Dressage In Lightness - Speaking the Horse's Language
JA Allen 2000 - £19.95
THE QUARTER HORSE JOURNAL (May 2001) had this to say...
Sylvia Loch has written one of the most remarkable and sensitive books on dressage riding to date. Emphasizing both attunement to the horse and aware ness of his needs, she teaches how to influence the horse naturally to achieve sophisticated work.
You can recognise the roots of this book in other contemporary dressage books, particularly the works on centred riding, but Loch has taken the ideas to a greater depth. The key elements is that the horse is 'asked', not coerced, and the rider remains sensitive to him.
Loch points out the common elements between good western riding and good dressage riding, and how the
horse in each can be light, engaged and highly athletic. Each movement is discussed from the rider's and the horse's point of view.
Loch is the author of other books on classical riding, and has had a significant impact on the dressage world. She has a gift for expressing the concepts and a great love for the horses who make it all possible.
SIDELINES (July 2001) Romy du Jong, dressage editor writes...
Unlike many books on dressage training, Dressage in Lightness, Speaking the Horse's Language, examines simplistically and holistically, the ground rules for good riding. Happy riding = classical riding = artistic riding at the high end, as the horse would interpret it.
This book encourages any rider on any horse. Rather than setting instruction on goals, Loch illustrates which sensations will motivate the horse to learn new skills and which he detests; how the rider can perceive her own sensations and use them to enhance her riding education.........
In very accessible language, Loch insists that riders learn a new language - biomechanics - in order to succeed.....Through basic schooling exercises, Loch gives the rider the tools enabling her to build a strong foundation. Loch explains the gaits and their components with great detail, and their application in creating the total vocabulary. She differentiates the cadence and rhythm of walk, trot and canter and subsequent movements which make up the whole puzzle.
The last chapters discuss the components of piaffe and passage which Loch states is "total lightness". She quotes the Spanish Riding School "Up the body, down the weight!"
"Piaffe" she writes "is of all the school movements, the one which the horse will most naturally offer himself once he has become supple, attentive and impulsive - the movement is the one most likely to be given for the pure joy and zest of living and anticipating something special..."
In short, Loch's philosophy in this book is that total communication is the key to the language of horses. The mechanics and the exercises combined are the tools - the means to an end.
I enjoyed this book because of the logical and simple way it was written. She sees the horse as an equal - a friend - a partner. More people are now accepting the premise that the horse speaks to us. Loch felt compelled to write this as doctrine coming from the horse himself, as his advocate.
How to school the dressage horse using humane, proven and classical methods from Prelim or basic level to Grand Prix so that the correct muscles are developed and the horse emerges as a flexible, flowing, happy person at the end of training. Weight aids meticulously explained and from the horse's point of view too!
To include post and packing, an autographed copy direct from the Author will be sent on receipt/clearance of a normal UK cheque or an international money order in ££s sterling. Dollar cheques not acceptable.
Order Sylvia's books on Amazon now