- Tom Dorrance
Many of the top trainers and clinicians have published wonderful books which can be found in your local bookstore or from a bookseller on the Internet.
You'll probably get to choose among some very good options. Not a bad problem to be faced with.
What do you look for as far as content is concerned?
What is Natural Horsemanship? Let me start with a personal story that at first glance might seem to have little to do with horses but I believe you'll find it has much to offer.
You let the horse know what you want it to do, keep it barely under control (i.e. light rein, light pressure) and then get out of its way.
As far as the doing is concerned, the horse is the expert. Sounds simple but it's one of the hardest lessons to put into practice.
Watching Ray Hunt work in the round pen with a green horse provides an excellent example of this kind of subtle "horse management". So often we try to make the horse do something instead of letting the horse do it. The top clinicians follow this example though their approaches and the terms they use often differ.
Consider the gift of a book and/or video that helps get horse and rider to this level.
Get a book on horsemanship that lends itself to being studied. Just reading it from cover to cover isn't going to get the job done. Any book on horsemanship needs to address the mind and psychology of the horse and instruct you what to look for to communicate with the horse.
Good advice! I actually did that and I'm glad I did. There are parts of that video that come to mind anytime I'm working a horse in the round pen. Had I viewed the video only once or twice I'd have retained little if anything.
Both provide a solid foundation on handling the horse on the ground and in the saddle. Both are highly recommended.
If you are interested in either you can find out more by clicking on the appropriate ilustration, taking you to Powells.com.
But we can't neglect John Lyons (some of our horse lovin' friends swear by his approach), Buck Brannaman, or his mentors, Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.
And there's Mark Rashid, Cherry Hill, Richard Shrake, Fran Devereux Smith, and others. You will see in their books on horsemanship a natural approach to the horse with the idea that in working with the horse you will and must learn a lot about yourself.
A respected horse gentler whose approach has had a significant impact on the equestrian world. When not traveling on his busy clinic schedule, he makes his home in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Books on Horsemanship: Groundwork book, a step by step starting your colt from the ground and Buck's own story, The Faraway Horses and BELIEVE - A Horeman's Journey. You can find a review of BELIEVE in our Four Foot Shelf of Books page.
Horsemanship Videos: - on working with your colt from the ground, achieving horsemanship goals, trailer loading and problem solving, the Ranch Roping Series and most recently The Making of a Bridle Horse Series .
Buck Brannaman's web site plus an interesting audio interview at can be found at http://www.allabouthorses.com/site/care/buck_brannaman.html
Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling is a highly acclaimed European trainer whose book and video, Dancing with Horses shows how to use body language to communicate with the horse and has achieved recognition on this side of the Atlantic as well. A search on the web for material on this horseman turns up sites in most of the major European languages.
Books on Horsemanship - Best known is Dancing with Horses. At http://www.conquistador.com/dancehorses.html you'll find a good review of the Dancing with Horses book and video from Conquistador Magazine.
NEW! In “What Horses Reveal,” a follow-up to his groundbreaking book, “Dancing with Horses,” Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling explains his unique system for recognizing horses’ personalities and training methods fitting each personality type. One of the greatest hurdles we have to face in learning to work with horses is knowing what to look for and, as Hempfling explains, it is not the same from horse to horse. Hempfling categories horses into 26 character groups and with the aid of some outstanding photography, touches upon each category. You may be tempted to try to "fit" your horse into a particular category. Hempfling advises otherwise. Understand the whole first. That's not easy.
Add the fact that it's offered by Back in the Saddle and they're rather particular about the value of their offerings. This just might make an excellent gift for one beginning to work with horses.
Horsemanship Videos: Videos can be purchased together with the books.
Website: The best website we came across is from Denmark, but half of it, where Hempfling is speaking, is in English. For the Danish rytter eller rytterske : Interviews med Klaus Hempfling, manden som Danser med heste, og Einer Aaby Hansen, som benytter Klaus Hempflings metode med stor succes.www.alternativinfo.dk/public/dyr_tv/hempflin.htm - Spilletid: 5.36
Colorado resident Cherry Hill is a prolific author with hundreds of articles on over 20 books on horsemanship, horse psychology, horse care and training to her credit. Many of these articles are available for viewing on her website and give you an appreciation of her expertise.
Books on Horsemanship - For a complete listing of Cherry Hill's books, vist her website (see below)
Horsemanship Videos: A 3-Volume Set Titled 100 Horsekeeping Tips is the Centerpiece
Website: Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping.com web site contains loads of articles and solid information.
Ray Hunt one of the greatest of the teachers of natural horsemanship. The book and movie The Horse Whisperer were based upon Ray's methods of working with horses. There is a nice story about him in the January 2005 issue of Western Horseman.
Also there is a web- site http://www.shambhalasun.com/Archives/Features/1998/July98/RayHunt.htm where you can find a good article about Hunt.
Books on Horsemanship - Think Harmony With Horses: An In-Depth Study of Horse/Man Relationship
Horsemanship Videos: No books for sale on his site but there are some videos worth considering.
Web Site: You can visit Ray Hunt's web site or watch a video clip of him at work at http://www.rayhunt.com/watchray.htm
Books on Horsemanship - The Perfect Horse series and Bringing Up Baby are the best known. Lyons also publishes The Perfect Horse magazine.
Horsemanship Videos and Web Site: You can find out more about John Lyon's books on horsemanship at his website and find out more about Lyon's, his products and his TV and Clinic schedules.
A California native Pat Parelli has been working around horses since the age of 9. Following a successful career in rodeo (bareback riding). An established trainer by the 1980's, Parelli moved into the training arena where mentored by the likes of masters Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt he developed his approach to Natural Horse Man Ship.
The Parelli method embraces English and Western, dressage, penning, polo, cutting, jumping - you name it.
Books on Horsemanship -Natural Horse.Man.Ship is one of the best in the industry.
Horsemanship Videos: There are half-a-dozen videos available from his website.
Web Site: Parelli's books on horsemanship and a ton of information including downloads and a free DVD are available at the Parelli Website. This is a site worth visiting. You'll find some good articles including an excellent article by Linda Parelli on Fluidity and Becoming a Natural Horseman by Pat.
Reading these articles will give you a feel for the "Parelli method". You'll also find the schedule for Parelli's appearances on RFDTV.
Finally, there's an interesting web site we came across recently and recommend to anyone interested in training or working with horses the natural way. Natural Horse Network is a network of information, products and training tips for people who naturally love horses.