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TSB author Magali Delgado with Mandarin.

TSB author Magali Delgado with Mandarin.

“Ability to make deadlines.” This is the kind of positive review we might expect to receive from a supervisor, or it’s a bulleted point we add to a resume. As a society, we value an individual’s commitment to doing what he or she says he or she will do “on time”—we schedule meetings we expect others to attend; our children have homework assignments we expect them to complete.

But when it comes to horses, deadlines are a recipe for disaster.

“In our world, everyone is obsessed with deadlines and speed,” says Magali Delgado in the bestselling book GALLOP TO FREEDOM, which she wrote with her husband Frederic Pignon. “In the horse’s world, you have to forget these. If you tug on a carrot, hoping to speed its growth, you will loosen the roots and achieve the opposite effect.”

Goals are different than deadlines, in that we can move the “achieved-by date” as necessary. We want our young horse to load into a trailer quietly and consistently? That’s a good goal. But a bad idea is to decide you need to reach that goal by the end of the week. Maybe you will accomplish it in that amount of time–or even less. But, few things scuttle your ability to work with horses in a rational, fair, and flexible way than stress and urgency brought on by—you guessed it—a deadline.

“When there are difficulties, I try to divide them up into manageable parts. I wait until the horse feels ready to take the next step, and I am convinced that in the end I save time by this approach,” says Magali. “When it comes to work, I try never to overdo it. Deciding on the correct length of a working session is vitally important. What is more, a horse must feel that if he does really well he will be rewarded with  a shorter session. If he is forced to go on too long it not only tires him, it also ‘demotivates’ him—a great mistake.

“In horse training, inevitably, you will make mistakes. As Albert Einstein said, ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ My horse shies: Is that wheelbarrow the reason? I remove it; he shies again. Is it because he doesn’t like being away from his friends? And so on. I spend my life trying to get to the bottom of enigmas.”

But one thing, say Magali and Frederic, remains very clear:

“Always be patient and never push too fast or too insistently.”

 

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CLICK IMAGE TO JOIN THE WAITLIST

GALLOP TO FREEDOM: TRAINING HORSES WITH OUR SIX GOLDEN PRINCIPLES is coming in paperback!

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE WAITLIST on Trafalgar Square Books’ online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of horse books and DVDs, is a small, privately owned company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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CLICK TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY

CLICK TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY

 

TSB and Jonathan Field are bringing horse lovers and riders a book like no other! THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES provides over 200 pages of in-depth instruction alongside 350 beautiful color photographs taken on Jonathan’s breathtaking ranch in British Columbia. This is horsemanship beyond the rope, and connection like you’ve never experienced it before.

You can get a SNEAK PEEK at one of the lessons from Jonathan’s new book in the November issue of Canadian Horse Journal, which is out for distribution starting today. Order your issue or subscribe online, find it wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold, or pick up a copy at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto November 7-16.

Jonathan Field was on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Canadian Horse Journal.

Jonathan Field was on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Canadian Horse Journal.

Canadian Horse Journal is Canada’s favorite horse magazine. Covering all breeds and disciplines, it is the leading resource for horse health information and expert training advice including features by renowned international horseman, Jonathan Field. If horses are your passion, Canadian Horse Journal is your magazine. Visit the Canadian Horse Journal website at www.HORSEJournals.com and subscribe at: http://www.horsejournals.com/subscribe-canadianhorsejournal.

 

You can PRE-ORDER THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES by Jonathan Field at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

 

Did you see this amazing video? Click the image below to watch the VIMEO STAFF PICK Red Bull short-documentary about Jonathan. (Scenes from this mini-doc are included in Jonathan’s book!)

 

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CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO

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THIS WEEKEND, September 20 and 21, 2014, horse lovers from all over will be lucky enough to participate in a one-of-a-kind event at the Agrium Western Event Centre at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The inaugural Jonathan Field and Friends International Horsemanship Education Conference brings together four remarkable horsemen under one roof: natural horsemanship and liberty trainer Jonathan Field; former Olympic show-jumping coach George Morris; champion reiner Craig Johnson; and cutting and cowhorse specialist Bruce Logan.

“The passion I have for sharing horsemanship is further ignited by getting to do it with some of the top horsemen in the world,” says Jonathan. “It is hard to comprehend the level of expertise that will be assembled, from varying backgrounds, working together at the same event and at the same time.  I will be there as much a keen spectator and student as I am a clinician! These presenters have gold medals and carry respect in the horse industry around the world. I am especially excited knowing that we are all personal friends and share the common objective of putting horses first.  The care towards both the horses and helping people achieve sound knowledge is an approach that will help you build a stronger connection at any level.”

Listen to Jonathan tell you about his friends, the presenters, in his own words:

 

 

For more information about Jonathan Field and Friends International Horsemanship Education Conference or to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

 

Jonathan Field’s new book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES will be in stock SOON! CLICK HERE to pre-order now and be the first to get it!

