Dynamic Buttocks: Two Exercises for a Better Seat and Improved Riding Position

Yes, you read that right: dynamic buttocks are the secret to moving fluidly with your horse, whatever your riding discipline. “Sitting on a horse is never rigid (static),” write sports physiologist Eckart Meyners, Head of the German Riding School Hannes Muller, and St. George magazine editor Kerstin Niemann in their book RIDER+HORSE=1. “It is always dynamic.”

You can break through the stereotypical static sitting pattern with these two exercises from RIDER+HORSE=1, intended to improve sacroiliac joint and pelvic mobility in the rider.


You can mobilize your pelvis by lifting and lowering your buttocks on each side of the saddle---riding is never static, it is always dynamic!

You can mobilize your pelvis by lifting and lowering your buttocks on each side of the saddle—riding is never static, it is always dynamic!


1  While sitting on your horse, slide one buttock down the side and out of the saddle, then gently lift and lower this side of the body 8 to 12 times. Repeat on the other side. You will feel this exercise pleasantly reorganize your entire body structure when you again sit centered in the saddle.

2  Again sitting on your horse, imagine you are sitting on the face of a clock: when you lower your pelvis to the right, you are sitting on three o’clock, and when you lower it to the left, you are sitting on nine o’clock. Lower your pelvis to three o’clock only several times, then nine o’clock only, and then combine them in one fluid motion. Vary the pace of your movements and do not strain.




You can find more exercises to improve your balance and aids, and identify and respond to the motion sequences of the horse in RIDER+HORSE=1, available from the TSB online bookstore where shipping in the US is FREE.



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

2015 Equitana Featuring More than 10 TSB Authors—See Who Will Be There!


Equitana 2015 in Essen, Germany, is just around the corner! Join more than 10 TSB authors March 14-22 for a spectacular event, combining education and entertainment in an exciting European setting.

TSB authors presenting and exhibiting at this year’s Equitana include:

Uta Graf: See her new DVD FINE RIDING as well as the JOY OF DRESSAGE DVD series.

Linda Tellington-Jones: Check out her stirring and unique call to change DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, in addition to her other bestselling books and DVDs from TSB.

Ingrid Klimke: TSB is proud to have the New Edition of the classic book CAVALLETTI as well as Ingrid’s newest DVD SUCCESS WITH CAVALETTI-TRAINING, as well as her many other  training DVDs.

Eckart Meyners: Eckart’s newest book RIDER + HORSE = 1 is available now, as well as his popular fitness book and DVD.

Frederic Pignon: Frederic makes an annual appearance at Equitana, both to perform and teach. The latest book from Frederic and his wife Magali Delgado BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER–YOU AND YOUR HORSE is a gorgeous tribute to their experiences with horses.

Gerd Heuschmann: His books TUG OF WAR and BALANCING ACT, and his DVD IF HORSES COULD SPEAK have help raised awareness as regards the well-being of dressage horses the world over.

Philippe Karl: Check out his CLASSICAL DRESSAGE DVD series, and other DVDs available from TSB.

Lorenzo: He awes the crowds with his performance during Equitana’s “Hop Top Show,” and you can read his story in LORENZO: THE FLYING FRENCHMAN.

Britta Schoffmann & Klaus Balkenhol: KLAUS BALKENHOL: THE MAN AND HIS TRAINING METHODS is a fascinating read.

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Wendy Murdoch: TSB is very pleased to announce that Wendy, author of the incredibly popular 50 5-MINUTE FIXES TO IMPROVE YOUR RIDING, 40 5-MINUTE JUMPING FIXES, and new 5-MINUTE FIXES DVDs has been nominated for the prestigious Equitana Innovation Award for her new Sure Foot Equine Stability Program! Sure Foot is a revolutionary way of improving your horse’s balance, confidence, movement, and performance by allowing the horse to experience his own habitual patterns of movement and providing an opportunity for him to explore and learn new ways of standing on his feet and utilizing the ground for greater ease, comfort and confidence. Wendy will have her Sure Foot products in Hall 7, Booth D 10.

We wish Wendy the best of luck, and hope many of you will have the opportunity to learn from the fantastic horsemen, riders, trainers, and equine experts gathered for the 2015 Equitana event.

Rider+Horse=1: Demystifying Flexion

When you ride, whatever your discipline, you are forever asking the horse to flex this way, or that way, or a little less, or a little more.

