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Linda Tellington-Jones in 1995 riding Gershwin, at the time one of British Olympian Carl Hester's mounts, bridleless.

Linda Tellington-Jones in 1995 riding Gershwin, at the time one of British Olympian Carl Hester’s mounts, bridleless.

There is a common analogy that compares a horse wearing a tight noseband or girth, or a poorly fitting saddle, to a person wearing a pair of shoes that are too small—perhaps trying to walk all day or dance all night in them.

“But this analogy has been around a long time,” says Linda Tellington-Jones in her thoughtful and provocative book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, “and has inspired little change that I can see.”

(Perhaps because many of us sacrifice comfort for fashion—at least when it comes to footwear!)

So with the particularly prevalent issue of too-tight nosebands and ill-fitting tack of any sort in mind (and this applies to all equestrian disciplines), take a moment to think about your own athletic body and how you ensure its ability to perform as you need it.

How you dress for a training session, riding lesson, or show?

Do you show up to ride your best in the brand new pair of riding boots you just purchased and have worn only once before?

Not likely, as you know the top edge of the stiff new boots might bite into the back of your legs behind your knees when your feet are in the stirrups. This will be annoying and potentially painful after warming up, proving a distraction during your test and maybe causing you to hold your legs tensely in a way that eases your discomfort, sacrificing your position and ability to aid.

Do you wear the breeches from three years ago that perhaps are too tight in the waist, digging into the flesh there, possibly leaving a mark on the skin when you unbutton them?

Again, the discomfort caused would certainly prove problematic, inhibiting your ability to focus and to aid your horse correctly.

Do you wear the too-small sports bra that makes it difficult for you to breathe? Do you wear the helmet that is too tight and causes a headache?

“I feel confident saying that given the above, all of you would choose clothing and equipment for yourself that is the most comfortable and least distracting during your time in the saddle,” says Linda.

 

Linda presenting at the 2011 Xenophon Society Seminar at Klaus Balkenhol's stable in Rosendahl, Germany.

Linda presenting at the 2011 Xenophon Society Seminar at Klaus Balkenhol’s stable in Rosendahl, Germany.

 

In fact, millions of dollars are spent each year by manufacturers to develop such apparel—boots and breeches and undergarments that promise comfort and freedom of movement as you ask your body to perform its athletic best, both in obvious and subtle manners.

It is then most egregious that we expect differently of our horses. We wrap them tightly, constrict their tender flesh, bind their middle…then warm them up and tighten it all some more, sometimes with the help of mechanical cranks.

After all this, we ask them to extend and collect smoothly, bound lightly over the ground, focus on our most subtle of aids, and perform difficult collected movements for extended periods of time.

This is the equivalent of dressing you in stiff new boots, breeches that are too tight, a too-small sports bra, and a helmet that doesn’t fit, and then asking you to sit the trot for 45 minutes (without sacrificing proper position) while reciting the alphabet backward. To add to the stress of the scenario, someone will poke you in the ribs with a piece of metal every time you start to slouch or lose track of which letter you last stated aloud.

Sounds a little like a refined form of torture, doesn’t it?

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CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

“I have said it many times, in many places before, and I will say it again here,” emphasizes Linda, “The trend that insists that horses must be trained and competed in tight nosebands and saddles ‘clamped’ in place with extremely tightened girths is unnecessary and cruel. [In DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL] I demonstrate that these practices go against the recommendation of veterinary science and your own common sense as an athlete. It is your responsibility as a rider to develop your horse from the ground, and develop your seat through proper training, in order to control your horse from the saddle. When properly done…there is absolutely no need for constrictive devices in an attempt to achieve submission.”

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL has been called “wonderful” and “a very, very good read” by reviewers. It is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

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

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Equitana15

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.

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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.

INGRID KLIMKE creator of the DVD series BASIC TRAINING FOR RIDING HORSES.

ANDREA & MARKUS ESCHBACH authors of the bestselling HOW TO SPEAK HORSE and RIDING FREE.

ECKART MEYNERS author of RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN and creator of the DVD MOVEMENT AWARENESS FOR RIDERS.

BRITTA SCHOFFMANN author of DRESSAGE SCHOOL and KLAUS BALKENHOL: THE MAN AND HIS TRAINING METHODS.

RICHARD HINRICHS creator of the DVDs, SCHOOLING HORSES IN-HAND and MOTIVATION OF DRESSAGE HORSES.

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:

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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.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Linda Tellington-Jones teaching at the Xenophon Symposium in 2011.

Linda Tellington-Jones teaching at the Xenophon Symposium in 2011.

Introducing a dressage book like no other.

TSB is thrilled to announce the release of DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, the unique and thought-provoking new book from internationally recognized trainer and animal behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones (books ship February 5, 2013).

Today, we are faced with numerous challenges as we try to train, ride, and compete our dressage horses. We are short on time, high on ambition, and urged and encouraged by those who have met with great success as riders, trainers, judges, and commentators, to numb ourselves to the needs of the horse, to close his stall doors, crank tight his noseband, to turn away from the stress in his eyes as we ride—whether for our own pleasure, or for points, ribbons, and trophies.

Linda Tellington-Jones holds a passionate belief that when humans choose to constrain horses, and force them, it is only out of some kind of necessity—perhaps they don’t have any other means of controlling their mount; they lack the knowledge, experience, and resources to choose other means of attaining a goal. Linda travels throughout the world each year, teaching horsemen and women—some of them top international dressage riders—the fundamentals of her renowned Tellington Method. She knows that most dressage riders and trainers mean well by their horses, and if given the right tools, they can be helped to find better ways to fulfill equestrian ambition while ensuring happy, healthy, willing partners.

“I knew this book could be very different from what is already available to dressage riders,” says Linda. “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.”

IV.7.

Linda working with Ingrid Klimke.

Ready to join the revolution? Here are three core lessons from DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL:

1  Set skepticism aside. As riders and trainers we are willing to try all manner of tack, techniques, and methods, often at any price, in an effort to move up a level, win a medal, or simply “dance” with our horse for a few magical minutes in the quiet light of a summer evening. The tools and techniques of the Tellington Method come without cost and with infinite promise. Why not open our mind and give it a try?

2  Cultivate tolerance and forgiveness. With practice, you can learn to tolerate your own learning curve and that of your horse, and to forgive your mistakes and look forward to the next—improved—attempt. Linda delves deeper here with her lesson in Ho ‘opononpono, an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness that she encourages us to aim inward toward our soul. Forgive yourself for thinking your horse is too flighty, too flat-gaited, too poorly balanced, and ultimately, you can change the outcome of your work together.

3  Dare to reexamine that which you already think you know. In DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, Linda asks us to look again at the most basic ways we interact with our horse: how we talk to him, how we groom him, how we care for his fundamental needs. Linda sheds new light on the horsecare practices to which we’ve all long adhered, and shows us how even the minutest of changes can make all the difference in the world to our horse.

Linda Tellington-Jones is the internationally recognized equine expert who developed the Tellington Method approach to training and communicating that can be learned and practiced by horsemen and women of all levels. She was honored as the 1994 Horsewoman of the Year by the North American Horsemen’s Association and presented with the ARICP Lifetime Achievement Award, given annually to a person who profoundly affects the equine world in a positive manner. Linda has worked with many top dressage riders from around the world over the course of her career, including Klaus Balkenhol and his daughter Anabel; Ingrid Klimke and her father, the late Dr. Reiner Klimke; Nicole Uphoff; Kyra Kyrklund; Robert Dover; and Charlotte Bredahl-Baker, to name just a few.

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL can be ordered now at the TSB online bookstore (books ship February 5, 2013).

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

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