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Dressage Principles Illuminated Hardcover – 1 Nov 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: J.A.Allen & Co Ltd; 1 edition (1 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851318711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851318714
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 2.1 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 894,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Charles de Kunffy has been riding since childhood and had a privileged education in the theory and practice of classical horsemanship. He has competed successfully in three-day eventing, jumping and dressage. He has judged in America, Europe, Africa and Australia and has taught college courses and conducted seminars and courses for dressage judges and riding instructors on all these continents. This volume is his sixth published book.

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Format: Hardcover
Charles de Kunffy is well-known in dressage circles, as a classical trainer and FEI judge, as well as a passionate advocate of classical, ethical riding which seeks to enhance the horse’s wellbeing through correct training. He rightly places great emphasis on equestrian scholarship, insisting – again, correctly – that equestrian expertise cannot be measured by success in competition. Academic understanding of the classical principles of riding and training is, he believes, essential to the correct practice of the art of horsemanship.
In this beautiful book de Kunffy sets out his philosophy: ‘Riding is a quest, not a conquest.’ The process is more significant than the result, important though the latter is; if the process is correct, so will the result be correct.
De Kunffy gives us a brief overview of the classical tradition, explaining what it is and who its present-day custodians are; he also ventures bravely into the controversy of ‘classical’ versus ‘competitive’ riding: ‘There is only one correct way of riding. That is, riding for the good of the horse and not for the expectations of judges.’ De Kunffy handles this thorny subject, the object of much passionate debate in recent decades, with great tact, while leaving the reader in no doubt where his own thoughts lie: ‘I believe that the rider who brings out the best gymnastic development of a meager horse is winning his own Olympic Gold medal based on exactly the same criteria as the actual winner of an Olympic Gold.’
De Kunffy sets out the most basic principles of training, explaining why they are essential. He describes what he refers to as ‘escape mechanisms’, i.e.
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Format: Hardcover
Although there is much to be gleaned from the information contained within the pages of this book, and it appears technically correct, it can be a difficult and dull read. Not because of the information itself, but due to the need to sieve through the vast amount of 'opinion'the author puts forward at every opportunity and the unecessarily 'flowery' language used constantly by the author.
Famous in dressage and classical circles as he may be, his writing approach seems to be to sneer at the vast majority of those who are trying their best to learn and improve their riding. The strong message that comes over would appear to be that without a traditional and scholarly training at a renowned equestrian institution, truly classical and sympathetic riding can neither be understood or attained by the average rider. It strikes me that this book might appeal more to those who are competent and rather elitist regarding classical riding, but it works to crush the confidence of any aspiring rider.
It is disappointing really, since there is much to be gained from the information within the book. If you can tolerate the author's condescending tone and exhaggerated use of language, try to seperate the wood from the trees and you will find some useful information in there!
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