Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Eitan Beth-Halachmy’

CDTransitions

In Jessica Black’s book COWBOY DRESSAGE, she explains Eitan Beth-Halachmy’s riding and training philosophy. One point they do an excellent job clarifying involves transitions: what they are, how to prepare for them, and how to make them good.

Anytime the horse changes his gait or frame, he performs a transition. Going from the walk to the jog is a transition, for example; changing the frame, as in working jog to free jog, is also a transition. The goal for any transition is to make a smooth change of gait or frame (without altering the rhythm). This means staying straight or remaining on a bend, and keeping the back supple and the head and neck relaxed with light contact.

The horse should be engaged: all transitions start in the hindquarters, thus keeping the front end light. Transitions are an opportunity for the rider to bring the horse back into frame. It is particularly important not to over-train with transitions; always stop after one or two good executions.

Teaching transitions starts on the ground as part of building the foundation through leading, lunging, long-lining, and ground driving. These will establish a pattern of obedience that carries over to work under saddle. Even at the earliest stages of training, procure that the horse stay relaxed and supple. Don’t set your horse up for failure by asking too much. This is true for work under saddle as well as on the ground. If the horse does not understand, encourage him to move forward before asking for transitions again. Sometimes it can even be a good idea to put the horse up, and continue the next day.

Teaching transitions is not something you suddenly decide to do one day; you teach them all the time. Keep in mind that every communication with your horse is a teaching moment. The Cowboy Dressage emphasis on lightness will help make each transition work toward a better partnership.

Soft Feel, with its four facets, is an ideal approach to transitions:

Preparation, that is, asking the horse clearly what you want him to do.

Execution, that is, the horse’s interpretation of your requests.

Release, that is, the reward for the horse’s compliance.

Relaxation, that is, the result of effective communication with the horse continuing calmly to the next movement.

IMG_1205

Let’s consider transitions between gaits. The most important point to remember about changing gaits is that the change starts in the back of the horse, which moves forward into the transition. This will mean shortening the frame slightly in order to bring the horse together before executing the transition. The horse should make the transition smoothly and calmly. In general, if the horse is on a straight line or a bend when you start the transition, he should be on (the same) straight line or bend when he finishes it.

Sometimes you will want to change the gait at the same time you change direction (straightness/bend). This can be useful for practicing transitions: changing to a bend can make it easier to pick up the lope, for example. Cowboy Dressage tests may ask for changes of gait or frame at the same time that you go from straight to bend, or vice versa.

One of the best things a rider can do to ensure good transitions is become familiar with the gaits, and pay close attention to the pattern of hoof beats. Familiarize yourself with the walk, jog, and lope, by looking at the many diagrams available that demonstrate each step. Videos can also provide clear demonstrations of how the horse moves at each gait. Once you are familiar with how each movement should look, spend time watching horses move. Observing your horses play is not only good for the soul, it is good for the rider’s brain. Watching horses move freely in the pasture can help you become familiar with gaits, and this familiarity will make teaching them under saddle easier.

When you ride, feel the movement of the horse as his hooves strike the ground. Practice identifying where each foot is at the walk, jog, and lope. At the free jog, it can be very useful to post, paying attention to your diagonal (the horse’s  front foot with which the rider rises when posting). As you rise, the opposite hind foot is coming forward. Learn to recognize the diagonal movement of the horse’s feet at the jog. All these details will inform your decisions about where and how to ask your horse to change gaits.

CowboyDressage-125

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

COWBOY DRESSAGE is 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 business based on a farm in rural Vermont.  

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

5.16

Eitan Beth-Halachmy on Santa Fe Renegade. Photo by Lesley Deutsch.

The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) defines engagement as “increased flexion of the lumbosacral joint and the joints of the hind leg during the weight-bearing (stance) phase of the movement, thus lowering the croup relative to the forehand (‘lightening the forehand’).”

Engagement is a prerequisite to impulsion (thrust): the “releasing of the energy stored by engagement. The energy is transmitted through a back that is free from negative tension and is manifested in the horse’s elastic, whole-body movement.” Engagement is carrying power, whereas impulsion is pushing power.

Many people who ride horses have no idea what the technical terms mean. Although Cowboy Dressage tries to avoid confusing language, engagement and impulsion are such important aspects of forward motion that they need to be understood and recognized, and so they are explained in the book COWBOY DRESSAGE by Jessica Black with Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy.

In simpler terms, engagement refers to the manner in which a balanced horse brings his hind legs under his belly to move forward off his hindquarters efficiently. Engagement is the basis for a horse’s impulsion–the energy with which a horse moves forward. The true lightness of Cowboy Dressage can only happen when the horse is engaged and moving with impulsion, with his weight over the hindquarters rather than on the forehand.

The hindquarters are the energy source of the horse. At the same time, he carries most of his weight on his forehand thanks to the head and neck. Engagement helps the horse achieve balance under these physiological conditions. To better bear the weight and enable balance, the horse must round his back and bring his hind legs well forward under him. This is called tracking or tracking up (USDF). Tracking is a necessary component of engagement, but it should not be confused with reach (how far the hind leg reaches forward).

Nor should engagement and impulsion be confused with speed. A horse that is rushing will often be strung out and hollow-backed, the opposite of being engaged. The front and hind end may appear disjointed or unconnected. Conversely, a horse that is engaged will move from behind in a balanced, energetic fashion at any gait and any speed.

Although the Cowboy Dressage horse may not have the length of stride or suspension that a traditional dressage horse has, he should show engagement and impulsion. All four feet should be working together in a rhythmic fashion.

To achieve impulsion and engagement, encourage your horse to round his back, stretch and lower his neck, and move forward actively. The energy has to flow naturally through your hands at a free gait. Much of the time spent on the horse’s foundation should be dedicated to encouraging forward motion. Good horsepersons make engagement and forward motion a prerequisite to every maneuver.

6.5B

Encourage your horse to stretch and lower his neck as seen in this free jog.

Again, remember that energetic forward motion requires strength and endurance: the horse must be conditioned slowly until he has the ability to meet the physical and mental demands of Cowboy Dressage or any other equestrian discipline. Much of the cadence and beauty of the finished gaits comes from long hours simply moving forward at the walk, jog, and lope.

Find out more about developing beautiful gaits in your horse in COWBOY DRESSAGE, available now 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.

Read Full Post »

When your horse performs the turn-on-the-haunches, the outside front leg must cross in front of the inside one, as seen here.

When your horse performs the turn-on-the-haunches, the outside front leg must cross in front of the inside one, as seen here.

In the book COWBOY DRESSAGE, readers not only discover the story of how and why this new discipline has secured such an avid and expanding fanbase, they also learn the movements recommended by Cowboy Dressage founder Eitan Beth-Halachmy as beneficial to the development of horse-and-rider partnership. Here are his tips for adding the turn-on-the-haunches to your horse’s skillset.

 

In the turn-on-the-haunches, the horse pivots around his inside hind leg. The horse must be slightly bent in the direction of movement. The exercise serves to build the rider’s control of the horse’s shoulders. The hands communicate with the shoulders and forelegs while the seat maintains the balance of the horse over his hindquarters without losing forward momentum.

 

It helps to teach the horse the maneuver from the ground first, then teach him to associate your aids from the saddle with a familiar learned behavior.

 

To perform a turn-on-the-haunches:

 

1  Bend the horse slightly in the direction of movement. The inside rein creates the bend while the outside rein maintains the bend and communicates with the outside front leg through the shoulder to build momentum. As an example, when turning to the right, the inside rein is your right rein.

 

2  Ask the horse to move his front legs and outside hind leg around his inside hind leg that serves as a pivot. If performing a turn-on-the-haunches to the right, open the right leg and apply the left leg at or slightly in front of the girth. The horse should remain in the same location by bal­ancing his weight between the two hind legs.

 

3  Ride the horse into the turn; do not pull the front of the horse. It is important for the horse’s body to remain supple and that he never loses the forward motion.

 

4  Teach the turn-on-the-haunches one step at a time. Start with one step and move forward out of the turn; work up to two steps, and so on.

 

Reward response to your aids by immedi­ately releasing the pressure as soon as the horse moves into the turn.

Turn-on-the-haunches to the left (top) and to the right (bottom).

Turn-on-the-haunches to the left (top) and to the right (bottom).

 

To sum up: In a turn-on-the-haunches to the right, the horse will be slightly bent to the right, and his weight will shift back as he moves his forehand to the right, in a clockwise direction, around the right hind foot. The outside front leg crosses over the inside one.

