Skip to main content

Dancing with Horses: The Science and Artistry of Coenesthetic Connection

  • Chapter

Part of the Leisure Studies in a Global Era book series (LSGE)

Abstract

War Horse, Steven Spielberg’s 2011 motion picture adaptation of a 1982 children’s novel by British author Michael Morpurgo, extends a long storyline of heroic military horses. These horses include George Washington’s ‘Old Nelson’, Chief Sitting Bull’s ‘Blackie’, the Duke of Wellington’s ‘Copenhagen’, Napoleon’s ‘Magnolia’, and King Charlemagne’s ‘good steed Tencendur’ of ‘The Song of Roland’ fame (Crosland, 1999). The storyline can be traced back to Plutarch’s tale of Alexander the Great’s ‘Bucephalus’, a horse thought to be ‘so very vicious and unmanageable’ until the adolescent son of King Philip did what no other of the king’s men could accomplish. Alexander, realizing the horse’s fearfulness and, rather than attempting as others had done, to whip and spur Bucephalus into submission, turned the horse into the sun and away from his fearful shadow, having noted this to be source of the horse’s anxiety. Alexander walked beside Bucephalus with the reins in his hands, stroking him, coaxing him forward, until he could spring surreptitiously onto the horse’s back. Alexander then gathered in the reins and, with Bucephalus ‘free from all rebelliousness’, rode the horse on a careering course. So began a partnership of trust and devotion that would carry Alexander through numerous battles (Dryden, 1942).

Keywords

  • Social Contract
  • Prey Dynamic
  • Animal Mind
  • Animal Domestication
  • Black Beauty

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1057/9781137415547_11
  • Chapter length: 25 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-137-41554-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Abram, D. (2010). Becoming animal: An earthly cosmology. Pantheon Books. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acampora, R. A. (2006). Corporal compassion: Animal ethics and philosophy of the body. University of Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, PA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Agamben, G. (2004). The open: Man and animal. (trans. K. Attell.) Stanford University Press. Stanford, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Anthony, D. W. (2007). The horse, the wheel, and language: How bronze-age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world. Princeton University Press. Princeton, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  • Argent, G. (2012). Toward a privileging of the nonverbal: Communication, corporeal synchrony, and transcendence in humans and horses. J. A. Smith & R. W. Mitchell (eds.). Experiencing animal minds: An anthology of animal-human encounters. Columbia University Press. New York. pp. 111–128.

    Google Scholar 

  • Argent, G. (2013). Inked: Human-horse apprenticeship, tattoos, and time in the Pazyryk world. Society & Animals. 21: 178–193.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Arluke, A. & Sanders, C. R. (1996). Regarding animals. Temple University Press. Philadelphia, PA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Balcombe, J. (2011). From theory to action: An ethologist’s perspective. N. Taylor & T. Signal (eds.). Theorizing animals: Re-thinking humanimal relations. Brill. Leiden, The Netherlands. pp. 281–289.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bannon B. E. (2009). Animals, language, and life: Searching for animal attunement with Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. Environmental Philosophy. 6 (1): 21–34.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barbier, D. & Psillas, K. (2011). Meditations for two: Searching and finding communion with the horse. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belasik, P. (2001). Dressage for the 21st century. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Birke, L. (2008). Talking about horses: Control and freedom in the world of ‘Natural Horsemanship’. Society and Animals. 16: 107–126.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Birke, L, Hockenhull, J., & Creighton, E. (2010). The horse’s tale: Narratives of caring for/about horses. Society and Animals. 18: 331–347.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Blake, H. (1977). Thinking with horses. Souvenir Press. London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bousé, D. (2000). Wildlife films. University of Pennsylvania Press. Philadelphia.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brandt, K. (2004). A language of their own: An interactionist approach to human-horse communication. Society and Animals. 12 (4): 299–316.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Buchanan, B. (2008). Onto-ethologies: The animal environments of Uexküll, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze. State University of New York Press. Albany.

