excerpt - Harrowing pasture
Harrowing is often suggested as a preventative measure for worm control
but in fact it actually increases worms. Horses with plenty of room
on which to graze will divide their grazing into two distinct areas,
1) roughs and 2) lawns. They do nearly all their droppings in the
rough area, an area with overgrown grass and weeds, an area which
horses will not graze down. The lawns are the areas which horses do
graze, and on which they rarely do droppings. Clearly then, most of
the worm eggs are in the roughs. This is a natural system for horses
to keep down their worm burdens.
Harrowing, mowing or dragging increases worm levels by transferring
the high levels of worm eggs from the 'roughs' to the 'lawns.'
If done at all, harrowing or mowing should be carried out at the hottest
time of year, and the horses should then be kept off the area for
several weeks. However, in cooler regions, harrowing at the end of
the grazing season has been shown to reduce the survival of infective
stages of worms over winter.
Get the book for 122 pages of up to date info on worming horses and
donkeys from the Natural
Horse World Store
Horse Care the Right Way by Dr. A Nyland
Ann Nyland could have titled this book ‘Myth Busting Natural
Horse Care’ because that’s exactly what it does. If you’ve
been using natural or alternative supplements, then you really must
read this book. It reveals the truth about many natural products such
as apple cider vinegar, garlic, sulphur, herbal wormers, copper, along
with many other herbs, minerals and feeds we are using. The contents
of this book are backed up by an incredible amount of research with
the sources listed in the 21 page bibliography and 17 pages of end
As Ann says “Just because we use natural products doesn’t
mean we should leave our brains at the door and see science as the
enemy of all things natural. In this book I’m not saying ‘Do
not use it because science hasn’t yet found that it works’.
I am saying ‘Here is cold hard evidence that certain things
will harm your horse!’.
Personally, I have used many of the products Ann has examined in this
book because I was following someone else’s anecdotal evidence
that they worked. I am so glad that someone has now gone to the trouble
of researching and verifying claims made by other ‘natural horse
care’ practitioners. While my horses haven’t seemed to
come to any great harm, I suspect some conditions were not improving
due to my belief I was treating them correctly, when in fact, I wasn't.
The great thing about this book is Ann also supplies evidence for
the usefulness of some natural minerals and herbs, and discusses the
benefits of having our horses barefoot, bitless and treeless. In fact
I was honoured to be asked to write the section on bitless bridles,
no doubt due to the large amount of research I’ve conducted
in that area.
It’s an easy book to read written in laypersons terms, and if
you own a horse, this book is a must have so you can make informed
decisions about the everyday care of your horses.
Horse World Store now sells this book or if you
would like to find out more go to www.horsecarenatural.com
or if you’d like to join in the discussion on all things natural,
join the Mythbusters Natural
Horse Care Yahoo group.
Prints more stories from
Proud Spirit by Melanie Sue Bowles
If you want some holiday reading that warms
your heart and emotions then this is the book.
Melanie Sue Bowles along with her husband, Jim, is the founder of
Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary, now located in Mena, Arkasas. It is
one of the longest exisiting, privately run sanctuaries for horses
in the USA. Over 150 abused, neglected, elderly and unwanted horses
have come there to live out their lives in peace and safety.
Melanie's fist book 'The Horses of Proud Spirit', introduced readers
to the early herd members and the stories of how they came to be with
This book continues to tell heart warming and heart breaking stories
as more new horses find their way to Proud Spirit, so many in fact
that a move to a larger property was required.
I loved reading about all the individual characters and how they taught
Melanie more about horse relationships than most of us would ever
realise horses are capable of.
You can purchase her books from www.horsesofproudspirit.com
knowing that the proceeds help this self funded sanctuary to keep
providing a wonderful natural herd based life for many horses in need.
Conversations with Cadbury by Dolores
If you've ever had difficulties training
your horse or just getting along with a particular horse, this book
will resonate with you.
By following the real-life story of accomplished horse and dog trainer
Dolores Atrse, we learn to overcome these hurdles and step into the
realm of true relationship.
This book will help you understand
the art of relationships with horses, dogs or humans. Its a fascinating
read of struggles, successes and even failures as Cadbury becomes
the teacher that changed Dolores life forever.
While it isn't a 'how to train your
horse' book, Dolores does explain her training which draws from natural
horsemanship and clicker training with clarity, enabling us to follow
the path that lead her to ultimate succes and a strong connection
to a very difficult little morgan horse called Cadbury.
You can buy it direct from Dolores
Horses by Imke Spilker
Horsemanship is a continuing journey of learning and evolving. This
book is one of those influentual steps in the journey, taking horsemanship
to another level by truly considering the horse first.
a dialogue with horses necessitates aquiring a brand new view of things.
It means perceiving horses differently. It means being on their side.
How does what I am doing feel to my horse?
How does he feel when I'm doing it?
What could I do to make things easier for him, to make him feel better?
are some of the questions Imke answers and asks more.
