Rees, Lucy

Lucy Rees (1943– ) is well known for her books on riding and equine behaviour. She is the author of The Horse’s Mind: still sought after 20 years after publication. After a science degree at University College London, and postgraduate research in neurophysiology and neuranatomy, she moved to Snowdonia to farm and break horses. In 1987, there was a film made of her experiences by HTV: To Ride a Wild Horse. This looked at Lucy’s experiences as she went from breaking in horses in Wales, to looking at how cowboys in Arizona tackled breaking in. By 1998, she had moved to Portugal, where she lived with her Lusitano stallion Iberico and dog Caddi. She is, I think, currently living and working in Spain. My Spanish is pretty minimal so until I can find someone who can translate it for me, all I can do is point you in the right direction to find out more.

In 1998, she was asked to do demonstrations of her work at SICAB (a Spanish show dedicated to the purebred Spanish horse.) She said her demonstrations 'show a natural way of training which uses the instinct of the horse instead of fighting it, accomplishing rapid results, without fear or stress.' Like Monty Roberts (though I believe she started this before he did) she used the round pen, and getting a horse to come to you by initially sending it away.

She is still writing non fiction, but her books are now written in Spanish, and as far as I know, have not been translated.

Her pony books are aimed at teenagers. Horse of Air in particular is not an easy read, dealing as it does with the extremes of depression. Wild Pony is a less traumatic read, about a girl finding her place in the world, and learning that people are not necessarily as she thinks she is.

Finding the books
Wild Pony doesn’t crop up that often in paperback, though isn’t horribly expensive. It is very hard indeed to find as a hardback, and tends to be ex-library when it does appear. Horse of Air is easier to find.

Lucy Ree’s website (in Spanish)
(Rather minimal) information on To Ride a Wild Horse