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HERDMATES TO HEARTMATES: The Art of Bonding with a New Horse by Bonnie Ebsen Jackson

HERDMATES TO HEARTMATES: The Art of Bonding with a New Horse

by Bonnie Ebsen Jackson

114 pages
Build a safer and more satisfying relationship with your horse.

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Category: Animals:Horses
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About the Book
Everyone who has ever imagined owning a horse has experienced an "equestrian dream" of their own. They have pictured finding the perfect, beautiful animal, who would become their partner, anticipating their every request, enabling their rider to approach centaur status. However, what many people discover once they have selected and brought a horse home is that they are a long way from understanding what makes their new horse tick, let alone being able to form the kind of bond that would lead to a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

In the words of foundational horseman Ray Hunt, “Horses don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” In other words, you could have an encyclopedic knowledge of horses, but until you spend enough time in front of the horse you now own, you’ll never learn the important aspects of forming a good bond. These include understanding a horse’s hierarchy of needs, being able to read your horse’s temperament and spirit level, and being prepared to match your horse’s energy in order to convince them of your leadership skills.

Chapters deal with recognizing and working with horse’s thresholds--situations where a horse’s warning system is overloaded and he is feeling the need to respond with a fight or flight response—-as well as explaining how a horse’s physical health and a rider’s confidence can all play a role in developing a horse-human bond. Author Jackson explains that the quickest way to draw a horse closer is to present yourself as the “beneficent and omnipotent source of supply,” or the B.O.S.S., which needn’t lead to bullying or abusive behavior. The horse owner simply needs to be seen as the-one-with-the-good-ideas. Since horses are born followers, who rely on a savvy leader for survival in the wild, they are biologically wired to go looking for this kind of leadership, especially when they feel threatened in a strange new environment. Convincing a horse that you can keep them safe—that you’ve “got their back” is a major key to helping them to trust in your leadership.

The author uses examples of mistakes she’s made along the way to developing bonds with her own horses in hopes that readers will learn to avoid common traps and pitfalls. Strangely, learning a more natural and horse-centered way of being with an equine can have the added benefit of developing good people leadership skills, along with a greater understanding and appreciation of all species.

 

 

About the Author
Bonnie Ebsen Jackson Raised on a horse ranch just a half hour from Hollywood, California, Bonnie spent her youth training and showing horses. Ultimately she would combine her passion for horses with her passion to help others heal and improve their lives through equine-assisted learning and psychotherapy at T.H.E. Ranch in Arizona.

 

 

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