Top positive review
98 people found this helpful
on 6 November 2002
If I were allowed to recommend only one book to prospective horse-owners, this would be it. By means of practical exercises, anecdotes and case studies, Kelly Marks takes the reader through every aspect of handling horses with empathy and understanding. She stresses the importance of creating good habits, and sets out her philosophy of training, in which, to use her own words, ‘attitude is everything’. One particularly valuable aspect of this book is the way in which the author explores ways in which problems arise. She does not get stuck, as so many people do, in a kind of ‘single-explanation-single-cure’ rut; instead she explores a variety of possible causes and possible cures. She remains open-minded, and never says ‘this is the only way to do this’. I particularly like the way she stresses that ‘It is so easy to fall into that trap of dealing with the symptoms rather than the real causes’. How I wish more horse trainers would understand this! Kelly insists, and rightly so, on respect for the horse; her response to those who believe horses are stupid because they allow us to ride them is unequivocal: ‘To suggest that if someone is willing to generously work for you they must be stupid speaks more of you as an employer than it does of the employee.’ Quite so.
This is a brilliant book, which should be compulsory reading for every person who trains, rides or handles horses in any way.