Monday, January 30, 2012

Horse Profiling, The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes

I recently heard from the editor that the book Kerry Thomas and I co-authored – Horse Profiling, The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes – was sent to the printer last week. Kerry and I are now in the stretch drive to publication.

Here's a big thank you to all of our family and friends and the all the folks at Trafalgar Square Books for the encouragement and support along the trail, in our journey into the intimate drama of life in the equine circle.

Kerry and I would also like to give special thanks to HRH Princess Alia al Hussein of the Princess Alia Foundation, US Equestrian Federation Senior Judge, trainer and coach, Thomas Poulin, US Eventing Association Hall-of-Fame inductee Denny Emerson and renowned sport horse trainer Lester Buckley for their glowing tribute and contribution to the book.

What a journey it’s been since Kerry first traveled to Wyoming and Montana in 1989 to study wild horse herds in their natural habitat.

A unique condition – color blindness – led Kerry to catalog the horses he studied by personality type, instead of by coat color, and that led to his development of the Emotional Conformation Profile which is a tool he uses to evaluate horse behavior.

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?

Kerry discovered that “Emotional Conformation” – not physical conformation – governs equine herd dynamics and 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.

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. Kerry and I hope you enjoy the journey into the intimate drama of life in the equine circle.


Horse Profiling, The Secret to Motivating Equine Ahtletes can be ordered online at this link.

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