"Does your horse truly have a choice?
We give them freedom of space but do we allow them the freedom to
choose to be with us, play with us or leave us?
We dream of transformation and new paths, yet our actions manifest
as dominance and control. We want to find freedom but we take it away
from our horses with every single step. To horses such actions are
incomprehensible and oppressive."
Collective consiousness is evolving to a higher level of awareness
about horses as beings that think, feel and act at a level we strive
This book empowers not only horses, but people to change and grow,
and is a must for all who seek a truly equal relationship with their
Click Here for the English version
website on Imke Spilker's Communicative Horses.
Here for an article by Imke – 'The horse Is Allowed to Say No'.
here to read more about this book in a very good review written
in Horses For Life magazine by the translator of the book from German
to English– Kristina McCormack.
Available from www.amazon.com or for
a copy already in Australia go to www.pathofthehorse.com.au
First: Barefoot Performance and Hoof Rehabilitation
by Nic Barker and Sarah Braithwaite
This is a well written and easy to understand book that is perfect
for all those learning about barefoot hoofcare, especially in relation
Written by the founders of the UK Natural Hoof Care Practitioners
who compete in eventing, hunting, endurance and showjumping, it is
based on their years of experience as trimmers and riders. The hundreds
of horses they have rehabilitated have provided the personal accounts
of issues most likely experienced by many readers too.
I like this book because of the holistic approach taken. Diet is addressed
first, then environment/work to stimulate the hoof and finally the
“Hoof problems: holistic, not simplistic
The common theme here is that hoof problems are not normally caused
by a single disease or failure. Hoof function is grounded on a good
diet which allows a hoof to grow and maintain its integrity, and an
environment that stimulates and strengthens the whole hoof. Healthy
hooves and correct biomechanical function are intrinsically linked
to each other and interdependent.”
The authors suggest that the concept
of an iceberg explains how it all relates with the top 10% being the
trim that we see, to the middle 25% being the exercise and environment,
with the bottom 65% being the diet – the part we don’t
see when we just look at the hoof.
Therefore this is not a ‘how
to trim’ book but a how to feed, exercise and understand the
hoof to achieve maximum function for performance.
It has lots of clear colour photos and diagrams, and defines what
a healthy hoof looks like and what it can achieve.
The Chapter on ‘How hooves work’ is helpful, but the most
important advice is the chapter on ‘diet and feeding for the
I would highly recommend this book
to all horse owners who care for their own horse’s hooves, and
I will be suggesting it as a reference book for the Polytechnic Equine
Hoof Care Course students.
Feet First: Barefoot Performance and
Rehabilitation is published by JA Allen and available direct from
Now available from www.naturalequipment.com.au
Horses Be Horses – the Horse Owners Guide to Ethical Training
and Management by Lesley Skipper.
Published in 2005, this 244 page hard cover book with lots of descriptive
photos is a must read.
Author, Lesley Skipper questions everything we do with horses in a
constructive way, dispelling many myths with her thorough research
and practical knowledge of horse care, breeding, training and psychology.
She argues her point with clarity and really gets you thinking about
whether your current practices with horses can be improved upon.
There is a very good section on how horses learn where she describes
the process of positive and negative reinforcement and other scientific
terminology, in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand.
My favourite sections in the book were on ‘The best start in
life’ where foal training and weaning is discussed deeply. I
found we were definitely on the same wavelength.
There is also good information on stallions, mares and geldings with
their differences in temperament, training and care are examined.
I like this book because of the way its helps you have balanced views
and indeed Lesley aims to help you keep an open mind and listen to
your inner feelings.
She reminds us to be flexible as each horse is an individual, and
to always listen to the horse for the answers.
This book allows us to find a nice balance between providing a life
as natural as possible for our domestic horses, while making allowances
for the constraints a domestic situation imposes.
It is published by J.A. Allen and I borrowed a copy from the State
Library but you can also purchase it from www.amazon.com.
Diaries by Jenny Pearce (and Bobby).
There's a saying that goes 'When you're ready
to learn the teacher appears' so I just had to investigate this book
when I saw a review in the Organic Horse magazine. This book is very
different and as Jenny says, she's been sharing her concepts of relating
to horses with other people quietly for some time now, but "It's
time to step out of the closet and share this with everyone".
I knew Jenny (pictured
below on Bobby) from way back when we attended the first Parelli International
Study Centre courses in 1996 but as we progressed with our horsemanship
away from Parelli, I saw nothing of her. We had made contact a few
years later when I called upon her healing abilites to help a young
horse with health issues, but until now, Jenny has been quietly going
about her business of helping people and horses through her totally
alternative medicine horse hospital in Tanjil South, Victoria.
with the progress she was making with Bobby, her 'difficult' thoroughbred,
Jenny almost gave up on him in frustration and anger, turning him
out to forget about him. But some time later when he was bought back
into work because Jenny had no other horse to ride, she started carrying
a notebook when she rode to write down ideas for another book she
That's when Bobby started
acting on 'thoughts' Jenny had about problems she was trying to 'fix'
and without having to do anything else but write them down, he acted
on those thoughts and fixed himself. That was the beginning of Jenny
being able to 'hear' what Bobby was trying to communicate to her,
leading to Jenny then teaching others how to listen to their horses
(and Bobby) in their workshops.