This is NOT the kind of flexion we are talking about!

This is NOT the kind of flexion we are talking about!

So what is flexion, anyway? It’s time to rid your mind of any images of muscle-bound forelegs striking Arnold Schwarzenegger poses! Flexion, when riding, is usually about lateral positioning of the second cervical neck joint, an area we commonly refer to as part of the horse’s “poll.”

It should be noted that lateral flexion is not the same thing as lateral bend—the latter involves the entire horse, from nose to tail, and allows the horse to be “straight” on curved lines (as confusing as that sounds) with his his hind feet following in the tracks of the fore.

In the new book RIDER+HORSE=1, authors Eckart Meyners, Hannes Muller, and Kerstin Niemann explain how the horse must be flexed as well as bent when you ride a curved line such as a circle or a turn. “To do this,” they write, “you turn the horse’s head just enough to be able to see–from your position on the horse’s back–the inside eye and nostril. The horse’s ears remain at the same level and the crest tilts into the direction in which the horse is being flexed. Flexion only pertains to the front of the horse, meaning head, poll, and neck.”

When your horse is flexed correctly it should be just enough to see his inside eye and nostril from your position on his back.

When your horse is flexed correctly it should be just enough to see his inside eye and nostril from your position on his back.

Step-by-Step Flexion of the Horse from RIDER+HORSE=1

The basic sequence of flexing the horse can be divided into four steps:

Request Flexion: You slightly shorten the inside rein. As long as flexion is only requested, your weight remains equal on both sides with your driving aids matching the gait and direction.

2  Allow Flexion: You must now allow with the outside rein the extent of flexion you just requested with the inside rein. This means you must lengthen the outside rein to the same extent that the inside rein is shortened.

3  Limit Flexion: The outside rein, however, also has the task of not allowing unlimited flexion–it dictates how far the horse should flex in his poll and neck.

4  Yield with the Inside Rein: According to the principle of diagonal aids, you now continue to guide the flexed horse on the outside rein and slightly yield with the inside rein (which had initially
asked for flexion). In this situation, your inside driving leg is of special significance while your outside leg “guards” and drives the horse forward.


For more ways you can achieve a fluid dialogue and harmonious performance with your horse, check out RIDER+HORSE=1, now available at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.





TSB’s 2014 Horse Books & DVDs: A Quick Glimpse Back Before We Ride Forward


The winter sun rises over the TSB warehouse in Vermont.

The winter sun rises over the TSB warehouse in Vermont.

As we wrap another year in the Trafalgar Square Books offices here in Vermont, it feels good to pause and look back at the results of our hard work, as well as ponder the things we learned about horses and horsemanship over the last 12 months.

We take great pride in our authors and in the horse books and DVDs we have published and released over the years—now over 600 titles. Here, at a glance, are the new books and DVDs we added in 2014:


Click the image above to get a quick review of the TSB 2014 books and DVDs.

Click the image above to get a quick review of the TSB 2014 books and DVDs.


3-Minute Horsemanship

by Vanessa Bee (January)

The Riding Horse Repair Manual

by Doug Payne (March)

Games for Kids on Horseback

by Gabriele Karcher (April)

Centered Riding 2 Paperback Edition

by Sally Swift (April)

Good Horse, Bad Habits

by Heather Smith Thomas (April)

Dressage Solutions

by Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg (May)

The Riding Doctor

by Dr. Beth Glosten (June)

Building a Life Together—You and Your Horse

by Magali Delgado and Frederic Pignon (June)

Collective Remarks

by Anne Gribbons (July)

Creative Dressage Schooling

by Julia Kohl (September)

When Two Spines Align:Dressage Dynamics 

by Beth Baumert (September)

Kids Riding with Confidence

by Andrea and Markus Eschbach (October)

Success through Cavaletti-Training DVD 

by Ingrid Klimke (November)

5-Minute Fixes to Improve Your Riding DVD

by Wendy Murdoch (November)

5-Minute Jumping Fixes DVD

by Wendy Murdoch (November)

Beyond Horse Massage Wall Charts

by Jim Masterson (November)

The Art of Liberty Training for Horses

by Jonathan Field (December)


by Eckart Meyners, Hannes Muller, and Kerstin Niemann (December)


Trafalgar Square Books (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com) is the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs. CLICK HERE to visit our online storefront or DOWNLOAD OUR NEWEST CATALOG.


Have a wonderful, safe, joy-filled New Year!

–The TSB Staff, North Pomfret, Vermont

An Easy Riding Mini-Workout to Do at Your Desk!

Click image to order.

Click image to order.

In RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN, kinetics-and-riding specialist Eckart Meyners, provides 180 anytime, anywhere exercises that have been systematically and successfully put into practice by riders at many levels of ability and experience.

The cool thing about incorporating Meyners’ “mini-workouts” in your fitness plan is that they not only train and sculpt your body, they help create new structures and connections in your brain! Ultimately, this cuts down on preparation time prior to a ride and speeds up all your coordinated motion patterns during training and competition.

Here is a mini-workout you can easily do while sitting at your desk—these exercises focus on the pelvis, which is an integral point of connection with the horse:



1  Hip Movements on a Chair

Step One  Sit on a chair and alternate lifting your left hip and your right. Pay attention to how high you are able to lift each hip and how difficult it is (or isn’t) for you. Repeat the movement 10 times with each hip.

Step Two  Sit as far forward on the edge of the chair as possible, and again repeat 10 times.

Step Three  Slide all the way back toward the backrest and lean your upper body forward. Support yourself with your forearms placed on your thighs. Lift each hip another 10 times.

Step Four  Shift all your weight to one forearm so your weight on that thigh “blocks” movement in the respective hip joint. Try to lift that hip 10 times.

Step Five  Shift your weight to the other thigh and repeat.

Step Six  Finally, repeat Step One of the exercise. You will notice that you are able to lift your hips significantly higher and that the movement feels much easier.


2  Reverse Hip Movements on a Chair

Step One  Turn your chair around and straddle it with the backrest in front of you. Place your forearms one on top of the other along the top of the back rest, and rest your forehead on them.

Step Two  As with the first exercise above, lift each hip 10 times.

Step Three  Now, lean your chest against the backrest and “hug” the backrest with your arms.

Step Four  Again, repeat the hip movements, which you will find rather difficult this time.

Step Five  Finally, return to the forward-facing position from the previous exercise, with your back against the backrest, and repeat the hip movements. How easy or difficult have they become? How high can you now lift your hips?


3  Hip Movements on a Clock Face

Step One  While sitting in your chair, imagine a clock face on the seat’s surface. Move your pelvis forward and back on the clock face, from six to twelve o’clock. Pay attention to how this movement feels to you.

Step Two  Now execute all the steps from the first two pelvic exercises above while continuing with the six-to-twelve-o’clock movement. Check the mobility of your pelvis after the exercise—you will find that it has increased and moving your hips is easier.


RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!


TSB Authors Featured at 2013 Equitana Equestrian Sports World Fair in Essen, Germany

The 2013 Equitana in Essen, Germany, features many TSB authors.

The 2013 Equitana in Essen, Germany, features many TSB authors.

The 2013 Equitana Equestrian Sports World Fair kicks off March 16th and runs through the 24th in Essen, Germany. This premiere equine event features some of the leading names in equestrian sport and entertainment in the world, including top trainers, riders, and performers.

Trafalgar Square Books is proud to have many authors participating in this year’s event. Featured clinicians and speakers include:

TSB authors Ingrid Klimke and Linda Tellington-Jones are both featured clinicians/speakers at Equitana.

TSB authors Ingrid Klimke and Linda Tellington-Jones are both featured clinicians/speakers at Equitana.

LINDA TELLINGTON-JONES author of the new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, as well as over a dozen other books and DVDs.

KLAUS BALKENHOL former coach of the US Dressage Team and the subject of the biography KLAUS BALKENHOL: THE MAN AND HIS TRAINING METHODS.






TSB author Frederic Pignon stars in this year's Hop Top performance at Equitana.

TSB author Frederic Pignon stars in this year’s Hop Top performance at Equitana.

Plus, bestselling author FREDERIC PIGNON (coauthor with his wife Magali Delgado of GALLOP TO FREEDOM) and the famous roman-riding LORENZO, subject of the biography LORENZO: THE FLYING FRENCHMAN, star in annual Equitana Hop Top Show Festivallo. Check it out:

A Look Back at the Best Horse Books and DVDs of 2011

Last year I drafted a similar retrospective of the year’s accomplishments in print, and I remember at that time feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of titles Trafalgar Square Books had managed to release in 2010. This year I’m similarly impressed (albeit admittedly biased, seeing as I’m heavily involved in the production of our list!), and perhaps even a little prouder, as I do honestly believe 2011 saw some of our best content, by our best authors, come to life in very exciting ways.

