Equus Lost?: How We Misunderstand the Nature of the Horse-Human Relationship--Plus Brave New Ideas for the Future

Equus Lost?: How We Misunderstand the Nature of the Horse-Human Relationship--Plus Brave New Ideas for the Future


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Equus Lost?: How We Misunderstand the Nature of the Horse-Human Relationship--Plus Brave New Ideas for the Future by Francesco De Giorgio, Jose De Giorgio-Schoorl

In the 1980s, the world of riding, training, and competing with horses took a major turn with the spread of natural horsemanship , which at its most basic foundation rejects the use of abusive techniques and relies on methods derived from understanding the dynamics of free-roaming horse herds. Since then, equestrians across disciplines have incorporated elements of natural horsemanship into their work. But despite what was certainly an advancement in human-equine interaction that has improved the lives of many horses, Italian animal behaviorists Francesco de Giorgio and José de Giorgio-Schoorl dare to now ask, What if much of what we think we know about horses is, in fact, wrong? What if the premise of herd hierarchy is a myth? What if “conditioning” the horse’s behavior in the ways we’ve grown accustomed is undercutting his potential for development? What if there is another—better—level of partnership to which we can aspire? Their provocative book takes us into a dimension where we shed our assumptions of leadership, dominance, and control, convincingly showing a way forward that acknowledges that a horse, when allowed, is driven by his own inner motivation to explore and understand the world around him, including his relationship with humans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570767982
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

He is the founder, developer, and facilitator at Learning Animals, a study center for ethology and zooanthropology, where he focuses principally on the study of animal-human interaction, ethics, animal personal growth, and rehabilitation. Much sought-after as both a speaker and lecturer, Francesco presents regularly on the topic of cognitive ethology in the animal-human relationship.

Francesco's partner in both life and work, Dutch-born De Giorgio-Schoorl personifies the bridge between equine perception and human understanding. She is a renowned proponent of the zooanthropological approach. She has presented to conferences and symposia throughout Europe.

Table of Contents

Note to the Reader vi

Introduction 7

Part I The Invisible Horse 7

1 What Is Cognition? 8

2 Cognition Comes Naturally 14

3 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies 27

4 Time for a Change 33

Part II A Life without Tension 45

5 The Affiliative Herd 46

6 The Myth of Equine Hierarchy 50

7 Cognitive Inside 56

8 The Mental Cage of Conditioning 64

Part III Growing Together 85

9 Finding Ground for Dialogue 86

10 Applied Zooanthropology: Learning Together 91

11 From Performance Back to Relationship 101

12 Co-Learning: Developing the Future 110

13 Beyond Horizons 120

About the Authors and Learning Animals | Institute for Zooanthropology 133

Abstracts from International Scientific and Cultural Conferences 135

Selected Bibliography and Further Reading 143

Index 147

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