BOOKS: Knowing Horses

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2013:

Knowing Horses: Q&As to Boost Your Equine IQ by Les Sellnow & Carol A. Butler Storey Publishers (210 Massachusetts Museum of  Contemporary Art Way,  North Adams,  MA 01247),  2012. 249 pages,  paperback.  $14.95.

What a marvelous book,  I said to myself, after reading Knowing Horses, Q&As to Boost Your Equine IQ.  As a city kid,  I knew little about horses until moving west in 1997.  Authors Sellnow and Butler answer basic questions about working with horses,  horse care,  horse racing, wild horses,  horse breeds,  and horse behavior.   Easy-to-follow chapters introduce newcomers like me to such topics as horseshoes.  Why do horses wear them? “Domestic horses often need extra protection from the wear and tear caused by riding,  walking on hard surfaces, jumping,  racing, and other activities.”   However,  domestic horses with strong healthy hooves can go without shoes,  as do wild horses,  depending on the terrain and the amount of riding.  I learned that horses cough but do not sneeze. They are easily trained because they have excellent memories. While unable to decipher specific words said to them, horses understand tone and inflection.  Hundreds of horse breeds exist around the world,  some surviving only in isolated herds.  And yes,  horses can catch rabies,  so preventive vaccination is recommended.  As many as 60 rabid horses per year are identified in the U.S. alone. The back of the book says if you love horses,  there is more to discover.  I’d have to agree.   ––Debra J. White

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