Horses are not born knowing how to get along with humans. They have to learn. Before we gallop off into the sunset together, we humans have an obligation to make sure our equine companions are equipped to survive in an all too often unfriendly world. I dedicate this series to all the horses that are injured and abused, their lives ended long before they should, because they have not been prepared for a life with humans.
And this series is written for the rider who wants to be one with their horse, but does not quite know how go about it.That mystical connection, that feeling of oneness between horse and rider, is the capstone of much time developing the elements of body awareness and finesse by both partners. Learning a basic kinesthetic alphabet of the natural aids opens the doors to exploring what a horse and a human can do together from the saddle.
The exercises for the rider in each volume are focused on developing a sound scaffolding of awareness and understanding that allows them communicate clearly with their horse on the ground. The exercises for the horse in this series are focused on developing a sound bio-mechanically appropriate scaffolding of fitness, correct movement and understanding that allows the horse to carry their rider with ease.
As the horse learns to ‘read’ and respond to entire words built from the basic kinesthetic alphabet of the rider’s natural aids, they become able and willing to offer all they have to give with all their ardor. As the rider learns gains awareness and coordination, they become able to whole-heartedly receive that gift of free forward movement. Then those fleeting moments where the are able to transcend their difference, moving as one, can become the norm.
If you click on the titles below, it should take you to Amazon where you can buy each e-book. However, the company that formats and distributes my e-books works with many different distributors, so you should be able to find my work at your favorite bookseller. If not, let me know and I will do my best to add my titles to your format. You can also join my Facebook group The Square Horse.
The complete series of eight volumes starts on the ground with:
Very impressed with knowledgeable experience and down to earth practical compassionate sensibilities- Gretchen from California
Volume, 2, The Gymnastic Circle, Lungeing and the Horse’s Back We ask our horses to perform unnatural acts when we ask them to carry weight on their backs and when we ask them to move through corners and in circles. Understanding how horses move and how we can prepare them minimizes the stress we put them and lengthens their lives under saddle.
Rider Up begins with understanding how saddles function and how your horse’s conformation affects the saddle you choose for them. Poor saddle fit, poor mounting practices and poor seats are the roots cause of many equine back injuries. Rider Up includes a series of ground exercises that help your horse understand they can move freely even though they have a saddle strapped to their back. Most importantly, Rider Up includes exercises for the rider on the longe line to help develop a supple seat that allows the rider to follow their horse’s movement.
Volume 4, Light in Hand, Bits, bridles, and the Horse’s Mouth Despite the wild variety of cruel and unusual bits and nose-bands on the market, there are no brakes built into the horse’s mouth that make their legs freeze up and stop moving when you pull on the reins. Horses fine tune their balance and their stride by adjusting the position of their head and jaw. The horse’s head and neck is genuinely their ‘fifth leg’, working more like a gear shift for the complex transmission of the energies through their back than a brake. This fourth volume explores how you can communicate with your hands without interfering with your horse’s movement as they balance themselves.
Volume 5, Developing Independent Aids, Legs without Hands, Hands without Legs: If you ever wondered just what your riding instructor wanted you do to when they shouted ‘Use Your Legs’, this book is for you. Exercises for the rider to develop balance, body awareness and precise independent aids are combined with a clear logical methods of coming to an agreement with your horse so you both know exactly what those aids mean.
Volume 6, Coordinating Your Aids, The Seat is the Aid of Aids: Learning how to moderate and coordinate your aids so you can ask your horse to moderate their gaits is the bridge to advanced riding skills and finished horses. Conditioning your horse so they become fit and functionally sound as they learn how do the work expected of them under saddle is integrated into the schooling and program.
This seventh volume is written for those who become intrigued with schooling, who would like to fine tune their riding , who find joy in exploring the possibilities of genuine communication with their horse and in developing their own finesse in the saddle
Volume 7, Refining Your Aids, Riding in the Wind of the Boot is coming soon
We should always keep in mind that the only way a horse can tell us that they are injured or in pain is by ‘misbehaving’. Most problems can be solved by first making sure your horse is sound. Then start at the beginning of this series and making sure you and your horse are communicating clearly as you both progress.
The eighth book in this series is for those who are facing problems with a horse they cannot bear to give up on. Horses generally do exactly what we ask them too, and then get blamed and abused for their authenticity. Many problems can be resolved by starting at the beginning, with Volume 1, and making sure you and your horse are communicating clearly. as you work your through Volume 6. This volume is written for the horse who insists that the humans in their lives listen and respond to what they have to say.
Volume 8, Solving Training Problems by Appealing to the Horse’s Initiative is coming soon