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

There are more great exercises, tips, and training ideas in COWBOY DRESSAGE, available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to download a free chapter or order now.

 

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

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

HNY15FB

 

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.

GalloptoFreedomPB-300

 

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.

WorldClassGroomingF300

 

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.

CompassionateEquestrian-F30

 

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.

DressageHorseOptimized-REV-

 

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.

DressageQ&A-300

 

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.

OUT-Cover-FINAL

 

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.

CowboyDressage-300

 

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.

FergustheHorse-F2300

 

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.

MessagefromtheHorseFINAL-30

 

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.

BIM-PB-Edition-300

 

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.

RT3-Final-Front-300

 

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.

Basic-Training-300

 

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.

Read Full Post »

BlogImageFBCD

“Cowboy Dressage is really starting to take hold,” says Reining Hall of Fame Inductee Jack Brainard, and this, according to Brainard and renowned author and father of imprint training Dr. Robert Miller, is a good thing—for people and horses. Care for the horse’s welfare is part of what’s making Cowboy Dressage a success: “[People] are here for skill and compassionate horsemanship,” emphasizes Dr. Miller.

Jack Brainard and Dr. Robert Miller are just two of the respected horsemen featured in COWBOY DRESSAGE: RIDING, TRAINING, AND COMPETING WITH KINDNESS AS THE GOAL AND GUIDING PRINCIPLE, the new book by Jessica Black and Cowboy Dressage founders Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy. We caught up with Black and asked her a little about her history with the Beth-Halachmys and Morgan Horses, as well as her new book and current studies at the University of Oklahoma.

 

TSB:  Your new book COWBOY DRESSAGE was written in conjunction with Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy, the founders of this new riding discipline and equestrian community. You were a teenager when you first met Debbie. Your mother was breeding and raising Morgan horses, as Debbie still does today, and the result of their friendship was Holiday Compadre—the famous Western Pleasure Champion Morgan. What do you remember of the Morgan show scene in those days? How do you think it differs from today?

JB: I was a lot more involved then than I am now: I started showing in Morgan shows when I was 10 and did so until I was 20 or so. I never had my horse with a trainer (though I did take lessons), so I was always at a disadvantage against those who did; this hasn’t changed much, I imagine. What has changed are the classes offered. Back then, we had 13-and-under and 14-17 for junior exhibitors.  There was only English Pleasure, Hunt Seat, Western, and Park—no Classic Pleasure, for example, and definitely no Cowboy or Western Dressage! On the other hand, there was “Most Classic Morgan” and Road Hack and Roadster under Saddle. And there were a lot more horses: Roadster to Bike used to be a scary class, it was so full and fast. In junior exhibitor classes, the ribbons always ran out and there was a reserve. The last time I was at the Morgan Medallion Classic, maybe four years ago, entries almost always ran out before ribbons.

 

TSB author Jessica Black on her first Morgan, Capella Command, at the Morgan Medallion Classic in 1982 or '83.

TSB author Jessica Black on her first Morgan, Capella Command, at the Morgan Medallion Classic in 1982 or ’83.

 

TSB: COWBOY DRESSAGE specifically states that the discipline is intended to be available to all horses and all riders, regardless of breed, gait, or geographic location. Why do you think this particular pursuit can cross the usual boundaries that divide much of the equestrian world?

JB: I believe there are two primary reasons.

First, the guidelines allow for any breed: riders, judges, and clinicians are taught to assess each horse according to its conformation and ability. As such, a Morgan-type is expected to move in one way (higher head carriage, for example), whereas a Quarter-Horse-type is expected to move in another (more downhill conformation, different movement). There is no single image of the “perfect” Cowboy Dressage horse, and the competition is really against oneself: the point is to take the horse you have and improve your relationship

Second, Cowboy Dressage has developed outside of the standard breed paradigms. Because it’s not USEF, shows tend to be held separately from breed shows. This encourages anyone to participate. There are also tests specifically for gaited horses, and even minis can be shown in the Partnership on the Ground classes.

 

TSB:  There’s a lot of back-and-forth over the difference between Cowboy Dressage and Western Dressage, which is legitimate, which is better. How do you feel they are similar or differ? Can they coexist?

JB: They do coexist! I think this is a good thing. Western Dressage suits some people (it’s USEF and people can compete at breed shows; there are a lot of competition levels) and some types of horses (tending more toward traditional dressage, with bigger movements), whereas Cowboy Dressage suits others (it offers its own shows, in more relaxed venues, with an emphasis on learning and community rather than performance) and other types of horses (more Western-y, smaller movements). Some people and horses do both successfully.

