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Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"These deceptively simple techniques embody a powerful set of spiritual techniques." Andrew Weil, MD, Author, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health

"Zen Mind, Zen Horse is both practical and profound, offering sound advice for tapping the wisdom of horses as natural mindfulness teachers." Linda Kohanov, Author, The Tao of Equus

"Hamilton has given humans a way to achieve our highest good by allowing horses to be our guides. This beautiful testament to the power and magic of equine energy captures the soul of a horse perfectly." Susan Richards, Author, Chosen By a Horse

"Combining brain science, horse sense, and fine storytelling, this spiritual handbook points toward a special and completely real form of enlightenment." Stephen Kiesling, Editor-in-Chief, Spirituality and Health Magazine

Zen Mind, Zen Horse is far more than a book about how to care for a horse, though it stands out as one of the best on the subject. Rather, Hamilton has given humans a way to achieve our highest good by allowing horses to be our guides. This beautiful testament to the power and magic of equine energy captures the soul of a horse perfectly. Susan Richards, Author, Chosen By a Horse

From the Back Cover

Horse training presents unique opportunities to explore powerful spiritual truths. The exercises in Zen Mind, Zen Horse offer everyone who works with horses -- novice or expert -- a new understanding of how humans train and interact with horses and why these two species, one a master predator and the other the ultimate prey animal, have such a deep, natural connection.  

Horses have evolved to understand and respond to the flow of vital energy -- chi -- around them, using it in their body language to communicate with members of their herd, to express dominance, and to sense danger from nearby predators. Being quietly present and receptive to your horse's energy opens the potential of your emotional, intuitive right brain. These simple, safe groundwork techniques reveal a pathway to awakening your deep sensitivity, calm leadership, intuition, and mindfulness.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425650
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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If I could only recommend one book to any person interested in natural horsemanship it would be Allen J. Hamilton, M.D.'s "Zen Mind Zen Horse." Dr. Hamilton has incorporated the wisdom of leading horse legends such as Ray Hunt, Monty Roberts, Ga Wa Ni Pony Boy and others with science and spirituality to create an amazing "bible" for students at any level of horsemanship. In this powerful book Dr. Hamilton shows a deep and clear understanding of the nature of these beautiful sentient beings we call horses. He leads us step by step toward a better understanding of all aspects of horsemanship. I am struck by his commen sense and respect for his students and horses. I am going to give each of my students a copy of this book. As a native american woman, horsewoman, registered nurse, equine therapist and mother to many I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Read it and be blessed.
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dr. hamilton's words point to the balance we all need to find and maintain in our lives... in this case, the horse is the vehicle through which he delivers his message. if you don't like horses, read it for yourself. if you do like horses, and especially if you have one, read it so you might deepen the relationship between your animal and yourself. there are no empty, 'feel good', new age-ish sentiments here; just timeless wisdom balanced with a neurosurgeon's pointed observations about how a horse lives, and how you might live a little better too.
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Dr. Hamilton has the distinct honor of being gifted with a brilliant mind and compassionate heart. He has used his knowledge of neuroscience, horses and zen to bring a very practical and sensible manual on horse training to the world- with both the horse and rider in mind as a symbiotic unit. Most so called natural horsemanship trainers neglect to mention the spiritual nature of the horse in conjunction with the rider and so fear to tread into the space of 'energy' or 'chi' - I imagine partly because they fear they won't be taken seriously. However, Dr. Hamilton is succinct and pragmatic in his articulation of training methods while also establishing the fact that a person's energy field, i.e. thoughts, intentions, posture, philosophy, etc. will always have an impact on the horse.

Two of the major aspects that seems neglected in training are time and patience. Being with a horse requires one be acutely aware of their human tendencies to want things right away so the horse can 'do' something for them- jump, walk, turn, stop, perform, whatever the case may be as to why you wanted the horse in the first place.

If you're willing to take full responsibility for yourself and your horse, in what kind of horse you helped to create or person you turn out to 'Be', then this book is for you. It is reasonable, logical, accessible, based on human kinds' highest ability to interact with nonhuman life and will help create the opening and ground necessary for you to develop yourself into the kind of horseman/woman that you can be proud of and that your horse would willingly follow- based on the inside out rather than from impersonal conditioning that has trained the horse to do something like a robot, leaving a void, obedient animal in your charge.
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If you've always taken your horse for granted, if you've ever blamed your horse for not paying attention, if you've ever hit an impasse in your horse's training progress, ZEN MIND, ZEN HORSE is for you. This well-crafted, very readable and totally compelling book combines the best of masters such as Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt with the teachings of Buddhism and the Zen masters. There were moments in this book that brought to mind such classics as ZEN AND THE ART OF ARCHERY. But make no mistake...this is no airy, fairy horse book. It is loaded with practical hints and tips. In short, this is a must-read for anyone who aspires to fathom the equine experience and expand their mind as well.
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Once again, Dr. Hamilton proves himself a masterful storyteller and writer. Even if you've never ridden a horse or don't consider yourself a horse person, this book will resonate with you on a mind, body, and spiritual level. Horses are divine mirrors that reflects our inner emotional truth. They teach us to stand in the moment, centered in self-awareness, to effortlessly move in harmony with our chi, to rejoice in our first step. As he describes early in the book, Dr. Hamilton has felt the "way of the horse" from an early age and has incorporated the lessons learned from them into his everyday life. Now he is teaching readers to do the same through rich prose that touch on neuroscience, tea ceremony, the warrior mind, psychology, history, and the complexities of horse training. If you're already a horse person, this book is a must read. And for those of you who are not - a category I fall into - you just might find a newfound desire to become one.
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This is an amazing book! It gives loads of insight into how and why we relate so well to these magnificent animals. Dr. Hamilton writes in a charming, clear way that draws you in and makes you want to learn more. He clearly explains training techniques for you and your horse to work better as partners. A great book if you are interested in your horse as well as your own spiritual growth.
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