In case you missed them, here is a look back at TSB’s year in books and DVDs—there’s a little something here for everyone! All our books and DVDs are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!

February 2011

CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE FROM THE GROUND UP by Peggy Cummings with Bobbie Jo Liebermann

Peggy really does have a very different way of handling and working the horse from the ground that can have a significant impact on his way of going under saddle. The before-and-after case studies featured in the book are astounding proof of just how much good her work can do.

March 2011


I don’t know that I can find sufficient words to describe the value of this fantastic book. Denny’s brilliant, no-nonsense advice is what we all wish we had when we were just starting our competitive riding careers. For some, his book will jumpstart a faltering riding habit. For others, his writing will inspire true dedication to the sport they love. Whoever you are, whatever your state of equestrian latency or possibility, this book is the Magic Mirror sure to tell you whether you really are giving it all you’ve got. And, Denny’s truths are easily applied to more than just riding and horsemanship.

April 2011


A special new edition of Jane’s phenomenal CROSS-TRAIN YOUR HORSE and MORE CROSS-TRAINING, which are no longer in print. The only book you need on dressage basics and flatwork, whatever your equestrian discipline.

May 2011


Spiral-bound, fabulously illustrated, Dr. Tucker’s guide to 27 body checkups YOU can do to determine if your horse hurts, where he hurts, and whether you need to call the veterinarian, farrier, chiropractor, or saddle-fitting expert is one of the most useful books I’ve seen in my years at TSB. You can do your horse a lot of good with this book.

June 2011


A terrific kids’ starter book, offering a guide to cultivating a gentle awareness when handling and riding horses through world-renowned bahaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones’ TTouch and TTEAM methods. Absolutely fantasic photos in this book.

TEAM ROPING 101 by Kayla Starnes

Endorsed by the USTRC and featuring tips from champion ropers Speed Williams, Rickey Green, and horse trainer Clinton Anderson, this book has all you need to get started in this fast-growing, family friendly sport.

July 2011


People always say they can come back to horses, and when women hit 40, or around there, give or take, it seems they are finally finding the time to invest their money wisely…in a horse of their own. Melinda’s bestselling book provides all the returnee or first-timer needs to find her way to the barn at last, with lots of laughs along the way. Melinda’s book is a huge e-book seller (available in both Kindle and ePub formats via Amazon.com and ebooks.com).

September 2011

RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze

Susanne made a name for herself with her terrific bestselling book and DVD BALANCE IN MOVEMENT. Now she’s back in a big way, with this new book, the DVD by the same name, as well as BALANCE IN MOVEMENT 2 on DVD. Susanne presented at the USDF Symposium in San Diego at the end of 2011.


This book is about REAL rider fitness—this isn’t some generic workout packaged to look equestrian-specific. The exercises are deceptively easy, and hugely rewarding when it comes to improving your ability to ride well and communicate with your horse in an accurate and efficient manner he can understand.

October 2011

TEX by Dorie McCullough Lawson

A personal favorite, this completely adorable kids’ picture book brings the mystique of the cowboy and the hard-work-equals-good-work mentality to life for the under-five set. Authentic photos make it a crowd-pleaser, and the main character falling asleep at the end make it a parent-pleaser. You can’t go wrong with this one.

ANNE KURSINSKI’S RIDING & JUMPING CLINIC by Anne Kursinski with Miranda Lorraine

We’ve brought this great classic back in print, this time in paperback. Anne’s exercises on the flat and over fences, introductory and advanced, are beautifully spelled out. This book promises to be used well, and used often.

November 2011

MEDITATION FOR TWO by Dominique Barbier with Keron Psillas

A lovely book—gorgeous photos and deep thoughts for the thinking rider. Certain to appeal to the dressage rider, the classicist, or the city-dwelling horse lover with a nice coffee table and a little time for reading on quiet evenings…

RIDING FREE by Andrea and Markus Eschbach

As proponents for riding horses with minimal tack, Andrea and Markus do a marvelous job explaining how to prepare your horse with proper training so you can ride him safely without a bit, without a bridle, without a saddle, or even without all three! Inspiring reading with practical applications for those who dream of being with their horse in as natural a way as possible.

BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE by Jim Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold

Jim’s groundbreaking Masterson Method, now explained in this spiral-bound book and the DVD by the same name, has people talking. The pictures of the horses he’s worked say it all–they are obviously more comfortable after he has worked on them. Now, he tells you how YOU can give your horse the same level of comfort and release he can.

December 2011


This introduction to this exciting new horse sport is by the founder of the International Horse Agility Club. You may have seen the recent excerpt in EQUUS Magazine—we are all really looking forward to seeing Horse Agility take off as a super-fun alternative to riding competitions!


A terrifically useful resource with over 10,000 common words and phrases.

Here’s to a great year ahead, with dreams chased and dreams fulfilled, in horses and in life.

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

TSB Will Be at the 2011 NEDA Fall Symposium with Kyra Kyrklund–Will You?

This year's NEDA Fall Symposium features Kyra Kyrklund.

There’s still time to sign up for the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Symposium, featuring Kyra Kyrklund, Saturday and Sunday, November 5 and 6, 2011, at the UMass Hadley Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts. Note: Walk-ins are welcome, but online registration is easy to do at http://www.NEDA.org.

Each year NEDA does their best to bring top riders and trainers to New England, where area dressage enthusiasts can see them at work, up close, ask questions (in person!) and perhaps gain the knowledge and inspiration they need to take their own riding that one step further.

In the same way, Trafalgar Square Books strives to put equestrian teachings to paper, not only to help top trainers and riders travel greater distances on more occasions than would otherwise be possible, but also so those who cannot afford or do not have the time to ride with top trainers on a regular basis can still benefit from the methods and techniques that have brought consistent success. There is nothing like simply reaching for the well worn pages of Centered Riding when you need Sally Swift to remind your body of its position, or That Winning Feeling! when you need Jane Savoie to push you over that mental hurdle and into the show ring, all fears and doubts aside. In print, they are always with you, night or day, whenever you need them.

Hubertus Schmidt teaches a clinic participant at the 2009 NEDA Symposium.

Hubertus Schmidt at the 2009 NEDA Symposium, as clinic attendees look on.

The Trafalgar Square Books booth will again be featured at the NEDA Symposium, and TSB representatives will have Kyra Kyrklund’s bestselling book DRESSAGE WITH KYRA, as well as her popular TRAINING WITH KYRA DVD series on hand. You’ll find other great new titles available at the TSB booth, as well, including the new book and DVDs from Susanne von Dietze, and the new book from Eckart Meyners (which was recently featured in Practical Horseman–click HERE to see excerpted material).

Don’t miss your chance to see Kyra Kyrklund in person at the NEDA Fall Symposium, and while there, finish up some of your holiday shopping (or get it started!) with great training and riding education and entertainment from the leading publishers of equestrian books–Trafalgar Square Books.

You can find titles by some of dressage’s finest riders and biggest names online at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

Do You Warm Up Before You Ride? You Should! Find Out How in TSB Author Eckart Meyner’s New Book and Special Feature on EQUISEARCH

I hope you all had a chance to see the fantastic excerpt from Eckart Meyners’ new book RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN in the October issue of Practical Horseman (out now, so pick up a copy!) One of the important points Meyners makes in his book is that although riders (usually) take the time to conscientiously warm up their horse in preparation for a riding session, they rarely do so for themselves—and they are athletes, too! Riding horses puts serious physical demands on your body, and it only makes sense that you give your mind, muscles, tendons, and ligaments the opportunity to “get in the groove” before asking them to perform their best.

Read more about incorporating a rider warm-up in your riding schedule on Equisearch.com all this month.

And don’t forget to order your copy of RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!

New Rider Fitness Book by Eckart Meyners Featured in October Issue of PRACTICAL HORSEMAN

Eckart Meyners' new book RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN is featured in the October issue of PRACTICAL HORSEMAN.

RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN by internationally known kinetics-and-riding expert Eckart Meyners is due out in October! This is one “fitness” book you don’t need to be afraid of…while working on it, I was impressed with not only the variety of exercises, but also the general ease-of-use—no complicated instructions or long lists of mandatory equipment. You don’t need a gym membership or spandex to complete Meyners’ exercises—almost 200 of them!—just a desire to perform better in the saddle, communicate more clearly with your horse, and enjoy your riding time, all the time.

Check out the excerpt from RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN in the October issue of PRACTICAL HORSEMAN, which ships to subscribers and stores TODAY!

And pre-order your copy of RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.