Some of you will think
this is crazy - we can't hear our horses 'talk' - but when you read
this book (and there are lots of others written about animal commnication
too), you will understand that we can 'hear' our horses and what they
have to say, if we just take the time to learn to listen.
Communication with horses
is progressing - first we learned how to 'read' them through their
body language and now that we're getting good at that, the next logical
step is to learn to hear and listen to them.
Jenny and Bobby not only teach you about this in the book, they teach
about true leadership, about how to work in both your comfort zones
and to gradually expand them, about how to stay safe and overcome
Jenny's 'no bullshit'
language makes this book enjoyable and funny to read with statements
such as "Practice makes perfect - but practicing crap only makes
perfect crap". Topics start with understanding our horse, ourselves
and how we both operate together, through to riding 'like a gifted
rider', solving all sorts of problems, horse health and inspiring
best thing about this book is its an E-Book which means you can buy
it now online (secure system) and be reading it in a few minutes time
- even with a slow dial-up connection it doesn't take long to download.
For less than $35 (including the book price, paper and ink) you can
print out the 229 pages so you can refer to it again and again easily.
This is one book you can flick open anytime and find enlightening
information so have a look at Jenny's web site where the contents
of the book are revealed www.bookswithspirit.com
or order your copy now through the Natural
Horse World Store
With the Herd - A Spiritual Journey by Liz Mitten-Ryan
one truly inspirational book full of beautiful photos and paintings
by the author.
Liz Mitten-Ryan lives a life with her horses many (and definately
me) would be envious of.
On 320 acres in the big sky country of British Columbia, Liz and her
family of people, horses, dogs and cats are surrounded by picture
These inspire Liz's art and her writing about her spiritual experiences
of communicating with her herd of well bred warmbloods.
"For me, having horses is not just about riding and training
and competition, but about the special relationship we share with
them, and the pure joy of smelling, touching, and basking in their
six years, Liz lived with her horses, breeding and raising their babies
and learning more about horsemanship by studying Parelli, Monty Roberts
and other great horseman. But she learned the most from listening
to her horses:
is what animals have to teach us: the rightness of listening to our
intuition, living in the moment, and experiencing true freedom.
We have taken a spiritually evolved creature who's life was choreographed
to dance like the wind, and crushed their spirits by our fear, our
need to control and capture. Thinking we can own their joy along with
their bodies, we try to take it from them, and we crush it in the
process. It is no longer theirs to share. They develop all the neuroses
that thrive in captivity: cribbing, weaving, kicking and biting their
captors. solitary confinement has taken its toll."
living as they would in the wild, but with the benefit of loving and
supportive humans, share their secrets through the concept of 'Equinisity'
- the gift of finding the unexpected and truly important perspective
through the clear vision of the equine.
page beautifully presented hard cover book is highly recommended as
a gift for any horse lover and is available from Liz's web site (along
with book 2 - the Truth According To Horses) at
or through www.amazon.com.
CONNECTION WITH HORSES
- By Jenny Pearce.
“Zen Connection with Horses” is a book and CD combination
with a world first method of delivery.
The book, with its powerful and emotional insights, gives all the
information in an easy 122 page read, and the audio CD supports the
person with eight simple lessons.
Just load it onto your MP3 player and you have Jenny’s calm
soothing voice taking you step by step through discovering your particular
talent for communicating with your horses mind.
…. And then step by step, how to use that communication to get
results with your horse that will blow your mind.
Jenny says “Some of the things
people have experienced with this extraordinary communication have
been practical achievements like riders dancing with their horses
in just days, or a rider becoming a better rider, or a “problem”,
even dangerous horse co-operating kindly and happily.
Others have been emotional achievements where a frightened horse or
a frightened person has found a freedom from fear.
One of my most beautiful clinic experiences was being privileged to
help a wonderful guy who was beating up on his horses discover how
to get a handle on his rage.”
In the book’s introduction Jenny
sets the scene for learning this way of communicating by telling of
her experiences as a clinician.
“I’ve come to a theory that we all come into horses because
we are yearning for the connection with this amazing creature. And
that we go hunting for that connection in all sorts of ways, from
racing them, to keeping miniatures in the back yard and everything
It’s a connection that is sooo… satisfying to your soul
when you get it. And that’s where this book comes in. It’s
a road to an amazing practical and spiritual connection with your
horse and a simple foundation that you can use wherever and however
you want - into any discipline, any sort of riding. It’s a road
to any sort of connection with The Horse, whether it’s the racehorse
you part own, the much loved pet or that horse you admire or even
yearn for down the road.”
