Last week we talked to Eunice Rush and Marry Morrow about their brand new book KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE, what inspired them to write the book together, and what they hope readers can take away from its pages. KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE, the new must-have book on human and horse personality, is available now from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).
TSB: How long have you two known each other and combined forces in terms of aligning horse and human personalities?
ER: We have known each other for about six or seven years. I met Marry when I attended one of her clinics. We have been working on the concept of combining personalities for about three years now. It has been an exciting and educational process—and we are thrilled to see our book in print!
TSB: KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE is such an interesting book with information that can apply not only to any horse person, and any riding discipline, but also to other areas of your life. How did you write the book together and determine what kind of information on human and horse personality should be included?
ER: I have worked with human personalities and how to use the information to improve personal relationships in the work place to improve sales and enhance team performance for over 20 years. Likewise, Marry has used her knowledge of horse personalities to enhance her training methods for over 20 years. Once we decided there might be a connection, we first researched to see if anyone else had used the same approach, and finding nothing, we started our research to confirm our theory. Once we felt we had done so, we felt the information could help everyone that dealt with horses. It became a passion to make the information available.
Writing the book was an adventure in itself. We started by determining the parts of the human personality that had components similar to the horse. That gave us the template. Marry put together her parts and I put together mine. Then to keep the writing style consistent, I wrote the book but worked closely with Marry every step of the way on the horse side to make sure the information was accurate. Finally, Caroline Robbins, the publisher at Trafalgar Square Books and our editor, helped us both smooth it all out, take out what we didn’t need, and clarify what we had.
The writing process was a real challenge because I am a “Powerful” and Marry is an “Analyst” (see the free download of the Human Social Style Questionnaire to find out what you are—CLICK HERE). I just wanted to get to book written and out there. Marry wanted to make sure every person in every case was covered. Thanks to our mutual understanding of human personalities (covered in the book), we were able to get it done without killing each other!
TSB: Eunice, you are responsible for the “human side” of the book—can you tell us a little about your experiences analyzing human personality in your career in sales and business?
ER: For many years I taught sales teams how to “read” their potential customer, align their own personality to their customer’s, and then initiate the sale. Understanding the whole human makes the sales cycle more successful. I taught people about learning styles so they presented materials in a way that made sense to the client. We also took into account color combinations when building presentations. A lot of people don’t think about colors, but not only do different colors incite different feelings, men and women are naturally drawn to different colors [TSB editor’s note: You can learn more about using color theory in your work with your horse in the forthcoming book from Linda Tellington-Jones, DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL]. I also conducted team-building courses and taught many leadership courses. All these things required a complete understanding of how the human personality worked.
TSB: Marry, you are responsible for the “horse side” of the book—can you tell us a little about your experiences analyzing horse personality in your work training horses and training people to train their own horses?
MM: In my clinics, the number-one priority for me is to keep people and their horses safe. In order to do this, I feel I have to be able to understand quickly the personality of each horse; then I can understand where to begin working with that horse. Once I understand the horse, then I need to understand the human so I can help him or her take home and use what I am teaching them at a clinic. The other passion I have is working with problem or rescue horses. Ray Hunt used to say, “Take the time it takes,” and I think most people understand that this means you should take off your watch and not train on a timeframe, which is correct, but I think there is more to it. “Take the time,” to me, means find out how the horse learns, how he understands what you are asking of him. Get to know his personality before you begin.
TSB: If you could be sure that readers take away one lesson from KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE, what would you hope it would be?
ER: I know you only want one but I am going to give you two because I feel strongly about each.
Lesson 1: We want to make sure that when there is a match between personalities, both human AND horse are happier.
Lesson 2: You can’t use a cookie cutter training method for every horse. Just as an example: It was such an eye-opener to me that not every horse has to stop and put his nose on something to get over being afraid of it. Every trainer I have ever studied says if your horse is afraid of something, work with him to stop and approach until he can put his nose on it. Because just about every horse I have ever owned has been an Extrovert, this has led to a lot of failed moments of training for me and frustration for my horses. I thank Marry for teaching me about the extroverted horse and how he learns best.
