Posts Tagged ‘BAD HABITS’

Real horse books are taking back what's theirs!

With the retirement of @Horse_ebooks, REAL horse books are taking back what’s theirs!


In September of 2013, the phenomenally popular Twitter account @Horse_ebooks, which had amassed over 200,000 followers with its frequent nonsensical tweets that somehow seemed laden with meaning (although rarely had anything to do with horses), “quit” the Internet. What I’m sure might surprise most real horse people, is not only the number of followers, but the passion they displayed for Horse_ebooks’ non sequiturs and textual mash-ups. Merchandise was sold, copycats proliferated, and when it ended, those who loved it mourned publicly: “Horse_ebooks is over,” they posted. “I can’t deal.”

To sum up a long and convoluted story, @Horse_ebooks at one time belonged to a Russian Web developer who set up the account to drive traffic to his e-book site, e-library.net (where you could indeed purchase books about horses). Two men, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, acquired the account in 2011 and proceeded to attempt to tweet like a “bot” (those annoying automated programs that deliver spam and sales links via social media—have you noticed how their tweets and posts never make any sense?). The result was what many interpret as a form of “Net art”: Performing as a “spambot,” Bakkila pulled random bits of text from various places, and used these “found objects” to make an often semi-incoherent statement.

What seems mildly unfair about the whole story is the masquerade (albeit a shallow one) as a purveyor or fan of horses and/or horse books and/or horse ebooks! And so, with a nod to those who dreamt up the concept, and an up-front acknowledgment that “I’m no bot,” TSB would like to assure the world that the regular old, for-real horse books (and horse e-books) we publish can provide 140-character-or-less quips that are just as funny, just as meaningful, and just as “art”-worthy. Feel free to print any of these on a t-shirt!

The Riding Horse Repair Manual by Doug Payne: The source of infinite wisdom.

The Riding Horse Repair Manual by Doug Payne: The source of infinite wisdom.


Should you happen to feel yourself falling, now is the time  (The Riding Horse Repair Manual)


The pocket-size device is…devoid of meaning and absent personal or social relevance.  (Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul)


He shines like polished mahogany. The room was quiet.  (Crown Prince)


Use the right for delicate work and left for opening jars that have lids stuck.  (Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse)


Without awareness and control, your legs fall Plus it does not require equipment.  (The Riding Doctor)


I didn’t realize it was windy, and I didn’t know the judge was so mean  (Pressure Proof Your Riding)


Fancy would have run me over just a few days ago  (Clinton Anderson’s Downunder Horsemanship)


Set the spray interval and duration to fit your fly problem. More and more people are working at home  (Horse Housing)


Small and straightforward in case you encounter resistance–see p. 315 for a packing list.  (Modern Eventing with Phillip Dutton)


He needs to go on straight lines as well as curves  (The Rider’s Guide to Real Collection)



Pressure Proof Your Riding by Daniel Stewart. In life, who needs excuses?


My demands to avoid the work becoming onerous and demoralizing. There was no door or passageway that led to any other room.  (Building a Life Together—You and Your Horse)


Look sleepy, or bored, or both. We sort of know what we want. (The Alchemy of Lightness)


Your dollar will fly away, and you’re out!  (Games for Kids on Horseback)


Left front, right front, left front, right front, STOP. Like a well-oiled hinge.  (3-Minute Horsemanship)


Patience is always more productive than punishment, Always go a little ways past home  (Good Horse, Bad Habits)


In such groups, there are rarely big battles for “top spot” on the phone, make small talk  (Know You, Know Your Horse)


Just kidding. We’ve had enough caffeine for one day.  (Riding Barranca)




But then his whole world suddenly collapses. Everything goes smoothly.  (Lorenzo: The Flying Frenchman)


Nature, Nurture and Horses by Paul Belasik. Find YOUR path!

Nature, Nurture and Horses by Paul Belasik. Find YOUR path!


Never design a course with a TURN out of a COMBINATION!!  (Jump Course Design Manual)


With the Monkey and Reverse Monkey, you have learned how.  (Centered Riding 2)


You cannot feel the ball because it is deep inside the socket. (40 5-Minute Jumping Fixes)


The small misdemeanors, and the big ones will go away.  (The Horse Agility Handbook)


NOW you are off on a tangent to your intended curved line! (Nature, Nurture and Horses)


Opinions vary as to the effectiveness of elastic  (Suffering in Silence)


Captured accidentally! Leaning his rear end on a bucket! (Where Does My Horse Hurt?)


