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Posts Tagged ‘Balance in Movement’

The rider’s trunk and extremities interact and depend on each other. For example, hands and arms depend on shoulder position, which depends on the shoulder girdle, which depends on the position of the spinal column (in particular, the thoracic spine). All of this interconnectedness means that the common instruction heard in riding rings round the world, “Shoulders back!” is detrimental to correct and supple rider position—in fact, it leads to stiffness and tension.

“If you simply take the shoulders back without changing the position of the trunk,” explains Susanne von Dietze in her classic bestseller BALANCE IN MOVEMENT, “you exert a lot of energy and become cramped up in the process. It is a position you would not endure for long on a voluntary basis. Instead, start to straighten from the pelvis. The thorax is lifted automatically upward and forward; it is like pushing the thorax under the shoulder girdle. The building blocks of the upper body are then aligned once more and the shoulder girdle can be carried without any muscular effort.”

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“There are a few very beneficial stretching exercise for the shoulder girdle,” von Dietze goes on. “One of the ailments of our civilized society—poor posture—especially when sitting, often causes the shoulder girdle to slide forward. In the long term this means severe tension in the area of the back of the neck, since the shoulder girdle is suspended there on the muscles of the neck instead of resting on the thorax. As a result the muscles in the front chest area shorten.”

Here is one exercise von Dietze recommends to stretch the often shortened musculature in the front of the body and open the thorax for better and more effective riding position:

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1  Stand with your back close to your horse’s side.

2  Bend your arms at the elbows and try to open them to the sides, touching your horse’s body with your lower arms.

3  Then try to stretch your arms out to full length, and if your horse allows it, lean your back gently against his side. This stretches your thoracic spine, expands your front chest muscles, and opens your thoracic cavity and breathing.

 

You can begin to understand more common riding mistakes and find ways to fix them in BALANCE IN MOVEMENT, available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Each year, as we flip the last pages of December in anticipation for the beginning of January, we at TSB take some time to pause and consider the books we published over the past months. Not only does this process provide an important review of content in preparation for future titles, it also gets us excited, all over again, about the new riding, training, and horse-care skills and techniques our fabulous equestrian authors have shared. In 2015, we tapped the deep well of mindfulness, honed our grooming abilities, and viewed the dressage horse from the inside-out. We found new ways to improve our horses’ confidence and attention, in and out of the ring, had burning questions answered by top judges, and discovered new pursuits that make kindness with our horses and others the goal and guiding principle. We found reasons to ride light, think deeply, laugh, and be thankful for our lives with horses.

We look forward to bring you more top-notch horse books and DVDs in the New Year—until then, here’s the roll-call of TSB equestrian titles for 2015:

 

TrainRidewConesPoles-300TRAINING AND RIDING WITH CONES AND POLES (March) by Sigrid Schope is a spiral-bound handbook with over 40 exercises intended to improve your horse’s focus and response to the aids while sharpening your timing and accuracy. Who hasn’t looked for ways to spice up ringwork and keep his/her horse interested in schooling circles? Here’s the answer, whether you’re practicing on your own in the ring or teaching lessons.

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GALLOP TO FREEDOM (Paperback reprint—March) by training superstars Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado. TSB was the first to bring you thoughts on training and working with the original stars of the international hit show Cavalia, publishing their book back in 2009. The continued value in this storied couple’s work meant that six years later, it was time to release the bestseller anew in paperback.

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WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES (April) by professional grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford with over 1200 color photographs by professional photographer Jessica Dailey. A bestseller before it was released, this unparalleled photo reference gives every horse owner the tips and tools he/she needs to keep horses in tip-top condition, looking and feeling their best, in and out of the show ring.

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THE COMPASSIONATE EQUESTRIAN (May) by renowned veterinarian and author Dr. Allen Schoen and trainer Susan Gordon provides 25 principles each of us should live by when caring for and working with horses. Using personal stories and current scientific research, the two write convincingly of the need for an industry-wide movement to develop deeper compassion for not only the horses, but the people, as well.

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THE DRESSAGE HORSE OPTIMIZED (June) by Masterson Method founder and author of BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE Jim Masterson and dressage rider Coralie Hughes. Jim and Coralie team up with Grand Prix dressage rider Betsy Steiner and creator of Anatomy in Motion Visible Horse and Visible Rider Susan Harris to demonstrate how the muscular and skeletal structure of the horse work in dressage movements. Then Jim provides specific techniques from his popular form of bodywork to alleviate stress and improve performance.

