Ask Judge Janet Your Dressage Question and You Could Win! (In More Ways Than One!)

Question: My horse lacks “crossing” in his legs (lateral reach) in the leg-yield—what do I do?

USEF/FEI dressage judge Janet Foy has a new book coming...and you could be a part of it!

USEF/FEI dressage judge Janet Foy has a new book coming…and you could be a part of it!

“The difference between a ‘7’ and a ’10’ in leg-yield in a dressage test is that while both horses go from Point A to Point B correctly, the horse that receives the higher score takes fewer strides to get there,” says USEF S and FEI 4* judge Janet Foy. “Later in training you can use the leg-yield to increase the lateral reach in the half-pass.”

We learn in Janet’s hugely popular book DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE that the difference between a high score and a modest score from the judge is really the amount of lateral reach the horse can show. From Point A to Point B, your horse may be able to do it in ten steps, but another can do it in eight steps. Some horses, by nature, have quite a lot of lateral reach—but most horses are not perfect, and need a bit of work here.

So how can I improve my horse’s lateral reach?

“You may have to feel that you are actually pushing the horse sideways out of balance in order to increase his lateral reach,” says Janet. “The horse must really open up the angles of his shoulders. Don’t ride a leg-yield at home as you would at a show. Your job in training is to raise your standards and develop more lateral reach and suppleness than you would need in competition. If your horse can easily do a leg-yield at home with energy and ease, then when it comes to show time and the requirement is easier, he will be a star!

“Try counting the number of strides it takes you to get from Point A to Point B,” she says. “Do this in both directions. One direction will take more strides because the horse will be less supple this way. First, work on this more difficult direction until it matches the other side. Then, when both sides are equal, start working again on improving overall lateral reach. you should be able to take out a stride or two each direction.”

And, fewer strides in the leg-yield means better scores in your next test!

Do you have a dressage question to ask Judge Janet?

TSB invites YOU to ask her your most burning dressage question—it can be about riding, training, competing, judging…whatever! It can be something you’ve asked a million times but still “just don’t get,” or something you’ve always been afraid to ask. It can relate to Training Level or Grand Prix or anything in between.

 

Click the image above to ask Judge Janet Foy your dressage question!

Click the image above to ask Judge Janet Foy your dressage question!

 

Not only will Janet Foy offer you solutions to your riding and training problems and answers to your riding and training questions, YOUR question could be featured in her NEXT BOOK!

Plus, everyone who submits a question is automatically entered to win a personalized copy of Janet’s forthcoming book when it’s published!

So you and your horse could win in more ways than one!

CLICK HERE to submit your question now!

Click image to order!

Click image to order!

DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, the bestselling book by Janet Foy that Dressage Today magazine called “an inoculation against training despair,” is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Check Out the Balanced Horse Feature by TSB Author Sylvia Loch in the August Issue of Dressage Today!

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.

10 Signs You’ve Found a Great Instructor/Trainer…for Yourself and for Your Horse!

FEI dressage trainer/rider Yvonne Barteau with Douglas Puterbaugh, author of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE.

FEI dressage trainer/rider Yvonne Barteau with Douglas Puterbaugh, author of THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE.

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE is a unique and special book,” says FEI dressage trainer/rider Yvonne Barteau. “I have been a collector of equine literature for many years, and this book has earned a spot on the ‘top shelf’ in my library. I have recommended it to all of my students as a ‘must read’ and will continue to do so. Author Douglas Puterbaugh covers vital and important rider information in an entertaining, engaging, and compelling manner.”

What kind of “vital rider information” will you find in THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE? Check out the attributes Douglas lists as the 10 qualities of a good instructor/trainer—something every one of us should keep in mind as we spend our lives striving to improve our horsemanship and become better partners to our horses.

“Find a good trainer is like finding a good mechanic,” says Douglas. “When you do, embrace him/her because he/she’s the difference between your satisfaction and disappointment.”

 

A good instructor/trainer should:

1  Treat you as an individual and recognize that different personality types require different approaches. He/she should tailor teaching style accordingly.

Evaluate your training goals.

3  Be well-rounded him/herself. A good trainer is constantly trying to improve in his/her own right—studying, practicing, learning from others.

4  Help you improve. A committed student taught by a good trainer should experience skills that improve steadily over time—that is, if the trainer is given enough time and the student is giving enough effort.