 

CLICK IMAGE TO PRE-ORDER NOW!

CLICK IMAGE TO PRE-ORDER NOW!

 

To check out the DVDs DRESSAGE FOR JUMPERS and TEACHING AND TRAINING THE AMERICAN WAY by George Morris, CLICK HERE.

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Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan's work with George in 2013

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan’s work with George in Florida in 2013.

Canadian horseman Jonathan Field is recognized all over North America, and the world, for his engaging ability to explain and articulate his knowledge of horses and relate to his audiences. Like other trainers, he has a herd of horses he performs with live to sold out crowds, but what is wonderful about Jonathan is that most of his main demonstration and liberty horses are “cast away problem horses” that he has taken on, retrained, and grown with so that together they could become “stars” of the horse world.

After first traveling to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the 2012 Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Competition, Jonathan is now making a return trip south from his ranch in British Columbia to the 2014 competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

“It’s such an honor to be going back to Road to the Horse to represent my country while sharing my knowledge on starting young horses,” says Jonathan. “Traveling to Kentucky for a second Road to the Horse experience is exciting because I have much better idea about the event, how it is judged, and how to approach the competition in terms of strategy—however, having said all that, we must always remember that in the end it’s all about doing right by our young horses and their future. The horses that we are lucky to get to work with at Road to the Horse are the ones that ultimately determine how each of us go about our work over the weekend and how far we get.”

 

Watch this short video to hear Jonathan share a little bit of his story:

 

We at TSB wish Jonathan the best of luck the weekend of March 13-16, 2014, and we hope he, and the other competitors in the international field of horse trainers, can help demonstrate how we can all achieve a safe, educated, engaged start with young stock that can, “down the road,” lead to the ultimate connection with any horse.

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Jonathan Field’s forthcoming book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES is available for preorder from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, TSB couldn’t help but think of two individuals who clearly love horses and how life can be fuller and more joyful when horses are part of it. TSB is proud to announce the soon-to-be-released new book from Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon, the founding stars of the hit show Cavalia and authors of the bestselling book GALLOP TO FREEDOM. Their new book, BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE is their meaningful, beautiful, and personal account of  how people can begin, and then nurture, thriving and happy relationships with horses.

 

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“For the horse and our relationship to evolve in a good way, we have to remain open,” writes Frederic in BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE. “In my imagination, I see open doors between us so that we always feel that physically and mentally we can achieve anything we set our minds to. If we rest on the principles we have been taught or learned, the relationship with the horse will stay shuttered. Every day I try to make a fresh start: this is a new day for me and for this horse I am with. What will happen? If I do not take this approach—and there are plenty of people in the horse world who do not—I shall never really get through to this horse and learn about his true nature.

“With the passage of time and all the experiences we have had, both good and bad, Magali and I gave up wanting to control everything and, in fact, we listen more and more to what the horses tell us they want to do….To me, being open means being in tune with myself and others, not having immutable principles but always having the wish to be as fair as possible. For the horse to have a beneficial effect on us we must remain open. We must entertain a sense almost of abandon so that we are always ready to be surprised and moved, and ready to question all our previous experience in order to find the true way forward.”

 

Watch Magali and Frederic demonstrate their love of horses in these spectacular clips from Equitana 2013:

 

BuildingLifeTogether

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And CLICK HERE to pre-order a copy of BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon for the special horse person (and Valentine!) in your life.

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It’s debatable, really, whether most of the 100-million-plus people who will “watch” the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2, 2014, will be doing so to cheer on a favored football team or to enjoy, mock, and/or rate the commercials that monopolize the expensive minutes in between plays.

In honor of this annual nod to the supposed powers of television marketing, here are 10 great commercials featuring horses…and here’s hoping that we’ll see a few more come Sunday.

 

1  A “Super Bowl Commercial List” certainly wouldn’t be complete without the Budweiser Clydesdales. The 2013 Super Bowl ad was a winner in my book…I’m admittedly a “softy,” but it gets me every time.

 

2  Carrying on with the Fleetwood Mac theme, and bookending the “Big Horse” nicely with a wee Shetland, we get this treat:

 

3  In case Number 2 on our list didn’t convince you that horses like to get their groove on, check out OPI’s offering:

 

4  It would appear that script writers and commercial producers are itching for a good reason to show a horse flashing some fancy footwork:

 

5  And sticking with the laughs, Will Ferrell proves that he is NOT a horse person:

 

6  It’s not surprising that the automobile industry features horses in its ads—but as a horseWOMAN, this one, in particular, speaks to me:

 

There’s certainly little that embodies “drama” and “heart” like the racetrack, and this black-and-white piece from Longines succeeds in increasing your pulse:

 

8  And sticking with the black-and-white (and utterly effective), who’d have thought Guinness could get me all choked up? But something about this vintage-type imagery just GETS me:

 

9  Here’s a “someday horse story” with which many of us can identify, and Prudential has done a marvelous job transmitting their message while speaking to our heart:

 

10  And last, but certainly not least, our own Jonathan Field, horse trainer and author of the forthcoming TSB book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES, broke into the mainstream with this fabulous commercial from Blackberry:

 

You can preorder Jonathan Field’s book at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

And shop all our great horse books and DVDs at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com.

