I recently received a copy of Horse Training with Bilger to read and review. I was surprised to read from the author that the book is one that can fit into your back pocket. Also, it is a quick read – 45 minutes from cover to cover!
Curious, I sat down one evening and did indeed progress through it quickly. Horse Training with Bilger outlines certain tasks with horses – in a particular order – that should be undertaken by all who want to be safe riders. It has a focus on establishing ground work and a safe working relationship with the horse.
As the handler achieves one aspect of safe handling, it is then able to move onto another. Bilger has created a simple book that is well explained. The tasks outlined are defined, so that it is clear why things are done and in the order he puts forward.
For ease of reading, I did struggle with the particularly long paragraphs. That said, the book is broken into a number of small sections and these are easy to read through. Readers are first introduced to the horse’s flighty nature and their use of body language. Once this is explained, the concept of handling the horse and working in a round pen is introduced.
Bilger then goes on to explain simple tasks that the handler should work to get the horse to do in a calm and safe manner. Once this is achieved, the focus moves from free lunging to in hand techniques. Once the ground work is complete, tacking up the horse is then addressed and from here, the opportunity to mount the horse and finally, to ride.
The order of the tasks is logically sequential. Once riding the horse in an enclosed, familiar area is addressed, it is then time to consider riding out alone. A separate word on horses that panic – and why they do – is offered to the reader. Although this is a short read, it is packed with simple, but effective ways to improve your working relationship with the horse and above all, to stay safe.