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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on December 9, 1999
I have been riding for 3 years and have felt that I wasn't getting it or understanding what my trainers and horses were trying to tell me. For whatever reason, Sylvia Loch's description of the rider's position and the pelvic floor in relation to the horse's back turned on the lightbulb for me. It doesn't do any good for the rider(or the horse)to continue with his/her lessons until the balanced seat and body position is learned. Otherwise the rider spends all of his/her time behind the horse's movement rather than in time with it. The author definitely loves horses and genuinely wants to teach others how to ride a horse in balance so the ride is enjoyable for both the horse and rider. Those looking for a quick lesson book will instead find this is an autobiography with insights and explanations in between the stories. Read this if you are not afraid of a little more time and effort instead of a quick fix. Your horse deserves it.
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on October 18, 1999
I found Sylvia Loch's treatise on the theory and practice of classical dressage to be a delightful read, peppered with many memorable personal anecdotes. This book is far from "gossipy" (as other reviewers have stated), unless you consider Ms. Loch's praise of the old masters and their training methods to be gossip. While Ms. Loch has clearly run into confrontation over the merits of the three-point seat, this is mentioned only once or twice as an aside.
All in all, the author is quite obviously committed and devoted to her horses and to the art of classical riding. As such, she has created a really wonderful book that is also, unsurprisingly, very helpful in providing background information on classical dressage as well as its technique.
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on November 3, 1998
Rather than being strictly about riding as the title would suggest, the book is a collection of personal memoirs. Along the way, the author makes very good points about the state of competitive dressage and how it falls short of the classical ideal. The differences are illustrated with photographic sketches that would greatly help those of us struggling to learn the correct way to ride. It is gratifying to see that someone has finally put into words all of the questions I have about why many of the horses in active dressage competition look forced, unnatural, and ugly. We, the modern inheritors of dressage, have a lot to answer for in the way that riding is currently being taught and judged.
Unfortunately the message of the book is marred by the confrontational, gossipy tone of the narrative. It would appear the author wants to get back at all those who publically disagreed with her in the past. I found the idea that those who differ in approach don't care about horses to be offensive.
In the end the book is well worth buying because the author's accusations about competitive dressage in the areas of self-carriage and the classical seat *must* be addressed by each rider personally, and by the dressage community as a whole. It is unfortunate that the reader has to wade through lots of unrelated personal details, and put up with an annoying, unproductive holier-than-thou attitude to do so.
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on February 19, 2001
Being an active equestrian I was delighted to receive this book as a Christmas present. Unfortunately I found it to be more of amn autobiography than a useful riding guide although it did have many lovely photographs. I find her video tapes to be more informative as she gets to the point of her observations faster and the riding problems and solutions are easier to see.
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on November 19, 1998
This text provides an excellent source for any serious rider, or anyone who wishes to truly improve their riding technique. Ms. Loch uses historical analysis and documentation about the great masters of horsemanship. Easy to read, easy to understand, and very correct. I highly recommend this book to all my riding students.
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on December 25, 1999
This book helped me to better understand what my horse was saying and it allowed my to figure out what was wrong with my riding, why my horse was responding the way he was and what to do about it. Also it taught be to be more humble and respectful of the gifts horses give every day.
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on January 19, 1998
The text contains some very inspiring moments, even complete passages, if you can find them. Expect to wade through the author's travel photos and memoirs before you reach anything remotely pertinent to what the title promises.
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