The pony that couldn't be caught, that couldn't be ridden bareback, that dumped her on her head.
Your book changed this pony's life and how I train my horses. Thank you! She is so confident now and much less fearful. She doesn't miss my stick/bag waving stupidity at all.
Gina Snyder Hill
I'm an experienced rider. But had a series of falls and injuries and lost my nerve, and that meant every time I got on a horse I was emotionally transmitting fear. And as a result my horse was fearful. Neil's book pointed out such basic fundamentals of the emotional relation ship you have with a horse off and on the ground, how firm but consistent behaviour can change the way you approach riding, and handling a horse. There are no gimmicks No quick fix. But a common sense approach to problem solving that really spoke to me and I can honestly credit Neil's book as the guide that firmly put me confidently back in the saddle. If you only read one horsey book this year make it this one.
I took receipt of your book this week and read it cover to cover in two days. Your methodology clicked with me immediately.
I bought the book for two reasons, one - I don’t believe in using fear when dealing with any sentient being - people, dogs or horses and two - my pony had started to shy in the arena at lines in the sand.
Friday I took my pony (he is almost 10) through the foal handling first four steps - he responded beautifully.
Yesterday I had a lesson in the arena with the trainer and watched for the pre-shying cues you wrote about and gave him something else to think about/ made him focus on me. After two shying interventions- preventing a shy before it really happened - he stopped trying.
Today I rode him again - I was ready - but he didn’t try.
He’s a smart pony and I had clearly taught him to shy.
I can’t thank you enough for sharing your years of wisdom and translating it into such simple, practical steps. You have helped me turn a pony that I was riding with trepidation into one that I can’t wait to ride. I have my joy of riding back.
I can’t thank you enough! Best regards, Vireena
I have just purchased the Starting a Horse Under Saddle Online Clinic and am only two videos in & loving what it is teaching me! I'm no professional … I have a horse that kicks and won't let me touch him past the neck ... Already after two short 10min sessions following Neil's training I am touching him (while he patiently stands and waits for me to move away) on his neck, back, stomach and top of front legs ... Incredible.
Mr. Davies, thank you. I have read and re-read your book, studied your videos, and contemplated your philosophy and vision. Thank you, for me and for my horses. I've seen the rest, but no one, and I mean no one, does what you do. The difference in my horses speaks volumes for you as well. Your book is a welcome and needed revelation and revolution in horse training and relationships.
Neil is a pioneer, everybody who owns or interacts with horses should read Neil's book. His book will teach you all you need to know in how to manage your horse and build a relationship with him. It will most importantly teach you how to make your horse confident and happy.
The money I invested in the Starting a Horse Under Saddle Online Clinic is proving to be one of the best things I have ever done to help me become a better horseman. You may not realize that your quiet, calm, steady demeanor not only positively impacts the horse, but also the human who is just as worried. I thank you for your efforts and look forward to my future lessons.
I enrolled in your Starting a Horse Under Saddle Online Clinic. For the last few weeks, I've used your method to work with my Gypsy Vanner, Pistol, who is a 3 year old gelding. I'm so pleased with how fast he is learning and how I, now, recognize when he is "worried" versus when he doesn't "understand". For the most part, he's catching on and is compliant. I've signed up for 3 other training type video series in the last few years and YOURS is the only one I've stuck with. The others made no logical sense to me and were too showy. I'm so very happy that I stumbled upon your website via Facebook! You're the real deal, Mr Davies and I am very appreciative that I am finally getting an authentic clue.
Just wanted to say thank you. Your info has taken me beyond what I could have imagined with horses, and in life overall. At 38 yrs old I bought a horse that was way out of my skill level (I had only ridden cow ponies on ranches off and on as a kid). My first ride resulted in being on crutches for a month. Now, a year later, he is one of my proudest achievements and every ride reminds me of how bad ass I am. (I know, that sounds conceited, but I assure you I am not!) I feel bad ass for finding a new path with horses and building a real bond with a very sensitive horse, even as a beginner rider. Thank you!!!!!!
It’s like the bible for horses! Best thing ever, just practical common sense. I got this book originally for my foal (now 5 weeks old), but I’ve used it a lot on her 16 year old mother as well, they are never too old if using your approach. The difference is amazing.
Get the Book SO worth it. 🤗🤗 just received mine the other day & I luv it, learning so many new things as a first time trainer for my yearling . You will get farther by doing less & end up with greater results in a much shorter time.
I bought this book for a young girl that owns a horse. I all ready own the book and I told her this is my bible when it comes to horses. I have spread the word all over Facebook and in Missouri. Thank you again. My two appys, a filly and a colt are 7 months old now and are doing great because of you. Thanks again. I will keep sharing on Facebook.
