Horse Wise is a life lessons book by a woman not afraid to admit she made a mistake or two along the way.  The author’s willingness to learn from her relationships with horses and apply the knowledge she gained not just to horses, but also to life and human relationships is gracious and open. 


On page three when Cheryl Kimball asked, “Isn’t that pretty much what we all want?  To get through life with as little stress possible?” I realized that this author was going to teach through insight about cooperation and respect instead of manipulation and training (highly stressful tactics those two). 


With short easy-to-read chapters you can canter through this book at a nice clip, then flip through as needed for tips and insight when situations arise or you need a refresher.  Her chapter titles are almost lessons or reminders in themselves such as: Open-Minded Doesn’t Mean “Sucker for Anything”, Sometimes the Walk Is Faster Than The Trot, The Importance of Having A Sense of Peace, A Routine Isn’t a Rut, Accept Your Limitations, but Expand Your Limits, and Some People Just Don’t Think Like You Do.


I found myself underlining sentences such as: “Awareness can help you build better relationships with humans as well as horses.  Inspiration and reassurance do not come through dominance and coercion.  If you avoid the things that are troublesome you will never make a breakthrough.”


Cheryl Kimball’s book is small, but as she teaches in just over a hundred pages if we “keep it simple, learn to think differently, and lead through respect not dominance” we too can use horse sense whether we’re in the barn or the world at large. 


~review by Denise Bell

Author: Cheryl Kimball

Conari Press, 2004

pp.116,  $12.95