Fundamentals of Riding Hardcover – 10 Jan 1998
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The last few decades have seen a phenomenal increase in the number of people who ride. The sport has attracted them from all walks of life and from all age groups. Riding education has not always kept pace with this expansion, despite the many courses, books and facilities which are available to both novice and established riders. Charles Harris is an advocate of better standards and in this book has set out fundamental principles which, if followed, combine the best of the traditional, or classical, techniques with those of the modern day. He shows that an understanding of basics is essential if horse and rider are to develop, in safety and with enjoyment.The book is arranged so that each page of instruction is illustrated on the facing page. There are over 160 illustrations in the book and to these the author has added some equestrian maxims from his notebooks kept during a lifetime of practising, teaching and studying, in his own words, 'the most fascinating of all recreational activities, one which exercises mind and body in a way which has no equal - horse riding'.
About the Author
Charles Harris was a Fellow of the Institute of the Horse, and a Fellow of the Association of British Riding Schools. He was the first, and only, English rider to complete the full three-year graduation course at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. He taught, studied and lectured on riding for many years and is the author of many pamphlets, articles and books. Charles Harris died in 2001.
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No matter the level of riding it is often lack of correctness in the 'basics' which creates problems and prevents horse and rider from attaining their full potential - and just as importantly, enjoyment (something often forgotten)
I turn to this book time and time again - it looks simple, the text is concise, but there is ample food for thought whether you are a novice or a Grand Prix rider. Charles was a great believer in making things as easy and simple to understand as possible, and I suspect that it is this approach which confuses some and might lead them to think this is a book purely for beginners. Far from it, it's a book which no rider or teacher should be without, and should refer to it regularly.
It is a beginners book which will give any rider excellent foundations in a classical riding style and understanding of the horses biomechanics and freedom of movement. Charles is one of the only English riders ever to have attended the three year course at the Spanish Riding School and under the great Podasky to boot.
I think that the other reviewers are being very unfair as the book says exactly what it is on the title, the fact that Amazon have characterised it as a dressage boook is hardly the fault of the author. However every rider who calls themselves a dressage rider should have this on their shelf as without good fundamentals you can never achieve a balanced posture.