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My Horses, My Teachers Paperback – 1 Apr 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square; Reprint edition (1 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570760918
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570760914
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 1.5 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 491,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

The late Colonel Alois Podhajsky was a teacher, triner, and the Director of the famed Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Podhajsky's love of horses is evident from the first page. The book is part biography and part training philosophy. From his early career in the Austro-Hungarian army to the time with his beloved Lipizzaners stallions at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, he has sought to learn from every horse he has riden. Sympathetically intepreting these messages he brought out the very best in each horse. Force is an abomination to Podhajsky. Whether training for the 'airs' or resolving a behavioural problem, he sensitively combines teachnique and psychology to achieving a willing partner. 'My horses, my teachers' is a humbling reminder of what we should all be trying to achieve when training our horses. A mutual trust between horse and rider with both willing to listen and respond to what the other wants. Also told in the book is his work at the Spanish Riding School, where he was director for 26 years. In particular his struggle to ensure its continued existence following the Second World War. This a well written book that due to the authors love of the subject is very easy to read. Reading it I was struck by the thought that horsemen such as Podhasky and Oliveira were 'Horse Whisperers' long before it became fashionable. It is fortunate for us that as well being an accomplished horseman Podhajsky had the time and inclination to record his thoughts so that we can now benefit. If you are at all interested in training a horse correctly buy, beg, steal or borrow this book. You will not be disapointed
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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. If you love horses then you will not be able to put it down. Whilst Col Podhajsky is an amazingly talented rider, more importantly, he is also an awesome horseman. His understanding of horses and ability to get to the bottom of problems in training is outstanding. Occasionally, I found his arrogance is a little irksome - nobody understands the horse like I do syndrome. This is apparent even when he's talking about problems encountered by riders from the Spanish Riding School. It seems there is no hope for the humble rider like me! However, it is a truly wonderful book and the man has every reason to be arrogant. His writing style is fluid and interesting... very easy,enlightening and enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mom loved this book so much when she was loaned it that she insisted she needed a copy for mother's Day.
If you love horses and especially spanish horses you will love this book.
I know two (horses lovers) who have read this book and both are of the opinion it's the best book they ever read.
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Format: Paperback
Though I haven't read Xenophon, so should probably withhold judgment. Podhajsky is an extraordinarily rare creature-- a brilliant horseman who can also speak and write brilliantly on the subject. Anyone who cares about riding properly and having a respectful relationship with a horse must read this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary horseman 31 Jan. 2017
By E. Comella - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an extraordinary horseman and gracious man. Reading this book was pure pleasure and an education as well. Colonel Podhajsky sought a willing trusting partnership with his horses. He was sympathetic to their fears and quirks. He took his time and took responsibility when things did not go well. He did not blame the horse. I am looking forward to reading his book Complete Training of Horse and Rider next.
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a book about horses! 27 Jun. 2016
By lisa stevens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I am very, very dressage uneducated and I found the relationships between Mr. Podhajsky and his "teachers" helped me understand a lot about the discipline and how it is intended to create flow and security in a horse. Much better than a rote educational guide telling one what to "do", this explains how to "feel". I met this amazing man late in his life and only knew that a stream of people came to see him and give him admiration and love when he was ill. I saw a photo of him on a Lipizzaner in the capriole, and I knew I was in the presence of someone loved and important, but I didn't realize who it was. He obviously touched many people during his life.
This is a wonderful read, from the historical perspective regarding the changing politics of Europe pre-WWII to the great descriptions of the horses available to the Austrian soldiers and the differences in them and the Lipizzan stallions he met later. If you love the grand traditions that built our current horse culture, read this. If you love people who love horses, read it!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Horsemanship, No Horse Whispering BS 5 Mar. 2013
By Bill Baehr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a classic book of master horsemanship that should be studied by every horseman. You will get the most benefit by reading "Equitation Science" by McGreevy and McClean, first, in order to understand what equine science has to say about horsemanship. Then, you will read how this master horseman applied so many correct training methods that are so in harmony with the teachings of modern "Equitation Science". The author learned much of his horsemanship on his own through trial and error learning that abandoned so much of the punishment and "respect" based horsemanship of his time.

For example, on page 105 he says in regard to training, "One one side there is the unconditional subjection by force and punishment with which the rider may reach his goal more quickly but only if he has a good-natured creature with no tendency to fight. This kind of education, however, will undermine the individual character of the animal and result in obedience out of fear. The brilliance of such a horse will be lost and he will be indifferent towards man or even hostile. If on the other hand, the training of the horse is based on kindness, calmness, and ample reward as well as understanding for his personality, the result will be happy obedience on the part of the horse and pleasure in his work. It may take a little longer than with the other method but there will never be that ugly fight between man and animal. The charm and brilliance of the horse will be maintained, even enhanced, and preserved until his old age."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Horses, My Teachers. 26 April 2012
By Andalusian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This a marvelous book in that it gives you a true inside story, of the life of one of the old masters and to find out that he went through many a hard time, but never gave up the fight and came out on top. As I myself have been to the Riding School Of Vienna, I felt like I was there with him, at times, as I could visualise some of what he talked about in the book. For a person like myself, who is also, very passionate about classical riding, found the book quite emotional at times, with tears rolling down my face, especially the expression on his face, in the photo, the day he had to say good bye, to the horses for the last time. After all those years, this must have been such a terribly hard thing to do. I would have loved for this person to be still be here, alive today, to pass on such knowledge. A lot of these classical methods, are being lost over time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound Love and Respect for the Horse 16 Nov. 2013
By Kathryn R. Pierro - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rarely do I review books or films, but this book is as exceptional as was its author. It should be on the shelf of every horse lover and rider, regardless of discipline, for every page expounds what is (or should be) at the heart of equestrianism--profound love and respect for the horse. It is also full of excellent advice on horse training and equitation, while still being an amusing and deeply personal story, rather than a technical tome. I feel honored to have encountered as great a heart and mind as was Col. Podhajsky's and the great horses who were his teachers. We could all do to follow his example of dedication, service and compassion.
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