The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:03 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
I have it, and it's quite interesting I think for people thinking about converting to bitless without wanting to give up dressage.

Actually it is a regular traditional dressage book, with the difference that she does it with a bitless bridle. It has a lot of text in it, but could have been a bit clearer I thought with pictures etc. There are quite a few photo's (all bitless of course, and with lovely horses from all kinds of breeds), but I thought that sometimes a drawing could have explained more when she was describing an exercise.

But if somebody would be thinking about doing (regular) dressage with a bitless bridle, this book is a very good proof of that it's perfectly possible to ride dressage without bit.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:10 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:21 am
Posts: 27
Location: Montana, USA
I see there are already great books recommended, so I'll just add a few.

Some of the best information I've founds is:

Two articles;

True Collection ... ction.html

The Birdie Book: An Internal Geography of Horse and Rider by Deb Bennett
All about the inner workings and life of horses as well as practical physical exercises you can do with your horse to improve your relationship and communication as well as helping him move better and toward collection.
In my opinion it's a must have book, I've read nothing else like it, more than worth the money.

Kinship With All Life by J. Allen Boone
Communicating with animals, excellent book, another must have! It's a classic.

Think Harmony with Horses by Ray Hunt

True Unity by Tom Dorrance
A truly great horseman.

Straightening the Crooked Horse;
Correct Imbalance, Relieve Strain, and Encourage Free Movement with an Innovative System of Straightness Training.

If you read the above mentioned article "Woody" then you'll get pretty much all you need to know about and how to fix crookedness in horses but this book was nice to have and study for more ideas and a different perspective.

Equine Massage; A Practical Guide by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, R.M.T.
I found this to be easy to understand and follow. It also includes massage treatment for injuries and old unsoundnesses or injuries.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 10:06 am 
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:26 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Finland
Great list Adrienne, I just had thought to also suggest some of those.

And when it comes to Dr. Deb's books/writings I believe some might find this interesting, as Baucher is already studied by people here:

Inner Horseman Back Issues for 2004
Year 2004 - Theme: "Deeper Levels of Horsemanship".
Includes Dr. Deb's original and very clear translation of François Baucher's 1835 "New Method of Horsemanship".

There you can also find:
"Principles of Conformation Analysis" by Dr. Deb
It is not just some conformation theory as so often found, but a really practical approach. Those 3 booklets together with:
Jean-Marie Denoix, et al "Physical Therapy and Massage for the Horse" are not easy readers, but one does learn to understand a lot about bio-mechanics and anatomy by reading and working with these books.


 Post subject: metal in the mouth
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
I got today a nice e-mail there is been done a lot of hard work. And now finaly it comes true..
The dutch release of the book metal in the mouth written by Dr R.W Cook.
It is available 20 oktober 2008.
So those who wanted to read it in dutch this is your chance. :wink:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 72
Location: Rhode Island
OOOOH I love books! I have Hempflings but they don't really speak to me. If anyone wants them, email me and I'll put them in the mail. I think I've tried a little of everything. Dr. Deb demands her followers to stick to one sole technique/school of thought as do others "experts" I've listened to. I don't believe this way of life/training. I like to take a little from here, a little from there and leave the parts out that I don't care for. That is what resonated w/ me in Donald's post on this topic - that AND allows and is open to all thoughts where the horse is first.
The first book I read that actually changed my opinion of horses and changed the way I treat them, was Linda Kohanov's Tao of Equus. I went to a 4 day clinic w/ her and my life has never been the same. Although, there are parts of her methods that I don't agree with/use as with everyone I've studied.
I take what I like and leave the rest.
Another good book for intro training is Right From the Start by Mike Schaffer.
So MANY good books out there. I've been trying to focus lately on being with my horse doing something instead of inside a book reading about doing it!!


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:06 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
The other book by Udo Burger - newly republished- is
"The Rider Forms the Horse"

more biomechanics - diagrams -- Way to Perfect Horsemanship is more philosophy - but this one has more concrete details.

Love them both!

"Tug of War" by Gerd Heuschmann
and "Classical Schooling with the Horse in Mind" (In Deference) by Anja Beran both combine biomechanical studies with a balanced philosophy for the horse. While not quite bridle-less there is more thought to building up the horse with exercises rather than training movements. Much gold scattered..

