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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars44
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: HardcoverChange
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star).Show all reviews
on October 5, 2000
This book may not help the advanced rider who is experienced in the dressage type seat. BUT for people who are new to it from other forms of riding such as huntseat (that were taught to grip and never taught about balance)or have been struggling with the 'seat' this book will be a great help in opening the doors to new ideas.
I got this book when I was 15 and it helped me greatly make the transition from a huntseat-grip dependent seat to a relaxed balanced seat.
Someone had said riding involves muscles, and yes it does. You can not sit like a sack of potatos, but the body must learn to relax and follow the horse and get a grasp of a center of gravity. I believe the type of muslce contraction the book wants to avoid are the types that are the result of rider pain, fatigue or fear. It is foundation work to using the proper muscles in good riding. There are also 'thought' techniques to achieve a good frame of mind.
To this day I still use the breathing and vision techniques when I ride. I have kept this book on my shelf for over 14 years and have had countless new riders read it.
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on March 12, 2001
This book has been in print for a considerable length of time - and for good reason. Sally Swift has a knack of generating useful mental models that help the learner rider grasp the elusive essentials. Riding is full of concepts that are difficult to convey to novices. It's rather like learning to ride a bike or swim - once you can do it you can't see what all the fuss was about.
Sally Swift's book should prove a useful adjunct to other instruction - whether had from an instructor or gained from books like those of Cherry Hill. The book, as its name implies, deals with the basics. In essence it aims to help you establish a "deep seat" and a "long leg" - the two basic requirements for more advanced instruction yet things that prove surprisingly difficult for most people to achieve.
I would rate this book a "good buy" rather than a "must buy".
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on February 10, 2001
This book explains balanced riding through imagery and visualization. I think it may be handy for the novice rider, but there are many better books for the more experienced rider. It only goes as far as Novice or Elementary level dressage and covers some jumping techniques. It's a book about the basics to help build some foundations, but if you already know your foundations, then find another book. There are also lots of helpful illustrations and b/w photographs to back up the explanations. If you are a novice or you have specific riding problems, you will find this book quite handy. Even if you are experienced, you could find a few useful tips - but don't expect more. I also feel it's a little outdated.
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