Buying Neil's book and reading from cover to cover AND actually applying completely transformed my horse - and me! Thanks Neil. Can't endorse this method enough.
Already taken your advice on spooking – Fantastic!
Distraction and getting the horse to do other stuff as soon as the gait slowed and the head went up – worked so well – without horse or rider getting to the point of being scared and wanting to bail out! Thanks for another addition to my "toolbox" Neil.
Sarah Van De Sandt
Just received my book and loving it! Even chapters that I thought might not apply to me as much (such as starting a foal – as I don't have one) I still read it through, and came across some very helpful advice and knowledge that I'll be using with my gelding who's not a baby anymore!! Looking forward to finishing the whole book.
My book arrived promptly a few days ago – it's really good quality and full of so much helpful advice – and all in the 'positive' vein. Had its first read through in the first 24 hours and now looking forward to the slower re-read.
Got a book for my birthday – best ever. Totally changed a lot of my ideas and increased my understanding and empathy ten fold – Happy horses too. Thanks Neil
My book arrived yesterday and I literally can't put it down. It's everything I was hoping for and so much more. I flipped through and the first thing I read was "You can't overdo pleasantness. The is the most powerful training tool available to you." Never a truer statement written. I had a huge smile when I opened it up and found it had been personally signed, gorgeous!
Thankyou for sharing your life's knowledge Neil, your kind heart and compassion shines through in this beautifully written book. Amazing!!
I just love how sensible this is. The book is full of no-nonsense, common sense info.
Lianne Van Kerchof
This is an excellent book. It doesn't matter how long you've been around horses, read this and learn more.
Thankyou for your book.... I haven't managed to get through it all yet, but, I'm amazed how the chapter on shying has made a difference to me and my mare. I can't believe how I have been missing the signs. Just two lessons in with correction when she looks at something ro takes her attention off me has made a huge difference.
Thankyou so much
I have the book and it's amazing. So simple. My young one is coming along beautiful.
Neil's book is the most common sense and enlightened guide I have read on horse training. The technique is working well for my green pony and my green self.
I can recommend this book. Has been working great for me.
I just received the book yesterday! I knew from reading the blog that at last I'd found someone who had more experience yes, but the same way of thinking. Have only put the book down to get some sleep!! I've read lots of books and watched videos but there was always something missing.
Thankyou Neil for this book!
I'm enjoying my book very much and applying the information working with my colt. I started a mare a couple of years ago and she is awesome but I see not that I can be even more sympathetic in basic training and handling.
I've just read your book and want to telly you how wonderful it is. I've ordered a second copy this morning.
I've read over 100 books on training/eqitation/horsemanship and yours is simple the best of all of them.
I train young thoroughbreds abd gave immediately put your approach to a real world test and have had nothing but success.
Are you planning to come to North America? The horse world desperately needs to hear your wisdom and doctrine of kindness towards these noble creatures.
I want to thank you so much for seeking then sharing your wisdom of a "better way" to train horses.
Looking forward to the day we get to meet. Yours Truly
Ralph Livingstone Canada
I just wanted to say Thank You!
Having read your book and followed you on Facebook, my horses loaded onto the trailer first time of asking without any dramatics and force.
I had a good look at myself and with lots of face rubs and very little in the way of pressure from behind...they were fantastic. I'm beyond happy.
Thank you so much for writing the most simple book on horse training I have read. Everything you have learned from training horses makes sense.
Finished the book. Now to get this horse trained. Yard built and head coming around nicely now. Following the Fear-free Training as it is the only book that has ever been worthy of learning from. It's been a long time in coming to this world!!!
I am absolutely loving your book!! It's simple and easy to follow and absolutely in line with my view on how we interact with horses!!
Received my signed copy of your book. I'm so excited to continue reading it. I've already found myself nodding in agreeance and clarity in the small amount I've read.
It's so nice to have a book that I can go to for practical tips and that's easy to follow and understand.
Thank you so much for its fast delivery and for signing it!! That really made my dayxxx
Kerry Therese Calladine
Great book Neil. I've not been able to put it down.
I really don't want to get to the end of this book! I can't put it down. Fantastic, thank you. Will be a re-read again and again
Carla Haydon Carey
Great book, there's so much to still learn, I love the more gentle approach in training, your words make such sense to me, thanks Neil
It’s like the bible for horses! Best thing ever, just practical common sense.
Anyone who doesn’t buy Neil’s book is missing out on a great horseman's expertise.
I got a horse that was very touchy around his ears. We struggled for quite some time trying to get him used to us touching his ears. Nothing really helped. I got your book and that was the first section I read. I went out and tried it. It only took a couple times and he got much better. Now having his ears scratched is his favorite thing! It’s actually kind of funny how much he likes it, it’s a complete turn around.
