A book or DVD is no substitute for being there with the horse and teacher. However there are some excellent books and DVDs available to give us greater insight into the horse - human realtionship.
Some of the books and DVDs (in no particular order) that have inspired us, and added to our understanding and take on being with horses.
Acknowledgements of the review source are in brackets
Dancing With Horses by Klaus Ferdinand Hemphling This first English-language edition of a European best seller shares Hempfling's unique horse training techniques, which are now catching the interest of North Americans. The author's approach combines his backgrounds in communications, theater, and dance with more traditional means. The result is an unusually harmonious relationship between horse and trainer, in which there is complete understanding and communication through body language. Hempfling's method has proven successful with all breeds of horses and makes the learning process fun for both horse and rider. Complemented by color photographs, this book is recommended for equine collections and for those interested in alternative approaches to horse training.
(Review by Deborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY, via www.amazon.com)
The Horse Seeks Me by Klaus Ferdinand Hemphling Emphasizing a nonviolent partnership between horses and humans, the training system presented in this book is an increasingly popular training method among equestrians worldwide. Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling explains his system of communicating naturally with the instincts and nature of horses. The reader follows the progress of Arab stallion Marouk, and Lusitano stallion Queijo, in discovering a confident and harmonious relationship with their rider. Giving comprehensive insight into Hempfling’s methods, the horses’ progress is documented step-by-step, uncovering old wounds in the process that have resulted in their difficult behavior. Readers will discover the fascinating process of understanding horses through body language. (www.amazon.com)
Empowered Horses by Imke Spilker With illuminating text, this study explains why it is necessary for riders to carefully build a relationship that eliminates the traditional rider-as-oppressor dynamic and instead empowers the horse to behave as an individual. To begin achieving this relationship, riders learn to transform a horse’s work space into “free space” by giving their horse choices; by understanding how horses live and prefer to spend their time; by observing, sensing, and reflecting with the horse; and by using visual language to win the horse’s friendship. The result is a surprising dialogue with the horse that yields an indomitable partnership—unparalleled improvement in the horse’s attitude, health, balance, and movement, as well as mutual enjoyment of what was once the often dull, frustrating grind of daily training lessons. (www.amazon.com)
Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov The Tao of Equus, which literally translates as "the way of the horse," explores the possibility that horses are highly evolved, spiritual beings who offer humans opportunities for healing and personal growth. Linda Kohanov is the owner of Epona Equestrian Services, an Arizona-based collective of trainers and counselors that explore the therapeutic potential of equestrian pursuits. Although she does discuss horse training and horse behavior, Kohanov is most interested in what horses can teach us. Moving beyond the realm of horse whispering, Kohanov studies how horses awaken intuition in humans while also mirroring our unspoken feelings and fears. At its core, this book reminds us to be mindful as we approach the horse-human relationship. Like human-to-human relationships, we have to do our own personal and spiritual work before we can expect to create a meaningful and cooperative interspecies connection. Kohanov is a steadfast writer who isn't shy about claiming a strong feminine approach, showing how mythology and history are filled with examples of powerful woman-horse connections. She also has the courage to reveal her paranormal experiences with these intensely emotional and intuitive animals--stories that may sound familiar to anyone who has ever loved and dreamed of horses (www.amazon.com)
True Horsemanship Through Feel by Bill Dorrance Expert horseman Bill Dorrance chose the name “True Horsemanship Through Feel” because “feel” is the language of horses. Learning that language can expand any horseman's knowledge and abilities—whether he or she is learning to ride, train, or compete. In a writing style that is generously detailed and packed with meaning, Dorrance directs the reader’s attention to the many subtle things about how horses and humans act and interact. In these pages, he urges us to reach toward a deeper level of insight into horses and their riders, as he shares a wealth of helpful information. With hundreds of illustrations, “True Horsemanship Through Feel” takes the reader step by step through the basic challenges that have characterized horse-human relations for centuries. Drawing on his years of experience, Bill Dorrance has crafted a book that imparts knowledge previously available only by word of mouth. (www.amazon.com)
Equine Emergency Rescue by Mary Anne Leighton. A book that all horse people and emergency responders should read and keep handy. Easy to understand with lots of accompanying pictures. Even if you do not carry out the rescue, it will help you to be well informed, and offers some excellent advise. Click here for a detailed review of the book chapter by chapter.
