This book will open the door to more progress in your riding, than infinite lessons with traditional riding instructors could. Mary breaks the art of riding down in to bite size chunks that your mind can process in a meaningful way to make dramatic changes. This is not a "heels down, sit tall" type of instruction book. If you incorporate Mary's ideas and visual images into your riding you will see a marked improvement in a very short time.
I started taking riding lessons as a 'mature' rider. I have really enjoyed all my teachers and their instruction, but I always felt that I was missing something. They might have helped me to 'look' like I was in the right position, but inside I felt out of control. Then I came upon Mary Wanless's book, "Ride With Your Mind: Essentials", and I'm so happy I found it! I'm not even through the book yet, but I have already identified various weaknesses on my part, and now I understand what goes on under your skin in order to look effortless on the outside! I really like the way each chapter is broken down into sections, including the off-horse exercises. Now all I need is to find someone to come and observe me to see if I'm 'getting it'.
I am a riding instructor and have recomended or give this book numerous times to my students. The contents are easy to understand and have profound insights into how the riders body must actually work be be able to successed in the difficult sport of riding. This book has boiled down her major ideas into an easy to find problem / solution format. I very, very highly recommend this book.
This book gets way beyond the "head up, heels down" school of teaching. The author understands how both the human and the horse body works. Her breakdown of complex skills into manageable components are very useful. Her exercises on and off the horse help correct common faults. I worked on a chapter a week, and both my horse and my instructor noticed an improvement.
This book is for the rider who wants to understand exactly what the body is supposed to do for all the basic riding skills: alignment, leg position, contact with horse, turning etc. And for the person willing to invest trial and error to change body habits. It would also be useful for intstructors seeking new ways to diagnose and correct riding faults, and new ways to communicate with riders.
Having been a riding instructor for more than 20 years all I can say about this new book by Mary Wanless is Bravo! If you want to get to the root of your riding problems then Mary has some very concrete and doable ideas. The ideas are easy to understand but will take effort and practise to impliment and confirm but the results will increase you and your horses pleasure many times over. This book is a very disstilled version of her other great book "Riding With Your Mind Masterclass". This book should be in everyones' library.
Where Sally Swift, through Centered Riding opened the door to riding in balance with awareness, Mary Wanless leads us through that same door and into the light. She describes how the best riders in the world achieve flawless, brilliant performances from their horses with seemingly little use of their bodies. Many of them don't know or can't tell you how they do it! Mary wanless has come to a total understanding of HOW. But more than that, she serves it up in small, " digestable chunks" that we can easily digest and use in our search for the connection with our horse that will achieve the beauty and lightness and willingness we all desire . Her knowledge of horse and human biomechanics is key. Her ability to teach it goes beyond what "good" riding instructors impart to their students. She is truly gifted in her ability to teach what has taken her a long time to learn. This is the true "Basics" we hear about that we need for the foundation of our riding that must stay with us throughout our riding career no matter what horse sport we choose.