Natural Horsemanship Explained: From Heart to Hands

Overview

“Dr. Miller is a trailblazer, an innovator, way ahead of the bell curve in seeing how important behavior modification is in working with horses. He never forgets about veterinary science but also taps into the soul. This book is a wonderful opportunity for the lay reader to understand his way of thinking.”—Martin Becker, D.V.M. resident vet on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America “[Dr. Miller’s] photos of the hands of these men are amazing. It seems to me this must go beyond mere grace . . . The photos show these horsemen have no wish to get a klutzy
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Overview

“Dr. Miller is a trailblazer, an innovator, way ahead of the bell curve in seeing how important behavior modification is in working with horses. He never forgets about veterinary science but also taps into the soul. This book is a wonderful opportunity for the lay reader to understand his way of thinking.”—Martin Becker, D.V.M. resident vet on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America “[Dr. Miller’s] photos of the hands of these men are amazing. It seems to me this must go beyond mere grace . . . The photos show these horsemen have no wish to get a klutzy grip on reins, but rather signal the horse that they want to communicate rather than dominate. Astonishing.”—Hugh Downs Television broadcaster, former host of ABC-TV’s 20-20 “The term ‘Natural Horsemanship’ has taken on numerous meanings in recent years; some positive, some negative, and some just plain wrong. In this book, Dr. Miller provides a unique perspective to the movement that has fundamentally changed the way humans interact with horses, not only in this country, but around the world. Along the way, he exposes myths, explains truths, and clears up mounds of misinformation about equine behavior. Regardless of your experience or degree of horse knowledge, I believe you’ll find this an enlightening read.”—Darrell Dodds Publisher, Western Horseman
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I first observed Dr. Miller in Texas in the early 80’s while I was a veterinary student. He would travel the country, giving demonstrations of “tube worming” (passing a long plastic tube through a horse’s nose into the stomach) in less than cooperative horses. He would take any horse presented to him, rearing, striking, and/or biting, and patiently and methodically demonstrate the procedure using desensitization and counter-conditioning. That was in the days before Karen Parelli Hagen coined the term “natural horsemanship” and during a time when instruction of equine behavior was lacking, or only minimally covered in veterinary curricula. Dr. Miller has been a life-long student of animal (and human) behavior, and his passion for horses is palpable. Natural Horsemanship Explained is an easy and entertaining read that elucidates the behavioral science behind the effective training methods popular today. With his keen sense of observation, decades of experience riding and working with horses in his veterinary practice, his wonderful sense of humor, and his obsession with understanding how horses behave, Dr. Miller’s book will be a useful addition to the library of anyone who is a horse lover, professional or student, working to improve their skills at reading behavior, communicating, riding or simply enjoying horses. --Sharon J. Spier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIMProfessor, School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of California, Davis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599212340
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Miller, D.V.M., is the veterinary guru of the natural horsemanship movement whom every natural horsemanship trainer and commentator respects and admires. He is a distinguished equine veterinarian and the author of several books, including the Lyons Press book The Revolution in Horsemanship and What It Means to Mankind as well as the highly-acclaimed Imprint Training of the Newborn Foal and Most of My Patients Are Animals. He has produced several videos on imprint training of foals, and lectures widely on the subject.
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Table of Contents

Chapters include:The Mind/Feet ConnectionThe Key to LeadershipHorses Are Not Afriad of PredatorsToolsDesensitizationUnderstanding ReinvorcementFeelEarly LearningWhisperingThe Myth of Native HorsemanshipHorses Are CopycatsChimpanzeesBigotry in the World of HorsesThe Working HorseThe WarhorseThe Last WarhorseWhat Do Horses Mean to Us
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Recipe


Like other revolutionary explanations of behavior, “Natural Horsemanship”—the training approach that creates a bond by understanding and using a horse’s natural instincts—has its adherents and its skeptics.

 

In his earlier book, The Revolution in Horsemanship, Robert M. Miller, D.V.M., traced the rise of Natural Horsemanship. Now he addresses the reasons why and how the method is so successful, so that horsemen of all levels of experience can use it to fullest advantage.

 

Drawing examples from years of observation and experimentation with a variety of animal species, the author shares the reasons why certain behaviors cause fear in horses. He then goes on to prove how
conditioning, desensitization, rewards, and timing will help horses overcome such instincts — and on the animals’ own terms.

 

Helping to make the case for this positive approach are many examples from Dr. Miller’s long and varied career as horseman and veterinarian, as well as from the experiences of Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Monte Roberts, John Lyons, and other noted Natural Horsemanship clinicians.

 

Especially enlightening are the author’s views on the foal imprinting techniques that he developed, as well as how enhancing the human-equine bond helps horses of all ages and disciplines. As an example, Dr. Miller offers a fascinating account of the training methods of police horses, by which they learn how to cope with crowds, explosions, and other “natural enemies” through the principles of Natural Horsemanship.

 

Natural Horsemanship Explained willconvince even the most skeptical horseman of the indisputable value of this philosophy and practice. There is no one who can better make the case for strengthening the bond between us and our horses than the movement’s veterinary guru, whom generations of trainers, commentators, owners, and riders have come to respect and admire.

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