Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Nature, Nurture and Horses

Time for my first book review!


This book starts out by explaining the concept which is that they are going follow four different horses, of Spanish breeding, through their training journey with the goal of all four horses becoming proficient in Dressage. I bought this book about a year ago when Katai was still quite green. I thought it would be an interesting way of looking at different horse learning styles and would give me ideas for how to adapt my training to fit Katai’s learning style. What was most interesting to me is that with the ability to write about these four different horses, all of the same age and very similar breeding, with the same handlers meant that there were very few external influences. It was extremely interesting to see how each horse reacted to each stage of the training.


Each section of the book was broken down into four parts, named after each of the horses and each of these parts followed the horses through different stages in their training beginning with their birth and their initial personality and moving on through the training process.


The good: Nature, Nurture and Horses is written more like a really good story than an instructional manual. I found it very easy to read and couldn’t put it down. I bought the Kindle version and read most of it on my iPhone but I’ve looked at the book version and it is beautifully put together with many large, gorgeous, full cover pictures, which are in the Kindle version as well. Since I’m a very visual learner this always helps me figure out the concepts that they are writing about in the book. 


This book was excellently designed so that you could either go through and read from start to finish about one horse or compare and contrast as you go through, reading about the different learning styles. I especially found it interesting when they adapt their training with one or two horses to slow down or change the order of things. I also found it really interesting and helpful that they followed a colt and three fillies and had some examples of how the genders can differ.


The bad: This is not a training manual. I know I picked up ideas for training Katai, especially when she was young and green, but this is really more good story than instructional.


Overall: I would give it 4 carrots out of 5 and would definitely buy it again.

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