Within riding there exists a fundamental conflict of interest: The rider needs to have control – their confidence depends on their ability to control the balance of their own body as well as that of their very powerful horse. The horse, by nature, needs to feel free - free in both mind and body to express himself through physical movement.
In this book, author Beth Baumert, writer and editor at the internationally recognized equestrian magazine Dressage Today, resolves this conflict by taking a close look at the individual components that make up riding and dressage. Beth provides insight gleaned from years of working with the best riders, trainers, and judges in the dressage world, and details practical ways riders can learn to harness the balance, energies, and forces at play when they’re in the saddle.
Readers will discover how to use "positive tension” and what the author calls the four physical "Powerlines” - Vertical, Connecting, Spiralling, and Visual - to become balanced and effective in the saddle. Readers will then find ways to understand and manage the horse’s balance and coordination challenges, including the fact that he is inherently crooked and naturally inclined to do too much with his front end and not enough with his hind. Ultimately, the rider learns to regulate and monitor the horse’s rhythm, energy, flexion, alignment, bend, the height and length of his neck, and, finally, his line of travel by properly aligning their spine with his. When the centre of gravity of a balanced rider is directly over the centre of gravity of a balanced horse, that place where two spines align becomes the hub for rider and horse harmony - a dynamic and remarkable riding rapport that yields beautiful performance.