“Zen Connection with Horses”
is available from the
Natural Horse World Store and will be released
as an E Book in the near future.
The Eyes Of The Horse by Carlos Tabernaberri
This is a little book
that's big on wisdom. Packed into its 144 pages are all of Carlos'
philosophies on horses which for me rang true - at last, someone has
written from the heart and from the horse's perspective.
At the start of the book there is a quote from Buddha about beliefs
and as I read further it seemed Carlos could be described as the Buddha
for horses. Everything he teaches is for the benefit of the horse
and ultimately the human who needs to become what they want their
horse to be. There's no truer saying than "Your horse is a reflection
of who you are".
Carlos is known worldwide for the remarkable results he achieves with
foals, starting young horses and rehabilitating abused horses. He
has been described as the gentlest horseman to touch a horse and rejects
the use of the bit. His approach uses consistent, confident and kind
leadership to develop trust, obedience and respect in the horse.
His approach doesn't require you to use a system, memorise a series
of steps or purchase a lot of expensive tools. However the book does
explain with concise analogies and colour photos how to understand
horses and how our actions and attitudes influence them.
Most importantly this book will show you how to consider your horse's
mind and spirit in all the work you do with him or her. As Carlos
says "Once you have your horse's heart and mind, his body will
Marty Schiel helped record and produce this wonderful book and says
that Carlos is driven to be a sort of 'equine advocate' working tirelessly
to help another horse, another person. "Time and again I have
witnessed the great honesty and courage with which he challenges people
to change their thinking and to give up their spurs, whips and bits."
this book go to the
Natural Horse World Store
Barefoot Basics by Peter Laidley
The back of the CD jacket says “Natural
Hoofcare…. For horse owners young or old…this is hoof
care made easy!!!
Teach your horse to enjoy hoof care.
How to trim your own horse’s hoofs, Tools, Examples, Stories,
Anatomy….and much more.”
This is the first Australian
work as far as I know on natural hoofcare and is really a reference
book on CD which allows interactive learning complete with short video
clips to demonstrate various trimming techniques.
Peter’s introduction on the CD explains his philosophy.
This series is about horses
There has been a lot written about “natural lifestyle”,
nutrition, exercise and medication for horses. Without undervaluing
these subjects I want to concentrate on understanding the normal form
and function of the horse’s foot and the process of trimming
to best maintain that form and function.
I assume that every horse was born Barefoot and make no apology for
the fact that I remove horseshoes whenever I can. It is the way I
do things and it solves a lot of problems
I do not need to pretend that I work miracles every day or that my
horses, or my clients’ horses, are particularly special other
than to me and their owners. Each horse is an individual with individual
strengths and weaknesses. Most of my clients do not have big budgets
or expensive horses, rather many of them have companions and friends
that they just want to keep as healthy as possible.
We have seen remarkable improvements in health and performance when
we changed these animals from either being shod, or unshod but neglected,
to being high performance “Barefoot”. Conditions which
defied healing with expensive therapeutic shoeing responded better
to economical care. Muscle pain which kept re-occurring when the horse
was shod now responded to the massage or chiropractic treatment.
And my greatest reward has been to see young (and some not so young)
owners learn to communicate with, and care for, their own horses.
Although I have tried to put as much practical instruction into this
material as I can, there is no substitute for “hands on”
training, with an instructor or a more experienced friend. Each specific
horse, and hoof, has its own challenges and rewards so having a friend
or group of friends to talk to about your progress can be a great
you have any interest at all in Natural Hoof care, then I highly recommend
this CD as a fantastic reference and a great starting point. It is
the Natural Horse World Store or you can order
it direct from Peter’s website… www.hoofworksaustralia.com
Natural Horse by Audrey Townley
Although this book was
first published in 1993, it still has tons of relevent information
which must have been quite a new approach back then.
Ausdrey Townley is a Fellow
of the British Horse Society and has taught riding as well as competed
in all areas of the sport. She is also author of Natural Riding published
The Natural Horse puts
the relationship between human and horse back in perspective and explains
how you can get the most out of this unique partnership. Its written
in a clear, readable style and is a practical guide for all those
wishing to develop a deeper awareness of the horse's psyche. The book
describes techniques for improving communication and enhancing performance,
offers practical advice on solving problems and has over 130 photos
Audrey Townley has a particular
empathy for the horse that is demonstrated in her thoughts on competition
"If we can explore
our motives in wanting to win, we can achieve fulfilling success while
enjoying the process instead of being a slave to it, and so avoid
exploiting the horse in our drive to succeed. Whatever choice you
make in your quest for pleasurable riding, do remember that the horse
should share the enjoyment".
Her philosophy on how
to pass on your newly aquired knowledge without offending people is
evident with this quote - "There are still black spots in horse
welfare, but those that seek to know more, cast a ray of light on
the horse's lot by setting a good example to others."
