Recommended Reading

I’m often asked to recommend books, both by clients and students, so I thought it might be helpful if I listed a few here. These certainly aren’t exhaustive lists and if and when I think of other books I’d like to add, I’ll edit this post!

Much excitement as I unpack the latest BHS publication, my contribution is chapter eleven, on learning theory.

First of all, for those working towards a role as a clinical equine behaviourist, I’d suggest the following for a deeper understanding of equine behaviour, perception and cognition. These are, in the main, more in depth ‘scientific’ texts, however they would also be of interest to the dedicated horse owner.

Leblanc, Michel-Antoine (2013) The Mind of The Horse: an introduction to equine cognition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts/ London, England.

McDonnell, Sue (2003) A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behaviour: the equid ethogram. The Blood Horse Inc., Lexington.

McGreevy, Paul (2004) Equine Behavior, a guide for veterinarians and equine scientists. Saunders, Elsevier.

Mills, Daniel and McDonnell, Sue (2005) The Domestic Horse. The evolution, development and management of its behaviour. Cambridge University Press.

Rees, Lucy (2017) Horses in Company. J.A. Allen, London.

Schöning, Barbara (2008) Horse Behaviour. Interpreting Body Language and Communication. 5M Publishing, Sheffield

For less academically minded owners and trainers, but who love to read and still wish to gain a better understand horses, I would include the Rees and Schöning books from the list above and I would add the following two titles by Marlitt Wendt. These are more popular texts, perhaps more readable than the academic texts and providing a more basic level of information, but still very useful.

Wendt, Marlitt (2011) How horses feel and think. Cadmos , Germany.

Wendt, Marlitt (2011) Trust instead of dominance. Cadmos, Germany.

I would also include a chapter from the latest BHS manual, written by myself!

Spence, Helen (2018) Learning Theory. In Ch. 11, BHS Complete Horsemanshop Volume 4. Edited by Martin Diggle. The British Horse Society. Kenilworth Press.

I am in the process of expanding further on this topic for a book of my own, in order to provide a more in depth discussion for trainers and coaches, so watch this space!

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