If you have a horsey bookworm on your holiday shopping list, then we might have the perfect gift. Riding Through It (EquiMuse Press) is an anthology of non-fiction stories written by female equestrians. Throughout the book women share stories of loss, heartbreak, grief, fear, pain, and rock bottom experiences, but because of horses their stories transform into tales of resilience, love, awareness, self-acceptance, confidence, compassion, and awakenings.

The book is the brainchild of two Nova Scotia-based horsewomen, Nikki Porter and Nadine Smith. Both own horses and are active in reining. And it was their shared passion for all things equine that developed into a joint media business that includes the online horse community platform Informed Equestrian and the Canada Horse Podcast.

Riding Through It feels like a natural extension of their work together. Porter was already a published author and was instrumental in pulling the project together. “The book was inspired by my love for writing combined with my desire to help share stories of like-minded equestrian women that will make others feel seen and inspired to keep going,” says Porter.

She and Smith put out their first call to potential writers on Instagram seven months ago and received an overwhelming response. When we asked Porter how they sifted through the submissions to select the final list, she explained that they “chose stories that showed the right amount of feel for the book, where the writers showed up vulnerably and authentically with a message that would resonate with equestrians of all backgrounds.”

While the duo did not initially intend for an all-female line up, when push came to shove in the deadline and publishing process, it was the women who rose to the occasion. Call it a happy accident. “It worked out very well for the first book. It brought together strong, yet soft women in an industry that needs to see examples of just that,” she says.

In addition to her various projects with Smith, Porter is the author of The Conscious Communicator: the Pursuit of Joy and Human Connection Inspired by the Art of Horsemanship. She is also a practicing equestrian mindset coach. “I help horse women navigate their personal growth journeys to achieve a level of awareness, confidence, and connection from home that sets both themselves and their horses up for success in and out of the arena,” Porter explains. “I love working with horses. But it is my drive to help their owners that keeps me up at night, in the best way. Helping equestrians connect their personal growth to their growth as a horse owner is where my passion and talent ride together.”

Her chapter ‘Up in Flames’ concludes the book; in it she shares her experiences of how her first three horses taught her the lessons that have allowed her to become the woman she is today and create and run a business after deciding to leave a high school teaching career in 2017.

As for their drive behind the Canada Horse Podcast, Smith loves talking horses on behalf of equestrians from all parts of the country and world. “I love being able to ask questions on behalf of other equestrians who may not have the opportunity to ask, or may be worried about judgment, or simply don’t know what they don’t know,” Smith says. “We’ve also had some really important but difficult conversations about some controversial topics which I really enjoy because we approach them with a totally open mind, with curiosity and gaining knowledge at the forefront.”

Up next for Porter and Smith is an upcoming trip to Las Vegas in February to attend Italian reining champion Andrea Fappanri’s Along for the Ride Symposium.  Fappanri will also be a guest on the Canada Horse Podcast.


Order your copy of Riding Through It here or through Amazon.