In the Shadow of Horse

In the Shadow of Horse
In the Shadow of Horse

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Language of Horsemanship

Dr Gustafson provides consultations regarding the design and management of equine facilities to best accommodate the inherent nature and behavior of horses. He provides information and management assistance creating natural approaches to maintain equine health, prevent diseases, and resolve lameness.

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The Language of Horsemanship, preview, summary, blurbs,

THE LANGUAGE OF NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP is a professional interpretation of the theory and practice of contemporary horsemanship. An appreciation and exploration of this theory will help horsemen and horses alike. Domestic horses are flight animals, herd animals, and grazers of the plains. They are sensual learners willing to please men for comfort and security. Effective horsemanship appreciates both the wild and domestic natures of the horse.
Sid Gustafson DVM

Book Introduction

The Language of Horsemanship brings man’s relationship with horse into contemporary perspective. Horse and man coming together in a mutual beneficial relationship reigns as the most important cultural-changing experience in the history of mankind. Since domestication horse has embedded itself in the psyche of many cultures in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa before spreading across the entire world. Linguists tell us that the words for mind and horse are similar in many of these ancient horse cultures. Horse bones from that time are found buried with the bones of men buried at that time. Horses as art, as cult, as culture, and as God appear in many ancient civilizations.
Today animal enlightenment flourishes in a refined fashion with horsemanship becoming a state of mind rather than the physical, coercive force it may have been at other times in the past. Horse remains integral to art and culture. Horsemanship through time has reflected the art and culture of the times. Two classes of horse emerge, pleasure and performance. Replacing military pursuit is athletic performance pursuit. Pleasure horses far outnumber all other horses. Today’s horseman is different than the horsemen of times past who were reliant on horses for subsistence and survival. Today’s horseman seeks enjoyment and honor and prestige with horses. Many seek enlightenment and release. Others are obsessed with equestrian competitive pursuit. Practical horsemanship survives in pockets as it has survived for time immemorial. Ranch and harness horses remain active on the remote ranches and fields and trails of America, but their percentage is smaller than ever. Contemporary horsemanship addresses varied pursuits; work, pleasure, and performance foremost among them. Additionally, the companionship of horses is sought by many today, more companionship than in times past, companionship unhindered by assertiveness and respect in some instances, companionships lacking balance.
In order to safely and effectively commune with horses, one best develop a deep sense of the horse’s nature. This requires considerable time be spent with horses; time which horse-dependent people in the past most certainly experienced. Horses once were the essence of civilized life. With horses man lived and worked. Horse/human relationships flourished in this continuum.
That sort of immersion with horses is experienced by few these days. Today people attempt to develop partnerships with horses, but many of the partnerships are limited by time. A goal of this book is to help horseman develop an appreciation of horse’s natures. Knowledge allows time spent with horses to be more efficient and productive. Knowledge prevents bad scenarios with horses from developing. Diverse approaches to knowledge allow horsemen to develop the accord, acceptance, and connection necessary to develop positive relationships with horses.
The Mongol word for horse is takh, meaning spirit. Mongols, the ones who introduced the riding of horses to the Greeks, are perhaps the oldest continuous horsemen. They relate to horse in a state of grace, a blending of body and mind. In Mongolia there remains a sharing of man’s spirit with horse’s spirit, a blending of the physical and metaphysical. In America blending with horse is in a state of renewal, a state of grace.
The premise of American horsemanship, like that of the Mongolian horsemanship, is to control a horse’s feet willingly. Horsemen must go though the horse’s mind in consideration of his nature to penetrate the horse’s psyche, to get to his feet, to become horse, to attain the consistent willingness horsemen so desire.
The Language of Horsemanship reveals the many renewed training and husbandry strategies emerging and evolving today. The goal of today’s horsemen is to master horsemanship rather than to master the horse. The ideology of dominance is being replaced by an ideology of partnership. The pleasure horse training ideology has perhaps differed from the performance horse training ideology in the past, but today both disciplines attempt to match natural equine behavior with the training and husbandry of the horse. The objective of most contemporary horsemanship is to achieve training and prevail in performance while sustaining health and preventing injury. Contemporary culture is seeking natural approaches to achieve these goals.

Veterinarian Finishes Anxiously Awaited Upcoming Horse Book, Volume I: The Language of Natural Horsemanship, by Sid Gustafson, DVM

⎯what his patients say:

“Finally, a book for horsefolk that brings the language of horsemanship into the present tense.”
Mister Ed

“If only Kent had read The Language of Horsemanship before the Belmont we could have had the Triple Crown and Horse of the Year. Dutrow could have used an awful lot of this advice and done his part to put me in a partnering mood, as well.”
Big Brown


Early blurbs from horse people:

“The Language of Horsemanship enlivens contemporary horsemanship as it needs enlivened… knowledgeably, honestly, and representative of the horse.
Dr Gustafson has delivered a poetically relevant cultural achievement, a horsemanship original.”
Jim Harrison, novelist poet, and essayist, author of Legends of the Fall and Wolf

“Dr Gustafson knows horse’s nature fluently. He is not afraid to ask the good question. He is keenly astute in assessing its needs both physically and mentally. His ability to increase awareness and progress horsemanship to a new level with his graceful blending of science, experience, and gifted insight are truly refreshing. I welcome his ideas in my daily horse experiences and I know others will do the same. Read his book, mine his wisdom, fulfill the promise between horse and rider.” Wylie, of Wylie and the Wild West, champion horseman and western singer.

“The Horse Medicine Man is at it again with his horse sensibility! The Language of Horsemanship combines the science with the spiritual, the past with the present. Feel horses like you have never felt them before…”
Hank Real Bird, Crow Horseman, teacher, and poet

Table of Contents

The Language of Natural Horsemanship

Part I
Horse and Culture

1 Mutual Beneficence
2 Contemporary Horsemanship Pursuits
3 Defining Natural Horsemanship
4 Natural Basics
5 The Theory and Practice of Watching Horses
6 Natural Trust and Mutual Respect
Part II
Essential Natures
7 Born Running—the first hours; mare teaches foal
8 If Let Be
9 The History of Horsemanship
10 Origins of Horsemanship
11 Horse and Human Relationships
Part III
Contemporary Horsemanship
12 Horse Training Pursuits
13 How Horsemen Teach
14 Applying Natural to Horsemanship

Part IV
Ancient Horse, Ancient Man
Ancient Natural
15 Equus caballus defined
16 Taming then Domestication

Part V
Natural Applications

17 Natural Approaches to Stabling
—enriching natural needs
18 Applying Behavior
⎯natural approaches to training
19 Natural Horsemanship across Disciplines
20 Communication is Sensation
—a most sensual seasonal herd-grazing creature
21 an Eye for Horsemanship
⎯talents horsemen acquire from horses
22 Taking Natural on the Road
23 Horse and Man Relational Goals
⎯seeking symmetry
Terminology
Appendix
Glossary
In Conclusion
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