Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



To my knowledge, there has been no organized synthesis describing the historical development of horse handling, management, lore, and training. This discussion offers, in capsule form, some of the historical, psychological, and social considerations which might be taken into account when evaluating horse-handling skills.

First, I would like to describe the natures of the emotional and psychological bonds between man and horse. I will also look at the consequences of various types of bonding on horsemanship or management. We can increase our understanding of the role of the horse in our history and lives by thus seeing how the animal figures in our fantasy, and in our practice (Rhodes 1980; Van de Castle 1983).


This paper was presented as part of an illustrated equine behavior seminar at Nova Scotia Agricultural College, May 11, 1985.