For someone like Joyce, who was getting back into horses after a 40 year absence, finding the new, which is really reinventing the old, information on horse gentling was like making that discovery as a 6 year old that pollywogs turn into frogs. Now trainers speak of gentling the horse, not breaking it. We as people are becoming caring individuals who honor animals as the Native Americans did, as little sister and little brother. We are also finding that animals, in turn assist our growth and keep us in balance. The main theme of It's Hard to Stay on a Horse While You're Unconscious is the journey of mother and daughter into acquiring horses, and their resultant experiences.
In It's Hard to Stay on a Horse While You're Unconscious we are traveling into a wild land, for in life we rarely know what lies beyond that next turning of the canyon walls. If we follow the Chapter Headings, though, we will have some guidelines, Watch for Lions, Dodge Wildfires, Get a Horse, Stampede with a Mustang.
The trailblazing aspect of It's Hard to Stay on a Horse While You're Unconscious lies in it appendices. When Joyce noted that a horse needs trained on both sides, or a foal, when imprinted, needs to be massaged all over, she hypothesized that it had something to do with the Corpus callosum, which is the bridge between the two brain hemispheres. When studying the brain, she discovered it is first necessary to understand how a horse sees. Thus, following the narrative is a bit of science, an Appendix on The Eye, and one on The Brain.