Posts Tagged ‘emotional conformation profiling’

This weekend: "The First Saturday in May."

This weekend: “The First Saturday in May.”


On Saturday, May 3, 2014—“The First Saturday in May”—a field of three-year-old Thoroughbreds will thunder through a mile-and-a-quarter at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. This will mark the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, a horse race that has been run every year since it was started in May of 1875.

For the past three years, Kerry Thomas—founder of the Thomas Herding Technique and a system of “Emotional Conformation” profiling for horses—and Calvin Carter, Thomas’ coauthor of the book HORSE PROFILING and owner of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, a bloodstock consulting firm, have successfully named the winners of the Kentucky Derby using their unique systems of patterns-of-motion and pedigree analysis. This year, both Thomas and Carter again provide their insight into the equine athletes that will step on the track come Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

TODAY, Wednesday, April 30, Kerry Thomas’ Patterns-of-Motion Analysis drops at Brisnet.com. Thomas picked Orb, I’ll Have Another, and Animal Kingdom all as Derby winners due to their unique Emotional Conformation and ability to manage space and sensory input around them (Thomas explains his theories and system in the book HORSE PROFILING—CLICK HERE to find out more). Be sure to visit Brisnet.com TODAY to get Kerry Thomas’ 2014 Kentucky Derby picks!


Click the image above to visit Brisnet.com and find Kerry Thomas' 2014 Derby Profiles.

Click the image above to visit Brisnet.com and find Kerry Thomas’ 2014 Derby Profiles.


Calvin Carter is a Thoroughbred pedigree expert and has used intensive analysis of pedigree, combined with his understanding of Emotional Conformation, to name Derby winners the past three years. He has devised his own Classic Champion Profile with a numerical score: the higher the score, the better a horse’s potential in classic competition. Carter will name his favorites in the 2014 field in his Classic Champion Thoroughbred blog. Carter’s blog will post after the Draw, which occurs at 5:21 p.m. today. CLICK HERE to visit Carter’s blog.

In addition, Carter will be interviewed on WAVE 3 TV by reporter John Boel, live from the Churchill Downs backside, on Thursday at 7:15 p.m., during the station’s broadcast of the Pegasus Parade in downtown Louisville. Carter will also appear on WHAS 11 TV’s “Great Day Live” with Terry Meiners and Rachel Platt on Friday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Thomas and Carter have been busy in the days running up to this coming weekend! Thomas was recently featured on TheRacingBiz.com, as well as in the winter issue of the international horse racing magazine Gallop. CLICK HERE to read the article on TheRacingBiz.com. Meanwhile, Carter spoke about HORSE PROFILING at two author events in Thoroughbred country.


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HORSE PROFILING by Kerry Thomas with Calvin Carter is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.



“[HORSE PROFILING] leaves you with no question as to why [Kerry Thomas’] work has been called ‘groundbreaking.'” –John Strassburger, Performance Editor, Horse Journal

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Kerry Thomas, author of HORSE PROFILING: THE SECRET TO MOTIVATING EQUINE ATHLETES with Calvin Carter, and creator of the Thomas Herding Technique, recently received this letter from a horse lover who had read his book. We thought it summed up what his techniques are meant to achieve so well, we wanted to share it with everyone:

Dear Kerry,

A few weeks ago I read your profiles of the horses racing in the 138th Kentucky Derby. I was reading this post-Derby. I was impressed that your profiles were accurate—many of the horses behaved as you anticipated. The profile spoke about the horses’ individual characteristics and how they would manage based on their ability to focus when other horses where trying to influence them. I had never known this to be possible. I was beyond curious to understand the horse’s view and how this influence takes place. I had never seen horses communicating in a race. I wanted to know more—the article referenced your book Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes.

Nina learns about the importance of Emotional Conformation in her copy of HORSE PROFILING by Kerry Thomas and Calvin Carter.

I have ridden horses my whole life. I have never owned a horse, but I have taken riding classes. I consider myself a pleasure rider. I go to the racetrack once a week in Southern California to joyfully see horses reach their potential, and sometimes sadly to see a beloved horse with talent flounder race after race. I would ride and watch horses but never felt I truly understood them. I would wince when I would see trainers impose their will on a horse—and mystified when a trainer would lead a less athletic horse to victory. Many times my instructors would give me tools that I felt were taking me further from connecting, nurturing, and caring for a horse. I’ve never given up but my hit-and-miss responses to horses sort of made me a bit unfulfilled. I knew it could and should be different.

I just finished your book Horse Profiling—it has been my “Ah Ha! Moment”! The book revealed the mysteries I could not piece together on my own. Once your theories were explained it made sense. The book enlightened me on nature’s design of the horse’s emotions. How powerful herding is, how horses communicate, how horse personalities are different and that affects the way they are trained. I look back with some humor at my attempts to bring a horse in focus that was “done for the moment.” I was not taught the emotional profile of a horse, just his physical capabilities. The book was so fun-filled with case studies to help me understand. The book was very easy to read. Your knowledge was generous. Each chapter covers an entire topic for easy reference.

I really look forward to the fulfillment of seeing every horse understood as the horses in your case studies. Thank you so much for your hard work. I work in landscaping and will suggest to customers your pasture designs that better match the horse’s instincts. I am excited to ride and listen to horses!

Nina Colasurdo

TSB author Kerry Thomas profiling horses for America’s Best Racing: Summer Insider.

