True Horsemanship through Feel / Edition 2

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Expert horseman Bill Dorrance chose the name True Horsemanship Through Feel because “feel” is the language of horses. Learning that language can expand any horseman's knowledge and abilities—whether he or she is learning to ride, train, or compete. In a writing style that is generously detailed and packed with meaning, Dorrance directs the reader’s attention to the many subtle things about how horses and humans act and interact. In these pages, he urges us to reach toward a deeper level of insight into horses and their riders, as he shares a wealth of helpful information. With hundreds of illustrations, True Horsemanship Through Feel takes the reader step by step through the basic challenges that have characterized horse-human relations for centuries. Drawing on his years of experience, Bill Dorrance has crafted a book that imparts knowledge previously available only by word of mouth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“If you take away everything that Bill is known for—his roping, the rawhide work, his horsemanship, all of it—what you find you have underneath is a really fine human being.” 
—Buck Brannaman, author of The Faraway Horses and Believe

“Bill Dorrance has a long lifetime’s knowledge of horses and how they work, and his insights are unshakably his own, because he’s lived them. For Leslie Desmond to have captured the style and substance of this remarkable man so faithfully, in such a beautifully produced book, seems hardly less than miraculous.”
—William Steinkraus, Olympic Champion in Show Jumping (1968)
and Chairman Emeritus, U.S. Equestrian Team

“Everyone from dressage competitor to team roper to trail rider can find something of benefit when he opens the book to learn True Horsemanship Through Feel. How fortunate for the industry that Leslie Desmond has documented the master’s techniques.”
—Western Horseman Magazine

“[True Horsemanship Through Feel] is pure Bill, full of stories and explanations [while he] gently presents the reader with this way of working with a horse. It is a gracious and generous gift of his experience of a lifetime.”
—Kathy Peth, Foundation Quarter Horse Journal

“Bill’s straightforward and logical approach to horsemanship was unmatched. His methods were inspirational and enlightening . . . his encouragement to find a deeper level of insight into our horses and ourselves was, and still is, very refreshing. Bill and his ways will live on in this wonderful book.”
—Randi Peters, Natural Horse Magazine

Kathy Peth
The book is weighty in size and import, and is done with care and eye for perfection. The introduction is by Buck Brannaman and the cover is by western artist William Matthews. It has classic written all over it....The immediate success of the book has been a great satisfaction for the authors, especially since it was difficult to get the time of day from a mainstream publisher. Calling the lack of interest pitiful, Leslie borrowed the money from good friends and published the book herself. The book is pure Bill, full of stories and explanations (while he) gently presents(s) the reader with this way of working with a horse. It is a gracious and generous gift of his experience of a lifetime.
Foundation Quarter Horse Journal
Nick Evans
Bill and Leslie have written a most extraordinary book! This is the book horse lovers all over the world have been waiting for. It's the book they should have.
Author of The Horse Whisper
Western Horseman Magazine
Bill Dorrance has long been considered a master horseman. So long, in fact, that his enduring approach crosses all the lines among riding disciplines and events. Everyone from dressage competitor to team roper to trail rider can find something of benefit when he opens the book to learn True Horsemanship Through Feel. How fortunate for the industry that Leslie Desmond has documented the master's techniques.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599210568
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 153,957
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Dorrance (1906–1996) was a legendary livestock rancher and horseman.

Leslie Desmond is an international horsemanship coach. She lives in Germany.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements iv
Authors' Notes v
Introduction xi
Chapter 1 Bill Talks About How Important Feel Is to the Horse 1
Chapter 2 Learning How to Feel, and Relearning to Learn 15
Chapter 3 How I Got Feel Working for Me and My Horses 37
Chapter 4 How to Get Feel Working for You 57
Part 1 Teaching the Horse to Adjust His Head Position 79
Part 2 Teaching the Horse to Lead Up Real Free 95
Part 3 Backing and Leading Up One Step at a Time 115
Part 4 Teaching the Horse to Stand, and Other Important Things 141
Part 5 Stepping the Hindquarters Over 171
Part 6 Stepping the Front End Around 189
Part 7 Changing Directions, Through Feel 203
Chapter 5 Feeling of the Feet in the Different Gaits 223
Chapter 6 Trailer Loading 249
Chapter 7 Knots that are Needed for Tying Your Equipment 265
Chapter 8 Some Questions and Bill's Answers 275
Chapter 9 Meanings 297
Afterthoughts 367
Index 377
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