Friday, July 31, 2015

A Reading List

One can grow from a natural horsemanship novice to one steeped with sufficient information to begin to put it into practice much faster when one has a good library to work from.

I am often asked which clinician's set of tapes I recommend--which clinician I "follow". The answer is that I do not recommend any set of tapes to be followed. The videos all too often are shaped with information designed to garner market appeal instead of information that puts the interest of the horse first.

A fortune can be made by making videos that tell people that they are doing wonderful things by refusing to control their horse and that their failure to provide the horse with leadership is virtuous. Even more money can be made by encouraging people to believe that their complete failure to provide the horse with direction is evidence that they are not "pushing" the horse and are letting him "learn at his own pace."

The specific techniques are not nearly as important as learning the concepts that underlie natural horsemanship. I recommend that anyone who wants to learn these concepts inhale the following books and writers:

1. "The Revolution in Natural Horsemanship" by Dr. Robert Miller--this is a great first book to read on the topic
2. "Soul of a Horse" by Joe Camp--ties horse behavior to the need to allow the horse to live naturally
3. Anything written by Buck Brannamen, or Mark Rashid
4. "Natural Horsemanship Through Feel" Dorrence--All of the answers are in this book and after working horses for ten or fifteen years you will know which questions those answers apply to--not the first book to read--you need solid background to understand Dorrance.

Of the most well known  clinicians, I only suggest reading their very earliest works.

The key point is that the beginner should set aside everything that claims to tell him how and focus on works that seek to tell him why.

When one understands the horse, the techniques come naturally. When one does not understand the horse the techniques are worthless.

Shown above is Ta Sunka as an 18 month old colt and as a young adult in the river. He learned how to be a horse in a very short period of time. One can learn how to understand a horse in a very short period of time.

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