L
H
TEN GOLDEN RULES
OF
HORSE TRAINING
 

"Brilliant & outstanding integration of principles of learning & behavior with actual real situations that horse people can identify with and readily use. The author's distillation of a lot of time, reading, and experience into fundamental principles is not only quite learned & clever but further cementing them into the reader's brain with easy to understand examples is very well-done."

         Dr. Lynn O’Connor, Ph.D., Animal Behaviorist.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - A Truly Sensational Horse Training Resource from Beginner to Advanced

I came across this book purely by accident a few months back. I've since read it from cover to cover and reread it many times over. Every time I read it I get something new out of it.

Dr. Nock is an animal scientist with a passion and deep understanding of equine behaviour and training. Ten Golden Rules of Horse Training does read a little like a scientific work but it's still highly readable and easy for even the novice rider to grasp.

The information is not buried in fluffy words or self promotion. Instead Dr Nock shares his knowledge and experience in a way that is clear and to the point. Whilst there are a couple of specific training exercise in the book Ten Golden Rules is not a horse training `recipe book' like those programs (of which many are very worthwhile and held in high regard) offered by other high profile professional horse trainers. The way I feel its best described it is if these high profile training programs provide the `flesh', then Ten Golden Rules is the `bones' that holds the whole training process up.

Once you've grasped Dr. Nock's Golden Rules, then you will be able to assess any horse training program and the exercises in it and the likelihood of success or failure. You will be able to develop your own training exercises by simply following the Golden Rules. Your confidence in working with your horse on the ground and under saddle will climb to new heights.

I paid around $50 for a used copy and it's worth every penny and more. If you spend any time around horses either for pleasure or for work then this work is an absolute must have.

            Donna Ross, Sydney, Australia


Ten Golden Rules is brilliant! I have a LOT of horse training books (I'm a big reader), but if I'd started with this one my bookshelf would be empty. You had me from the "you don't have to be a mystic ..." statement, but the rest of the info just kept getting better. I've never seen this stuff so well explained and beautifully illustrated, all in language any schmuck could understand. WOW! Truth is, I've never been compelled to write to any author or create a "testimonial." But TGR is in the process of revolutionizing my life- because you've distilled the information into an understandable language in a format that stays with me when I'm actually facing the horse ... it's just brilliant. I still can't get over it. I caught myself nodding as I read- "yep, that makes sense." "Oh yeah, I've seen that."  Real life stuff. Applicable. I could go on and on. Now I'm able to visualize a new goal for my relationship with Don. I want the one you describe you had with your Moment- where she thinks of me as her safe zone. I know it won't happen overnight, but using TGR I'm pretty sure I can get there.

         Peggy Morgan, Trail Rider


"This is the best book I've ever read on training. It is concise, easy to read, and puts training in the context of basic fundamentals, that although fairly simple, can be successfully applied to any given situation. It is a must read for those who are truly committed to the quality of their horse's lives, and goes hand in hand with natural horse and hoof care."

         Derry McCormick, Founder, Equine Sciences Academy."Sophisticated, smart, straightforward information about horse training….


Great Work!"

        Jennifer Briner, Founder & Director, ReRun Illinois.


"I love the book. I agree with all that is written. It’s destined to become ‘The Bible’ for a great many people."

         Cynthia Spalding, ACRI, Grand Prix Dressage Competitor and Clinician.


Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars - Bloody Good Book

"I loved this book. Have been reading lots of the natural horsemanship stuff, and so much of it is esoteric, badly written or simply makes you feel an incompetent idiot. Bruce Nock doesn’t do this! Its simple and practical and starts working straight away. No secrets. Just do it. Thanks, Bruce"

        Jill Carter, Victoria, Australia.


Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars - Horse interactions made simple!

"This book takes the complicated, step-by-step directions found in all the other horse training books and provides ten common-sense rules that can be applied to every horse training situation. It's an excellent addition to your horse training/psychology library and one that is a thoroughly enjoyable read as well!"

         Equus "Elizabeth", Caribou, ME.


"I utilized the training techniques with my horse and now have a completely engaged equine partner. With the Ten Golden Rules, it has allowed me to really capitalize on my horse's abilities instead of focusing on other unwanted responses and behaviors while training. Now I can truly say that my success has been tremendous and I am working at a much higher level."

         Sherry Crisp, Avid Hunt Seat rider.


"I think Bruce has something really valuable here. Helping people think about how training works. I do find that it has changed the way I think about working with horses."

        Bonnie Eddy, Ph.D., Experienced trail rider.


"Sue and I were honored to have Bruce Nock send us a copy of his book Ten Golden Rules when it first came out. We had first met Bruce some years ago when he bought Quietude Gabriel Oak (Crawford x Clarity of Quietude). They are still fast friends and Gabriel, in fact, appears from time to time in the Ten golden Rules.

    We next met Bruce when he came along with Bonny Eddy to help her evaluate Quietude Galway Bay. We got to watch him work with Galway for only a few minutes, but I was impressed, even touched, by his stillness around a young horse, and by his thoughtfulness as what to ask, what to not ask, and how to ask, something of a green youngster.

    The kindly and thoughtful approach I witnessed that day has borne fruit in a really fine book. I devoured it on a rainy weekend when it first arrived. I am re-reading it now and learning infinitely more the second time around. I won't try to summarize. That would do the book an injustice, and Sue hopes she can persuade Bruce himself to expand on his golden Rules in a future Lambert News.