And finally, Audrey quotes
Richard Bach when relating stories about difficult horses who have
taught her more about relationships than anything else:
"There is no such
thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.
You seek problems because you need their gifts."
FOLLOW CLOSELY – Native American Horsemanship by GaWaNi Pony
Boy & photos by Gabrielle Boiselle.
GaWaNi Pony Boy is mixed
blood native American and after attending college, spent 3 years travelling
the US with a Native American drum group performing on weekends at
various universities, cultural events and pow wows. During these on
the road years he was able to compile the ideas, methods and techniques
contained in this book. By seeking the advice and council of tribal
elders from many different nations and backgrounds, he was better
able to understand the beliefs and methods used by the nation’s
first great horsemen.
By weaving the ‘old ways’ with his own already successful
training methods, Pony has developed ‘Relationship Training’
. When not writing, he can be found presenting clinics and seminars
throughout the world in an effort to help people get more enjoyment
from the companionship of the horse, and on a deeper level, to help
people have a better understanding of our relationship with all things.
Horse and rider are one. Theirs is a relationship of trust, harmony
and respect born of a way of life that is all but lost. In this magnificent
book, GaWaNi Pony Boy illustrates the traditional training methods
that are steeped in the common sense and age old wisdom of his ancestors.
The stunning full colour photos and simple eloquence takes us back
to the days when horse training was not merely about getting results
but about creating a bond for life.
An inspiration ofr riders and a feast for horse and native American
enthusiasts, Horse, Follow Closely forges a relationship with readers
that few books can ever hope to achieve.
GRASS CD'S - by Kathryn Watts.
Forage and Pasture
management for Laminitic Horses
and Dietary management of the Carbohydrate Intolerant Horse
Kathryn Watts has over
25 years experience in agricultural research and her web site has
helped many people understand how to better manage horses and ponies
prone to grass founder.
For those of us who want
to know all the facts, so we can make better decisions in the day
to day management of our horses, this CD set has valuable information
in the 2 + hours of presentation which featured at the recent Laminitis
Forum held in Kentucky, USA.
has discovered that excess non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) may
exaccerbate laminitis along with EPSM, colic, tying up and developmental
The NSC content of grasses
and hay may range from 1-35% which is a huge range when you discover
that most horses can only tolerate around 10% NSC.
Understanding the factors that affect the carbohydrate content of
forage is vital to successfully manage horses with these conditions.
Although some of the information
is available on Kathryn’s web site www.safergrass.org , the
point form presentation style and verbal explanation on the CD’s
make it easier to understand and refer to.
This information is relevant
to all horse owners as all horses are prone to laminitis or serious
cases of founder.
These CD’s contain important information that will enable you
to manage your horses so that laminitis and founder is avoided or
minimised. It will even help you grow and harvest better hay for horses
which have needs quite different from that grown for cattle.
The CD’s are available
from the Natural
Horse World Store
Proceeds from their sale go towards further research into grasses
suitable for horses.
THE HORSE NUTRITION
BIBLE – By Ruth Bishop
The comprehensive Guide to The Correct Feeding
of Your Horse
Everyone has questions about the type
and quantity of feed to provide for their own particular horse. In
this book, Ruth Bishop, Horse & Hound columnist and Spillers Horse
Feeds nutritionist, explores all the options and offers down-to-earth
advice on what to feed.
This is one of the easiest to understand reference books on feed that
I’ve come across and is essential reading for all horse owners.
In the introduction the author refers to the phrase “No Hoof,
no Horse” which clearly indicates that if you don’t look
after the feet, you have an unusable horse, and laments that there
isn’t a similar phrase for feeding. But I would like to point
out that the two are already linked closely as in recent years we
have become more aware of how feed can affect the horse’s feet.
Most feed books don’t have enough information on grass, which
is the staple diet for most horses in Australia especially, so its
nice to see over a dozen pages devoted to the feeding of grass and
hay with some useful tables to gauge how much of these a horse should
be given at different times of the year.
Another important aspect covered is the care of teeth and how you
feed affecting their health which in turn affects the whole horse’s
Not only is the whole spectrum of horse feeds looked at individually,
from forages to mixes, to supplements and even treats, there is a
chapter on Feeding Principles to help you make the right choices.
Other chapters address feeding to specific requirements such as the
older horse, the breeding horse, the orphaned foal, to put on or lose
weight. Then Diet related ailments are covered with good basic info
on colic, laminitis, ulcers, allergies, choke and even behaviours.
Feeding Myths address sugar in a horse’s diet, Feeding bran
and performance boosters while the last chapter helps us understand
in lay-mans terms the nutrition fundamentals of water, energy, carbohydrates,
oils and fats, minerals and vitamins.
In All, this is a wonderful, easy to understand book on feeding, recently
published in 2003 and 2005 for the paperback edition and is published
by David & Charles in the UK and available from www.amazon.com
for approx. $25.
sure about E-Books?
