"When you ask your horse to do something it should be his idea - he wants to do it, he understands how to do it, and he does it. " These words are typical of the way Ray Hunt expresses his philosophy of the ideal relationship between horse and man. That philosophy is discussed in this book, in a manner that makes the reader feel as if he is listening to Ray talk. It is persuasive talk - gently persuasive; this man's ideas make a lot of sense, and the success he has achieved with those ideas is impressive.
Ray Hunt travels around the country working with groups of riders who are interested in his philosophy of harmony with horses. As Gene Lewis says in his forward to the book, Ray's theory is "to unite the horse and rider into one working unit of both mind and body. He has developed a language and has become a wonderful teacher and demonstrator. "
Included in this book is an interpretation of the "Ray Hunt method of schooling a horse" written by Vincent W. Carpenter, who attended one of Ray's clinics. He tells amazing stories that Ray might not tell about himself and summarizes the whole philosophy in a clear and objective way.
Also included is a question and answer section, in which a number of the most commonly asked questions are answered in detail. And throughout the entire book runs the simple, basic idea: think harmony.
Excerpt from the book:
My belief in life is that we can all get along together if we try to understand one another. If you find a friend in life before somebody else finds him you're real lucky. You'll meet a lot of people and have a lot of acquaintances, but as far as having friends — they are very rare and very precious. But every horse you ride can be your friend because you ask this of them. This is real important to me. You can ask the horse to do your thing, but you ask him; you offer it to him in a good way. You fix it up and let him find it. You do not make anything happen, no more than you can make a friendship begin.
My goal with the horse is not to beat someone; it's to win within myself. To do the best job I can do and tomorrow try to do it better. You will be working on yourself to accomplish this, not on your horse. You will work to recognize how you feel toward your horse and how your horse answers you back; how he understands you, and how he takes it. There shouldn't be any hassle; there shouldn't be a big flareup. Mentally, your horse should not weight anything. When you ask your horse to do something it should be his idea. This is the goal. In the end, when you ask your horse to do something, he wants to do it, he likes to do it, he understands how to do it, and he does it.
"The horse is doing one of two things; it's doing what it thinks it's supposed to do, or it's doing what it thinks it has to do to survive." — Ray Hunt
"That softness is in there, it goes through the body, down the legs, to the feet, and back into the mind. It’s there and you just have to bring it out." — Ray Hunt
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