Your book is so well written and easy to understand. My 11y old daughter is reading it and is getting really inspired to work with her pony. Thanks so much for the very fast delivery!
This is what I had purchased to assist in treating a rear near side leg injury for my boy who was rear leg shy... I was going to tape the paintbrush to a broom handle and paint the Manuka honey on from a distance... Well after only a few days of using Neil's approach... no need for that old broom handle... He just stands and gets his honey spread into his wound and our relationship during this daunting process has blossomed.
Just want to say thanks to Neil! Tried for a two weeks to get my horse to do as I asked (he had gotten barn sour.) Finally went back to your book and got to the root of the problem. We made much more progress than before by following your approach. There’s a plethora of information out there but yours hits the foundation. Thank you Neil!
There was a time when I didn't know any better and I was shown way that made me sad and uncomfortable in my heart for the horse. So I searched long and hard to find a better way. My boy silver was only 5 months old when I learned of Neil Davies. He's now 4 years old and not once has he ever troubled me. I read the chapters one by one, taught my horse each step and each chapter as instructed. I am totally happy and amazed with the things I can do. And the things I never trained for, as would be other training methods. It seems I didn't train my horse at all. I now have a trusted mount, willing to do anything I ask of him, even if he has not seen or done it before. All those toys used for training are just not needed, if your horse trusts and believes you. That's what you get from learning a better way... a horse that trusts you and you can trust that willing horse.
Dee N Silver
I wish all my horsey friends would read your book and your posts. They - and not least their horses - deserve it. You have helped me tremendously in my journey with my young horses. Thank you 😊
Ann Louise Jones
I love this book!
I am reading, re-reading, reviewing and memorising. Neil cuts through all the fluff and the bull and puts it exactly where it needs to be - succinct, straightforward and easy to understand.
But being easy to understand doesn’t mean lightweight.
This book contains deep and proven truths that will revolutionise your understanding. (And no, I’m not being paid by Fear Free Horse Training!). I’ve studied all the stuff that’s out there, and Neil’s approach is like a breath of fresh air. It makes many other approaches look like the Emperor with no clothes.
You have turned everything I've been taught over the last 10 years upside down.
Fantastic, brilliant soft but solid methods without this 'leader' bull. I feel guilty for how I’ve handled horses in the past and now know it was me that caused the problems I was having. Thank you Neil Davies
Kirsty Belinda Jones
An amazing book every horse person would gain from reading this book, glad I got it delivered as I read it all in one day
I messaged Neil about the catch me if you can game.
Followed his advice now my horse is a breeze. Love my book. It lives in my truck for easy reference at the paddock. Thanks Neil. :)
I keep going back to Neils book again and again, I cant thank him enough for sharing his knowledge. It's good for me and for my horses. Also, the horses become happier and eager to learn. My wish: Neils book becomes the norm around the world, and if you don't follow this book your horse will be taken away 😬
Dear Neil, I truly want to thank you for sharing your way of being with the horses. My horses and I are now on our way to a trusting, relaxed relationship. Today was incredible! Using your methods and being very careful not to scare my horses we had the most fun and relaxing time together. I kept the sessions short. After my fourth horse, I walked back out in the pasture to thank them all. They all came up, so nice to see them happy and content in my company. I’m from the USA, as you know, all of the trainers here teach desensitization....a lot of scaring your horse...just terrible. My horses are beautiful, sensitive beings. What you have taught me is to be clear in what I want, take my time and listen to my horses. This has taken the worry and concern from my horses. Thanks to you I am on the path to gaining my horses trust where they can count on my behavior 100%. Thank you Neil! I’ve been searching for this for a long time. I hope this letter finds you happy and healthy! Much appreciation, Julie
Your book is so comprehensive... you also explain it so perfectly... you are in a genius and to treat the horses with kindness means so much... will treasure this book for generations!!
Fascinating and informative with lots of useful things to include in a training programme.
I'm following your basic methods and my filly is responding well.
Really great, straight forward information that works! As a brand new horseperson, Neil's book is the first thing that makes perfect sense while providing practical tools for getting to know my horse. Thank you!
Reading your book gives me validation that what I have been doing with foals both in NZ and Aust has been the right way of handling I have been very fortunate to work with two very knowledgeable people both using almost identical methods to Neil resulting in happy confident young horses.
I loved the book because it brings everything back to basic level and teaches us to have patience with our horses and to give them the time they deserve so both horse and rider will benefit.
Neill’s book has really caused me to re-examine some of the “natural” horsemanship methods I’ve learned over the past 10+ yrs. Still working through the book, but good results are showing with the almost 3 yr old filly I’m working with.