Has anyone watched Anja's DVD?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:37 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 7:51 pm
Posts: 2055
Location: Netherlands
scarlet wrote:
So MANY good books out there. I've been trying to focus lately on being with my horse doing something instead of inside a book reading about doing it!!


I can so understand your feeling! I'm a real reading animal as well, it's just so great to read the words and form a mental picture, thinking about how I could and would do this or that - that I actually sometimes just forget to really go out and do it too! 8)

(and it doesn't help that the weather is now ugly, wet and cold and that the couch is oh so comfortable :twisted: :wink: )


New horse book: Mandala horses!

Never stop making mistakes! Natural Dressage

 Post subject: Books?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:56 am
Posts: 206
Do you know any of these books? Can you tell which ones are worth buying?
And maybe tell a bit about the ones you know?

Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior:

The Horse's Muscles in Motion:

The Anatomy of Riding:

Tug of War: Classical Versus "Modern" Dressage: Classical Versus "Modern" Dressage:

Connecting with Horses: The Life Lessons We Can Learn from Horses:

Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage: A Search for a Classical Alternative:

Dressage in Lightness:

Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Your Potential Through the Way of the Horse:

What Horses Reveal:

Learning Their Language: Intuitive Communication with Animals and Nature:

Real Riding: How to Ride in Harmony with Horses:

Horse, Follow Closely:

The Tao of Horses: Exploring How Horses Guide Us on Our Spiritual Path:

Beyond Words: Communicating Wtih Animals and Nature:

I love books :blush:

I have seen the topic about books, and I'll look through it, and see if any of these books are already listed there.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:17 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:03 am
Posts: 760
I love several of the books by Mark Rashid, esp." Horsemanship through Life" and "Horses never lie- The heart of passive leadership".
Also the book by Wendy Murdoch "Simplify your Riding". She also has some newer materials I haven't seen yet.
For dressage I like the videos by Walter Zettl. He is very patient with the riders he teaches and always asks the riders to be gentle, rather do less.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:22 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:57 pm
Posts: 146
I have Anja Beran's dvd and love it. I love the way they say "here is the horse presenting piaffe" and it places the horse in the centre showing us what he can do, without saying here is the rider making the horse do this, it is the other way round. For some reason I liked that, it is the horse honouring us. Some very nice things on there, very soft and light and respectful of the horse. Worth watching. :)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:19 am
Posts: 72
Location: Rhode Island
The Hempfling books I offered have been delivered all the way to S. Africa!
Good Luck w/ them Janet!!


PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:24 pm
Posts: 52
Carla I haven't lifted my head from them yet... thank you so much, I am really enjoying them.
I really like Hempfling and so enjoy them....thanks again.

“When you take away all the equipment, you will be left with the truth”
Richard Maxwell

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:23 am
Posts: 1
The second manner describes by Baucher is very interestning. He developped it after his accident in 1855. As he had quite lost powerfull in his legs.
Some poeple in french Haute Ecole still use this way, including what they call flexion of the jaw.
This flexion has a really strange result if you listen to a rider using it, you'll hear the bit (these people never use briddles) making a sound in the horse's mouth which has something to see with the shock produced by a jerk but it is not produced by a jerk since reins are not tightened.

Infact this sound is produced by the bit moving almost freely between teeth, tongue and palate.
That's why it's conception is made of many pieces to allow movement in the mouth(on the opposite with a briddle which is a one piece metal in the mouth).
It was really strange for me to realize that the horse was collected without tension of reins, still hearing the sound of the bit without any drop of saliva. It was completely on the opposite with what you can learn in dressage according FEI rules nowadays.

I have to notice that I just know very few people able to achieve that with a bit and I'm sure not to be good enough to test it on my horses.
I prefer going on without bit. ;)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:35 am
Posts: 135
Location: U.S..A. Michigan
Just wondering if anyone had seen this website or read the book? It looked really interesting.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Hey --

I just bought the book!

It's actually a spiral bound, soft cover piece about 100 pp long, rather than a "book book" -- I was a little disappointed, given the price.

But... I'm digging into it, I'm really liking it.

I'm very, very intrigued with the psoas/hyoid muscle connections, and he offers both interesting insights as to why these are important for both horse and rider, and at first look, at least, seems to have some good exercises to put these pieces together.



"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi

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