    Google Scholar 

  • Connor, S. (1995). Michel Serres’s Les Cinq Sens. N. Abbas (ed.). Mapping Michel Serres. University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor, MI. pp. 153–169.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chuang Tzu (1996). The book of Chuang Tzu. (trans. M. Palmer, E. Breuilly, C. W. Ming & J. Ramsay). Penguin Books. London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crist, E. (2000). Images of animals: Anthropomorphism and animal mind. Temple University Press. Philadelphia, PA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Crosland, J. (1999). (trans.) The song of Roland. Old French Series. Cambridge, ONT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dakyns, H. G. (2008). On Horsemanship. The Project Gutenberg EBook, 2009. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1176/1176-h/1176-h.htm. Date accessed 18 February 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dakyns, H. G. (2009). Cryopaedia. (The education of Cyrus). The Project Gutenberg EBook, 2009. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2085/2085-h/2085-h.htm. Date accessed 10 March 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Kunffy, C. (2002). Dressage principles illuminated. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Kunffy, C. (2003). Training strategies for dressage riders (2nd edition). Howell Book House/Wiley. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. (trans. B. Massumi). University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delgado, M., Pignon, F., & Walser, D. (2009). Gallop to freedom: Training horses with the founding stars of Cavalia. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • DeMello, M. (2012). Animals and society: An introduction. Columbia University Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Montaigne, M. (1580/2006). Essays, Chapter 48: Of war-horses, or Destriers. (trans. C. Cotton). Project Gutenberg Book #3600, released 17 September 2006. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3600/3600-h/3600-h.htm.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dessagne, L. (2010). Lorenzo: The flying Frenchman. (trans. C. Hogg). Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Waal, F. B. M. (2009). The age of empathy: Nature’s lessons for a kinder society. Harmony Books. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dryden, J. (1942). Plutarch’s lives. (Revised by A. H. Clough). Modern Library. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freewin, K. & Gardiner, B. (2005). New age or old sage: A review of equine assisted psychotherapy. The Australian Journal of Counselling Psychology. 6: 13–17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grandin, T. (2005). Animals in translation: Using the mysteries of autism to decode animal behavior. Harcourt. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grosz, E. (1994). Volatile bodies: Toward a corporeal feminism. Indiana University Press. Bloomington.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hallberg, L. (2008). Walking the way of the horse: Exploring the power of the horse-human-relationship. iUniverse, Inc. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, N. C. (2014). Embodied communication: The poetics and politics of riding. J. Gillett & M. Gilbert (eds.). Sport, animals, and society. Routledge. New York. pp. 251–267.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haraway, D. (2003). The companion species manifesto: Dogs, people and significant otherness. Prickly Paradigm Press. Chicago, IL.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haraway, D. (2008). When species meet. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hausberger, M., Roche, H., Henry, S., & Visser, E. K. (2008). A review of human-horse relationship. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 109: 1–24.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hearne, V. (2007). Adams’s task: Calling animals by name. Skyhorse. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heller-Roazen, D. (2007). The inner touch: An archeology of a sensation. Zone Books. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hempfling, K. F. (2001). Dancing with horses: The art of body language. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret: VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hempfling, K. F. (2010). The horse seeks me. Cadmos. London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hempfling, K. F. (2013). What horses reveal: From first meeting to friend for life. Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret. VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Holdrege, C. (1998). Seeing the animal whole: The example of the horse and lion. D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (eds.). Goethe’s way of science. State University of New York Press. Albany. pp. 213–232.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGreevy, P. & McLean, A. (2010). Equitation science. John Wiley & Sons. West Sussex.

    Google Scholar 

  • May, M. (2008). The path of the horse. Stormy May Productions.

