Taming Wild (Pre-Order)

The Compelling Origins of Freedom Based Training and the Promise It Holds for Horses with Humans

Elsa Sinclair



Coming in December 2024

An exquisitely personal exploration of the often painful process of facing down tradition while putting down roots of a whole new way of viewing and doing things.

“If we train and work with our horses without any tools or food rewards,” says horsewoman Elsa Sinclair, “they have the freedom in every moment to tell us how comfortable it is for them. If it’s not comfortable, they simply walk away.”

The idea when working with horses is we can develop our feel and timing “within the comfort zone of the horse.” Allowing the horse the freedom of choice is at the core of Sinclair’s Freedom Based Training® method. The techniques she uses and teaches were first developed as she spent a year with an untouched Mustang mare, seeking to discover whether, without any ropes or halters or treats or sticks, she and her horse could develop a language and a way of deciding to do things together—a collaborative effort rather than one that plays by the rules of horse training tradition. 

Sinclair’s exploratory project with her Mustang Myrnah became the documentary film Taming Wild, viewed by thousands from around the world, and opening new avenues for Sinclair to share her discoveries. 

But Sinclair’s journey began 30 years before Taming Wild, and the lessons and contrasts and hard questions she faced as a lifelong rider and a talented horse trainer, which she bravely shares in these pages, are rich in value for all those considering their own life with horses. Sinclair dares to show how—despite her successes and her ability to make a living and her constant search for different means of handling the inevitable conflicts that arise when two species struggle to communicate—the way things “were done” just didn’t sit right. She dreamed of something else, something different—for some other way for humans to be with horses. 

Sinclair’s style is to teach through storytelling, and the result is the reader walks away from these pages with not only an understanding of why a quest for a more insightful, more collaborative training method was needed, but also how to begin to incorporate the basics of Freedom Based Training in a modern life with horses. Sinclair knew when she started her project with Myrnah that their story might potentially be bigger than just the two of them. Taming Wild, the movie, began a movement, and now her book continues it. Together we will move the needle of horsemanship closer to an ideal, where human expectations are in step with the horses we ride, rather than the other way around. 

Additional Information

Author: Elsa Sinclair

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 168

Illustrations: 80 color photos

ISBN: 9781646012596

By Elsa Sinclair

For Elsa Sinclair, horse training has been a lifelong pursuit, but her career took a turn when one day a student asked her if horses really enjoyed being ridden, and more importantly, if they knew they had a choice in the matter. Without an answer for her student, Sinclair set off on a quest to find one: If horses were given a choice, would they let us ride them—without force, control, or treats to lure them? With a Mustang mare straight off the range and a desire to connect using none of the usual horse training “tools,” just body language, Sinclair began to explore the possibilities. Her project led to a documentary called Taming Wild and ultimately
to the method of horsemanship she now teaches: Freedom Based Training® (tamingwild.com).