Have a Seat

The girl was eleven years old. She was riding in a group of adults, returning after a long ride down to the creek. They’d just been galloping through corn fields, she bareback on a young Thoroughbred mare, not long off the racetrack; the adults all in saddles. She’d chosen to […]

Review: Equine Study

This review is going to be a little bit different. Instead of a book, I’m offering a review of a study on the human-horse relationship: “Improving the Recognition of Equine Affective States”. Sound exciting? Maybe not? Well, stick with me – I think you may find it interesting. Although the […]

They Said …

They said she was being so stubbornBut I saw the fear in her eyes They said she was just disobedientYet I knew that she was in pain She told me the horse was just uselessWhile I soothed the welts in his hide They told me that he could not feel […]

To Ride, Or Not To Ride

As people become more aware of horse cognition and welfare, the question of whether or not we should even ride them comes up. I have friends struggling with that question, and I ponder it myself, now and again. The question as to whether or not you choose to ride horses […]

The Greatest Gift

What do you have your horse for? A pasture pet? A fine choice, but what I have to say here will not apply to you. Do you plan to drive him? Another wonderful choice, but if that is all then you can likely use the next few minutes in other […]

Review: The Way to Perfect Horsemanship

I came to this book through reading Balancing Act by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. Dr. Heuschmann references or quotes the author of this book, Udo Burger, many times throughout his own book. This is not by accident, for not only was Udo Burger a master horseman, he was also a veterinarian […]

The Art of Relaxation

The first thing that a rider must learn, if he aims to become an artist, is the art of relaxation. This means detachment, serenity, enjoyment of the work for the sake of beauty, unconcern with success or failure, praise or criticism. In this sense – power of total concentration of […]

Obedience or Trust?

There are far too many training methods, past and present, that aim at absolute obedience from the horse. It can be disguised in many ways. ‘The horse must accept you as the leader!’ is one very common phrase that you’ll hear. It appears even in some classical works – Steinbrecht […]

Review: The Gymnasium of the Horse

This book is one of the ‘bibles’ of classical horsemanship, and a foundational work for what was German horsemanship for a century or more. In reviewing it I run the risk of being seen as heretical – not because I would in any way challenge the content or legacy of […]

What is Classical?

I always hate to disappoint my readers, but this post may raise more questions than it provides answers. There exists no single definition or understanding of ‘Classical’ with regard to riding. Many have tried, and many definitions are very close to each other – but that is only at a […]