You have a better chance of being bitten by the roping bug in the West.  (The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses)


You can read these, and many other brilliant and meaningful turns of phrase in the horse books available from the TSB online bookstore.



Read Full Post »

Find easy-to-use solutions to common horse problems in GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS by Heather Smith Thomas.

Find easy-to-use solutions to common horse problems in GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS by Heather Smith Thomas.


As I walked to the barn this weekend I heard an unmistakeable low hum underfoot. The grass is not yet green, the snow is still melting from the shadiest nooks and crannies near the treeline, but the insects are restless. And where most horses are concerned, when the flies emerge, so must the fly spray.

So begins the skittering dance in stalls and barn aisles around the world. You point and raise the nozzle toward Old Joe and he transforms from sleepy senior into wild-eyed bronc: “There’s NO WAY I’m letting THAT THING spit on me!” he seems to say as he trods on your toes, knocks you into the wall, and spills his water bucket down the back of your pants for good measure.

Noted horsewoman, rancher, and author of over 20 books Heather Smith Thomas gives us simple steps to overcoming the very common fear of spray bottles in her new book GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS. In this remarkably easy-to-use reference, Heather provides multiple solutions to over 130 problems in the stable, on the ground, under saddle, and on the road. GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to find out more.


Here’s Heather’s advice for defeating a horse’s habitual fear of “Spray Bottle Monsters”:

Many horses are afraid of fly spray or aerosol applications because of the hissing sound they make when the product is dispensed. Some people make the mistake of trying to apply spray for the first time with the horse restrained (tied up). Unfortunately, if the horse feels trapped in the face of the unfamiliar sound and sensation of the spray, he may panic and pull back. Fear of the sound of the spray quickly becomes a phobia and resistance becomes a habit.

How to Change This Habit

Solution 1

Start over and reacquaint the horse with the spray in a totally nonconfrontational manner. Take as much time and use as many lessons as necessary to get him relaxed about the sound of spray. Work on this in a safe, open area where the horse can’t run into anything, and use a spray bottle with plain water in it.

• Stand next to his shoulder, holding on to the lead rope, and spray the bottle far away from him, at first. He may run circles around you, trying to get away from it, but just continue spraying (away from him) while talking quietly to the horse. If you are not actually trying to spray him, you will also be more relaxed and at ease, not tense and fighting with him to stand still. As soon as the horse stands quietly instead of moving around when he hears the sound, pet him and let him know he’s done the right thing.

• Gradually work the spray closer to the horse as he begins to settle down. Repeat the lesson several times a day until he starts to fuss less and relax.

• Usually within a few days the horse realizes it’s not going to hurt him—the sound no longer scares him—and you can cautiously start applying the spray to his body. The key throughout the process is to not restrain him so he doesn’t feel trapped. If he’s free to move around you in a circle, he gets over his fear more quickly. (He’s also less apt to try to kick at you when he’s moving.)

Solution 2

If the horse is really nervous and scared, take a lot of time to reacquaint him with the spray. Enlist the help of a friend so one of you can hold him (in a paddock or pen is a good place to work on this) while the other starts spraying well away from him, gradually getting closer. Bring the spray a little closer and then take it farther away again, alternating proximity (using approach and retreat) so he knows it won’t “get him.” Give him a chance to think about it, allowing him to circle around his handler if he wants to. When he does stop and stand still, rub his neck and withers to help relax him—rubbing this area tends to calm a horse because this is where his dam nuzzled him when he was a foal.

A horse always “thinks” more rationally when he is calm than when he’s scared and upset, so your job in the process is to get him calm, rather than try to force him to accept the spray.

What If Nothing Works?

When a horse continues to fear spray applications and his reactions are such that he puts you or himself in danger, use an alternate method for applying insecticide or other spray products. Spray onto a soft cloth and then wipe it on the horse. Seek alternative product choices, like roll-ons and ointments.




Find more practical solutions to common horse problems in GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS.

“I really like this book!” says Rhonda Massingham Hart, author of Trail Riding and Among Wild Horses. “It is such a great idea for horse people because it leads them deeper into understanding the psychology behind many horse behavior and training issues. People tend to read only what they think they need to know, but here, even if they only read one problem-and-solution because it’s related to an issue they are actually dealing with, they will have learned something valuable–and hopefully, reading one will lead to reading another, and another, and…”



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: