The adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is not always accurate, which I discovered when the mail arrived and I opened the package containing Lead with Your Heart: Lessons from a Life with Horses. Immediately impressed with the beauty, quality and uniqueness of the book, I thought to myself, “If this book is as remarkable as the cover, it is going to be a great read!”
Lead with Your Heart: Notable Inside & Out
Not only is the written content of the book as notable as the cover, but the interior continues the quality in color, layout and creativity. You can easily display Lead with Your Heart facing out on your book shelf, or lying on the coffee table for all to see. With the artistry and attention to detail, the visual impact is worth mentioning.
A fascinating philosophical writer, author Allan J. Hamilton clearly has an innate understanding of horses, their behavior and how they communicate. Over time, as he has worked closely with horses, Allan’s mind has been busy creating analogies from his observations that have become universal metaphors applicable to many of life’s situations. Not just a book for equestrian enthusiasts, although his stories and the illustrations will surely satisfy their interest, Lead with Your Heart compiles short chapters, each relating a horse-inspired metaphor, for those who enjoy deep and meaningful thoughts on life.
Correlations Between Horse Behavior & Human Experience
Broken into six sections, readers will enjoy chapters on the topics of Teaching and Learning, Mindfulness, Stalking Happiness, Leading and Following, Energy and Emotion, and Breaking Through. Each of the chapters in the book features no more than two pages, making them fast, simple and easy to digest.
With 114 chapters, total, many fascinating ideas show the correlation between horse behavior and training and the human experience. For example, in the chapter “Back up for Respect,” Allan identifies that a horse who willingly backs up displays a genuine sign of respect. Going in reverse is not a normal movement for a horse, so it’s cooperation indicates that the horse recognizes you as the leader. The chapter ends by highlighting the paradox that teaching a horse to back up is actually the fastest way to get it to move forward.
A frequently discussed idea that humans possess a predator instinct presents the need and potential for us to “turn to the herd” and become more like the horse; who has the “we” mentality. This is a theme that runs throughout the book, and appears to be one of Allan’s primary messages to his readers.
Inspiring & Empowering
Periodically readers will find pages with green backgrounds and white text of intriguing quotes, many from recognizable figures in history, and illustrations which would make fantastic art to hang on the wall if they were poster size. Whether you need to train a child, employees, or just master yourself, Lead with Your Heart stands as a literary resource to inspire and empower deep personal change while offering moments of pleasurable respite as you turn the pages of a truly beautiful book.
Reviewed by Melanie Davis, bestselling author of The Triumph Book: HEROES