5  Work well with you. A comfortable relationship will yield more results than a difficult one. Better to look forward to your lessons than to dread them.

6  Be able to improve diminished gaits or correct spoiled horses. This is a skill, beyond the abilities of many otherwise capable trainers.

7  Not be a bully. A trainer should encourage your potential, not discourage your efforts.

8  Display infinite patience with both horse and pupil.

9  Never grow tired of repeating things that need to be repeated.

10  Be inspiring and kind, for even the most talented trainer will find it difficult to instill confidence in his/her students when prickly or unapproachable.

 

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

How It Feels to Be a Horse: An Easy Exercise That Shows You What It Is Like to Find Your Balance Under a Rider

“Movements that were once natural to the horse become suddenly very tiring when a rider is on his back because it changes his balance,” says Ulrike Thiel in her new book RIDDEN: DRESSAGE FROM THE HORSE’S POINT OF VIEW. “A new balance must be developed—the horse must learn a different way of controlling his own movement and distributing his weight and the rider’s in order to effectively support the rider.”

Try this exercise to help better understand what it is like for the horse to control his body with the additional weight and movement of the rider on his back:

 

Ridden1

1  Balance a 6-foot-long, hollow, plastic pole (PVC works) from the building supply store on the flat of one hand while you “walk,” “trot,” and “canter” straight and on turns. When you first attempt the exercise, it is difficult to balance the pole and your body. You may have to use your other arm to stabilize yourself.

Ridden2

When the pole is not symmetrically balanced, as shown in the photo above, it causes stiffening in several areas of the body (noted by the arrows). Your resulting movements are abrupt, which is hard on your joints.

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3  When changing direction or speed with the pole, you must again rebalance, or stiffness is the result (see arrows in photo above). It is difficult to move as you may have planned, which can be frustrating.

Ridden4

Eventually, you grow accustomed to carrying the pole and can “trot” and “canter” with it. The pole, in effect, becomes an extension of your body.

Ridden5

5  When carrying a rider who sits crookedly, as shown here, the horse must constantly react to the unbalanced weight of the rider. This again causes stiffness and tension, interfering with his ability to execute movements as he may be capable.

“I always have my students try this exercise,” says Ulrike. “They quickly come to understand why their horse does unexpected things like, for example, falling to the outside, going too fast, or shortening his stride. They also learn how hard they must concentrate on the pole in order to keep it balanced when they first attempt the exercise and how it moves on curves to such a degree that they frequently bump into objects in the arena or other students.”

 

Isn’t it eye-opening to see how it feels to be a horse?

 

RiddenPLC-300RIDDEN: DRESSAGE FROM THE HORSE’S POINT OF VIEW is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT (click on the red download link on the right side of the page)

Check Out “Lateral Thinking”–The New Article by Linda Tellington-Jones in the July 2013 Issue of HORSE ILLUSTRATED!

Check out the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine featuring an article on unlocking your horse's dressage potential by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Check out the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine featuring an article on unlocking your horse’s dressage potential by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the July 2013 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine! It features “Lateral Thinking,” an article by world-renowned horse trainer and behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones about how to combine logic with creativity to solve problem behavior in the dressage arena—and beyond!

Adapted in part from Linda’s new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, this article provides tips for using creative problem solving and strategies that challenge the status quo in your daily work with your horse. The July issue of Horse Illustrated goes on sale June 11–look for it wherever quality equestrian magazines are sold.

Pick up a copy of Horse Illustrated's July issue to read this article by Linda Tellingon-Jones!

Pick up a copy of Horse Illustrated’s July 2013 issue (on sale June 11) to read this fantastic new article by Linda Tellingon-Jones!

