In 2008, 26-year-old Tik Maynard faced a crossroads not unlike that of other young adults. A university graduate and modern pentathlete, he suffered both a career-ending injury and a painful breakup, leaving him suddenly adrift.
The son of prominent Canadian equestrians, Maynard decided to spend the next year as a 'working student'. In the horse industry, working students aspire to become professional riders or trainers, and willingly trade labor for hands-on education. Here Maynard chronicles his experiences—good and bad—and we follow along as one year becomes three, what began as a casual adventure gradually transforms, and a life's purpose comes sharply into focus.
Over time, Maynard evolved under the critical eyes of Olympians, medal winners, and world-renowned figures in the horse world, including Anne Kursinski, Johann Hinnemann, Ingrid Klimke, David and Karen O'Connor, Bruce Logan, and Ian Millar. He was ignored, degraded, encouraged, and praised. He was hired and fired, told he had the 'wrong body type to ride' and that he had found his 'destiny'. He got married and lost loved ones.
Through it all he studied the horse, and human nature, and how the two can find balance. And in that journey, he may have found himself.
About Tik Maynard
Tik Maynard began riding with the Vancouver Pony Club, in Southlands, British Columbia. After achieving his 'P' rating, he began competing in Modern Pentathlon, where he represented Canada at three World Championships, and the 2007 Pan-American Games.
In 2008, Maynard began a journey to improve his riding. From Germany to Florida, from Alberta to Texas, and from Florida to New Jersey, Maynard was willing to go wherever he had to, to learn from the best. Along the way he discovered something more important: horsemanship. It is that idea that continues to motivate him.
Today, Maynard searches out knowledge from many sources, but his most important mentors are his parents and his wife. He is married to US Eventing Team Member Sinead Halpin.
Interview with Tik
- Book Specifications
Sub Heading No ISBN 9781570768323 Author Tik Maynard Binding Paperback Extent 376 pages, 228 x 152mm Illustrations No Ebook No
'Tik writes beautifully, the book is full of wry humour and beautiful descriptions of his world and the horses he shares it with. Read this book as a delightful memoir and perhaps as a social commentary on the equestrian world, but for those who want to learn more, to improve their relationship with their horses, this is a gold mine.' — Louise Broderick, Horse & Pony Ireland
‘In the Middle are the Horseman is a good and entertaining read. The honest tales of life as a working pupil on an equestrian gap year or three made me wistful; what a wonderful dream to live out, and I’m so glad for him that it has had a happy ending. The writing is crisp, the pace lively and the book is peppered with good anecdotes as well as increasingly honest self reflection.' — Nelipot Cottage
'Both a fascinating record of a young man's quest to find his place, and a vivid portrait of an industry and a culture built upon on one of our most ancient and transformative relationships, that between the human and the horse. Acutely observed, vividly told, and not to be missed.' — Kathy Page, Author of Alphabet and Paradise & Elsewhere
'Tik Maynard is not only a fantastic writer but a special horseman. His ability to work naturally through a horse's problems and to communicate what he does in a way people can understand is a gift. He has a never-ending want for knowledge about horses, and I hope he continues to share his experiences.' — Lauren Bliss Kieffer, US Olympian
'Tik Maynard's writing is engaging and insightful. With each turn of the page I felt like I was right there, rooting with him through the triumphs and challenges of his horsemanship adventure. Loved the gems that came from his experiences and the honesty he shares. Anyone who loves horses and is passionate about becoming better with them will love this book!' — Jonathan Field, Horseman, Author of The Art of Liberty Training for Horses
'This weighty paperback book is an autobiography by Tik Maynard, a Canadian horseman and author based in the USA, and is an absorbing account of his journey, mainly from international working pupil to independent professional using his own methods from his own yard... I must admit that when I first examined the book I thought it was going to be a chore to read it, but I was actually hooked from the first page and just had to put aside all other reading till I had finished it, every page.' — MA, Tracking Up
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