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Dressage for the 21st Century Hardcover – 31 Jan 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: J.A.Allen & Co Ltd (31 Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851318355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851318356
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 25.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 992,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Paul Belasik is a graduate of Cornell University and has written many articles on horses and horsemanship. He is the author of Riding Towards the Light, Exploring Dressage Technique and The Songs of Horses, the trilogy which gained him a large and appreciative audience. Paul Belasik gives clinics, lectures and demonstrations internationally, and trains a large cross-section of clients at his Pennsylvania Riding Academy at Moonlight Park where, in particular, his celebrated short courses concentrating on the rider's seat and position have brought him both acclaim and students from all over the world.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have always found Paul Belasik's writings to be inspirational as well as informative, and so I looked forward eagerly to the publication of his latest book, Dressage for the 21st Century. I was not disappointed! This is a beautiful book, superbly illustrated, which draws on the author's experience, erudition and insight to provide a comprehensive overview of dressage as it could be in the 21st century.
I say 'as it could be', because, as Belasik makes clear in the Introduction, there is a considerable gulf between dressage as art and dressage as competition, with the latter often falling far short of what could and should be achieved. We are given an overview of the history of dressage (a subject with which far too few dressage riders are familiar) and the development of modern dressage competition. Readers with little interest in history should not skip this part - it gives an insight into just what is wrong with so much of the dressage we see today. Writing about recent developments in biomechanical analysis of dressage movements, Belasik says, 'The difficulty here is that analysis of bad models may not explain anything about a desirable model.' - a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree
The book follows a logical sequence of training, starting with breaking the young horse. It defines the physical objectives of training, as well as discussing the practical purpose of the school movements. In each case, Belasik describes not only what to do and how to do it, but why (as well as what not to do and why!): the reasoning behind each step is explained logically and with clarity. Belasik covers a number of subjects generally ignored or touched on only briefly in most dressage manuals. For example, he gives an excellent description of the bit's role in helping to balance the horse.
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Format: Hardcover
From his previous books, readers may expect a quirky, self-absorbed, opinionated, "New Age" tour around the periphery of classical riding - but instead we get a comprehensive and practical review of the entire art, with references made to the greats of the (small) body of literature on dressage.
Belasik covers the field with chapters on walk, trot, canter, the campaign school and airs above the ground. At each point he stresses the layered nature of classical riding, and the need to correctly build on the fundamentals of training at every stage. Yes, an independent seat and light hands are important, and the role of straightness at all levels is explored. Each chapter considers practical problems in the movements, and gives advice that I have already found useful.
Along the way he pokes digs at the riding establishment, with comments about the lack of true collection shown in competitive dressage, and an interesting analysis of the role of overtracking in collection and extension. I greatly appreciated his obligatory dig at trainers who consider half-pass to be travers executed on a diagonal, as well as his explanation of why this has to be considered incorrect.
One of the best features of this book is the excellent collection of photographs, taken in ways that subtly emphasise his points. The sequence of shots showing absolute straightness in tempi flying changes is breathtaking, and the build up to flying change showing the exact moment when the leading foreleg alone is on the ground must have taken an age to shoot.
This book isn't for those new to riding, but for riders who have advanced some way down the path, and realise how much more there is to learn. It also isn't for those looking for quick fixes to their problems. I commend it highly.
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Format: Hardcover
This has to be the most complete book on Equitation to the highest levels, ever to be written. It is quite simply, a masterpiece- highly readable, yet totally scholarly, as would be expected from an author such as Paul Belasik, whose previous books have gained him a worldwide and well deserved following.
The photographs which lavishly illustrate the book are exemplary in every way- Belasik's seat is impeccable and the horses look at ease in their work- real harmony between horse and rider.
Paul Belasik's vast knowledge of Classical Equitation, is woven effortlessly with his own conclusions, arrived at through the odyssey of research that he undertook, and chronicled in his book 'Riding Towards the Light'.
This book is a must for anyone who sees dressage first and foremost as an Art and only secondarily as a sport.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly helpful and valuable book! 15 Mar. 2013
By Jane Russell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a serious dressage rider, YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK. It is by far the most useful and understandable of all the riding books currently available, new or old. If you have been struggling to understand the concepts of classical riding, especially in light of all the confusion in the dressage world right now with the "new methods" (which are not really new--just incorrect!) and would like to learn the tried-and-true way of the masters, this book will be a huge help. It is so clearly written and the photos and drawings are very helpful-- there is enough detail to be helpful, but not so much as to confuse you. Concepts such as how to collect your horse will finally become clear! I really cannot recommend it enough, the chapters on the seat and the flying changes alone were well worth the price. Seriously, GET THIS BOOK. You will NOT regret it.
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, Another wonderful book from Paul Belasik! 1 April 2014
By Dressagediva44 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Belasik is an amazing trainer, breeder and rider. I happen to be blessed to live near his riding academy in Dillsburg, PA (PaRidingAcademy@aol.com). He has great respect for the horse and is a horseman of excellent character. All of his books are well written and a joy to read. With deep meaning and taught put into each word, he encourages his readers to expand their knowledge and love of the horse. His books are worth every penny. Useful information that you will find yourself using everyday with your horses and your riding. Sheer joy to read!
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have For Any Dressage Enthusiast! 7 Jun. 2016
By Rev. Jeannie Talarico - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terrific Book!!! I am so happy to have gotten my hands on a copy. This is one of the best and most comprehensive books on dressage I have read. The exciting part is that it's made a difference in my riding. Paul Belasik is a great teacher in both theory and application. This book will be my go to reference from now on.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book with solid teaching! 25 Nov. 2015
By Pam A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Belasik takes you step by step through the training with good pictures and some history of dressage at the beginning. If you appreciate dressage as an art, you will not be disappointed!
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Presented 18 Feb. 2017
By Rick C - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delivered exactly as described. Good deal!
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