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL has reeled in some great reviews already! Here’s what they’re saying:

“I knew it was going to be good as soon as I saw an endorsement on the back cover from Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado—the founding stars of Cavalia—and a foreword from Ingrid Klimke, the daughter of Olympian Dr. Reiner Klimke. The praise from these big names in the equine world proved to be prophetic: the book was wonderful.” —HORSE NATION

“Extraordinarily well written…a very, very good read. A MUST read for any serious horseman and a high quality production.” —THEHORSESTUDIO.COM, The International Equestrian Shop

“We were intrigued by the concept of doing bodywork on the horse while in the saddle and impressed with the result when we tried it…The photographs illustrate the concepts well…This book is a keeper. It blends the author’s philosophy with practical techniques.”  —HORSE JOURNAL

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO DOWNLOAD A FREE EXCERPT

Head Groom for Former Technical Advisor of the US Dressage Team Anne Gribbons Shares Her Thoughts on Learning to Hear What Our Horses Have to Say

Kristen McDonald speaks with Anne Gribbons, who she has groomed for since

Kristen McDonald speaks with FEI dressage judge and former Technical Advisor to the US Dressage Team Anne Gribbons.

Kristen McDonald, groom for former Technical Advisor of the US Dressage Team Anne Gribbons, grew up a member of the US Pony Club, competing in amateur eventing, dressage, and hunter shows. She began at Anne’s training facility, Knoll Dressage outside of Orlando, Florida, as a working student before working her way up to becoming Anne’s personal groom. In DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, the exciting new book from renowned animal behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones, Kristen shares her thoughts on the role of the groom in the dressage horse’s life:

“There is an old Irish tale that depicts the island of Inishnills, where unicorns run free. Only those who believe in the magic power of the unicorns could ever be lucky enough to witness their purity and beauty, and perhaps earn their companionship. The man who acknowledges the unicorn as sacred and treats him with love and respect will have an ever-faithful friend and partner of unparalleled magnificence.

“A good partnership works both ways. Like the unicorn who devotes himself to the man who believes in his magic, the horse will willingly carry his rider safely if, in return, the rider does everything within his means to make the experience as comfortable and safe as possible.

“As riders, we must listen to the horse and learn his language, just as the horse strives to learn ours. I believe that learning to hear what the horse is telling you starts long before you are ready to get on his back.

“As a professional groom the very best advice I can give is to know your horse and his body. Not only does this ensure you catch small physical problems (strains or injuries) before they become bigger, more painful, and more expensive to deal with, but it also helps you discover the methods of handling the horse that keep him happy and sound.

“For example, the stallion I ride loves a metal curry rubbed gently but firmly all over his back. How do I know he loves it? When I begin to use the curry in slow, circular motions, he sighs, drops his head, and sticks out his nose, indicating I found ‘The Spot.’

“Another horse in my care is incredibly sensitive to any grooming. I must move really slowly, using only the softest brushes in my kit as I try to find the places he enjoys being touched before I move on to the areas that cause him anxiety—his back and underbelly. This horse is an excellent example of one who directs me to potential health problems by using body language—he now receives chiropractic treatment for his lower back, which is sometimes sore, and is on a special diet and medication for a mild tendency to develop stomach ulcers. As I am his only groom, I am very in tune to when his ailments may be flaring up: his behavior changes in his stall, on the cross-ties, and under saddle.

“When I ride, I like to use lots of praise to reward good work. I want the horse to know he has performed well so he is happy to do it again in the future. Once mounted, I always begin by giving the horse a sugar cube before he steps off. This helps teach your horse to stand still while you mount (he’s waiting for the sugar cube!), but I also have a friend who calls the practice ‘putting a quarter in’—I’m setting my horse up for an enjoyable ride by beginning with a positive moment.

“Working for Anne Gribbons has been the experience of a lifetime. She is one of my best friends, as well as my boss and trainer, because she knows that I love her horses as much as she does and will stop at nothing to care for and protect them. I feel we owe it to our horses to treat them fairly and provide for them. We expect them to grant us a ride on their back, pull a heavy load, or breed with another horse of our choosing. More often than not, they are willing and compliant to do our bidding. Only when we have attempted to learn the language of the horse can we even begin to repay him for his service and obedience.”

You can read more about grooming for optimal dressage performance in DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, which is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

Lindagraphic

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Frederic Pignon, Magali Delgado, and Linda Tellington-Jones Talk About the Tellington Method at the 2013 Equitana

Linda Tellington-Jones doing Tail TTouches on one of Frederic Pignon's horses.

Linda Tellington-Jones doing Tail TTouches on one of Frederic Pignon’s horses.

