A smart, funny memoir exploring the evolution of a man and his relationship with his daughters as they grow up in the grips of the equestrian life.
When Chad Oldfather found himself the parent of a toddler who, out of nowhere, became obsessed with horses, he had no idea what awaited. With his younger daughters similarly afflicted, Oldfather was soon enmeshed in the consuming subculture of barns, riding, and horse shows, learning not just about the animals that so inexplicably drew his girls, but also about the people and personalities that populated the spaces around them.
A book for parents, whatever their children's interests, and for equestrians, who know what it's like "on the inside" (but maybe not what it's like on the outside, looking in), A Man Walks into a Barn is a wise, witty, and, at times, critical look at both the light and dark sides of youth sports, and equestrianism in particular. Readers find themselves rooting for Oldfather as he struggles to be the best dad he can, supporting a child's dreams in the face of long odds and extraordinary expenses. He writes about his parenting choices and the strange world he finds himself in with humor and honesty, critically examining riding's high cost and the inaccessibility and inequality that results. Aware of the flaws and dangers of youth athletics, as well as the benefits, he strives to protect his girls while supporting their ambitions the best ways he knows how.
Filled with the joys, heartbreaks, and life lessons that come from training, competition, and time in the company of horses, this is mostly a book about family, and the strong bonds that can form when parent and child join hands and pursue a passion together.