What Horses Really Want

Unlocking the Secrets to Trust, Cooperation and Reliability

Lynn Acton



 A book chock-full of answers to horse-behavior questions that will change your horse's life for the better.

Horses want partners they trust. Meeting their need for security makes them more tuned-in, calmer, and more reliable. In her engaging book, highly illustrated with professional color photographs, certified riding instructor Lynn Acton, MS, shows you how, with practical step-by-step instructions. You’ll see that progress can be surprisingly fast with methods that are gentle, time-tested, backed by science, and that make intuitive sense to your horse.

Discover how to earn trust and make training more efficient by engaging horses’ innate intelligence, maintaining clear two-way communication, and considering their point of view. This leadership approach has been used successfully for centuries by people of all backgrounds and skill levels on horses at all levels of training. Acton refers to this relationship as Protector Leadership because you are the horse’s protector. In these pages, she combines extensive horse experience and an academic background in social dynamics with in-depth research. She interprets and cites the scientific findings that explain why Protector Leadership works, and offers valuable insights into equine psychology while exposing myths that are sources of problems. Plus, Acton includes “Things to Try” at the end of each chapter—fun and easy-to-implement exercises that help you engage your horse as a thinking partner

Throughout, the narrative includes stories of Acton's progress with her own horses, including mistakes and hindsight, and especially the transformation of the book’s "cover girl" Brandy from a dangerous throwaway to a happy, reliable partner. Clear, detailed photographs show the subtle body language of horses and people, and illustrate critical interactions that make a real difference in our relationships, communication, and training. 

These are a few of the concrete skills you will learn:  

·      Earn trust starting the moment you meet a horse.

·      Recognize “misbehavior” that actually means your horse is thinking like a partner.

·      Turn pressure into clear communication instead of stress.

·      Use Positive Reinforcement for better learning, behavior, and reliability.

·      Turn anxiety and spooks into confidence building situations.

·      Discourage unwanted behavior without punishment.

·      Allow your horse appropriate choices and freedom.

As your bond strengthens, you can enjoy watching your horse’s true personality blossom. A thoughtful, progressive book for riders of all disciplines and students of the horse of all experience levels. 

Additional Information

Author: Lynn Acton

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 288

Illustrations: 191 color photos

ISBN: 9781570769450

By Lynn Acton

Lynn Acton has a diverse equestrian and academic background that helps her understand horses, relationships, and leadership from an interdisciplinary point of view. Her degrees in sociology and systems science have contributed to her understanding of research studies, the social dynamics of horses, their interactions with people, and how the interconnected parts of complex social systems fit together. After spending time working on a Thoroughbred breeding farm and later retraining off-track Thoroughbreds, Acton became certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) to teach both English and Western riding and started a therapeutic riding program for at-risk youth. She currently competes in Horse Agility and Equagility (ridden agility).

Horse Journals Says:

"This book is an excellent and informative read."

Horsemanship Journal Says:

"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in developing their relationship with their horse and providing a safe and secure environment for them."