A horse training book built on removing fear and stress during the animal’s every working encounter with a human.
This is the bold approach taken by Australian trainer Neil Davies in his long-awaited book, FEAR-FREE HORSE TRAINING, Every Step of the Way.
The book is 225 pages in hard cover, with 325 photos in full color. As a teenager, Davies started working with horses on his father’s dairy farm on the rim of the Outback. His unique style and swift progress was noted by an ever-increasing number of horse people.
He presents “original knowledge” revealed to him by working with thousands of horses. There are no “problem horses,” he believes, only incorrectly informed people.
Davies’ intrinsic point of difference is his belief that horses should never be frightened at any stage of their training. He says, “There’s never a need to get a horse used to anything. Instead, everything must be introduced in a manner that a horse can understand and accept without fear.”
Davies looks at a horse as an artist looks at a blank canvas. “What you put on the canvas is exactly what makes up the final picture. To reach a horse, we must first get through our own arrogance, impatience and imperfections as human beings. Be reminded it takes years for a human to learn to understand horses, yet a poor old ‘dumb’ horse can assess his rider or handler very quickly and out-think him in a few minutes.”
Davies first introduced his radical training approach to American audiences over twenty years ago. He explains: “Many times I grew discouraged, because increasingly the popular approach to training horses was, and still is, chasing them in a round pen until they are exhausted, then terrifying them even more with flags and whips. I saw one clinician with a roaring chainsaw!! I decided it was time to show there is an easier and more gentle way to reach a horse.”
Neil Davies’ signature approach to every horse is a rub on the forehead and neck. “This rub can’t be overdone and is the most important training tool for every horseperson,” he says.