California Riding Magazine • May, 2011

Book Reviews
Connecting with Horses;
101 Hunter/ Jumper Tips

How to Think Like a Horse
Written by Cherry Hill
Reviewed by Leanna Newby

This is an amazing book that takes the reader on a journey to understand horses. Author Cherry Hill has worked with horses for years, training her own and also those belonging to friends. She is a gifted writer who has written over 25 books about horses and more than 1000 articles for many different publications. She has ridden both english and western. Hill wrote this book hoping that it "gives you a good idea of how and why a horse does what he does."

Hill goes through all the necessary knowledge needed in owning a horse. The questions she answers include How much should I feed my horse?, How much daily exercise does he need?, How can I understand the anatomy of a horse, and Why do some horses do certain things because of their anatomy and/or brain functions? Horses have certain physical features that cause them to think and act the way they do. In addition, they have ingrained behavior patterns that tell them what to do and when. "Learning about these can help us understand the nature and spirit of the horse," Hill explains.

The book has glossary boxes and diagrams that are off to the side of the text, which helps a new owner understand what the author is talking about. How to Think Like a Horse has beautiful photos and has updated drawings that really help the reader understand the horse's body language. Anyone who reads this book will learn something new

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It has a large amount of information, so the reader should take their time to read it. It is helpful to really think about the information and how this applies to you and your horse. The author also has step-by-step instructions for exercises and experiments that are helpful. This book was engaging to me because it was all new information. Hill was very clear in her communication in the book. I would recommend this to anyone willing to hear her side of how to think like a horse and understand horses.

Every horse owner would benefit from this book. After reading it through once, it can become a good reference book when you and your horse are having issues. It is a technical book so it was very helpful to have the glossary boxes on the same page as the section with that word in it. I thoroughly enjoyed How to Think Like a Horse and I think anyone who wants to know more about horses would too.

Reviewer Leanna Newby is 12 years old and enjoys reading about horses whenever she can. She owns a palomino Quarter Horse on the Central Coast of California.

Horse Hoof Care
Written by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh
Reviewed by Jane Brown

From hoof structure to choosing your farrier, this book covers most of what horse owners need to know about hoof care. This book is liberally strewn with photos, including helpful step-by-step photos illustrating important tasks like how to remove a shoe if it becomes necessary.

Horse Hoof Care goes to great lengths about shoeing hows and whys. It is written in an interesting and easy-to-read format, and I did learn a lot about different types of shoes and their uses. For example, rim shoes are good for traction, and sliding plates help a reining horse slide farther in his sliding stops because they are smooth and flat!
I also learned guidelines for judging a good angle versus a poor one. Personally, I've been able to tell if a horse's foot angle is incorrect by my eye, but now I can understand the dynamics behind correct angles and how to judge them more accurately.

The book also explains a lot about many hoof problems and how to correct them. Solutions for overreaching, hoof cracks, thrush and lost shoes are presented as well as more serious ailments such as abscesses, navicular and laminitis, how to prevent them and what to do about them, too.

There are tips about how to best assist your farrier, when to call your vet, how best to teach a foal hoof handling lessons and basic hoof cleaning.

I did find however, that although there was a chapter devoted to barefoot horses, not much real information was provided on the subject. This book is definitely directed more toward those who choose to shoe their horses.

Overall, it is a useful book and a good one to have on the reference shelf. I'm sure there will be times in the future when I will want to peruse the pages of Horse Hoof Care again!

Reviewer Jane Brown resides in Santa Cruz County with her husband, grown kids, three cats, two rats and assortment of other animals. She has two barefoot mares, an Arabian and a half-Arabian who have lovely feet. She teaches art for a living and is still horse crazy after all these years.