‘The Horse’s Friend’ or, ‘How Not to Train Your Horse’

We’ve come a long way from 1876. And that’s a very, very good thing for horses.

[All images from Wikimedia Commons]

I stumbled upon the 1876 horse training manual The Horse’s Friend: The Only Practical Method of Educating the Horse and Eradicating Vicious Habits completely on accident while looking for other images on Wikimedia Commons. I love old etchings, and found the ones in this book to be eye-opening…though not for the reason the author probably intended.

Author O.S. Pratt walks readers through home remedies forĀ  horses…


And how to teach them cute tricks…


But where the book really shines is in the many, many illustrations of how to train your horse to do totally inexplicable things. Like how to push a cart.


There’s got to be an easier way…

Or how to hate jumping (and/or break bones).


Want to teach your horse to be a complete jerk? Gotcha covered.



Bonus: The book also teaches you how to train dogs, including useful tricks like getting your hunting dog to shoot a gun!


With ‘Horse’s Friends’ like these, who needs enemies?

If you want to read this bizarre book, it’s long past its copyright and is available for free online in PDF, Kindle and HTML format.

Go Riding.

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