ABOUT THIS BOOK
“The horse we have in our stable is the horse we make.”
Whether this horse is a youngster that is the proverbial “clean slate,” or an older horse in need of re-schooling back to basics as a result of mishandling, this book shows the reader how to approach horses in a way that makes real sense to them.
The Marquis makes a clear distinction between this basic education that instills trust in a horse that is being kindly and thoroughly taught to understand and accept the human world, and the training that will come later under a rider in the discipline that will become the horse’s career.
In the first part of the book, the author discusses equine ethology and psychology to help the reader understand better the nature of horses in general, before focusing on the practicalities of educating a horse.
The second part of the book presents a logical sequence of training in which the pupil is carefully taught the necessary stable manners, introduced to the halter and bridle, to longeing, and to the basics of work on the long reins to learn the aids. The author shows that all this can be accomplished with patience, gentleness, and understanding and the result is a confident horse that is happy in his work and thoroughly prepared for backing.
Easy to read and understand, this classic book deserves a place of honor on every horseman’s bookshelf.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Owen Mac Swiney was born in Dublin in 1916. He was fascinated with horses all his life though for many years this interest became latent due to the demands of his work. He qualified as a barrister but gave up law to follow a career in fashion and design. A man of many talents, Mac Swiney also achieved renown as an artist and sculptor.
Living in the Westphalian countryside, he found time to devote to horses once again, and began observing them closely to understand their behavior. In doing so he developed his own gentle approach to educating and training, producing horses that were willing to learn and a pleasure to own.
Sadly, Owen Mac Swiney died in 1986 but not before completing this remarkable book, leaving a unique record of his work for the benefit of all who own or work with horses.
This comprehensive, perceptive and pragmatic book struck a chord deep in my heart. What the title promises, the author delivers in relatable, even beautiful, prose. His gentle method, grounded in infallible principles, reflects his deep love for horses. I imagine they blossomed under his reassurance, calmness and clarity. In this book I feel as though I have found an old friend, a kindred spirit…how I would have loved to have joined him at the paddock’s edge.
Calan L., New Zealand
Foundations of Horsemanship is the most in-depth book I have read on the individual psychology and welfare of the horse, and the very first book one should have in their equine library. An intimate and stunningly comprehensive look at what the early years and handling of a young horse should be. A manual for horsemanship at its finest.
Nicole A., Illinois, USA
This elegant book brims with affection towards the animal whose profile is gracefully outlined on the cover…The focus is on spending time to build up a relationship of mutual trust, which will be enjoyed by the human and equine partners for the years to come.
Anastasija R., Latvia
A much-needed revival of common sense horsemanship based on a deep understanding of the nature of horses.
Shelley C., Canada
I can’t recommend this treasure of a book highly enough to anyone wanting to deepen their relationship with their horse! No matter your discipline you’ll find valuable and timeless wisdom in its pages.
Claire S., Montana, USA
This book was a pleasure to read from the first page to the last. The author’s love for horses permeates the book and I think he would be bereft had he lived to see the haste with which young horses are trained today.
Maria B., Sweden