Book Review: Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes

We’ve all seen horses that seem to have it all, to be destined for greatness, only to watch them fall short of their potential. Baffled, we blame the trainers, riders and/or the horses themselves for some deficiency. But our horses don’t really share our “goals,” do they? Do they care if they are Triple Crown winners or Olympic medalists or world champions? What makes a horse a winner–sometimes against the odds? Independent researcher Kerry Thomas shares his thoughts in Horse Profiling, a compelling read. You may never look at your horse in the same way again.

While following wild horse herds in Wyoming and Montana, Thomas realized that what is inside the horse (what Thomas calls emotional conformation) and not what is outside (how a horse is built, or his physical conformation) is what governs herd dynamics. He determined that this was the basis for everything a horse does. Whatever role a horse plays in a human environment, whatever his breed, sport, or job, his emotional conformation dictates in large part his success or failure.

Focusing on this research, Thomas identified a system of emotional profiling that enabled him to determine a horse’s performance tendencies, and then began to develop ways in which horses can be mentally conditioned toward a given goal. His method is used by some of the leading racehorse training and breeding programs in the world.

Thomas’ book explains his unique way of analyzing the psyche of the equine athlete, particularly those in careers where performance is a primary focus. It is Thomas’ intention that his work will enable top equine athletes to perform their very best while living happy, contented lives.

KERRY THOMAS, creator of the Thomas Herding Technique, is recognized by many around the world as a pioneering researcher and service provider in the field of Equine Athletic Psychology. Thomas has directed his innovative Emotional Conformation Profiling to the development of programs to advance equine athletes in their given field, as well as to identify the mental blocks that seem to pinion the advancement of many horses. Though Thomas works with all sport disciplines and training programs, it has been Thoroughbred racing, because of his intensive study of herd motion, which has made the most of THT efforts and continues to do so. Thomas has profiled racehorses for clients from Hollywood Park to the Fair Hill Training Center, and worked with owners, trainers and teams in Europe, South America, Australia, and Hong Kong, with projects developing in China via The Royal Nanjing Jockey Club as well as the Middle East.

CALVIN L. CARTER, a pedigree analyst and freelance writer, is the owner of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, a bloodstock consulting firm.

Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes, published by Trafalgar Square Books, is available from for $29.95 plus shipping.

Listen to what Thomas has to say about horse profiling.

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