TSB author, horse trainer, and animal behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones sat down with world renowned liberty trainers and performers Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado during the first weekend of Equitana in Essen, Germany. Linda, Frederic, and Magali discuss the ways Tellington TTouch, the specialized bodywork that forms one important piece of the Tellington Method, dramatically reduces stress in the sport or performance horse, as well as increasing the horse’s desire to work with you, in and out of the arena.

“[Tellington TTouch] is a way to ‘think’ about being with horses,” says Frederic, who rose to international fame alongside his wife, a dressage rider, in the hit show Cavalia. “It gives you a way to find what your horse likes, so you need only a light and momentary touch to relax him in a stressful situation.”

In the Equitana presentation, Frederic shares the story of Guizo, a young stallion who appeared in Cavalia when it was touring North America.

“I worked with Frederic and Guizo in Dallas, Texas,” explains Linda. “Guizo was the youngest stallion of the three who worked at liberty in Cavalia. He performed beautifully, but was concerned about the older stallions and had a tendency to bite at them. Frederic had been managing this by keeping Guizo slightly apart on the upper stage and asked me if I had any thoughts of how to give the stallion more confidence to stop this habit. I showed Frederic how Mouth TTouch can effect the emotional behavior of a horse by quietly working the outside of the mouth with the flat hand and then slipping the thumb into the mouth. At the same time it is important to hold the intention of the behavior you want—in this case, to hold the vision of Guizo keeping his mouth quiet, breathing normally, and relaxing around the other stallions (I discuss the idea of training and riding with ‘intention’ in depth in my new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL).

“Working the lips and nostrils affects the limbic system—the part of the brain that controls emotions as well as affecting the ability to learn. It sounds so simplistic, but it worked! Frederic told me that the first evening he took maybe 30 seconds when Guizo entered the arena and spoke quietly to him, lowered his head a little, and slipped his thumb into the mouth. Guizo was able to work quietly together with the other stallions for the first time!”

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“TTouch is good for the mind of the horse, and also the body,” adds Magali. “I warm my horses up well before a performance, but then they must stand backstage and may get a little cold, a little stiff. I do two minutes of work with the horse’s shoulders and tail [Shoulder Release and Tail TTouches] backstage, and just before riding I can promise you my horse is very relaxed, his back very fluid, able to do all the movements easily.”

Linda talks about the work she has done with Frederic and Magali, as well as over 20 other top dressage riders, trainers, and horses, in her new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, which is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

GALLOP TO FREEDOM, the first book about training philosophy by Frederic and Magali, is also available (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

Check out this video of the session with Linda, Frederic, and Magali at Equitana! (Note: They speak in English and German throughout the video–there is great stuff here in both languages, so be sure to watch through!)

This Valentine’s Day, Linda Tellington-Jones Tells Us How Our Heart Can Improve Our Riding

Magali Delgado and Linda Tellington-Jones perform Raccon TTouches on one of Magali's horses.

French dressage rider and former star of Cavalia Magali Delgado and Linda Tellington-Jones perform Raccon TTouches on one of Magali’s horses.

In TSB author Linda Tellington-Jones’ new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, she explains how we have scientific evidence that proves something most of us “knew” already: The heart does more than simply service the human circulatory system as a “blood pump.” In fact, it is in constant communication with the brain in order to direct various other bodily systems so they all work in harmony. As you perceive and react to the world, your brain sends messages to your heart. And, amazingly, the heart talks right back, with its rhythmic activity sending us emotional signals that, in effect, govern our life—and our riding.

In DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, Linda delves into the concept of heart rhythm coherence—understanding how the mental and emotional energy emanated and controlled by your heart can become coherent (logical, orderly, and aesthetically consistent) and can then be a powerful force in your work with horses.

A positive emotional state, both in you and your horse, contributes to this “coherence,” which has been proven to increase effectiveness when addressing tasks (in other words, it improves performance). The presence of love and caring in your life are important factors in the generation of a positive emotional state. Luckily, we as human beings are blessed with the ability to control (to a great degree) the amount of positivity or negativity in our thoughts and intentions.

Being thankful and showing thanks are basic steps in promoting a positive emotional state in you and your horse. According to Linda’s work with riders and horses around the world, light Raccoon TTouches—one of the many Tellington TTouches that, along with innovative Ground Exercises and Ridden Work, make up Linda’s Tellington Method—can soothe and relax your horse, and so are a great way to say, “Thank you,” after you ride.