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DRESSAGE Q&A WITH JANET FOY (July) by FEI/USEF dressage judge Janet Foy. This easy-to-use reference is a follow-up to Janet’s incredibly popular DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, featuring the most common questions she has received over the years. Janet tells it how it is, and includes plenty of her own stories from the road to keep us laughing while learning.

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OVER, UNDER, THROUGH: OBSTACLE TRAINING FOR HORSES (September) by Vanessa Bee, author of the bestselling HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK and 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP. Vanessa has made a name for herself as a terrific educator, delivering superior and thoughtful training techniques in bite-size chunks. OVER, UNDER, THROUGH doesn’t disappoint, with loads of step-by-step photographs and useful lessons for meeting everyday challenges with your horse in a positive manner that guarantees success.

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COWBOY DRESSAGE (September) by Jessica Black with Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy. Jessica teams up with the founders of Cowboy Dressage to trace the origin of the movement to the present day, then taps Eitan’s expertise to provide readers the basics they need to get started in the pursuit of “kindness as the goal and guiding principle.” Eitan and Debbie describe Cowboy Dressage as a lifestyle rather than a sport, and the book mirrors that mission, inspiring us with beautiful photographs and honest ideals.

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THE ESSENTIAL FERGUS THE HORSE (October) by artist Jean Abernethy. Fergus the Horse is a social media celebrity with well over 300,000 Facebook fans. This treasury of his greatest hits features comics from past print publications as well as those that have made the rounds online—and in addition, 25 never-seen-before cartoons. Jean also shares a little about her rise as an illustrator and the backstory that explains the birth of her famous cartoon horse.

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THE MESSAGE FROM THE HORSE (October) by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling. The world knows Klaus from his bestselling books and DVDs, including DANCING WITH HORSES and WHAT HORSES REVEAL. Over 10 years ago, he detailed his own story in the form of an autobiographical narrative, detailing his discovery of how to be with and learn from horses, as well as how to apply what they teach him to his life as a whole. Now this story is in English for the first time.

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BALANCE IN MOVEMENT (Paperback reprint—November) by Susanne von Dietze. A perennial bestseller, demand for the book led to us bringing it out in a fresh format, ready to introduce a new generation of riders to Susanne’s sensible lessons in horse and rider biomechanics.

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RIDING THROUGH THICK AND THIN (November) by Melinda Folse. Melinda’s last book THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES gained her an enthusiastic following of readers who appreciate her big-sisterly swagger and humor. This new book is the culmination of years of research, providing us all guideposts for riding and being with horses, whatever we look like. Melinda’s goal is to give our body image a boost, and she provides countless proactive ways for us to take a good look in the mirror and finally like what we see.

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BASIC TRAINING OF THE YOUNG HORSE (Third Edition—December) by Ingrid and Reiner Klimke. It’s the Klimkes’ classic text, refreshed with new photos of Ingrid on her top horses. Need we say more?

 

For more about these 2015 horse books, and our complete list of top equestrian books and DVDs, visit our website www.horseandriderbooks.com.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of horse books and DVDs for 30 years, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Susanne von Dietze, author of BALANCE IN MOVEMENT (now available again!) and RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK, is an internationally respected and highly sought-after riding coach and clinician. Her first experiences with CENTERED RIDING were possible because of the book’s worldwide distribution—it has been translated into 16 languages! Here she shares how she was introduced to the book and the effect it had on the trajectory of her career:

“I had a very special childhood, growing up in Germany with my father, an ex-cavalry officer, and my mother, a physiotherapist and athletics teacher. Both were riding instructors, as well. We always had horses and I learned how to ride before I learned how to walk.

“My parents started therapeutic riding in Germany, and both thought the riders seat was of prime importance for good riding. Longe lessons and seat corrections were a daily part of my training.

CENTERED RIDING by Sally Swift has been published in 16 languages.

CENTERED RIDING by Sally Swift has been published in 16 languages.

“My mother collected all the books she could find about the rider’s seat, and I have her First Edition of the German Translation of CENTERED RIDING. The pictures in this book have always been fascinating to me and helped me develop my own understanding and improve my teaching over the years. When I was asked by the German Federation (FN) to write a book about the rider’s seat (which became BALANCE IN MOVEMENT) I reread CENTERED RIDING and again was deeply inspired by Sally Swift.

“It was a very, very special honor for me to be invited to a NARHA (North American Riding for Handicapped Association) event in Boston in what I think it was 1999. There I had a presentation and a practical demonstration, and Sally Swift was giving a lecture, too. I will never forget how she was standing the whole time, supported on her little stick, and kept all of us busy with our full attention on her for over an hour in the aisleway of some stable! When she rested afterward, I was invited to meet her. She knew my book and had seen my presentation, and she congratulated me on what she thought was an important work. Her praise and acceptance of my work was one of the most important critiques in my life.

