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The Art of Horsemanship

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  279 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Among the earliest known works on choosing, caring for, and riding horses, this book is still hailed--2,300 years after it was written--as one of the most complete, thoughtful, and accessible guides of its type.
Paperback, 106 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published -350)
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Debbie Zapata
Mar 29, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturday
I have loved horses and books about them all of my life.Years and years ago I would see Xenophon's name mentioned in magazine articles and non-fiction books, always referring to this book, The Art Of Horsemanship. I wanted to read it, but never did see a copy until about 10 or 12 years ago in a specialized horse book catalog that I happened upon. I ordered it and when it came I had that wonderful 'Oh, finally!' feeling....but then I never read it! I don't know why. I picked it up many times, loo ...more
This short book was fascinating to me, because of the topic of horsemanship, but more so because this was written in 350BC by a Greek man.

Many parts of this book were interesting to me. Xenophon describes some things that still apply today: "Just as a house would be of little use, however beautiful its upper stories, if the underlying foundations were not what they ought to be, so there is little use to be extracted from a horse, and particular a war-horse, if unsound in his feet, however excel
Angela Wilde
Apr 22, 2011 Angela Wilde rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The trouble with these public domain books is that people tend to review the text not the actual edition. Here I am reviewing the edition. This book here is a public domain translation, and has been around for over a century. The knowledge of classical Greek language has changed considerably in this time. If you want Xenophon's Art of Horsemanship, I suggest getting Nyland's modern translation or the Loeb translation, rather than one of the dozens of public domain translations - they are everywh ...more
Ann Nyland
Apr 22, 2011 Ann Nyland rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I am the translator of this book. Please do not confuse this book with the many public domain versions on the market, and please note that Goodreads links this book to those versions. Reviews of those versions show up linked to this book due to the Goodreads system, and ratings of other versions are merged with this book.
This book contains content additional to editions of Art of Horsemanship. I hope this helps!
Bill Ramsell
Mar 08, 2011 Bill Ramsell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient
Still good advice 2500+/- years later, though I think I'll not be vaulting onto my horse with my spear anytime soon.
Short and sweet

Interesting to read such a gentle approach to horsemanship from so long ago. It surprised me to note the desire to train a horse without breaking him was lauded by the ancients, and I'm curious at what point in history we lost that.
Laura Verret
The instructions were quite interesting. I'd never stopped to think how many details go into choosing the best horse.
Apr 23, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, horses
I didn't find anything here I haven't learned in other places... but realizing that these concepts are actually ancient made it an enjoyable read.
Dec 16, 2016 C.G. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Xenophon’s The Art of Horsemanship is an often referenced but much less read book amongst horse-people. In this work Dr A Nyland has included selections from many other classical writers along with some observations drawn from her own considerable knowledge to help clarify what Xenophon is saying.
The Art of Horsemanship Xenophon and Other Classical Writers is drawn from people whose very lives depended on the quality, soundness and training of their horses. Making it a fine book for horse-peopl
Jun 02, 2010 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and a fun little read. This copy is by Dover, with the translation by Morris H. Morgan in 1893. Morgan used several references and translations to verify the agreement in terminology between other books and authors.

Basically Xenophon was one of the original, and best writers of the ideals of a horse, and basic horsemanship. Understand that the ideal for the Greeks was a light horse, fast cavalry sort, and the heavy drafts were frowned upon, unlike later, the English with their heavy
Mar 01, 2015 Grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great if you like a mix of ancient history and horses. I'm surprised I hadn't read this sooner. The amount of text that comes from Xenophon is only a small portion of this book. Most of it contains explanatory notes and further discussions on the horse in antiquity. The translating scholarly author has done much research on the subject and shares both opinion and information in a balanced way. It was very interesting to hear Xenophon's opinion on how the horse should be selected, treated and so ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Carmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Xenophon's Art of Horsemanship is cited so often in training and equine psychology texts and, having now read it, it's easy to see why. This is a very quick read and I would recomend anyone with an interest in horses take a few moments and give it a read. Xenophon's love for the horse clearly shows in his writing and it's truely amazing to see how the core values of horsemanship can bridge the gap of centuries.
Caroline Thompson
Some good wisdom here, although preparing a horse for battle (or myself for that matter) is not my prime concern, I was pleased to note that several times within the text, Xenophon encouraged trainers and riders to approach horses calmly and with thought for the horse's well being rather than using anger and force. It makes me wonder what happened in the intervening years and why "natural horsemanship" is a relatively modern concept.
Cathleen Carstens
Serious horse people will want to read Xenophon. The basics of horse care and riding have stood the test of time, and advice given thousands of years ago still rings true today. This was made clear to me in the section on grooming the horse. Xenophon goes on at some length on how to clean up the horse, then says that as soon as you get the horse out of the stable, he will be just as dirty as he was before. Oh, how true this is!
We often think that animal rights is a most recent issue and with a shiver think back to how animals were treated by humans for centuries.
And then here is Xenophon, who wrote about horsemanship thousands of years ago. And guess what- treating horses with respect is the basis of the whole book. An amazing read, both within and outside its historic context.
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch
Mar 18, 2008 Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: human-ways
Dover republication of M. H. Morgan's 1893 Little, Brown edition, based on Dindorf's Oxford Greek text.

Illustrated. Nine full page illustrations, and many in the text. Thirty seven pages of notes, including an excellent six page discussion of the lack of evidence for curb-chains on Greek bits.

William Danes
Certainly not the most readable of translations. I will definitely be having a look at the Loeb edition at some point.
Shannon Baas
I found this book to be boring. It would probably be of a lot more interest to someone who is interested in horsemanship or military history as it is a combination of the two.
Jan 20, 2016 Galicius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek, non-fiction
This is from someone who no doubt writes from experience about how to buy a horse, understand horse nature, train it, and go to war with the horse.
Sofi Teitsort
Sofi Teitsort rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2014
Kyungnyer Ku
Kyungnyer Ku rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2016
Jack rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2015
Holly Amber Acosta Doucette
Holly Amber Acosta Doucette rated it it was amazing
Mar 27, 2015
Laurel Jarvis
Laurel Jarvis rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2014
Den rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2016
Stephanie Hinton
Stephanie Hinton rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2011
Marisa rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2013
Carrie rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2014
Spencer Wolfe
Spencer Wolfe rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2012
Jill Scott
Jill Scott rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2015
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Xenophon (Ancient Greek Ξενοφῶν, Modern Greek "Ξενοφών", "Ξενοφώντας"; ca. 431 – 355 BC), son of Gryllus, of the deme Erchia of Athens, was a soldier, mercenary and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates. He is known for his writings on the history of his own times, preserving the sayings of Socrates, and the life of ancient Greece.

Historical and biographical works
Anabasis (or The Persian Expediti
More about Xenophon...

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“anything forced is not beautiful” 29 likes
“To quote a dictum of Simon, what a horse does under compulsion he does blindly, and his performance is no more beautiful than would be that of a ballet-dancer taught by whip and goad.” 10 likes
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