Want to “thank” your horse this Valentine’s Day? Here’s how to do the Raccoon TTouch:

1  These small, very light TTouches are done with the fingertips, without contact with the fingernails. Curve your fingers so the distal phalange is vertical and your fingers are lightly apart. The heel of your hand and your wrist should be held well off the horse’s body, and the side of the thumb should not be in contact with the rest of the hand.

2  Move your fingertips and the horse’s skin in a circle-and-a-quarter in a very light 1 to 3 pressure.

At the end of the circle-and-a-quarter, release the pressure, slide your fingertips to another spot, and repeat. Be sure to move the skin rather than simply sliding across the horse’s hair.

Dressage w MBSRaccoon TTouches have been shown to increase circulation, relax tensed muscles, reduce heat and swelling, and stimulate healing. The perfect Valentine’s gift for your horse!

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

5 Great Ideas for Horseplay on a Snowy Day

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Those of you who, like us, reside in the Northeast are waking up to snow this cold Friday morning, with blizzard warnings in the forecast and a weekend ahead that promises shoveling, perhaps skiing, but maybe not SO much riding!

So what can you do when winter weather keeps you out of the saddle and in front of the woodstove? Here are a couple of ideas on how to continue to grow as a horseman while staying snug inside:

50FIMI[1]1  Improve Your Vision, “Feel,” and Timing

Adapted from 50 5-MINUTE FIXES TO IMPROVE YOUR RIDING by Wendy Murdoch

Sit in your favorite chair and look around, becoming aware of your face, especially the area surrounding your eyes. Do you feel pulling or tightness around your eyes? Do you narrow your eyes to focus on specific objects? Are your eyebrows knit together?

Close your eyes and use your eyelids to “press” your eyeballs back. Open your eyes and stare intently straight ahead. What happens to your balance in the chair? Usually people notice that “pressing” back with the eyelids shifts their weight backward, while staring ahead shifts it forward.

Excessive tension in the muscles that move your eyes and the surrounding facial muscles, such as you would notice in the first steps of this exercise, creates tension in your entire body. And the smallest balance shift forward or back in the saddle is sensed by your horse, who then shifts his own weight to compensate.

In your chair, practice “softening” the area around your eyes so your eyebrows broaden, your cheeks soften and drop down, and you feel the corners of your eyes relax. With your eyes open, recreate the feeling of your eyes resting back in their sockets (as they were when you “pressed” them back with your eyelids).

With this simple change in how you look at the world while sitting in the saddle, you can ease tension in your horse and shift his weight off his forehand and back toward his hindquarters.

KnowYouKnowYrHorse250[1]2  Determine Your Social Style, Your Horse’s Personality, and How You Can Best Work Together

Adapted from KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE by Eunice Rush and Marry Morrow

Download the Human Social Style Questionnaire and the Horse Personality Questionnaire from the KNOW YOU, KNOW YOUR HORSE page on the TSB website (CLICK HERE).

Take the two quizzes to determine if you are an Analyst, a Powerful, a Mediator, or an Advocate; and to see if your horse is a Thinker, Worker, Actor, or Talker. This can be the first step in determining what you need to do to change your personality to better match your horse’s, as well as giving you ideas as to the kinds of training techniques and riding styles that will help him learn and perform his best. What kind of match are you? Take the quizzes to find out!

Dressage-w-MBS-300[1]3  Create a Mind Map of the Training Scale Using Images, Color, and Your Favorite Exercises

Adapted from DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL by Linda Tellington-Jones with Rebecca M. Didier

Popular psychology author Tony Buzan wrote his first books on “Mind Mapping” in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His books, lecture tours, and now software (www.iMindMap.com) have popularized his technique of diagramming words, ideas, tasks, and other items around central key words or ideas, providing a graphical method of generating, visualizing, and classifying ideas. It is a way of using both the left and right brains when organizing and studying information–and a great way to get a better understanding of the concept of the Classical Training Scale and how you can apply it in your work with your horse, both on the ground and in the saddle.

Choose a central word or idea from which all other words and ideas will radiate. Tony Buzan recommends keeping this to a single word, as that gives you more room to “play.” You can use “training” and “scale” together as one “idea” or perhaps begin with your name, or your horse’s.