“Sally Swift has deeply affected me, not only with her fabulous concepts, but with her whole personality. In November 2015 I have the honor to be the Keynote Speaker at the Centered Riding Conference in the Netherlands, and will do my utmost to remember this great lady with all my respect.”

TSB has celebrated the 30th anniversary of publishing our first horse book CENTERED RIDING throughout the month of November. We’re excited to now cap it off with a special HorseandRiderBooks.com Sitewide Sale! CLICK HERE to shop now and get 30% off any of our bestselling books and DVDs (some exclusions may apply) for a limited time!

 

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Discounts will show at checkout. Plus, you’ll get FREE SHIPPING in the US! Don’t miss this terrific opportunity to get incredible equestrian books and DVDs, and support a small business.

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs for 30 years, is a small business located on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today for a great excerpt from TSB author Sylvia Loch's new book!

Pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today for a great excerpt from TSB author Sylvia Loch’s new book!

TSB has a lot to be proud of in the August issue of Dressage Today magazine, with special sections by authors Susanne von Dietze (BALANCE IN MOVEMENT and RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK) and Janet Foy (DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE), as well as a travel piece and cover photo by photographer Keron Psillas (MEDITATION FOR TWO and the forthcoming THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS).

In addition, the “Annual Baroque Issue” features an excerpt from Sylvia Loch’s new book  THE BALANCED HORSE: THE AIDS BY FEEL, NOT FORCE, which is now available from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

Take a close look at this photo from the book and see if you can name the celebrity in the audience!

See if you can spot the celebrity in the audience at this Sylvia Loch clinic!

See if you can spot the celebrity in the audience at this Sylvia Loch clinic!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the August issue of Dressage Today magazine, wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold.

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Susanne von Dietze, author of the new book RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK, balances a busy teaching and riding schedule with raising three children.

This month, Trafalgar Square Books caught up with Susanne von Dietze, author of the bestselling BALANCE IN MOVEMENT and the new book RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK, and asked her what it was like juggling horses and family, among other things!

TSB: You manage to have an active teaching schedule while competing a Grand Prix dressage horse and raising three children. I’m certain many riding mothers with competitive ambitions wonder where you find the time to do it all, and if you have any advice for making a riding career work while raising a family?

SvD: I ask myself the same question sometimes! Well, one big part of my career is my husband, who always backs me up and is a wonderful father—living on a Kibbuz helps, as all the facilities for the kids (school, tennis, swimming pool, basketball courts…) are within walking distance. And, when I was pregnant with my third son, I turned my horse into a schoolmaster for a good friend. My mare taught her dressage, from elementary level all the way up to becoming National Champion in Israel at Intermediaire Level, while I rode as much as my time allowed in the training.

TSB: What are your personal riding goals for 2011 and beyond?

Susanne has made a name for herself by integrating her experience as a physiotherapist (specializing in the back) with riding.

SvD: My personal riding goal is that when I get off a horse, the horse is glad that I rode him! This season I will compete on a Dutch stallion that is a champion show jumper in Israel, and the owner now wants to see how far he can get in dressage, there are some nice young horses that I am helping along…And with the children growing up, I hope that one day I will find the time to bring a horse for myself over from Germany again!

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

SvD: I would probably choose a Thoroughbred, even though some coldblooded Shire horse or the like would make more sense to work the “fields” (on the island)…And I have too many good books to choose.

TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?

SvD: Ice cream!

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

SvD: I am living pretty close to it!

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

SvD: I can´t! I learned riding before walking. We didn’t own a car, but a horse, and my place was always in front of my dad. I remember I had a little pillow that was pulled through the pommel strap to make it more comfortable, and it always came along. And Dad once told me: “Remember—on the horse you are a meter closer to heaven!”

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

SvD: It was my first attempt to jump an upright cavalletti, and I did not fall at the jump, but when I proudly turned around after the jump to look and see what it was I could now do! I fell off in the corner after the jump, when the horse turned while I went straight on! I learned not to look back at jumps in that lesson!

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

SvD: Trust and reliability.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

SvD: Enjoying learning together with me and forgiving my mistakes!

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

SvD: Morning training on a racecourse.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

SvD: Not having to cook it!

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

SvD: We did a family bicycle tour through Poland this spring, and that came pretty close to it!

TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

SvD: My mother. She always could put me back on my feet, and knew just what to ask. She died this May and is missed dearly.

TSB: What is your motto?

SvD: LLL (Live, Love, and Laugh)

Susanne’s books BALANCE IN MOVEMENT and RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK, as well as her DVDs by the same name, are available at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

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