A color-coded guide to creating better horse-human interactions and reducing mental, emotional, and physical stress in the horse.
Renowned wild horse ecologist Mary Ann Simonds provides a soup-to-nuts manual for stress-reduction in performance horses. Based on her 30-plus years of personal research and experience of wild horse ecology and domestic horse behavior, as well as data provided by other equine scientists, readers will find a foundation of understanding related to the natural life cycle and history of the horse, from birth to forming friendships and families. The importance of gender, age, breed, culture, and habitat in the horse’s natural development are clarified.
Simonds then explores horse-human relationships, communication, care, and training, as well as “the things we do with horses,” clarifying how to reduce the stress typically experienced by horses when pursuing specific equestrian disciplines and activities.
Throughout, color-coded tips, indicating whether its information is “Essential,” “Important,” “Makes Life Better,” or “Ensures Safety,” highlight the different ways riders and trainers can address the horse’s quality of life to ensure stress is minimized or negated whenever possible. Simonds analyzes all manner of equestrian activities, including:
- Pleasure riding, trail riding, and keeping horses at home.
- Training for sport or performance.
- Horse shows and competition.
- Human-animal interaction programs, such as equine-assisted therapy and horse tourism.
- Equine bodyworkers, including chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists.
- Rescues and wild horses.
- Clinical work and research.
- Shipping and travel.
- Sales barns and boarding barns.
Fun, friendly, and informative, A Horse By Nature is designed to help both novices and experts gain better insight into how horses think, feel, learn, and generally perceive our human world. It also looks at humans and gives suggestions as to how we can change our own thinking or behavior to better understand our horses, eliminating unnecessary stress and inhumane treatment while ensuring healthier, better performing equines, whatever the equestrian pursuit.