   Let me just make these few observations. First, these aren't 'rules' in the ordinary sense. Bruce suggests the term Universal Laws, and I think that better gives an idea of his deeply philosophical approach. So if your looking for a cookbook approach (like to get the horse to do X you do one, two, three, four) this book may mystify you. But if you want to deeply comprehend why (say, undesirable behavior extinguishes if it is not rewarded—Rule 8) then you will applaud and welcome Bruce Nock's learning-theory approach.

    Bruce leads off with what is a key term for him, Transition. Transitions, he says, are synonymous with training. And each time you ask a horse to change something that he is doing, that is, ask for a transition, whether from the ground or saddle you are training. There are no exceptions.

    He then explains how every transition is made up of three parts: the signal, the response, the reward. Then in depth he shows how we, as trainers, are to properly give a signal. Telling us: Not to take no for and answer; how a signal should stop as soon as the hose responds acceptably; how signals should never be ignored; how to increase the signal's potency; how to sense if a horse is unlikely to respond to a signal and therefore how to elect wisely not to signal; and above all how to speak our signals clearly.

    You can see from this the kind of depth he brings to each point he discusses. And how his focus is not on the do-x-y-z approach, but on having us understand the logical underpinnings, the conceptual substructure, of whatever we do with our horses.

    At times his language can seem a bit academic. Example, where Ray Hunt says "I put my horse in a bind – then make the right thing easy and wrong thing hard." Bruce Nock talks of extinguishing and dwindling unwanted behaviors, and not satiating rewards. But believe me, it is well worth the effort to go with him and delve into his learning theory. You come away with understanding of a rich sort. I at times felt I was back in physics class trying to get my mind around – well – Universal Laws.

    Most of all, there is such a loving kindness behind Bruce's approach that I am tempted to call it Franciscan. For I can almost picture Brother Wolf lying at his feet and birds dropping out of the sky to alight on his shoulders.

    Gabriel you lucked out when you hooked up with this fella. … Folks, you'll luck out too if you decide to add Bruce Nock's Ten Golden Rules to your library.

        Shannon Hanley, in Lambert Morgan News,  2005.


“My clients all love this book and Dr. Natasha Eshbaugh said it's by far the best book on the market and works for all disciplines!”

        All Natural Hoof Care.


“Great book!” Ruth A. De Gennaro.


“Great book!” Carlene Mcclain Feco.


Great book!” Shelby Hume, Riding Instructor.


Brilliant book!” Andrea Rosentrater Mills.


This is a great all purpose training book. Ruth A. De Gennaro.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent Horsemanship Book!

I make my living training and riding horses. I have read most every modern horse training book and many of the ancient books and this book is by far the best and most useful training book I have ever read. No psychobabble, mysticism, horse whispering, American or Australian hillbilly folklore, or any other scams or nonsense. This book can teach you horse training skills based upon science that will serve you and your horses very well.

        Baehr, W. E., Nomadic


I am just nearing the end of your book Ten Golden Rules of Horse Training and I can't tell you how impressed I am by what I've read. The book is amazing! Every page is filled with must know information that's thankfully not buried in 'fluff'. I am new to the world of horses and I clearly understood every word. Your book has given me the confidence to be a little creative when training my horses so long as I stick to the 10 Golden Rules. I'll be re-reading it and plan on taking notes. Thank you for producing such a fine book.

       Donna Ross, Australia


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent!

"I wish this book had been available five years ago when I first became involved with horses. Dr. Nock's "Ten Golden Rules" is the first book anyone interested in training a horse - or even owning one - should read. Except for clearly outlining a procedure for tactfully establishing your superior rank within your 'herd', this is not a 'How To' recipe book. Instead, Dr. Nock explains basic learning theory as it applies specifically to the horse. With the information this book provides you can better understand, evaluate, and implement any of the more detailed training programs promoted by today's top trainers, solve problems those programs don't address, or even develop your own training program. Learning the 'Ten Golden Rules' will benefit both you and your horse."

         S. Belcher, Ohio, USA


"I was introduced to Bruce in late 2004 by one of our board members of the American Association of Natural Hoof Care Practitioners (AANHCP). Like many people who come to natural hoof care, Bruce had met the devastation of laminitis head on, losing a favorite mare to it, then almost another, before reaching us — and hope. But he arrived too with his own wonderful contribution for the natural hoof care movement: Ten Golden Rules. Finally — and I had been waiting for years — a book that underlies all training with the natural behavioral "instincts" of the horse. No easy feat, believe me, but Bruce pulls it off. We immediately invited him to speak about his book, and his approach to training, at our 2004 annual conference before the entire assembly of AANHCP practitioners. This book does two things: it challenges us to turn away from rigid training molds that ignore the instincts of the horse, and which therefore deprive us of honest communication with the animal (the point of Chapter 7 in my own book, The Natural Horse); it then invites us into the "mold" of the horse's mind, where "step by step" the equestrian is guided toward realizing his or her equestrian goals in true, two-way communication. Although at times delightfully humorous, Ten Golden Rules is a serious and systematic treatise on natural horsemanship which should take its rightful place along the standard texts of the natural horse care movement."

         Jaime Jackson, Author and Horse Advocate.

Some Written Reviews


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