Martin and Jennifer Black are pleased to announce that they have purchased the Ed Connell Library from Lennoche Publishing Company. This means that all of Ed Connell’s books including Hackamore Reinsman and Reinsman of the West will continue to be in print and available for purchase on www.martinblack.net.
Many top horseman not only have these books in the library, but studied them closely. The collection is quite often referred to as the Bible of Vaquero-style horsemanship.
Martin acquired his first copies in his teenage years and credits these books for a lot of the details he learned to make the traditional hackamore and bridle-horses. This is why when he was offered the opportunity to purchase the rights to the books, he did it without hesitation.
In the books, Mr. Connell not only talks about how the vaqueros historically handle their horses, but also how he feels we need to adjust for the well bred horses of today. He comments, “On the majority of old time outfits the system of starting colts was to sack them out after a hindfoot was tied up on them and to hobble break them, then saddle them up and climb on. It was the old-timers’ standard policy to whip the colt on the end of the nose when they bucked.”
The Vaqueros were handling four- to six-year-old mustangs and half-wild horses typically. Their system for getting them gentle was miles and hard work, which isn’t available to many people today. Different situations and different types of horses than we have today.
Connell goes on to say, “In those days, the horses were not bred up to the fine degree they are today. The well bred horse of today is too high and strong in temperament to be handled roughly. It is better to take more time and work them out on foot properly for four or five days or a week before riding them, and this will give them a chance to get over their fears somewhat.”
Martin agrees with Mr. Connell and, like Mr. Connell, is accustomed to the ranch horse, but understands folks need to be safe. Today not only do have we quieter horses to handle, but we have developed a better cognitive understanding of our horses as well.
In no way are they meant to replace other methods of horsemanship that people appreciate and have come accustomed to today, but the detailed instruction in understanding the function and use of the Hackamore and spade bit is scarce at best to day.
Not only are these books for the inspired horsemen beginner or experienced, but the historical aspect of how the vaqueros handled their horses is very enlightening. Because Mr. Connell was a lifetime working buckaroo, his books are very thorough from first handling a colt to making a bridle horse, including working cattle and roping on them. He talks about the use of the snaffle bit along with the hackamore.
Martin’s goal is not to be the biggest or best, rich or famous, but to live the life he enjoys and share this with others to enjoy with him.
This style of horsemanship has been part of his family’s life for generations in Idaho, and he would like to see future generations enjoy it also.