I'm a recent horse owner, and I want to relate to and bond with my horse - because I believe that such bonding will improve our relationship. I was looking for specific techniques..for example, what specifically could I do to help my horse with three known problems - shying at running water - even if you reach into a trough and splash it, he shies. Also, panicking when tied, and panicking when taken to a rodeo area. Generally the horse, over 20 and a bit swaybacked, is not going to be ridden much, and he has scars from an ill fitting saddle. I'm mostly worried about ground handling.
Based on the title of this book, I was hoping that it would explain some techniques. It actually explains more techniques of so-called traditional horsemanship - as a negative exposition.
The book was well written in a conversational style. I'm actually convinced of the utility of natural horsemanship. After reading this book, were I in the horse business, I'd seriously want to reevaluate my methods to add more (or switch to) natural horsemanship, as I would believe that Natural horsemanship would create horses that would be easier to handle and would sell for more money or rent for more money or would be more likely to win me a ribbon...the point is that the book advocates for natural horsemanship both sensibly and effectively. My tendency, even before reading this book, was to handle my horse calmly, and with easy quiet methods, but this book laid out why clearly - and told me that I need to do even more things calmly.
What it did not explain was how. I still want to know how to do those things. I've had dog training books before, and they told me, "Hold your hands this way, correct the dog this way, offer praise when you see this cue, withhold praise when you see this cue." Sometimes you want more why from a book like that. This book was all why and no "how".
Maybe that is just not available - I have not found the book that does that for me yet. Maybe I did not recognize it. I still count this as a good book, worth reading. But not the book I needed at this point in my horsemanship education.
I've been negative, but I've still rated the book 4 stars. Excellent, well written. The only issue I have with it is the word "Explained" in the title. If it had been "Natural Horsemanship: The whys explained, from heart to hands" I would have rated the book five stars, despite my needs.