    Google Scholar 

  • Merleau-Ponty, M. (2003). Nature: Course notes from the Collége de France. (trans. R. Vallier.) Northwestern University Press. Evanston, IL.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michalon, J. (2014). From sport to therapy: The social stakes in the rise of equine-assisted activities. J. Gillett & M. Gilbert (eds.). Sport, Animals, and Society. Routledge. New York. pp. 84–100.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morgan, M. H. (1962). The art of horsemanship by Xenophon. J. A. Allen. London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nevzorov, A. (2005/2011). The horse crucified and risen. Nevzorov Haute Ecole/CreateSpace. Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nevzorov, A. (2011). The cruelty of equestrian sport: Documentary photograph evidence. Website of Nevzorov Haute Ecole. http://hauteecole.ru/en/alexander_nevzorov.php.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nibert, D. (2002). Animal rights, human rights: Entanglements of oppression and domination. Rowland and Littlefield. Lanham, MD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nibert, D. (2013). Animal oppression and human violence: Domesecration, capitalism and global conflict. Columbia University Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Noske, B. (1997). Beyond boundaries: Humans and animals. Black Rose Books. Montréal, QC.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliver, K. (2009). Animal lessons: How they teach us to be human. Columbia University Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oliviera, Nuno (1976). Reflections on equestrian art. (trans. P. Field). London: J.A. Allen.

    Google Scholar 

  • Olmert, M. D. (2009). Made for each other: The biology of the human-animal bond. Da Capo Press. Cambridge, MA.

    Google Scholar 

  • O’Reilly, C. (2011). Deadly equines: The shocking and true story of meat-eating and murderous horses. The Long Riders’ Guild Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pacelle, W. (2011). The bond: Our kinship with animals, our call to defend them. HarperCollins. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Patton, P. (2003). Language, power, and the training of horses. C. Wolfe (ed.). Zoontologies: The question of the animal. University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis. pp. 83–99.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pedersen, H. (2010). Animals in schools: Processes and strategies in human-animal education. Purdue University Press. West Lafayette, IN.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rashid, M. (2011). Nature in horsemanship: Discovering harmony through principles of aikido. Skyhorse Publishing. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Resnick, C. (2005). Naked liberty. Amigo Publications. Los Olivos, CA.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres, M. & Latour, B. (1995). Conversations on science, culture and time. (trans. R. Lapidus). The University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres, M. (1995). Genesis. (trans. G. James & J. Nielson). The University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres. M. (1995b). The natural contract. (trans. E. MacArthus & W. Paulson). The University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres, M. (1997). The troubadour of knowledge. (trans. S. F. Glaser and W. Paulson). The University of Michigan Press. Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres. M. (2007). The parasite. (trans. L. R. Schehr). University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Serres, M. (2008). The five senses: Philosophy of mingled bodies. (trans. M. Sankey & P. Cowley). Continuum. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shapiro, K. (1990). Understanding dogs through kinaesthetic empathy, social construction and history. Anthrozoos. 3: 184–195.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. J. (2011). Becoming horse in the duration of the moment: The trainer’s challenge. Phenomenology & Practice. 5 (1): 7–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. J. (2014). Human-horse partnerships: The discipline of dressage. J. Gillett & M. Gilbert (eds.). Sport, animals, and society. Routledge. New York. pp. 35–51.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, S. J. (2014b). A pedagogy of vital contact. Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. 6 (2): 233–246.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Spilker, I. (2008). Empowered horses: Learning their way through independence, self-confidence, and creative play. (trans. K. McCormack). Trafalgar Square. North Pomfret, VT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Swift, Jonathan. (1735/2003). Gulliver’s travels. Barnes and Noble. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Von Uexküll, J. (2010). A foray into the worlds of animals and humans. (trans. J. D. O’Neill). University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waldau, P. (2013). Animal studies: An introduction. Oxford University Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weil, K. (2012). Thinking animals: Why animal studies now? Columbia University Press. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zajonc, A. (1998). Goethe and the science of his time: An historical introduction. D. Seamon & A. Zajonc (eds.). Goethe’s way of science. State University of New York Press. Albany. pp.15–30.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zembylas, M. (2002). Michel Serres: A troubadour for science, philosophy and education. Educational Philosophy and Theory. 34 (4): 477–502.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Copyright information

© 2015 Stephen Smith

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Smith, S. (2015). Dancing with Horses: The Science and Artistry of Coenesthetic Connection. In: Carr, N. (eds) Domestic Animals and Leisure. Leisure Studies in a Global Era. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137415547_11

Download citation