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A Way with Horses

Understanding the horse and human relationship, by Trudy Nicholson; Tandem Press/Random House. RRP $34.95. 127pp.

September 12, 2004

There are plenty - hundreds if not thousands - of how-to books horse books telling one how to ride, how to jump, how to heal and how to breed. Of course there are varying opinions on all aspects of the horse's training and care, each proponent expounding their own methods above, or in conjunction with, others.

This book, however, is more like an owner's manual to the horse's mind. A look at equine psychology without the big words. Instead of instructing it follows the horse from a foal's first glimpse of the world, to how he interacts with his world, and then to a new herd featuring the human. It is based on the author's observations and experiences with horses.

Beautifully illustrated with the author's photographs, taken in a variety of places and situations, the book is an easy read with large type, and glossy.

We learn how the purpose of the horse has changed, from being a vital part of life and industry, to being a consumer commodity to be manipulated for our own purposes. And just as easily disposed of when our needs change.

But more importantly we are shown that everything the horse does is a reaction to what we do - be it by training or feeding or breeding - and if we can think more along the lines of how the horse is thinking, a more understanding relationship can result.

It may just make you take a step back from what you are doing now with your horse, and put yourself in his shoes.



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