Tara Nolan Horses

Learning Focused Lessons for Adults


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Out of The Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve your Horseback Riding

Author Tara Nolan shares inside secrets she learned flying military aircraft and how to apply these time-compressed learning skills to learning to ride your horse. Combining the hands-on flying skills developed as a military pilot with Adult Learning Theory from teaching at the United States Air Force Academy, Nolan has created a unique blueprint to achieve and retain the relationship you want with your horse.   


Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding is a must-have manual to develop the successful rider’s mental preparation. Most riding instruction jumps straight to getting on the horse without first assessing the rider’s experience, knowledge and learning style. It is critical for a rider to establish a clear baseline for themselves and then write out a planned way ahead to get to their desired goals. The rider must also make an honest assessment of their physical self-awareness—a different concept from their physical fitness level. Then, the rider will be ready to connect with a horse and start to progress together as a team. You might be thinking this is easier said than done. This book combines some high level theoretical thinking and then brings it down to reality with exercises in each chapter. Each chapter includes a Take Action Now checklist of skills to master and a logical order to learn each new skill.

In this book you will learn:  

  • Step One: Know these four things to learn dressage 
  • Step Two: Know your learning style 
  • Step Three: Know what you need to feel 
  • Step Four: Know how adults learn to ride 
  • Step Five: Know and control your inner dialog 
  • Step Six: Know your purpose and passion 
  • Step Seven: Know your step-by-step process 
  • Step Eight: Know how to visualize for results 
  • Step Nine: Know your mind 
For this book writing adventure... I took my philosophy of bringing in mentors and supporters to make this book idea a reality.  There were several friends who helped me brainstorm, edit, reorganize and generally tell the story I wanted to share. 


Who was on my team... 

There were many more people instrumental in supportive roles and I wish to thank all of my family and friends who contributed because they are part of my life. A book really is the sum of life experiences as much as it is about one specific topic so thank you to all of the people who have shared parts of my life, too.


I was lucky enough to have my personal development coach, Marshall Sylver, write my foreword. Camille Blakey, from Blakely and Company created this beautiful cover design to capture my unique perspective as a pilot and educator as it relates to horses. My brother, Michael Nolan, designed the graphics I use throughout the book to represent horses and flying.



Tara and Marshall


Myforeword was written by my personal success coach and mentor, Marshall Sylver.  He has guided me through some big shifts in my mental game and shared with me the power of NLP.












I wrote Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Riding out of a sincere desire to help people put their desires and dreams of riding into a manageable blueprint or plan. I wanted to write an instructive and thought-provoking manual and workbook to help you pull your desires from inside your head and heart, and then to and create some doable steps to start on the path to personal success. In addition to dreaming, we all like to be grounded in reality— to feel the pleasure of accomplishment. In writing this I am sharing with you the clearest vision I have of the learning process. Of course, studying dressage and horses is a never-ending journey. As I learn more, this volume will be updated appropriately.



Out of The Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve your Horseback Riding

I would be most delighted to hear from you to help guide these future editions. Share your success stories with me. Tell me what steps were particularly helpful, and give me feedback on how you put these ideas into action. Offer your suggestions for improvement. Let me know what still perplexes you. Although I cannot guarantee success, the principles offered here are tried and proven. They work for those who use them. I do extend this warning, however. Be careful…if you follow the guidelines set forth in this manual, you may outgrow the status of perpetual novice—just as I did. Best of luck. I delight in your achievements, so please send emails and video links to share your victories! Now get busy!!
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 "In her groundbreaking book Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding, Air Force Reserve Lt Col Tara Nolan applies methods used to train military pilots with her holistic, no stone left unturned, journey to successfully ride FEI level dressage.   Want to fast-forward your mastery of the art of riding?  Delve deeply into this book."  Stephanie Boyles, Founder UnbridledRider.com


"As a DO I focus on treating the whole patient not just the symptoms or individual problems.  Tara Nolan does the same thing with this book by looking at the pursuit of excellence in riding as a whole person concept including mental and emotional practice in addition to physically riding."  Dr. Jeanne Wahl, DO WVSOM