You can always learn something more in horse handling the more you read. Plus I like the firm but kind approach.
I have been reading his book Fear-free Horse Training - every step of the way. I love his approach and training methods. I have been using them with my 8yr old quarter horse who came to me with a lot of issues. Every time we work together, using Neil's methods, I can feel Journey softening, responding, and becoming more trustworthy. This horse of mine is very special - he needed patience and kindness to move him forward and trainers that he had been to in the past just didn't have the time to invest in him the way he needed it. So to make him the horse I need him to be I just needed to do it on my own. I didn't have the experience on my own so I researched and looked at all kinds of trainers videos, read forums, joined webinars and other various medias. But when I saw a Neil Davies videos I knew this was the way to go with my guy. Thank you, Neil, for such a great book.
Sensible approach to developing a relationship with you horse.
It is working on my 6 year old tb that I'd basically given up on.
Refreshing information. Clear and simple.
Easy to understand and just simple good sense.
The methods make practical sense and are explained in a way that is easy to understand and follow.
I read the book from someone else and thought it was great and something I can return to if problems arise, awesome book to keep forever.
This book is fab. Lovely way to work with any horse.
Very practical text that focuses on the main considerations when handling horses. From a learning perspective, I enjoyed the repetition of particular training behaviours (being clear, consistent, quick to respond, touching horses heads) - it really helped cement the ideas. Demystified the idea that you have to work miricles around horses... really it’s a case of being kind, patient and clear.
I have a young 5 year old welsh cob who I have had from 1 hour old. I have pretty much gone down the same path but I few things I see now I could have done better. I feel bad can put these I practice even though he’s older. Wish I had read this and followed this from the start.
It's made me realise the importance of first contact with my horse. Till I read the book I was always thinking of the next lesson without getting basics right.
Your method of training is easy to follow and is explained using common sense. I particularly like the theory of thinking about what is best for the horse in all aspects of handling and training as opposed to what is best for the trainer.
Kindest way to train a young horse - no fear or bullying necessary at all, just TRUST.
It’s one of the best forms of training I’ve come across.
This philosophy should be taught and practice to and by every horse people. My horse right now was damaged for life by wrong abuse. I spend all my time trying to repair it.
Enjoyed the read. Like the training ideas. Down to earth presentation. Thanks.
Great book, answers lots of queries, gives food for thought.
Gave me a better understanding of how horses think - thank you, however most of us are dealing with abused horses or mistreated horses, so starting from the beginning with a foal as per book is not suitable training for most of us, although in part can be applied.
Clear and concise. Lots of helpful pictures. I am able to quickly find just what I need help with at that given time.
The book is a great source of information.
Common sense given. Mystery taken away = happy horse owner and even more important happy horse.
It is such a kind and effective way to work with my horse, an ex-pacer, we are now trotting and occasional canter after only 6 months off the track. He raced for 6 years and was not saddle broken. Your book is great for guidance on how to teach what you would like you horse to learn without fear or pain. I love it.
I'm enjoying the information. It's what I've been looking for, for my new colt.
Easy to follow simple basic instructions. A true horseman who shares his wealth of knowledge with others in a no nonsense approach. Very receptive to questions if you have any.
It answers all my questions and uses plain language and clear pictures to get the message of collaboration not cruelty across. Highly recommended.
Neil shows that the horse desires a partnership and he treats the horse as respectfully as the horse should treat him. He convinces the horse to choose the correct behavior for the partnership rather than trying to subdue and dominate him through intimidation.
It offers a totally different way of thinking of the horse and how they process things.
Love the non-aggressive approach to working with my horse.
Positive encouragement for the horse broken down into bite size pieces, looked at from the horse's point of view.
Straight forward practical horse handling techniques that work.
Sensible & practical approach. Easily understood.
The information is very valuable to my horse training. I have learned so much from this book that puts the horse first. They are very misunderstood intelligent and peaceful animals.
The book was easy to follow and gave excellent results.
Advice was clear and sensible. Easy to follow.
The simplicity and it works!
Neils approach is the next step in Horsemanship his work is hands down some of the best I’ve seen in 30+yrs of breaking and training. This is most definitely, “A better deal for horses”!
I enjoyed reading your book and I learnt more about how I will handle and look after my horses.
Very good instructional lessons that work.
Brilliant book and great delivery time.
I believe in the training method that is used as it is kind and considerate to horses and would love to see more people implement the wisdom that has been shared as horses would surely benefit. Thank you.
I enjoy your advise it's something I can incorporate into my training and riding. Your kindness resonates with me.
Because the book gives great tips and a good way to work with your horse. I'm using it for my young mare and it works. One relaxed and confident youngster, thank you.
Neil speaks in a down to earth manner and explains why he does what he does.