Book Review: Teach Your Horse Perfect Manners

How you should behave so your horse does too. A review of Teach Your Horse Perfect Manners by trainer Kelly Marks. Reviewed by Jayne Pedigo for EquiSearch.
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How you should behave so your horse does too. A review of Teach Your Horse Perfect Manners by trainer Kelly Marks. Reviewed by Jayne Pedigo for EquiSearch.
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If you want to begin creating a bond of trust and communication between you and your horse, to enable him to understand what you want from him and what is appropriate behavior, this book is a good place to start.

As the author notes, this is not meant to be a "quick-fix" book. Part One of the book discuss the natural behavior of the horse, how the horse's senses work and how to use this information to create a positive training experience.

Also in Part One, the philosophies behind Ms. Marks' techniques are introduced in the chapters Foundation Exercises and Additional Yielding Exercises. Some of these exercises are based on the methods of Monty Roberts. Others are based on the author's own experiences and observations of equine behavior. Monty Roberts' technique of "Join Up", which Ms. Marks subscribes to, is described in detail in its own chapter.

Part Two, Teaching Good Manners introduces ways in which you can approach specific problems, such as the horse who won't be caught, horses that bite, horses that won't load into a trailer etc. In each case, the author discusses how the "bad habit" or undesirable behavior may have begun, and offers ways in which you can use the foundation exercises and consistent training methods to elicit the desired behavior from the horse.

Especially interesting are the many "case histories" which show how Ms. Marks and other "Intelligent Horsemanship" recommended associates use these methods to help solve a variety of different behavioral and training problems.

The book is illustrated throughout with black and white and color photographs by Jess Wallace and Jane Young.

Kelly Marks is a former jockey and show jumper. She is the originator of the Monty Roberts Educational Courses around the world and is the founder of "Intelligent Horsemanship." She is now a full-time trainer, using her Intelligent Horsemanship techniques, which are a meld of Monty's methods and her own, drawn from years of working with horses.

Teach Your Horse Perfect Manners is published by Trafalgar Square Publishing and is available online at The Equine Collection. ISBN 1 57076 214 7.