Use color and an image to illustrate this idea. What do you picture when you hear the central word or words spoken? For “Training Scale,” perhaps you think of a golden pyramid, such as the ones in Egypt. For your horse, maybe it is the symetrical white diamond on his forehead.

Radiate outward with the principles of the Training Scale: Rhythm, Suppleness, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, and Collection, and give each an image (what comes to mind when you think of Rhythm? Musical notes?) and a color.

From each principle within the Training Scale, map out further,
with exercises, techniques, bodywork, and sources of inspiration that can help
you and your horse “find” what you’re looking for. Scribble down anything that comes to mind—cavalletti for Rhythm? Carrot stretches for Suppleness? Illustrate whatever comes to mind and allow yourself to get excited about new ideas you can try to implement when the snow melts!

7ClinicswithDVD-Series300[1]4  Watch All the Free Sneak Peek Lessons from Buck Brannaman 

From 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN by Cedar Creek Productions

Visit the 7 CLINICS YouTube Channel (CLICK HERE) and watch all the short, free lessons from the new DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN. We can all learn so much from Buck, even in three or four minutes! You’ll come away with new ideas of how to better communicate with your horse and take your partnership to the next level.

MYHOMY[1]5 Read a Great Horse Book

At TSB, we love great horse books, whether they’re instructional or fiction, classic works or brand new. As the snow piles up and you hunker down at home, pull something great off your bookshelf and lose yourself in it for an hour or two. Race across the sand with Alec and the Black, feel your pulse quicken as you turn the pages of Thunderhead, rediscover what it means to connect with a horse in Alois Podhajsky’s My Horses, My Teachers. Wherever the magic is for you, find it. Even just for a little while.

All these books and DVDs are available from the TSB online store, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whatever the weather!

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

TSB Author Linda Tellington-Jones Talks About Transforming a Defensive and Challenging Grand Prix Dressage Horse into a Trusting and Cooperative Competitor…and What She Hopes Her New Book Will Do for the Sport

At Trafalgar Square Books, we are incredibly excited to announce the release of a unique new work from rider, trainer, and innovator Linda Tellington-Jones. DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is an out-of-the-box introduction to Linda’s theories and how the Tellington Method—comprised of Ground Exercises, Ridden Work, and her specialized form of bodywork known as TTouch—can become an integral tool to getting the finest performance from your dressage horse while at the same time preserving his physical and mental well-being.

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available now from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

We asked Linda to tell us about what inspired to write this book and how she hopes it will change the sport of dressage for the better.

Linda Tellington-Jones working with Klaus Balkenhol and Goldstern.

Linda Tellington-Jones working with Klaus Balkenhol and Goldstern.

TSB: Over your 40-plus-year career, you have covered how the Tellington Method can be applied to a number of species (horses, dogs, cats, humans) as well as in a number of ways (for better behavior, improved learning, better health). Why did you decide to write your newest book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL with the dressage horse and dressage rider in mind?

Linda: Caroline Robbins, my publisher, knows I have worked with many prominent dressage riders and their horses over the years, and she felt it was time I found a way to share the different ways the Tellington Method can benefit the sport horse with this particular group of riders and trainers.

I knew this book could be very different from what is already available to dressage riders. Over the years I have studied and read about both the scientific and spiritual aspects of our lives—the reasons we are who we are and why we do what we do find their roots in both science and spirituality. Dressage is a wonderful example of how science and spirituality come together. In some ways, there are few sports as demanding of precision, practice, and repetition, as dependent on an understanding of horse and human biomechanics, as dressage. And yet without “feel,” without soul, without connection, dressage is just a series of mechanical movements.

It takes both science and spirituality to produce riding art.

This book was an opportunity to write about the philosophies and practical exercises that have been my passion for so long, and the theories and beliefs that are at the core of my work with the Tellington Method all over the world.

TSB: As you say, you have worked with many top dressage riders and trainers and their horses over the years, and you share some of those stories in DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL. Can you tell us a little about one horse in particular who you worked with and how the Tellington Method changed his life and his relationship with his rider?

