Book Review – Equine Empowerment – a guide to positive reinforcement training by Jessica Gonzalez.
For anyone who has encountered Jessica, it is clear that she is passionate about horses, and this is reinforced throughout every page of her book, which sets out to help people make better environments for and interactions with their horses.
There are two further important qualities which shine throughout this book, the first is that Jessica knows her stuff, it is apparent that she has spent many years seeking out and absorbing a vast amount of knowledge, the second and in some ways more important, is that she is a fantastic educator.
This book is packed with science and there is no getting away from it, it is steeped in every page. Jessica’s skill makes that science accessible and understandable, and by not shying away from it, but using it constantly and consistently, the reader is able to fully assimilate it.
I have read several books on positive reinforcement training and either they are scanty on the science, or they have plenty of science but no link between that and the practical application. Jessica has this unique ability to merge the two seamlessly together.
Along with theory and practical advice there is application through a vast number of worksheets, these range from increasing the reader’s knowledge through observation, to practical use of the techniques, preparing horses for some real life experiences and trouble shooting already established unwanted behaviours. The way this is approached, it is evident that Jessica has spent years living these experiences.
There is another important thread running through the book, which is the need to evaluate the ethics of how we keep our horses, how we interact with them and what we ask of them. We are encouraged to regularly review and re-evaluate and strive to do the best we can in our own circumstances.
Along with the comprehensive references to further reading and extensive glossary this feels like a complete training book. I believe Jessica has set the new benchmark of material for those of us seeking positive relationships with our equines. I just wish I could have read it 10 years ago.
Jessica’s book can be bought at a great price with free shipping from Wordery