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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In this lesson from THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK, trainer and founder of the International Horse Agility Club Vanessa Bee helps us learn not to pull on our horse (so he, in turn, doesn’t pull on us!) with an easy exercise to try with a friend at home or at the barn.

 

I can lead my horse Secret with a loose lead rope—she “reads” me for direction rather than relying on a tug of the lead rope.

I can lead my horse Secret with a loose lead rope—she “reads” me for direction rather than relying on a tug of the lead rope.

 

Have you ever tried to pull a horse along by the lead rope? Hard work, isn’t it? That’s because when you pull on a horse, he pulls back against you. However, it’s very easy to train a horse to stop pulling on you—just stop pulling on him. It takes two to pull! When you ask the horse to walk with you, it should feel as if he’s “floating along” on the end of the lead rope. However, he’ll never do this if you pull on him because he will always look for the lead rope to “guide” him rather than “read” the handler for direction.

By starting off with a polite request and increasing the pressure very slightly until the horse gives to that pressure—and then rewarding him by releasing instantly—you can train the horse to move quietly and softly on a loose lead.

 

The “Learning Not to Pull” Game: Human to Human

1  Find a friend and hold a lead rope between you. The person holding the clip end is the “horse” and the person at the other end is the “handler.” (It doesn’t matter who is the “horse” first because you can swap positions later.) The “horse” may find it easier to close her eyes in order to feel communication traveling down the rope.

2  The rope should be slack with no feeling of a connection between “handler” and “horse.” The “handler” then lifts and shortens the rope slowly until the “horse” can feel a connection.

 

Lucy (left) is the horse and Vanessa (right) is the handler. Vanessa "invites" her "horse" to walk toward her.

Lucy (left) is the horse and Vanessa (right) is the handler. Vanessa “invites” her “horse” to walk toward her with a little squeeze on the rope.

 

3  The “handler” then puts a tiny squeeze on the rope, inviting the “horse” to walk towards her. The aim is for the human players to see how little pressure is needed to communicate the human request to the horse. (You will be amazed how tiny this feel can be—when a real horse is trained to look for these tiny signals, communication between horse and handler becomes almost invisible.)

4  The willing “horse” feels the squeeze and walks. As soon as the “handler” feels the “horse” give to the pressure, the “handler” must release, too. If she doesn’t, there is no reward for the “horse,” who may well just pull back.

5  You can enact various real-life scenarios: a pulling horse, a “stuck” horse, an easy horse. Start the game again, but this time the “horse” doesn’t immediately walk but pulls back a tiny bit. The “handler” must hold on without pulling harder because that may well cause the “horse” to pull harder, and I can tell you, a real horse will win!

 

Lucy and Vanessa switch roles. Vanessa, the "horse," closes her eyes to really feel Lucy communicating with her through the lead rope.

Lucy and Vanessa switch roles. Vanessa, the “horse,” closes her eyes to really feel Lucy communicating with her through the lead rope.

 

6  Try that next: Start the game again, only this time when the “horse” answers the squeeze and walks forward, the “handler” just goes on pulling. Ask the “horse” how she felt about it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the “horse” will say she wanted to pull back. Whenever the horse gives to pressure, the handler must release instantly.

7  Take turns watching each other as the “handler,” and notice what you do before you squeeze the rope. This is the beginning of the “horse” reading the “handler’s” body language instead of being guided by the rope.

 

Now Take What You Learned and Play with a Real Horse!

To prepare the horse to walk forward on the lead:

1  Raise your energy level (to get his attention), run your hand down the rope to set up a vibration, lean forward into the direction of the movement, lift the rope, and point in the direction you want him to go. Using very little pressure on the rope, ask him to walk with you.

2  When he takes the first step, release the pressure on the rope and take a step, too. You will find that you are walking together with a loose rope. Stay relaxed but focus on the speed and direction of the walk while remaining aware of the horse. The lead rope between you and the horse should remain loose—it is only there as a “safety belt”—it is not for dragging the horse. Walk with intention, looking forward to where you want to go.

 

THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

And watch for the NEW BOOK coming from Vanessa Bee! 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP: 60 AMAZINGLY ACHIEVABLE LESSONS TO IMPROVE YOUR HORSE (AND YOURSELF) WHEN TIME IS SHORT will be released in February 2014.

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP NOW

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