Linda: I have had the privilege to work with many wonderful Grand Prix horses and their riders, but I believe my most touching  experience (no pun intended!) was my work last year with the 18-year-old Grand Prix horse, Meggle’s Weltall. He was on the German dressage team in the Olympics in Athens, but this big gelding had been explosive in every class he entered for several years. Dieter and Dodo Laugks attribute the Tellington Method—applied daily by Weltall’s groom, Katie Rast, for several months—to the phenomenal change in Weltall. After many years of unsuccessful competition he won 10 Grand Prix classes last fall! He changed from a horse who was defensive and very challenging under saddle and on the ground, to a trusting, cooperative, and very happy horse.

Linda's work with Meggle's Weltall has inspired her to help others use the Tellington Method with dressage horses.

Linda’s work with Meggle’s Weltall has inspired her to help others use the Tellington Method with dressage horses.

TSB: If there is one thing that you hope people will take away from your new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, what would you like it to be?

Linda: That they ride with an attitude of gratitude, for their horses of course, but also for themselves.

That they practice the art of riding with “HeART” (which I explain in the book), forgiving mistakes, realizing that it’s through our mistakes that we achieve success.

That they discover the power of smiling as they ride and the resulting enhancement of health and well-being, for both themselves and their horses.

TSB: When did you first realize that helping horses and the people who love and work with horses was your mission in life?

Linda: I don’t believe I had an “aha” moment in terms of it being my “mission” to work with horses and people. It was simply woven into my life’s journey.  I began teaching riding as a teenager at Briarcrest Stable, where I rode every day from the time I was 9 until I was 16. Horses were as much a part of my life as breathing. And so it has continued on from there.

TSB: You travel most of the year, giving workshops on the Tellington Method around the world. What is planned for 2013—where will you go and what message do you plan to bring?

Linda: 2013 marks the beginning of a new era. My husband Roland and I were inspired to focus on our new concept of SpiritGo: In this twenty-first century, there is scientific evidence supporting the value of training horses with focus on a trusting horse/human relationship that enhances the health of both horse and rider.

SpiritGo is Tellington Training for the twenty-first century that: 

    – Honors the spirit of the horse. 

    – Builds trust between horse and rider.

    – Develops a willing and cooperative relationship.

    – Results in the Ultimate HorseHuman Connection. 

SpiritGo is for all levels of training and riding and every discipline, from the beginning equestrian to the Olympic star.

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

Linda: The first time I sat on a horse I was six years old. My father took me to a riding school to buy a horse for me because we were moving from the city to my grandfather’s farm, and my school was more than two miles away. There weren’t any school buses in those days, so I had to ride to school.

I was put on a 15-hand chestnut mare named Trixie who walked once around the riding arena and headed straight to the barn. My father bought her and with one exception, the mare took good care of me. I rode every day to school and most days would come home after school and ride some more. I was nine years old before I had my first riding lesson.

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

Linda: The first time I remember coming off was rather dramatic. One day I left for school too late and my cousins, who lived up the road from me, left without me. When I got to their farm entrance, Trixie decided she was not going on alone and balked. I gave her a whack on the rump and she promptly dumped me on the road. I was too small to get on bareback alone, so I marched her back to the barn, stomped to the house, got two clothespins, took them back to the barn, and put them on her ears. I thought this would teach her a lesson, but she showed no reaction at all. I don’t know where I got the clothespin idea, but I often joke that it was the forerunner to the Tellington Ear TTouch, which of course we use to calm horses in times of stress and alleviate pain at times of injury, among other things.

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

Linda: Gratitude and intelligence.

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

Linda: Intelligence and trust.

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

Linda: Ride in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado in perfect summer weather.

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?

Linda: An Arabian mare and one of Rumi’s books on life because I love to memorize and it would give me much to think about.

TSB: If your desert island had WiFi and an iPad, which movie would you stream?

Linda: Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah Kevin Bacon.

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

Linda: Cranberry water.

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Linda: The understanding that happiness is a choice.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

Linda: Macadamia-crusted Ahi with mashed yams and steamed greens, key lime pie, and St. Pauli Girl nonalcholic beer.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

Linda: Cruising on a sailing ship or steamliner with my husband, my iPad, and friends.

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

Linda: My mother, Marion, to thank her and let her know what an amazing woman she was and how much I appreciate her teaching me by example about trust, tolerance, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, and to live by the Golden Rule. I also so appreciated her example of the loving, respectful relationship she had with my father.

TSB: What is your motto?

Linda: Remember your perfection.

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