you watched the level 1 and level 2 Parelli natural horsemanship
videos, you were probably wondering where all the meat was. That isn't
to say the videos were lacking for good information, but too much time
was spent listening to lectures given in a classroom by some
educational consultant they partner with and not enough time was spent
with horses. The new videos are probably better, but if you wanted the
level 1 & 2 you know what I'm talking about.
If you asked
"where's the beef" with Parelli materials when you watched those videos
then you don't have to look any further than Pat Parelli's Natural
Horsemanship book. This book is as fine a compliation of horse training
wisdom as I've ever seen.
The version I read was published in
1992, I believe, but the entire philosophy and information about
Parelli's system was all there. The book starts out talking about
principles of natural horsemanship and recognizing that you're a
predator and a horse is a prey animal. Its all very insightful and
nothing but Pat Parelli talking to you all the time-something I was
longing to see in those videos.
If you went to any Parelli
clinics or got caught up in the level X certification and all that, you
probably spent oodles of time doing groundwork. Not so for this book.
While groundwork is definitely covered in depth, Pat spends a lot of
time talking about actually riding your horse. Personally I think
everything you would ever want to get out of Parelli is in this book.
Its very detailed and has way more information than their videos. I
highly recommend it.
Here's a nice review I pulled off Amazon.com
which concurs with my recommendation. There are a few folks that are
against the book but I'm not sure what they've been smoking. One lady
says "save your money" on the book and get the videos. Well the videos
would cost you several hundred dollars, and the book is twelve bucks.
You make the call. If you can't afford to drop $500 for the videos, the
book sounds like a good substitute because its packed with a large
share of everything you need to know. If you can afford to buy the
videos, well spring another $12 to read Pat Parelli himself in addition
to watching the videos. Anyway here is that other review:
Parelli's work is an excellent reference guide for equine enthusiasts
at any stage of riding. While his writing style bears the signs of a
real show-man, beyond the self-hype lie important ideas and techniques
which have, repeatedly, proven exceedingly beneficial for all types of
horse-people. He carefully (albeit often somewhat pompously) describes
his programme, which consists first of ground-work and then of
exercises to be performed in saddle. His very noble goal is to help
humans to develop a subtle, understanding relationship with their
Having read (and re-read) Parelli's work
countless times in the past few months and having consistently applied
his programme when "playing" (Parelli believes that humans should never
"work" a horse) with my young Quarter Horse, I have witnessed enormous
improvements in my horse's demeanour and, crucially, in the trust he
has for me. By establishing dominance over my horse using the sensible,
humane tactics Parelli recommends, I have made major progress en route
to transforming this horse from a fearful, unridden colt into a
willing, dependable, "true blue" mount.
I highly endorse
Parelli's work; if his programme is applied with persistence, patience,
and an open mind, the possibilities in the horse-human relationship are
What Your Horse Wants You To Know: What Horses' Bad Behavior Means And How To Correct It
Your Horse Wants You To Know" is an easy, informative read written by
Gincy Self Bucklin. Priced at around $14 on Amazon, its a worthy
investment for your horse training dollars.
After all if
you're going to have horses yourself, its good to get some idea of what
horse trainers know about horses instead of just hiring one to come out
and "work" with your horses for exhorbidant fees.
book has a nice encylopedic arrangement of listings of "bad horse
behavior". If you own a horse, chances are several of his disagreeable
behaviors are going to be listed in this book. So you'll get some
insight as to why your horse is doing what he's doing, at least
according to Gincy Self Bucklin. Example bad behaviors discussed
include biting, fear of blankets, resistance to haltering, pawing for
treats, panicking when being alone, and moving during mounting. So many
vices are covered that you're bound to see your horse or any horse, for
that matter, covered somewhere in the pages of this book. The book is
well written by an author with decades of horse experience. At $14 its
highly recommended that you add this to your bookshelf if you're
looking to improve your horsemanship knowledge.
Breaking Your Horse's Bad Habits
wonderful little book was written by the now-deceased W. Dayton Sumner,
and I have to say with all honesty its one of the best horsemanship
books I've ever read. Like Bucklin's book, this one covers a list of
"bad horse behaviors" but the list is much shorter, and its more
focused on riding issues. The book starts out talking about why horses
do what they do, how they think and how they form habits. OK none of
this is scientific, but its based on another horse trainers years and
years of experience being around horses, and its nice to be able to
pick the brain of a top notch horse trainer.
should-order this book from Amazon.com by clicking on the image to the
left. But they don't list the table fo contents for the book so I'll
list it here for you.
- Why Horses act the way they do
- The legacy of nature
- The effect of domestication
- Individual differences
- How horses learn
- How habits are formed
- How habits are changed
- Before you begin
- Bad habits in the stable
- Correcting problems of handling
- No mouth, no horse
- The horse that won't walk
- The horse that won't back
- Theo horse that is hard to mount
- The runaway
- The balker
- Refusing to jump
- The horse that rears
- The horse that bucks
- The horse that shies
- Mixing gaits
- Bad habits in Harness
loved reading this book-hearing the expert share his secrets picked up
over a lifetime of horsemanship. If I had to recommend a horse owner
get just a single book, it would come down to this one or Parelli's.
The author in this case has passed away so there's no telling how
much longer it will be in print. You can snap up a copy on amazon.com
Bombproof Your Horse: Teach Your Horse To Be Confident, Obedient, and Safe, No Matter What You Encounter
book is written by a former police officer. Whether you can actually
"bombproof" your horse after reading this book, well I'll leave that to
your own imagination but my guess is no. Nonetheless the book is worth
a look because we only have to look at the results. You certainly can't
have a police horse that's on the spooky side, so any police horse
trainer must know what he's talking about-after all he's been spending
his time getting horses ready for duty doing riot control and other fun
How much longer the practice of having police horses
continues is in doubt. In recent years, due to bad economic times and
state and local budget shortfalls, many municipalities have been forced
to cut back or even eliminate their mounted patrols. This is a shame
for a couple of reasons, for one seeing mounted police is probably the
only up-close horse experience many people are going to have, and
secondly think about all the skill that's going to be lost. Handed down
for generations, many skilled horse trainers learned their trade within
the mounted police. It will be a shame if it disappears completely.
one of the biggest benefits of this book is that the author gives you
hands-on practical advice you can use to train your horse to be solid
and calm. My feeling about the exercises was that they are best
performed in groups, and probably with a professional trainer present.
So while I'd recommend the other books listed above on this page just
for reading to get insight into horsemanship (natural or otherwise), I
wouldn't recommend this book for that purpose. I would recommend this
book if you have a flighty horse and you want to get together with a
few other folks and arrange some de-spooking clinics.
owner of one sane and two completely insane horses, I can see the value
of such an exercise. Horses with "issues" are not in short supply these
days, so if the will is really there I would imagine such a clinic
could be arranged. If that sounds like something you need to do, pick
up this book as a first step and study the exercises. Then get together
with a trainer and see what could be worked out. If you are a trainer
yourself, you might want to study the exercises in the book to
incorporate into your clinics.
Definitely a practical, hands-on book recommended for people with spooky horses.
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