21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2010
If you buy only one book on how to train & ride a horse well from novice to advanced riding, I think this should be it.
You know the man knows his stuff given his huge accomplishments at the Spanish Riding School, and in competition. But that in itself does not make for a great book, though obviously the rider is very good. However, the book is far more than a list of the right way to sit and think and exercise.
The explanation of the riders position and seat, and correcting faults, is superb. Compared to Podhajsky's book (the Complete Training of Horse & Rider) or even Herbermann (Dressage Formula), I find the book much better organised, readable and enjoyable (though both the other books are very good too in their own ways). Compared to Kyra's book (dressage with Kyra) there is much more detail on the rider's position and corrections. But it also gives the correct order in approaching faults: for example if the problem is hard hands, he carefully explains the likely underlying causes (and corrections needed - for example how the problem arises if the seat or legs are not relaxed), which will then correct more than just that initially seen fault. There is also some excellent advice on improving the sitting trot. But underlying all the explicit detail are the constant themes of the correct attitude towards training, efficient use of aids and so forth, written in a way that makes it seem obvious and natural (to me at least) why those attitudes work.
Excellent photos and diagrams too - including clear, useful and accurate artwork by Maggie Raynor. And some quite subtle looking differences in the horse's shape that show the difference between correct and incorrect work are visually explained by showing the relevant parts of the horses underlying skeleton. The visuals are not just the usual pretty pictures of horses going nicely (though there are a few of these as well).
I really think this book could do a lot of good not only for riders, but also for their horses!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2010
Absolutely brilliant textbook - please don't be put off by the title if your interest is not dressage as anyone who rides would benefit from reading this book, even a complete novice, as the principles of classical training are set out clearly and concisely from the basic gaits to piaffe and passage. The illustrations, both photos and drawings, are not only helpful but also beautiful. Highly recommended.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2010
Excellent book for riders of all levels whether they have their own horse or not.
very clearly written and set out making it easy to dip in and out of for specific references to each schooling exercise and gait.
Emphasises the importance of the riders position to help the horse.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2011
This book is excellent for its philosophy & simplicity any student of dressage cannot fail to be impressed no matter how many books on the subject they may have read
I am a Fellow of The British Horse Society a Grand Prix Judge & an FEI 5* Para Judge
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
Absolutely brilliant book. I always thought I was a decent rider until I started taking lessons in dressage. The more precise I was trying to ride the more tension I developed in my body and it emerged how much I need to compensate for half hearted aids and relying on the horse figuring it all out. My trainer is fantastic in correcting me, developing lots of exercises to address my weaknesses and to work through things. Nonetheless this book was incredible. The detailed discription about the seat, how it needs to be, where to start, how to improve it... I could hear my trainers voice in my head reading it. The book is so clear, you can't misunderstand and it is detailed enough that it doesn't assume knowlegdge. My half pass and flying changes are getting so much better and I am confident the book will be an aide also once i go towards piaffe and other advanced movements. If only everybody read this book... !
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 8 December 2010
This makes very worthwhile reading for the coach and the rider; Kottas deals with the importance of a correct seat and balance being paramount so as to be able to influence the horse in the best possible way. Very easy to read and understand.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
This seems a very clear and consistent book on dressage, using the classical training of the horse and the rider. The photos are good, and diagrams (by Maggie Raynor) are well-executed and helpful for learning as well as for identifying where and why problems can occur. The diagram of how a crooked back can affect a horse on p27 got me straight off to the osteopath. I think my horse will be glad I've got it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2012
I have been doing horses for more than 30 years and have considerable knownledge about them.At this moment of time I am backing and training my two youngsters and I have to say that this book is the best I have seen up to now.
It explains everything in great detail with pictures and diagrams which I found very informative and its so interesting I cant put
I would recommend this book to anyone who is training and doing dressage its invaluable.