Living in an area with long cold winters leaves me with lots of time to catch up on reading and research. I tend to be pretty picky about what books become my go-to resources for helping clients and their horses. While just about every book has some takeaways that could be useful to improve your horsemanship many of them are just not worth the time to read cover to cover for a tiny bit of helpful info. I want help you avoid spending a fortune on books and have more time to spend with your horse. So after weeding out many books that are just okay, I’ve narrowed down a tried and true reading list for you to check out.
Some of these books are strictly horse related. While others are more about improving yourself on a personal level which in turn leads to becoming a better horse owner and rider. They are all able to be applied to various disciplines so don’t judge based on the type of saddle on the front cover. I’ve found that some of my biggest insights have come from looking at resources that are a bit out of the box with an open mind.
I also want you to know some of the links on this page are affiliate links, this means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the link. But don’t worry it doesn’t cost you any extra. I am truly grateful for every single purchase made, not only because it helps make it possible for me to keep Insightful Equine going but also because you are making a purchase that I know will improve the lives of horses. Thank you!
If you have any questions about a book on this list fire it my way. I hope you gain as much from these as I have. Now grab a cocoa and curl up with your new favorite book.
Centered Riding 2 by Sally Swift is the perfect book to help you understand the how your horse is influenced by your riding. Sally offers great visuals throughout the book so even if you are not the most detailed reader you can still gain a great deal by tuning into the pictures. She is also very skilled at giving you mental images to use while riding so it's easy to effortlessly transfer knowledge from the page to the saddle. Click on the picture to get your own copy.
Joint Yoga is set up as a workbook that you can go through with your horse to increase overall well being as well as help with rebalancing their system. It covers basic acupressure and valuable stretching exercises (both on the ground and in the saddle) that can relieve stress and improve range of motion and athletic ability. It also covers natural pain relief exercises that you can do to help your horse feel better without drugs. Get your Joint Yoga workbook by clicking on the picture.
You Can Train Your Horse To Do Anything is a versatile positive reinforcement training book that can be used to build your positive training foundation or to complement other training methods. Shawna does an excellent job of walking the reader through how to use positive training create a connection between horse and rider. She also discusses how your horse can benefit from positive reinforcement without having to throw out all other training methods or turning him into a giant golden retriever. Personally, I have found that her methods can take a horse from being completely fed up with the world to working happily on its own free will.
Just a heads up The New Total Rider is going to be way outside the box for some people and an eye-opening game changer for others. It has extensive detail about how to optimize your riding physically, nutritionally, and mentally. For some, it would be a book to grab a few exercises and insights from to make small changes to how they feel and for others this book could be the start of a health overhaul. Check it out for yourself by clicking on the picture.
Fitness In Motion goes way beyond your basic carrot stretches to help your horse gain flexibility from head to toe. It has great visuals and breaks down the body into sections so it's less overwhelming. The sketches also show you what the inside of the horse looks like so you can get a better idea of exactly what areas you are working on with each stretch. Get your own by clicking on the picture.
Motivational Manifesto is all about taking back your agenda and getting clear on your goals. Not just the things you want to obtain and accomplish but tuning into the feelings that you want to experience while working toward your goals. Applying the principles in the book to my equine life has been tremendously helpful in guiding my interactions with horses and clients. Its a go-to for getting clear and getting going. Click the cover to get your copy.
The Code Of The Extraordinary Mind is a great read to develop new ways of thinking and learning. It dives into a bit of myth-busting when it comes to conventional self-improvement methods and unveils new ways of optimizing our potential. This book found its way into my hands at exactly the right time as I was starting a major shift in personal and professional growth. In regards to it changing how I interact with horses, it opened me up to questioning traditional equine practices (in training, treatment, and care). The idea that "its just the way it's always been" is no longer valid, I realize now that when something just isn't working for my horse I can find better methods. Click the picture to get your own copy.
This book can save you a pile of money and time. It will essentially help you to become a better translator between your horse and your equine professionals such as vet, bodyworkers, chiropractors, and farriers. The main focus is chiropractic but I have found that it is also helpful for passing along info in other cases as well. For example, when a client's horse had recurring shoulder pain she would get adjusted only to go back to being in pain a short while later, I was able to talk the farrier through the cycle of what was happening and he was able to fix it by adjusting her feet enough for her stay pain free. By learning to pinpoint and source pain issues in your horse you will be able to do a better job of explaining what is going on with them. This means they are more likely to get the right treatments the first time. This book easily pays for its self, time and time again. Click the pic to grab your own copy.
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