Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes: Using Emotional Conformation, Behavioral Genetics, and Herd Dynamics to Choose Training Methods, Improve Performance, and Hone Competitive Strategy

Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes: Using Emotional Conformation, Behavioral Genetics, and Herd Dynamics to Choose Training Methods, Improve Performance, and Hone Competitive Strategy

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By (author) Kerry Thomas, With Calvin L Carter, Foreword by Lester J Buckley

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  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Publishing
  • Format: Hardback | 170 pages
  • Dimensions: 211mm x 262mm x 20mm | 839g
  • Publication date: 15 May 2012
  • ISBN 10: 1570765081
  • ISBN 13: 9781570765087
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, colour illustrations
  • Sales rank: 869,380

Product description

The Thomas Herding Technique is thoroughly explained in this book that helps trainers of top equine athletes get them to perform their very best while living happy, contented lives. While following wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana, independent researcher Kerry Thomas realized that what is inside the horse (emotional conformation) and not what is outside (how a horse is built, or its physical conformation) is what governs herd dynamics. He determined that this was the basis for everything horse: whatever role a horse plays in a human environment--whatever breed, sport, or job--the emotional conformation dictates, in large part, success or failure. Thomas identified a system of emotional profiling--the Thomas Herding Technique--that enables him to determine a horse's performance tendencies, and then began to develop ways in which horses can be mentally conditioned toward a given goal. The technique is already used by some leading racehorse training and breeding programs in the world, and this book explains this unique way of analyzing the psyche of the equine athlete for all horses, and particularly those in competitive careers where performance is a primary focus. It is no secret that speed, stamina, jumping ability, and athletic prowess depend on the horse's physical ability to perform--to run, stop, turn, balance, and to be powerful or graceful. However, the world has seen many "great" athletic bodies, human and horse, fail to reach their true potential, while others, perhaps thought to be less great in form and function, reach the pinnacle of their sport or discipline.In the world of human athletes, we might claim hard work, "grit," or "heart" as the force greater than muscle that propels them to the top. But the horse doesn't have performance goals in the way we do, so what is it that motivates one racehorse to leave the rest of the field behind to cross the finish line first? Early on in his research of wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana, Kerry Thomas determined that what he calls "Emotional Conformation"--not physical conformation--governs equine herd dynamics. At that moment he understood that, regardless of breed or career, an Emotional Conformation Profile could dictate in large part the success or failure of the horse in the human environment--including performance sports and competition. Focusing on this research, Kerry began to cultivate ways in which a horse's "mental capacity" could be identified and then "conditioned" toward a given goal. In these pages, Kerry explains how it is possible to determine if a horse has what it takes inside him to make what he has on the outside great. Can your racing prospect handle distance? Does your event horse have the "finish" to clear that last enormous cross-country obstacle when his legs are tired? Is your reining horse capable of maintaining focus in the face of large crowds and multiple distractions? These are the questions Horse Profiling helps answer. This book begins by teaching you how to enter the "Equine Circle"--a kind of horse society with established rules and hierarchies. This, in essence, enables you to peer through a window into your horse's psyche. How he communicates with others--with more or less body language or intent--helps you identify the mental and emotional characteristics that make him "trainable..".or not. In addition, you'll discover the P-Type grading system, which assigns letter grades according to a horse's instinctual tendencies (basic and acquired), and his ability to handle environmental stimuli while in motion. The P-Type grade adds valuable information to the Emotional Conformation Profile, enabling you to work with the performance horse best positioned to allow you to make efficient use of time and money, successfully propel your riding career forward, and ultimately, do what is best for the horse in terms of his mental and physical well-being. Finally, Kerry examines what he has found to be the eight key causes of behavioral problems in two main categories--what he calls potential withholds and equine mental illness--which can derail an equine athlete's career and indefinitely suspend a horse's healthy, social existence.

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Author information

Calvin L. Carteris a pedigree analyst and freelance writer who has documented for publication the sire and damsire line of all the American Classic winners. He lives in New Albany, Indiana. Kerry M. Thomas is a researcher and service provider in the field of equine athletic psychology. He developed the Thomas Herding Technique of herd profiling for sport horse industries. He lives in Cochranville, Pennsylvania.

Review quote

"This book emphasizes the importance of truly understanding the horse- its needs, its nature and its mentality- and how to treat him accordingly in order to maximize his potential as a sport horse. This book will help you unravel your equine athlete's personality and needs, so you can evaluate your horse's 'emotional conformation, ' which Thomas calls the real indicator of a horse's ability." --John Strassburger, "Horse Journal"