E Books are essentially
books available online or on a CD in PDF format ready to print. They
bring the cost of the book down considerably as you’re not paying
for expensive printing, binding and distribution.
They allow you to read your book on the computer, on a book reading
device such as a ‘Kindle’ (see www.amazon.com) or to print
it out and have it spiral bound.
I’ve found the easiest and cheapest solution to printing it
(much easier to read and refer back to) is to print double sided (saves
paper) and then laminate the front and back covers and spiral bind
it at the local post office, print shop or library.
This usually costs about $10 all up in paper, ink and binding and
still results in a very presentable readable A4 book.
Some E-Books are also
available through the Print On Demand (POD) process and this gives
you a professional looking book at a similar price to regular printed
books. The only difference is each book is digitally printed as it’s
ordered which has to be better for the planet in terms of less waste
from large print runs that may not all sell.
– an insight into Equine Behaviour by Andy Beck. E-Book.
If you wanted just one
book on horse behaviour this is the one!
But it doesn’t just cover behaviour as such – it goes
into how our choices regarding the way horses are kept, fed and ridden,
affects their behaviour.
Andy raises many questions and while showing how he feels horses prefer
to interact with humans and each other, he leaves it up to the reader
to decide which way is best for them.
All the information is provided for you to make good choices for whatever
you want to do with your horses and how best to keep them physically,
mentally and emotionally healthy.
Andy relates his discoveries of herd behaviour over a 15 year period
of studying two herds, a foundation group, and their progeny, in a
relatively natural environment in New Zealand so this book will be
of particular interest to the breeder.
I found it invaluable in understanding how horses live, behave with
each other and how their social structure works within a herd. Knowing
things like how a horse has its own personal space and who it allows
into that space for what periods of time can be valuable in our interactions
This wonderful E-Book has many photos and diagrams to illustrate everything
from environment, safe fencing, treeless saddles, bitless bridles,
body language and herd interactions. It has a comprehensive bibliography
at the end of each chapter and is filled with interesting insights
so we can truly get to know the horse as a unique species.
The contents list below gives you an idea of the wealth of information
contained in the 200 plus pages of this E-book that comes so highly
recommended by me that I’m selling it through my web shop for
Domestication and Tameness
Foundations of psychology and behaviour
The Equine family
The bachelor group – making of a stallion
Behaviour and enclosure management
Body Language – Kinesics and Proxemics
Training and the psychology of learning
The tack we fit; gadgets and gimmicks or the paraphernalia of servitude?
Welfare, Ethics and Rights, Work and the 5 Freedoms.
To read some articles
related to the book go to www.horse-behaviour.com
or to purchase go to the
Natural Horse World Store
Soul of a Horse'
- Joe Camp
Review by Ysabelle Dean
I have read a number of books that seek to explain and satisfy the
human yen to connect physically, emotionally and even spiritually
with the horse. And yet The Soul of a Horse is the only one I’ve
come across that speaks with a totally resounding note of truth. Coincidentally
(or not?) it’s also the only one I’ve read that is written
with the unflinching insight that a deep and satisfying connection
with another individual – human or otherwise – requires
us to set aside our own aspirations, expectations and needs in order
to clearly understand those of the other.
The horse has largely
lost its traditional place in human affairs as the ubiquitous beast
of burden. But we still tend to value these generous and beautiful
animals mainly for what they can do for us, whether it’s feeding
our egos through winning ribbons or races, or providing therapeutic
release from the stresses and strains of life.
The Soul of a Horse examines
the biological, physiological and emotional needs of the modern domestic
horse and how successfully these are met by widely used and accepted
methods of husbandry, handling and training. A delightful blend of
autobiography, critical analysis and storytelling, this book engages
the reader intellectually and emotionally from start to finish. Joe
Camp presents his ‘life lessons from the herd’ with the
same humble, gentle yet persuasive persistence we admire in the very
best horse trainers.
A heart warmingly affirmative
read for the barefoot horse owner, this book is also a ‘must
read’ for any person who has ever owned and loved a horse.
can read more of Joe Camp's writings on his web site. He has an informative
newsletter and lots of great info on natural horse keeping including
some new info on natural worming so
check it out here.
HORSE SYSTEMS GO – Nancy S. Loving
In this full-colour comprehensive volume, Dr Nancy S. Loving, noted
equine veterinarian and dressage, event and distance rider, addresses
the challenges of keeping the working horse ‘working’.
Dr Loving provides a thorough understanding of the intricacies of
the equine body as well as a ready reference for solving common problems
and handling emergencies.
Never again will you lack concise guidance on what can go wrong, what
to do when it does, and when to call in professional assistance.
