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Under one title, Craig Cameron brings together a thorough look at horses and their nature and good, solid horsemanship skills that suit both novice and experienced riders. The book is divided into sections, each dealing with a different aspect of horsemanship. The first delves into the psychological and physical realities of horses as a species and how man can best understand them to develop a positive, partnering relationship with them. Other sections cover groundwork, including early handling, round-pen exercises, and riding techniques that enable the horse to perform basic as well as intricate maneuvers. Each chapter includes interesting sidebars that complement the main text. Sidebars include "True Story," an anecdote or story that relates to the chapter's subject matter; "Here's How," a tip that pertains to the chapter's focus, and "A Better Way," a troubleshooting section that offers a step-by-step exercise people can do to work the horse through a problem noted in the chapter.
Taken from the chapter title "Reading the Horse."
Horses' bodies are very expressive; they telegraph every emotion and thought a horse has. By being able to decipher these "expressions," and knowing what they are in the first place, you'll be able to tell what's on your horse's mind. You'll know what he's thinking, feeling and even what he's going to do next. Horses never do something without first preparing to do it. If you know what the "signs" mean, you'll be able to prepare for your horse's actions.
How a horse holds his body says a lot about what's going through his mind at the time. When he stands statuesque, stiff with his head up, he's on guard; he's alert to something in his environment. His natural instincts tell him to pay attention to potential danger. If he perceives trouble, his feet will start moving and he'll be out of there. His first reaction is to run; but if he can't leave, he'll bite or kick to defend himself.
When he drops or lowers his head, he's turned loose physically, mentally and emotionally. He's comfortable with his surroundings and sees no danger. Usually, at the same time he drops his head, he'll wiggle his ears and lick his lips - all signs of relaxation. A horse that's not nervous or unsure usually puts his head down in a relaxed position. Look at horses in the pasture. Ninety percent of them have their heads down to graze. This is a natural position of them and means they're content and happy with their world.
Part 1. Nature of the Horse: Understanding the Horse's Instincts, The Herd of Two, Reading the Horse, Mechanics of the Horse, Taking Your Time, Defining Horsemanship, Equipment: Tools of the Horseman's Trade; Part 2. Working With the Horse: Early Handling/Imprinting, Groundwork, The First Ride, Beyond the Round Pen, Flexibility, Collection, Trailer Loading; Part 3. Achieving the Man-Horse Balance: Advanced Leading, Putting Handle on the Horse, The 12 Exercises, The Great Trouble-Shooting Chart
Posted October 2, 2007
I am orginally from England and have ridden English style for 20 yrs now so to go to another style with basically a different language is sometimes difficult. This book has opened my eyes and has been very enjoyable and educational to read. I am starting to put into practice some of the lessons included. Thanks
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Posted July 18, 2011
I'm an experienced rider, but Craig explains aspects of horsemanship that I had to learn the hard way. I like to know why a technique works. I can refer to Craig's book after each experience and it makes sense. I've avoided problems I certainly would have had to solve without his advice. I was disappointed with the binding though. The first time I opened it the spine came apart and it lost about one-fourth of the pages. (No I didn't bend it too far) The information in the book is too valuable to waste time in a return so I drilled holes in it and put it in a binder. This is a valuable resource for riders.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.