Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Update, Federico Tesio and Emotional Conformation

Kerry and I have received a lot of good feedback about the book. Claudia Mesquita Kayala of the Haras Cuatro Piedres bloodstock in Uruguay wrote:

"When I started reading [the book] it was already like magic... It was like I was the one writing your words... so linked and aligned with my experience and thoughts that I was reading and at the same time, listening to my own voice inside, since I don´t know yours.... and wondering how "mine" are also the things you express in your Preface. I truly believe that this is among the most important books on the equine, for the equine and the entire industry of horse, to have ever been written. Your insightful measures in explaining the horse not only will impact breeding selections and sales, but also how we train and comprehend the horse. So I write to you Mr. Thomas, to thank you for this effort, it will eventually reach the entire world."

Pine Knoll Farm Inc., an Equine educational facility of Lexington, Kentucky has also provided a link about the book on their website.

Kerry and I are exploring all options to have the book published - traditional book publisher, vanity press and self-publish. In the meantime, for the "techno junkies" and in keeping with the new trend in technology, an account has been established where e-book downloads are available at:

Kerry is a unique individual who studies the psychology and Emotional Conformation of the horse. His research is cutting edge and, in my opinion, it will someday have a big impact on every aspect of – buying, selling, breeding and training – how the horse is handled. His website is nearing one million hits and he has a good following on Facebook.

The book takes the reader on a journey of discovery of the intimate drama of life in the equine circle. Kerry’s research of horse psychology shows how nurturing the Natural Herd Dynamic of the horse in the domestic environment is vitally important for its health and well being. Emotional Conformation is the most important factor that can determine if the horse has the heart and mind of a potential champion. Behavior triggers and Behavioral Overcompensation can be tremendous obstacles, preventing the horse from living up to its fullest potential.

In addition, the book illustrates how the importance of nurturing the Natural Herd Dynamic of horses in the domestic environment and Emotional Conformation was also important to illustrious individuals such as Federico Tesio and Burchard Von Oettingen, the Director of Germany’s Royal Trakehnen Stud from 1895 to 1911.

Here's a sneak peak at the introduction to Chapter five:

Emotional Conformation

Breeding for Behavior
in the Hybrid Thoroughbred

“A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart and wins with his character” – Federico Tesio

If anyone ever knew how to embrace the magic within the spirit of the horse, it was Federico Tesio.

Of all the renowned breeders and trainers of thoroughbred racehorses, Tesio was one of the greatest. Tesio’s passion for the horse began at an early age – he spent a lifetime researching and studying everything there was to know about the horse, especially the Thoroughbred.

As a young man, Tesio traveled to South America where he broke horses with Gauchos on the Argentine Pampas. Tesio also was a gentleman jockey, participating in over 500 steeplechases throughout Europe. As a breeder and trainer, Tesio was known as the “Wizard of Dormello” and year after year, his stud farm produced one classic champion thoroughbred after another. Tesio knew how to pick the right bloodlines, breeding the best to the best and his bloodstock program did much to improve the breed of the Thoroughbred.

Of course Tesio had his share of breeding failures, but, for the most part, Tesio knew how to put together all the puzzle pieces of the Equine Circle.

In addition to his vast knowledge of bloodlines and pedigrees, perhaps one of the most important reasons for Tesio’s success as a breeder of thoroughbred racehorses is that he researched and studied the psychology of the horse. Or, stated another way, Tesio studied the Emotional Conformation of the horse and Emotional Conformation is the final piece that completes the puzzle of the Equine Circle.

Tesio understood this and he specifically looked for it, spending hour after hour at auctions studying the physical and Emotional Conformation of the horses he planned to purchase. …

Franco Varola, a noted writer and author instrumental in the development of Dosage, knew Tesio. Varola wrote in his book The Tesio Myth that Tesio often spent hour after hour studying the behavior and reactions of his horses as they moved about in the Dormello stable yard. A close review of Tesio’s own writing shows that not only was he a brilliant pedigree analyst, but, he also was an astute student of horse behavior.


The Thoroughbred is a hybrid animal. The abrasive nature of man selectively breeding for speed and stamina and nature’s quest to breed for survival are antagonistic one to another. As a breeder, we can try to breed the perfect horse from a physical conformation standpoint but if we ignore the forces of natural selection at work in our breeding stock, we will produce an inferior animal. If we believe that a thoroughbred produced from a mating selection could be a Triple Crown winner, but it is a flop on the racetrack, that is because the Emotional Conformation was not taken into account in the breeding or, indeed, the development of that equine athlete.

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