Through the Eyes of the Horse By Carlos Tabernaberri. (An Australian who lives in Victoria) Full of simple explanations and clear photos, this book will inspire you to be a better, kinder person for your horse. It helps you understand that a horse has a mind, body and spirit. Full of practical advice that you can go out into the paddock and start using immediately. www.whisperingacres.com.au (Kelly Bick)
The Soul of A Horse By Joe Camp. A man who did not blindly follow "the way it has always been done" with horses, but questioned everything and found some interesting answers, as well as a better way to be with and keep horses. Here he tells the story of his journey. Joe also has a website that grew out of this book http://thesoulofahorse.com/ (Kelly BIck)
The Horse Agility Handbook by Vanessa Bee. A book that shows clearly there is far more available to you in having a rewarding relationship with a horse than just "getting on its back". This book explains step by step how to have a relationship with your horse based on trust and fun. Even if it is just read for the first section, which sheds a great deal of light on the development of a trusting and honest relationship with a horse (whether your focus is riding or agility), it is well worth picking up. (Kelly Bick)
When Elephants Weep By Jeffrey Masson and Susan McCarthy. Exploring the complex emotional lives of animals. From dancing squirrels to bashful gorillas to spiteful killer whales, the authors bring forth fascinating anecdotes and illuminating insights that offer powerful proof of the existence of animal emotion. Chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame, compassion, and loneliness are framed by a provocative re-evaluation of how we treat animals, from hunting and eating them to scientific experimentation. Forming a complete and compelling picture of the inner lives of animals, When Elephants Weep assures that we will never look at animals in the same way again. (www.amazon.com)
Dancing With Horses. Klaus Ferdinand Hemphling The companion, or stand alone, DVD of the book as discussed above. Shows the true poetry of Klaus and his way with horses (Kelly Bick)
Path of The Horse. Stormy May The Path of the Horse documentary explores the future of horse-human relationships A horse trainer’s life takes an unexpected turn when she follows her dream to learn how to move to the next level of understanding horses. What she finds is simple, but is she willing to pay the price to take the path less traveled?
This inspirational documentary explores the future of horse-human relationships and ultimately all human relationships. As our culture evolves from domination over nature into a partnership, we see this change being reflected in the work that people are doing with horses. “This is a story of visionaries,” Stormy says, “of men and women who have made it their life's work to develop and reveal their innermost thoughts and feelings through achievement of a synergistic balance with the horse's own elegant naturalness.
Horses have a gift to share; teaching us how to develop community, leadership, trust, and love within our own families through a connection that goes beyond words.” The Path of the Horse takes an honest look at what we're doing with horses today and asks, "Is this the world we want to create?" The 60-minute film, now available on DVD, profiles six internationally-recognized innovators known for taking the horse’s physical, emotional and even spiritual well-being into consideration.
Interviews included in this adventurous, sensitively produced film, include Arizona-based teacher/author Linda Kohanov, European trainer/author Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Russian trainer Alexander Nevzorov, California-based trainer/author Carolyn Resnik, Colorado-based trainer/author Mark Rashid, and equine artist Kim McElroy. (www.holistichorse.com)
Stormy May has also now made this full length documentry (1hr) availble for free down load on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQUMAJCh1fA
Firehorse Inspirations. Michelle Dennis (an Australian who lives in QLD). This is a DVD that challenges us to think about what we do with horses and why, and poses the question "what's in it for the horse?". Join Michelle and her team of horses ponies and donkeys for a glimpse of the possibilities when you take the time to really listen to what the horses want. www.firehorseinspirations.com.au
Path of the Horse Tele-seminar Series 6 thought provoking interviews featuring Alexander Nevzorov, Carolyn Resnick, Kim McElroy, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, Linda Kohanov and Stormy May with host Anna Twinney. Each call is approx 1 hour. Available from the Horse Conscious website at http://www.horseconscious.com/shop4/cds
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Last updated September 8, 2016