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Nature, Nurture and Horses: A Journal of Four Dressage Horses in Training-From Birth through the First Year of Training Hardcover – May 18 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books (May 18 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570765316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570765315
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #536,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"The very heart of the book is the information about the horse's neck and what to do with it. . . . The richness of the content of this book is way too valuable to bypass." —Dressage Today (December 2012)

This book takes a look at the day-to-day life with horses and the work that goes into them .... [A] valuable read for riders of any discipline.”  —Jennifer Roberts, Equine Journal

About the Author

Paul Belasik is an international rider, trainer, writer, and teacher, and an avowed proponent of classical equestrian ideals. He is the author of numerous books, including Dressage for the 21st Century and Exploring Dressage Technique. He lives in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania.
Paul Belasik is a highly respected international rider, trainer, writer, and teacher, and an avowed
proponent of classical equestrian ideals. Belasik has ridden and trained at every level in dressage, from young horses to beyond Grand Prix. He also has had extensive experience in eventing, which encompassed the early part of his career, before turning solely to his first and true love of classical
dressage and the art of riding. Belasik has sought wisdom from great riding masters such as Dr. HLM van Schaik and Nuno Oliveira, and his wide-ranging studies include the concepts of Zen Buddhism and martial arts. Belasik has authored seven books, and he gives clinics, lectures, and demonstrations internationally, while training a wide cross section of clients at his Pennsylvania Riding Academy at
Lost Hollow Farm (

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9b0c4678) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b0dc3c0) out of 5 stars Must have for Trainer and Breeder July 9 2012
By Caroleinwv - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I look forward to the work of Paul Belasik and I quickly placed a pre-order once I heard that another work was on the horizon.

The is a particularly relevant production for me at this time since I am in the process of buying my first PRE Andalusian who I met on the day of her birth. I am already analyzing each of the for foals highlighted in this book toward how they behave as a newborn as to what they become as an adult horse. At first, I was disappointed that more was not said as to the foals heritage and birth size but I quickly decided that the authors intent was to focus on purely on behavior-both hereditary and learned rather than sell a breed or suggest any influence from size. At all times, the subtle progress is kept as close to what nature defines as possible. I say this even though aids such as side reins are used because at no time are their harsh influences. Aids are applied in a supportive way which will ultimately support future evolution between the horse and its human partner.

This book follows four horse -three fillies and one stud colt- through their early, formative years- from birth to quite pleasant mounts. Their progress and the supportive techniques are followed throughout the erly life. I think that the key point is that the foal is unique and each one must have his or her own training program while still observing the goal of producing a sound partner for the experience of classical training.

In a sense, this work is a continuum from "Lost Quixote" in that natural dominance and leadership within the herd are considered while training. I have witnessed such with my own limited experience as a trainer. Just today, I applied this philosophy in an approach to helping my Haflinger mare get over a fear or wish not to do something. She is a leader in her group and I allowed for the fact that she was having difficulty giving decision making to me. From this, I took a sit and wait approach which allowed her to see the wisdom of what I was trying to guide her through.

There is a great deal of beauty to this approach to bringing a horse along. One who can do this is almost guaranteed to have an easy partner. Equestrians from any discipline -Western, English-can benefit from this classical approach. The horse is permitted to evolve into its role rather than having its spirit forced into compliance.

So very unfortunate that all horses cannot enjoy such guidance!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b0c1b88) out of 5 stars just what I was looking for Aug. 10 2012
By diane - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book, really takes you through the days of training. Usually we only get to see the end result in competitions but the day to day with horses is the important part. I have a Dutch Warmblood and recently got an adorable Andalusian to train in dressage, really fun. This book added to the fun.
HASH(0x9c21ca5c) out of 5 stars Good read-perspective of a horseman's life and the rythyms it entails. Feb. 12 2013
By D. Cobb - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the book as if it was a journal-as the title suggested. I enjoyed it tremendously as you envision the daily life of a horseperson who makes a living at it-any enjoys it. There were pearls of wisdom tossed in here and there. Obviously the text had been edited so as not to be a "rough draft" as most journals would be-but, you still have the sense of ongoing observations/notes and reflections on each horse which was featured. No one should read it as a "how to" guide for training-you will miss the point. I have read all of Paul Belasik's books and his style of writing is easy to read.
HASH(0x9b1bd648) out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book! Dec 28 2012
By dressage lover - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Easy to read, beautiful photos and I learned quite a bit. In this era where we are exposed to many demonstrations of saddling and riding unbroke horses in a matter of hours, it was so educational to see the benefits of using the classical method. It is such a pleasure to ride a horse that is eager and willing to work under saddle. I had no idea that it was a trainable trait until I read this book.
HASH(0x9b2add2c) out of 5 stars Another gem from Paul! Oct. 31 2012
By Petstorejunkie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is yet another fantastic book to add to your dressage library. I was able to take some of the training principles written in this book and even apply them to my pre-St. George horse. This gives you an in-depth look at the flexibility of classical training, Some of the challenges and how to overcome them, And how decision-making is made as a trainer.