Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Horse whisperers in history

In my geeky internet way I've been hunting down a few old time horse whisperers. I started doing this because I keep coming across sites that sell - for anywhere from $30 to $130 - copies of old, expired copyrighted works, claiming to have secured the rights.

I find that irritating.

First of all, they didn't write it and you can't acquire rights to works in the public domain. Some claim to have come across this dusty volume in antique stores. Whatever. Bottom line is that this work is available for free, at least some of it. As a public service to those who don't have quite the level of inner geek I've been cursed with, here are some links:

First from the book The Horse Whisperer we've got John Solomon Rarey, the original guy who lay down horses:
There was a man from Groveport, Ohio called John Solomon Rarey, who tamed his first horse at the age of twelve. Word of his gift spread and in 1858 he was summoned to Windsor Castle in England to calm a horse of Queen Victoria. The queen and her entourage watched astonished as Rarey put his hands on the animal and laid it down on the ground before them. Then he lay down beside it and rested his head on its hooves.

At this link you can page through his entire book online. Or I've got it as a pdf too, just email me and I'll send it to you. For FREE.

Then there's Professor Jesse Beery, which is available on a CD from a historical preservation site for $21. You can buy it for much more here. Here's some info from historical preservation.com

Prof. Jesse Beery self-published a Mail Course, an Eight part series in the Instruction of Horsemanship.

Born in 1861 in Pleasant Hill, Ohio, Jesse assisted his father on the family farm, paying special attention to the animals. He had a special gift with horses and developed methods for training and controlling horses. Starting in 1889 at the age of 28 years old (also the same year he got married), Jesse Beery traveled all over teaching others these methods. After his father died in 1905, Jesse returned to the family farm in Pleasant Hill, Ohio and established his School of Correspondence in Horsemanship.

Here's the hype from the other site.
"They LAUGHED At This 100 Year Old
Horse Training Course
- But When They Saw The Results....!"
...they understood they could successfully train their horses
to stop
dozens of bad habits and take complete control,
enjoy riding and working safely with their horses,
without fear or embarrassment.
Time-Proven By
Tens Of Thousands:
The Most Successful Horse Training
Instruction Course In History

Yes. And you can get it for $21 instead of $67. Anyway, I'm going to order the CD for my collection. Once I get it, I'll make it available for free.

I don't begrudge folks making a living by training horses. But this is reselling yesterday's newspapers. Of course for all I know they've added all kinds of new stuff (like color pictures!) and I'm barking up the wrong tree. But I'm not buying one to find out...


Christina said...

Wow! What an interesting story! In all the books I have read about Queen Victoria, I have never heard of her encounter with the horse whisperer - how interesting!! Knowing how much she loved animals (and was so anti-vivisection) it isn't surprising, I suppose, that she enlisted the help of this man! Thank you for telling this story!




Unknown said...

Hi Christina,
Isn't it fun to find these connections? Thanks for commenting!!


Christina said...

Yes, it is great to find connections like that :-)

Thank you for such an interesting blog!