This is not just another veterinary manual, however. While diseases
are clearly explained, and relevant diagnostic tools and methods of
prevention and treatment are offered, Dr. Loving sets her book apart
by describing valuable methods of conditioning the various systems
of the horse, from strengthening hoof and bone and developing muscle,
to maintaining cardiovascular and respiratory health, including health
concerns related to transport stress and competition.
You are introduced to the horse’s complicated digestive system
and its common problems as related to poor dentition, improper feed
and supplementation, parasite infestation, and psychological stress.
Along with a thorough review of nutritional requirements there is
guidance in worming and vaccination programs, and controlling sources
of equine anxiety.
Over 600 pages, 500 colour photos and 4,000 index entries enrich this
All Horse Systems Go is integral to ensuring the horse can perform
to the very best of his ability, whether the task is as simple as
carrying you on a ride with friends or performing at the highest levels
This is a 5 star Veterinary book, first published in 2006 and highly
recommended to all horse owners as a concise veterinary reference
This book and most of the others reviewed here are available
AND HEALING – by Pam Brownlie
This spiral bound glossy full colour book is
a wonderful field guide and reference for anyone wanting to treat
horse health problems naturally.
It presents easy to use procedures for treating horses by using herbal
remedies, L.E.D. Therapy or Acupressure and includes clear charts
for the relevant acupuncture points to treat five main areas.
These being First aid, the Immune System, the Respiratory System,
Arthritis and Soreness.
This handy guide also details several case histories and has a good
reference section for further more detailed reading.
Definitely a book to keep in your first aid kit that is easy to work
from in the field.
It is available online from www.naturalequipment.com
Straight From The Horse's
Mouth by Amelia Kincade
This book is an in depth
look at communicating with animals by using and developing our natural
ability to use intuition. The stories of Amelia's own experiences
are intriguing and she details some wonderful meditational exercises
to help us get in touch with and listen to our pets, including our
How many times have you said to your horse "If only you could
tell me what's wrong?"
Well, here is a book that will lead you to the answers if you're willing
to practice and to trust your intuition.
However, I feel the most valuable piece of information in this book
is learning that animals can tune into our thoughts and will act accordingly.
True unity with horses happens when we think something and our horse
does it without us physically having to cue him/her. Many top horsemen
experience this feeling of being incredibly in tune with their horse...
it feels so good to just thik stop and your horse is sliding before
you even lift the rein, or you think "I'll canter when we reach
that marker and your horse does it before you even lift your energy.
Unfortunately this can happen in a negative way too and cause problems
to occur, such as when a rider fearful of cantering thinks "I
hope he doesn't buck" and the horse only hears the word 'buck'
so obliges. If we can think of positive outcomes, it will not only
boost our confidence but your horse will also really understand what
In this example, if the rider thinks 'Lets have a nice flowing, easy
going canter' they are more likely to get exactly that from the horse.
So... next time you pull
your horse up for anticipating.... watch your thoughts!!
a Horse the Natural Way by Jo Bird
As its title suggests this is a new
book on the market, making the most of the interest and awareness
which currently prevails in keeping horses more naturally.
When I first picked this book up and flicked through it I was impressed
by the number of quality photos and diagrams on almost every page
helping to convey a clear and thoughtful message.
With a forward by Pat Parelli and a section from his Partnership System
I was immediately attracted to read it from cover to cover.
It is a book packed with so much good, sound advise I wish it could
come with every horse sold like the manual your car has.
Not only does it deal with equine inter-relationships, it covers your
relationship with the horse and other horse care subjects such as
Stabling from the horse’s point of view, Field and grazing requirements,
Nutrition the natural way, Healing and Natural Remedies, Tack, bits
and gadgets and Caring for your horse throughout its life.
Although it is written with a Northern hemisphere slant, there is
still a huge amount of relevance for our Australian conditions. It’s
200 pages encased in a hard cover, are packed full of advise on just
about every aspect of having horses.
While an invaluable reference for the new horse owner, there is still
plenty of important information for experienced horse owners, particularly
those interested in a more natural approach.
The author does a great job of backing up her explanations with sound
reasoning – very much common horse sense really.
Her philosophy of horse care is simply “Think about it from
the horse’s point of view” and this shines through her
message with many references to horse psychology and how a horse would
think or react to certain situations.
She has also cleverly selected photos to show situations as most people
would know from the everyday horse world – the book is not so
naturally radical that it would put off further investigation by traditional
Priced at $59.95 (2003), it falls into the valuable reference category
and that’s exactly what this book is. The many diagrams, charts
and amount of scientific information make it well worth the money.
This book is published by Barrons Eduactional Series and Interpet
in 2002 and is Highly recommended.
Never Lie - The Heart of Passive Leadership by Mark Rashid
Building on the concept of his previous books
- Considering the Horse and A Good Horse is Never a Bad Colour, Rashid
clearly defines the difference between alpha and passive leaders.
He explains how to become a passive leader (leading by example rather
than force) and illustrates with compelling stories how horses change
from being indifferent or unwilling participants to becoming enthusiastic
partners with their owners.
