A new book by an expert in the field offers a unique perspective on breeding and training the Welsh cob.

Maisie: A Welsh Cob in Mid Wales by Colin A Lewis (Y Lolfa) is an informative and unorthodox look at the history and training of the Welsh cob, told from the viewpoint of Maisie, one of Colin’s horses.

The book provides an insight into the breeding and management of the much-loved Welsh cob including how to ride, and the history and landscape of Wales.

Inspired by his love of horses, the author acknowledges that the book is written in an unusual style: “I’ve been interested in horses since I was a child and have worked with them for almost 70 years.

"I have an intuitive understanding of equine minds – my family say I even think like them! I have written several books on the subject but wanted to write a book that highlighted the unique relationship between man and horse. There is something incredibly special about the interactions between horse and rider, neither dominates the other, they both co-operate and ideally, act as one.

“Grooming, training, riding and looking after horses continues to give me relaxation. I talk to my horses: they are my friends and companions and they answer back in ways known only to those with whom they have a mutual close bond and affection.

"My experiences with buying, breaking and riding horses have helped me to write as I think Maisie would wish to do, just as Anna Sewell enabled Black Beauty to do in her great 19th-century classic.”

The author hopes the book will be an instructive and enjoyable read and will lead readers to a better understanding of the Welsh cob in their modern working setting in their homeland. Basic information on riding is also included but this is not an instructional manual.

The Welsh cob is a special breed of horse, of world renown, being compact, warm-blooded, surefooted and hardy. They are reliable horses and have a natural affinity for people and are tolerant of inexperienced handlers and riders.

Now living in Powys, Colin A Lewis grew up in the Wye valley and helped with shire-cob-cross work horses on a neighbour’s farm. He also helped with pony trekking with Welsh ponies and cobs on the Black Mountains in the 1950s.

He is Emeritus Professor of Rhodes University, South Africa. Colin has backed and schooled his own horses in Wales, Ireland and South Africa.