Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The schooling of the Western Horse by John Richard Young

I am recommending this book to anyone interested in learning how to work/train a horse or are interested in readdressing/ enhancing their current skills of training/working with horses, or just plain interested in increasing their current horse knowledge.
Even though the book was written in 1954 and it has been re-printed and updated  in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1972, it has some great tips for many situations that have been or may have been lost through the years.
As an example…
Did you know there was a correct position for holding a longe whip?
Have you ever used a cavesson instead of a halter to longe your young horse with and do you know how each gives you different training results?
Do you need to bring your horse back to basics because they are not listening to you?
This book offers that and more, the author talks about the types of bits and saddles and different examples of good training habits and bad training habits.
Further more, he talks about the psychological mind of the horse and how we can benefit from understanding these traits to influence the results we get from our training sessions (good or bad).  A horse is not born with bad habits they are taught bad habits.
In addition, the author talks about differences between breeds based on man's decided opinion/interpretation and use of the breeds and their foundation.   
As an example, the thoroughbred is known to have a mean temperament and when you look at the breeding through the years they were never bread for a good temperament, they were only bread for speed.  So, the faster the horse the more awards won by a horse the more interested people were in breeding their mares to and if the stallion had a bad temperament that was passed along to the offspring.  This isn’t to say that all thoroughbred’s are mean, but they do have the reputation of being mean.  And then there is the Lipizzan whereas the Lipizzan breeding program includes traits of balanced agility, temperament, and good character, docility and intelligence.  All This information provided by the author will help you to decide which breed of horse you feel would make a good fit for you.
The book is no longer in print but you can find it through the Amazon used book store.  I was fortunate that my local library had a copy of it, but it’s such a great book I’ve decided to purchase my own copy.
You can never know enough about horses if you’re a horse person.
Take time out to spend with your horse, both of you will benefit from the experience, even if it’s just taking a walk through the forest or down the road.

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