As he did in his other books, Rashid writes about his experiences
with real horses, always featuring his sense of humour and overriding
compassion for the horse. His instructive anecdotes reach back to
when he was a youngster under the mentorship of "the old man",
and continue to his experiences today as a horse trainer and a popular
clinician who has travelled the world to teach his remarkably effective
methods of natural horsemanship.
This book talks a lot about developing a 'feel' for the horse and
the essence of this is summed up in a letter written to Rashid by
one of his students…Here is an excerpt from that letter;
" Overall, I feel like I'm just trying to rediscover the connections
I had with horses when I was a kid and I rode by the seat of my pants
and didn't 'know' anything."
"I think I was riding with my heart and not my head back then.
I was basing pretty much everything on feel because that’s all
I had. If I got too cocky, my horse would 'remind' me to pay attention
to the feel. Somehow I lost touch with that."
"I have always had a habit of discounting my accomplishments
or losing sight of them completely. Instead, I tend to put all the
emphasis on the things yet to be learned or the 'problems'. That puts
a lot of pressure on me and my horse. Its awful to fall into the role
of nitpicking and nagging the horse, slipping into the 'problem solving'
mode - looking for the mistakes, so I could set out working on fixing
"I now know I could have done a better job of acknowledging all
the great things my horse and I were doing and spent less time focusing
on what we weren't doing or what I thought we needed to do better.
I'm not saying that I think goals are bad. They can give direction
and purpose. But the problem I see with being too goal oriented is
that it can be awfully easy to lose sight of the moment, to become
so focused on the destination that you miss the journey."
This book is available through the internet - www.markrashid.com
Sound Hoof - Horse Health from the Ground Up by Lisa Simons Lancaster
This is the ideal introductory
book into the world of natural hoof care. It offers a road map for
the responsible horse owner and a prescription to finding a new level
of enjoyment with your horse through its hooves. Lisa's 21st century
holisitic hoof care philosophy is not only backed up by credible research,
it is based on the often over-looked but all-important principle that
every horse is different, no two owners are alike, and that what works
in one barn may not work in the one next door.
Rather than endorsing
any single method for achieving soundness, this book has presented
principles to help you assess and choose from a variety of trimming
and shoeing methods, and gives you new tools for understanding your
horse's feet and taking charge of hoof care.
While its not a complete
'How to' book - it does cover all aspects of 'Why to' ... understand
that hoof care is an essential part of good horsemanship.
With lots of good quality
photos and diagrams, it is easy to read and understand, giving you
all the knowledge you will need to improve your horse's health....
from the ground up.
CAN TRAIN YOUR HORSE TO DO ANYTHING – On Target Training: Clicker
training and beyond by Shawna and Vinton Karrasch.
Everyone involved with
horses wants them to consistently behave well, and perform to the
best of their ability. But as is all too well known, many horses do
not cooperate, and this is because they are not motivated to do so.
Shawna and Vinton Karrasch are co-founders of the On Target Training
program – a revolutionary method that combines the basics of
‘clicker training’ widely used on marine mammals –
killer whales, dolphins, and sea lions – as well as dogs, with
another reward reinforcement program known as ‘target training’.
Shawna trained marine mammals at Seaworld in San Diego, California,
before joining up with Vinton who had years of experience riding grand-prix
show jumpers. Together they have developed this highly successful
system of training horses.
Clicker training initially motivates a horse to perform correctly,
because the handler rewards him every single time he does what is
required. Later the horse comes to associate the sound of the clicker
with an up-coming reward, so a rider can tell the horse that he has
performed correctly without having to stop and give a pat or a treat.
This frees the rider to continue the movement he is performing while
communicating to the horse that he is doing it right.
Target training takes reinforcement of correct behaviour to a stage
further. The ‘target’ is a tool – either fixed to
a stationary object such as a fence or held in a trainers hand –
that the horse learns to focus on completely.
Because the horse is motivated to perform well to gain his reward,
he can be trained to happily follow the person holding the target.
The On Target Training method is easy for both horse and trainer to
learn. There are dozens of practical applications covering every area
of horsemanship, from stabling and handling issues to groundwork,
and on to riding. And, just for fun, the Karrash’s show how
to teach horses entertaining ‘tricks’ such as ‘bowing’
to an audience, spinning, and smiling.
A good attitude is paramount for progress, safety and results. Using
this system horses are happy to interact with their riders and handlers,
the learning process accelerates, and there is less frustration involved.
This 200 page book with lots of quality colour photographs is an easy
read and explains everything you need to know about enhancing your
horse’s education in a very positive way. It motivates the reader
to want to get out and try it – just to see if it works….
and it does.
By using positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training,
we can bring out our horse’s heart and desire which is often
suppressed by the removal reinforcement or negative reinforcement
we use to communicate with.
There is an accompanying video also available and you can find out
more by visiting www.on-target-training.com
to Book & Video List