They are also both “legitimate,” whatever that means. They both started with the inspired team that was Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Holiday Compadre, and although they have taken different paths, both are valid. I wasn’t “paying attention” when CD and WD separated, and I certainly don’t know the whole story, but I think there was a lot of disappointment initially, that they couldn’t stay together. That’s understandable, but in retrospect, I believe it was the best thing for everyone. Instead of one new outlet for people and horses, we have two! The horse world as a whole benefits from having two options, because a lot of people who would never go to a big breed show are enjoying CD, while at the same time a lot of people whose horse-time is taken up with breed shows would never go to a CD event.

 

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

JB: My mother used to longe me on her Anglo-Arab mare named October. On a blue bareback pad. This was before I got my first pony, so when I was around three years old. I remember doing balance exercises, like holding my arms out to the side. Once the mare shied and I had to grab her mane (I remember that bit better than anything else!)

 

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

JB: My first pony, a Shetland called Angel, bucked me off (or “toppled” me off) when I was around four or five. To add insult to injury, she kicked at me, and WORSE, I was wearing a brand new Cowboy hat, and it got dirty. I picked up my hat and marched out of the arena, swearing that I would never, ever ride again.

 

Black on her first show pony, Jaggers, at age seven.

Black on her first show pony, Jaggers, at age seven.

 

TSB: You’ve had some impressive horsey adventures, including riding Lusitanos and galloping Thoroughbreds and Arabians in Spain, as well as galloping Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in Mexico and Panama. Can you share one story from your riding adventures abroad?

JB: That’s difficult, because there are so many! I’ll go for one that’s sort of funny. During the years I spent at the racetrack in Madrid, I was part of a group that owned a four-year-old mare called Baigorri. She raced in my colors, but there were nine other owners, mainly friends. We had a lot of fun. Anyway, Baigorri was a nasty mare who would rather kick you than receive a pet; she wouldn’t try to buck you off, but she would try to exit the track via any gate, at top speed. One day I was riding her in the training track that winds 1,700 meters through trees and brush at Hipodromo de la Zarzuela, in Madrid. At this time, the track had been closed, and was sadly neglected; since there were fewer people around, the jabali, or wild boars, had decided to invade the tracks. That particular morning, I was trotting Baigorri alone, and we came round a curve on the first loop to find three huge boars in the track. She spooked, but when I insisted, kept trotting. The boars moved into the trees, but once we had passed, they came onto the track behind us and started trotting in our direction. Baigorri thought they were chasing us (and they might have been—who knows what goes on in a pig’s mind). She started pulling hard and trotting as fast as I would let her. The boars went off into the bushes after a few hundred feet, but Baigorri remained a nervous wreck. After about half a mile, I pulled her down to a walk, and she was immediately stiff. Within a few feet, I could tell she had tied up. I hopped off, led her slowly back to the stable, and called the vet.

Since then I have added “fright” (and wild boars) to the list of things that can cause tying up!

 

Black's first racing win was on Gran Sol, a four-year-old gelding trained by Paco Galdeano, in an 1800m race at the racetrack in Madrid, Spain (1996).

Black’s first racing win was on Gran Sol, a four-year-old gelding trained by Paco Galdeano, in an 1800m race at the racetrack in Madrid, Spain (1996).

 

TSB: You are currently pursuing your doctorate at the University of Oklahoma, with a focus on the intersection of narrative and morality. Can you tell us a little about your research and what you hope to do with it in the future?

JB: In the future, I hope to flesh out a theory of narrative moral agency that explains the way the life stories we create affect our moral decisions. At present, my research is focused on how media (books and film) affects and is affected by social and moral cognition. For example, in a recent paper that received a lot of news coverage (click here) we reported two studies in which watching award-winning TV dramas increased participants’ theory of mind (the ability to interpret others’ emotions and intentions), compared with watching documentaries. I also study imaginative resistance, or the reluctance to buy into fictional worlds in which immoral actions are presented as the right thing to do.

 

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?

JB: Only one book?  Hmm. Perhaps William Gaddis’s The Recognitions. Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll say something different. (Maybe I should choose James Joyce’s Ulysses; possibly I would be able to get past page 100 if I were on a desert island for several weeks with nothing else to do.)