For more about Kerry Thomas and his system of Emotional Profiling, CLICK HERE to see a short video on America’s Best Racing: Summer Insider.

HORSE PROFILING is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.


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TSB author Kerry Tomas called Derby winner Animal Kingdom a horse that rises to the occasion and doesn't miss a step in May 2 Kentucky Confidential interview.

Last month we were thrilled to announce that we had reached a book deal with Kerry Thomas, a pioneering researcher in the field of Equine Athletic Psychology. Thomas began his research in the field of herd dynamics and horse psychology by studying wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana, with the intent to use his independent studies in equine social structures in the development of therapy horses for children. It was during his early work that he determined that it was what he calls emotional conformation rather than physical conformation that governs herd dynamics. Thomas then spent 10 years streamlining his process of Emotional Conformation Profiling and applying it to the sport horse industry.

Thomas now focuses on the development of programs to advance the equine athlete in a given field, as well as identifying the mental blocks that derail the advancement of many sport horses. Although he works with all equestrian disciplines, Thomas’ ground-breaking theories and techniques have already made a significant impact on the Thoroughbred racing industry. He has worked with top racehorses, trainers, and owners in the United States, Europe, South America, Australia, and Hong Kong, and has developing interests in China via the Royal Nanjing Jockey Club and most recently in the Middle East.

On May 2, five days before the running of the 137th Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Confidential published an interview with Thomas, in which he provided emotional conformation profiles of all of the major contenders in this year’s race, based on video replays. Here’s what he said about the horses that finished in the top four:

Winner: Animal Kingdom

“He has a very very high herd dynamic in that he is always in self-control. His maiden win was a good learning race. It took a few seconds, but he learned to handle the rail. In the stretch run, he took over that space. Did you see that other horse get away?

“This horse’s mental capacity rises to the occasion, and he doesn’t miss a step. They could take this horse overseas. He could run 1 1/2 miles or longer. He has a very broad running style, but he remains controlled in any circumstance.

“[In the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes] he was pissed early, but he don’t care where he’s at. He’s gonna do his thing. The more time in motion, the stronger he gets. He can hover in a space and then launch past it. He was having fun running along side Decisive Moment, and then throws him away. Animal Kingdom’s only weakness is that he has a late release point. He threw Decisive Moment away at his leisure, but that could be a problem in the future, because we humans have this thing called a finish line.

“It will be a hell of a battle to watch if he and Dialed In hook up in the Derby. Those two have the most complete emotional conformation profiles in this race.”

Second: Nehro

“Here we have another stair climber. He moves from point in space to point in space.

“I don’t think he likes being by the rail, but he’s been stuck down there twice and still ran well.. He prefers motion inside of him. The reason a stair climber cannot use the rail for efficiency is that it’s an object that never goes away. A stair climber will see the rail, and think, ‘Damn, this object is in my space and I can’t get past it.

“In the Arkansas Derby, Nehro lost the race but he thinks he won. He was in the process of taking over Archarcharch’s space at the wire. Nehro gets into a nice gear when he’s able to be where he’s happy. You can see a very consistent pattern.

“He requires fairly close contact to influence space. He’s good at taking over the space close to him, and he does seek out targets, but he requires fairly close contact to influence them. Unlike Dialed In, Nehro seeks targets and goes around. Dialed In plows through. Nehro is the pickpocket. Dialed In is a big bully.

Third: Mucho Macho Man

“He became a completely different horse when they took the blinkers off. The Risen Star was the first race that was really him. This horse has a tremendous amount of potential. He manages his space very well. I think he has the ability to pick off horses and stair climb. He’s OK in a crowd and OK in space.

“I think he’s a little immature compared to his body size. He’s got a lot of improvement ahead of him.

“His loss in the Louisiana Derby … I think it was partly the shoe, but in the heat of the battle I don’t think that made the difference. This was a very, very good race for him. He competed. He has the mindset of a competitor and has a good solid emotional conformation. He has a tremendous amount of grit. He just has some learning to do.”

Fourth: Shackleford

“He likes close contact. He likes to be engaged. His maiden win (where he re-rallied to win by three-quarters of a length) actually was never close. That was fun for him.

“A close-contact horse like this has no problems with large fields. This horse is a gamer. He has a really good presence. He can maintain pace while searching with his ears. Because of his close-contact propensity, releasing is not a strong point. A horse like this will have a hard time releasing and acelerating. They would rather slow down and run with a buddy as opposed to stair climb. That means if he’s not playing that game out front, he’ll play it in the middle, and then he’s not gonna matter in terms of the race.

“He should be near the front, but I would not let him get too much of a lead. His nose should be about to the [bottom] of the jockey in front of him. If he has too much space, he mentally begins to overcompensate.

“In the Florida Derby, he got engaged when Dialed In got right up on him. Dialed in is a bulldozer, and Shackleford didn’t have enough time to react. Once he got engaged, Dialed In had already put his nose on the wire. If the race was another quarter mile longer, it could have been different. Probably not, but who knows.”

We find Kerry Thomas’ work fascinating, and we feel it could make an exciting impact on how we breed, buy, and train the horses we compete in various equestrian sports. Watch for Thomas’ exciting new book on Emotional Conformation Profiling and equine athletic psychology in 2012. For updates on this title and other new and forthcoming equestrian books and DVDs, bookmark SNEAK PEEKS on the TSB website, subscribe to the TSB blog, and friend us on Facebook.

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