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New Edition! Tug of War: Classical versus Modern Dressage

(2 customer reviews)


SKU: B10370 Categories: ,

Product Description

New Edition in Paperback

German rider and equine veterinarian Dr. Gerd Heuschmann is well-known in dressage circles—admired for his plain speaking regarding what he deems the incorrect and damaging training methods commonly employed by riders and trainers involved in competition today. Here, he presents an intelligent and thought-provoking exploration of both classical and “modern” training methods, including “ hyperflexion” (also known as Rollkur), against a practical backdrop of the horse’s basic anatomy and physiology.

In a detailed yet comprehensible fashion, Dr. Heuschmann describes parts of the horse’s body that need to be correctly developed by the dressage rider. He then examines how they function both individually and within an anatomical system, and how various schooling techniques affect these parts for the good, or for the bad. Using vivid color illustrations of the horse’s skeletal system, ligaments, and musculature, in addition to comparative photos depicting “correct” versus “incorrect” movement—and most importantly, photos of damaging schooling methods—Dr. Heuschmann convincingly argues that the horse’’s body tells us whether our riding is truly gymnasticizing and “building the horse up, ” or simply wearing it down and tearing it apart.

He then outlines his ideal “physiological education” of the horse. Training should mirror the mental and physical development of the horse, fulfilling “classical” requirements—such as regularity of the three basic gaits, suppleness, and acceptance of the bit—rather than disregarding time–tested values for quick fixes that could lead to the degradation of the horse’s well–being. Dr. Heuschmann’s assertion that the true objectives of dressage schooling must never be eclipsed by simple “mechanical perfection” is certain to inspire riders at all levels to examine their riding, their riding goals, and the techniques they employ while pursuing them.

Soft cover, 144 pages, color photos and illustrations.

2 reviews for New Edition! Tug of War: Classical versus Modern Dressage

  1. m-adams

    This should be required reading for all horsemen or those who aspire to be no matter the discipline! I admit to being shamed by this book (and companion DVD), and rightfully so. Having been taught all of the “wrong” ways to get a horse “round” or “on the bit”, or so many other things. In plain language, photos, and drawings, Dr Heuschmann explains why NOT to do so many of the things that we commonly do with horses. And then he offers alternatives that are far superior! This had a profound effect on my thinking about so many of the things that I do and really helped my journey towards horseman. Highly recommended.

  2. Sandy Hushagen

    If you are interested in things you find on the Eclectic Horseman site, I’m sure that you find the cover to this book repulsive but don’t let that deter you from the benefits within its pages. Dr. Heuschmann is a strong voice against those competitive dressage practices which are destructive to the horse both physiologically and psychologically. This book provides excellent explanations as to why these practices are so harmful (in text, photos and drawings). He also puts forth alternative practices (again in text, photos & drawings) which are beneficial to the horse in a manner following classical principles. I found both ‘approaches’ presented in a concise way which was useful and demonstrative. A veterinarian and rider himself, Dr. Heuschmann’s love for horses is evident in his passionate writing. His writing is clear, organized and understandable. For fans of Anja Beran, there are numerous photos of her working with her horses as a demonstration of work in the classical sense. This book is not just for dressage riders. The same competitive approaches are used in jumping, pleasure classes, reining and other disciplines. Understanding their destructive impact on our horses is the first step to moving forward and making a better world for our equine partners.

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