Recommended Reading List - Getting to know your Horse June 07 2013

Some book titles you may want to get your hands on

Behaviour:
The Horse's Mind - Lucy Rees
Excellent introduction to equine behaviour. We especially like Chapter 5 about communication and body language. "Neighs have been completely misunderstood by Hollywood filmmakers who constantly re-run that same potted neigh in fear/alarm situations where horses would not neigh; but in the 'creeping-up-on-the-enemy-camp' scenes their tethered horses do not neigh at the sound and smell of approaching horses, whereas real ones would'." 
Equine behaviour: a guide for veterinarians and equine scientists - Paul McGreevy
This is a very useful text-book providing comprehensive coverage of the main aspects of equine behaviour. It is easy to read with lots of photos and diagrams. The end of each chapter includes case-studies to help the reader apply the theory, however, note that some elements of the solutions posed in some of the case-studies are not promoted by EBTA for use in general practice. 
Horse Behavior: The Behavioral Traits and Adaptations of Domestic and Wild Horses, Including Ponies - George Waring
Simple and easy-to-read reference book. A useful text to have on your book-shelf and delve into when you need well-referenced accessible information on a specific aspect of horse behaviour. 
The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of its Behaviour - D. S. Mills and S. M. McDonnell
Each chapter is written by a different expert in that field so a fantastic resource from a wide range of authors. We especially like the chapter on the equine play ethogram - an aspect of equine behaviour that is so frequently misinterpreted as aggression or 'naughtiness'. 
The Equid Ethogram - S. M. McDonnell
A listing and description of behaviours performed by horses, in both feral and domestic settings. 
The Behaviour and Welfare of the Horse - A.F. Fraser
This book provides a lot of detail and is not as accessible as other books on this list. However, it is valuable for readers who are looking for more detail and a science-focussed text-book on equine behaviour. Great to have on hand as a reference book 
Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour - Emma Lethbridge
This is an excellent introduction to the fascinating topic of learning theory and its application. Many trainers do not have a good understanding of how horses learn and as a result some training methods are based on flawed interpretation of equine learning - this text will provide the reader with the tools to analyse different training methods and to understand their horse better. 
Let Horses Be Horses - Lesley Skipper
A great introduction to horse behaviour, covering ethology and psychology and (unusually) without falling into the trap of superimposing any erroneous human-centric interpretation. 
Teach Yourself Horse: Natural Horse Management - Heather Simpson
An excellent introduction with lots of photographs and practical examples. This small but very useful book is especially ideal for teenagers or those looking for a comprehensive but simple introduction to horse behaviour. 
 
Learning theory:
Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour - Emma Lethbridge
This is an excellent introduction to the fascinating topic of learning theory and its application. Many trainers do not have a good understanding of how horses learn and as a result some training methods are based on flawed interpretation of equine learning - this text will provide the reader with the tools to analyse different training methods and to understand their horse better. 
 
Training:
The Art and Science of Clicker Training for Horses: A Positive Approach to Training Equines and Understanding Them - Ben Hart
Detailed and considered coverage of clicker training from many angles. We particularly liked the chapter entitled `Can I use clicker training in conjunction with my other training methods?' - it doesn't just leap in with an answer but takes you on a journey of exploration to get there. And the final chapter `What is the future of clicker training?' is an honest appraisal of the state of horsemanship in the UK today. If more people read this book one of the obstacles to clicker training becoming a widely accepted and valued method of training - not understanding it - will be blown away. 
Knowing Your Horse: A Guide to Equine Learning, Training and Behaviour - Emma Lethbridge
This is an excellent introduction to the fascinating topic of learning theory and its application. Many trainers do not have a good understanding of how horses learn and as a result some training methods are based on flawed interpretation of equine learning - this text will provide the reader with the tools to analyse different training methods and to understand their horse better. 
Shaping Plans - Ben Hart
Many of us understand the importance of breaking training into small stages and working through them carefully. However, some of us struggle to envisage how small each stage should be and as a result can expect our horses to progress too fast, which of course is less effective in the long run. Ben Hart has written shaping plans for a variety of training aims, from introducing tack to de-spooking your horse. Each plan provides around 3 months of training. 
Behavior Modification for Horses: A Positive Method for Training Horses - Patti Dammier and Wendy Peabody
An unbiased step-by-step guide through learning theory delivered in bite size chunks. 
You Can Train Your Horse to Do Anything!: On Target Training Clicker Training and Beyond - Shawna and Vinton Karrasch and Arlene Newman
A detailed but very clear book about the relevant learning theory and how to apply training through positive reinforcement to horse training. 
Happy Reading!