Harmonious Horsemanship by Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • Harmonious Horsemanship by Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer



    Price as reviewed:

    £34.99 for paperback

    Harmonious Horsemanship by Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer

    Title: Harmonious Horsemanship: use of the ridden horse ethogram to optimise potential, partnership and performance
    Authors: Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer
    Published: 2023

    Available as paperback or Kindle edition

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    About Harmonious Horsemanship

    In Harmonious Horsemanship: use of the ridden horse ethogram to optimise potential, partnership and performance, Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer share their professional knowledge and experience to teach the reader how to use the list of 24 behaviours to check for musculoskeletal pain in ridden horses.

    The book includes research studies and contributions from industry experts, alongside real-life case studies. The book is full of practical tools to teach everyone from amateur owners to experienced equestrian professionals how to use ridden behaviour to recognise the signs of pain, even in horses that appear sound.

    Review: Harmonious Horsemanship by Sue Dyson and Sue Palmer

    Too often horses are labelled “bad” or “naughty” when they are actually in pain. Dr Sue Dyson’s ridden horse pain ethogram – also known as the ridden horse performance checklist – is a list of 24 behaviours that can be used to recognise musculoskeletal pain in horses which are not obviously lame.

    As well as covering the background of how and why the ethogram came about, this book focuses on educating equestrians in how to apply the checklist to their own horses, and includes many real-life case studies. It also contains numerous photos showing multiple examples of each of the 24 behaviours being shown by horses, to help equestrians visualise the signs.

    The book poses important questions to the reader though out, promoting us to reconsider some long-held assumptions and beliefs we may have about our horses. It also offers advice on where to go next if you find your horse is showing signs of pain when you apply the ridden horse performance checklist, and includes a useful set of FAQs covering a wide range of questions that may cross your mind along the way.

    Numerous experts – from vets to farriers to physical therapists to saddle fitters – have contributed their thoughts on ridden horse behaviour to the book, providing additional insight through the lens of their professional speciality.

    For an educational reference book, I found the language easy to follow as it doesn’t get bogged down in too much veterinary terminology. That said, there is a lot of information on take on board so I did need to take breaks from reading to give my brain time to process the information being imparted.

    I think this is a book that I will return to time and again. It will help me to be become a more informed owner and rider who can advocate clearly on my horse’s behalf when speaking to equine professional about my horse’s well-being.


    If everyone involved with ridden horses, whether as a rider, trainer or carer, would read this book, the world would be a better place for horses in all situations.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...