written a children’s story, has been published in REAL magazine, won the Malahat Review Open Season Award, and has twice been short-listed for the CBC Literary Awards for his non-fiction work.