The natural aids—the seat, the legs, and the hands—are the most important means a rider has to direct and control his/her horse. Mastering them is the key to good horsemanship. The Handbook of Riding Essentialsfocuses on these aids and explains in detail, not only how to apply them, but why the horse responds to specific aids and when they should be used, thus providing fundamental information that all riders need to know, regardless of their level or chosen discipline. Step-by-step illustrated instructions in a clear, quick reference format are given for basic and advanced skills including:
1. The use and functions of the seat, legs, and hands.
2. The different rein actions and when to apply them.
3. Putting the horse on the bit.
4. The natural aids for the walk, trot, canter and transitions.
5. Longitudinal and lateral exercises, including the shoulder-in, haunches-in, half-pass, half-turns, counter-canter, flying changes, etc.
The author gives expert advice on training and improving the horse and solving common problems, suggesting practical tips for mastering even the most complicated movements. A series of exercises are presented to help the rider with suppleness and comfort in the saddle: an excellent learning tool and reference source for beginner and advanced rider alike.
Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu grew up in France. He was first trained by Master Jean Couillaud and graduated in 1967 from the Cadre Noir, one of the oldest and most prestigious riding academies in Europe. During his 6 years in the cavalry at Saumur and Fontainebleau, he studied and showed extensively in dressage, stadium jumping, three day eventing and steeplechase. He taught riding in Paris at the Military School of War. Since 1978, he has given clinic throughout United States of America and Europe. His students have won year-end high-score awards in equitation, hunter classes, stadium jumping, dressage, and combined training. Since 1988, he has been a panel member of the American Riding Instructor Certification Program and in 1996 he was awarded the title of Master Instructor. He currently lives in Florida.