If you seek to understand horses, the first thing Kay Fontaine will
teach you is to suppress your instincts as a solitary predator and
think like a prey animal living in a herd. Once you're past that, it's
a snap. Prey animals live by fight or — mostly — flight.
Herd animals bond for protection, with each other — and with you,
if you're kind, trustworthy, and demonstrate leadership. Experienced as
a racehorse trainer, therapeutic riding instructor, competitor, and
teacher of just about every discipline in the equine repertoire,
Fontaine insists that the natural horsemanship she teaches is nothing
new. The Greek historian Xenophon laid it all out in 350 B.C. But
leaky-brained humans tend to forget from time to time that kindness and
understanding work better and more reliably than force. Fontaine
doesn't care whether her students ultimately choose to go English, ride
western, or just mosey down a local trail as long as they do so with
intelligence, compassion for their horses, and a lot of fun.