MM: I want readers to firmly grasp that horses have a personality, just like humans. If you don’t have a personality that matches your horse’s, then can you learn to adapt. Or, if you can’t, then it’s okay to say, “We don’t match up,” and give both yourself and the horse a chance to find your perfect match.
TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.
ER: I was probably about three. My parents had friends who had a daughter who had ponies. One day when they were visiting, my parents let me ride one of the ponies.
MM: I was very young, I really don’t remember the first time. What I do remember is sitting on a horse’s back and reading books by CW Anderson—then naming the horse “Blaze.”
TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.
ER: Well, it wasn’t the first time I left my horse but the first time I was bucked off, and that is different than falling off. I was about 15 and I went to see the movie Miracle of the White Stallions. In that movie the young girls that were training to ride had to be able to balance well enough to jump a horse with their arms out to their sides. I was so impressed I went right home and set up a jump, got on my horse and gave it a try. All I remember about the jump was seeing four horse feet fly over my body as I was flat on my back next to the jump bar. And by the way, that horse was 17 hands tall! I never tried that again. I guess the girls in the movie must have done a little pre-work before trying the jump!
MM: Again, I’m not sure if it was the first time, but the most memorable time was my first jumping lesson. I was 11 or 12 years old. We were in an arena with a jump set up in the middle. I was on a larger pony, and I headed down the middle of the arena, flew over the jump, then couldn’t stop him as we approached the far end of the arena. The pony tried to jump out of the arena and got halfway over and was stuck. I,on the other hand, made it over the arena wall just fine. It took a couple large men to get the pony off the wall and back in the arena.
TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?
ER: A friend should be a friend no matter what. She or he should stand by you in good times and in bad.
MM: I like friends who are passionate about what they do.
TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?
ER: I want a horse that enjoys going long distances and exploring as much as I do, and preferably with a nice ground-covering walk or gait.
MM: Being curious.
TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback or with a horse that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?
ER: Boy that’s hard because I have done just about everything I have wanted to do with horses. However, while it is still trail riding, the one thing I have always said I wanted to do is go to California and ride among the giant Sequoia trees. That has to be so amazingly humbling.
MM: I’d like to have Stacy Westfall’s bitless and bridleless championship ride.
TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?
ER: For survival, the right answer would probably be an Arab for a desert island but I have to go with a gaited one that matched my personality so I would have my best buddy horse with me.
As for the book, the Bible.
MM: The breed of horse would be a Lusitano. The book would be a really big survival guide.
TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?
ER: Banamine and penicillin for the horses…chocolate for me.
MM: Apples, carrots , lemons, and water.
TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
ER: Just me and my best bud horse on a perfect day on a beautiful trail just enjoying all of God’s glory. I rode half way across the state of Michigan on my horse Bo right after I retired. It was a 125 mile trip and I loved it.
MM: A good horse, a nice barn, lots of pasture, and a good man who agrees with that.
TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?
ER: What I want to eat or what I should eat? What I want is pizza and something chocolate with a big Diet Coke (obviously, this falls on the what-I-shouldn’t-eat side).
MM: I love stirfry with lots of vegetables.
TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
ER: If you had ask what “would be” perfect, it would be a horse trip with my husband, son, and daughter-in-law. However, no one in my family but me rides, so I actually have two. The first and most important would be any vacation with my family. Since none of them are horse people, I would prefer to do some canoeing or almost anything outdoors, as long as it is warm. My second would be a long vacation camping and riding across several states with good friends and good horses. Last year I did that with my standard riding group. We rode in six states over several weeks. We all rode to the top of Mt. Rushmore. Fun times! It is so much fun to meet new people at various campgrounds and add them to your riding group.
MM: Anyplace with warm (not hot) temperatures, water, and horses.
TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
ER: George Washington
MM: It’s a tossup: Tom Dorrance or Marguerite Henry.
ER: All things are possible through God who strengthens me.
MM: “Open your hands and it will open your heart.” This is what I tell all my clients, because when you are tight on the reins, you have no feel, the horse is tense. Open your hands so you are light on the reins and your horse will respond with love.
For FREE DOWNLOADS of the human and horse personality quizzes, as well as an excerpt from the new book KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE, CLICK HERE.