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. This book is his appeal to: Riders - to use only gentle, progressive training methods in accordance with the time-tested principles of classical riding. To: Judges - to sharpen their eyes and recognize unnatural postures or forced movements and evaluate them accordingly in competition, while rewarding classically trained, correctly gymnasticized horses. To: Governing organizations - to review their regulations and uphold stipulated "ideals" on both national and international levels. To: Spectators - to reject sensational performances and flashy tests when the methods used to obtain them have not had the health and welfare of the horse in mind. Dr Heuschmann provides readers with a thorough discussion of the correct physiological training of the horse, walking through the elements of contact, lateral movement, and other important aspectrs of a classical training foundation. He explains how impulsion and correct collection can indeed be developed safely and to the horse's benefit - and tested at the highest levels in the show ring - if only we use care for our equine partners and allow time to achieve their physical best.
Tug of War: Classical Versus 'Modern' Dressage by Gerd Heuschmann
About the author
Dr Gerd Heuschmann trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. He accepted a post as the head of the breeding department at the German FN (German Equestrian Federation), which he eventually left to start his own practice in Warendorf. Along with Klaus Balkenhol and other prominent figures in the dressage community, Dr Heuschmann is a founding member of 'Xenophon', an organization dedicated to 'fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sport' (www.xenophon-classical-riding.org).
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