The horse would be an Arabian, but that’s probably because my current horse is an Arabian mare. (Or maybe it’s memory of The Black Stallion!)

 

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

JB: The Return of the King, because it never ends…

 

Black riding with her two sons on a recent trip to Spain.

Black riding with her two sons on a recent trip to Spain.

 

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

JB: Wit.

 

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

JB: Courage.

 

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

JB: Ride in the Tevis Cup.

 

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

JB: Alfalfa, black oats, handful of rolled barley, dash of olive oil. Or did you mean human meal? In that case, wine and cheese and good music.

 

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

JB: I never have a good answer to this question, because I have found that my best conversations have often been with unexpected (even if sometimes famous) people. When it comes to people famous in academia, if I want to, I can have a conversation with them, so I guess they don’t really count. And a lot of the dead famous people I find intriguing were also male chauvinists, so that puts them out.

Wait! I know. I’d like to interview Mary Bacon from beyond the grave, because I’d love to write a book about her.

 

TSB: What is your motto?

JB: Hmm. Carpe diem. Or, “I was born under a wandrin’ star.” Or maybe, when I’m really fantasizing, “at the still point of the turning world” from T.S. Eliot’s “Burnt Norton.”

 

COWBOY DRESSAGE by Jessica Black with Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE. Order by midnight, Wednesday, December 16th and you’ll still get free shipping in time for Christmas!

CowboyDrGift

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER!

 

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.

Read Full Post »

Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy share the Cowboy Dressage Handshake. Photo by Lesley Deutsch.

Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy share the Cowboy Dressage Handshake. Photo by Lesley Deutsch.

The equestrian pursuit known as Cowboy Dressage was born of a desire to meld the best of Western riding traditions and classical dressage in the pursuit of a harmonious relationship with a horse. Intended to be accessible to all, Cowboy Dressage is open to all breeds and all levels of riders; there isn’t a set frame for overall look, head carriage, or action. The singular goal is to consider the horse’s potential at all times as one strives to achieve a subtle and relaxed flow of information between horse and rider.

While there isn’t an official “association” or fees, there is an informal membership agreement known as the “Cowboy Dressage Handshake.”

“Part of the appeal of Cowboy Dressage,” explains TSB author Jessica Black in the new book she wrote with Cowboy Dressage founders Eitan and Debbie Beth-Halachmy, “is that it allows people to extend the feeling of partnership that they are fostering with their horses to others who are pursuing similar riding goals: kindness, the Soft Feel of complete communication, and a relaxed atmosphere in which to learn. The Handshake is emblematic of the Cowboy Dressage community and partnership.”

 

THE COWBOY DRESSAGE HANDSHAKE

With our handshake and our word, we promise to:
• Continue to educate and teach as much as possible in all formats.
• Keep Cowboy Dressage simple and uncomplicated.
• Provide tests, rules, and information to everyone who wishes to show.
• Support and educate individuals outside the show ring who want to learn and improve as horsemen and horsewomen.
• Strive to maintain Cowboy Dressage as a grassroots, community-focused movement.
• Ensure Cowboy Dressage is accessible to everyone regardless of his or her income or status within the horse world.
• Make this a place where all people can hang their hat and be proud, whether they show, trail ride, barrel race, cut, rein, or just love horses.
• Most of all, we promise to look for the “try” in you, the Cowboy Dressage world members.

 

With your handshake and your word, you pledge to “try” to:
• Become the person others can trust with a handshake and your word.
• Exemplify the Cowboy Dressage way of life and find the courage to chase your dreams.
• Not allow defeat when faced with setbacks in your life and your horsemanship.
• Treat all horses and people with integrity and kindness.
• Look for “the try” in your horses and always reward them.
• Look for “the try” in people as you travel down your horsemanship path.

 

With your handshake and word, you become a member of the Cowboy Dressage World.

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

The superbly written and beautifully illustrated new book COWBOY DRESSAGE gives readers everything they need to find a “soft feel” with their horses and then share what they’ve developed with a community of like-minded horsepeople. As the founders of the movement say, Cowboy Dressage is more about a way of life than a rulebook. And with that as its premise, we can see how it can show the way to true partnership with a horse.

 

COWBOY DRESSAGE is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to order or to download a free sample chapter.

 

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

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: