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Linda Tellington-Jones with Dablino at the 2011 Xenophon Symposium.

Linda Tellington-Jones with Dablino at the 2011 Xenophon Symposium.

 

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

Miracles surround us, on a large and small scale. It is on a personal level that we ascertain whether an occurrence qualifies as miraculous. My life has been full of what I consider miracles—from the simple unexpected to the extraordinary. Many of these have had to do with the animals, in yards, pastures, and lakes, on mesas, steppes, and mountaintops, both those in the wild and at home, who have graced my life with their essence.

While the extraordinary is easy to recognize, it is the more commonplace miracles that you must be sure not to take for granted. On many occasions, the most seemingly insignificant of moments can either indicate a tidechange (one small step in a succession of small steps that eventually equal an evolution) or it is, in itself, so integral to progress that your horse learns and performs in an entirely different manner from that moment forward.

Riding a horse is a series of small miracles. It is a miracle that this powerful animal allows you to sit upon his back. It is a miracle he chooses to follow your direction (in most cases), to earn your friendship, your praise, and your loyalty in an intense form of reciprocity seen in few other human-animal relationships. But the miracles don’t end there—each time you ask for the most specific of movements, each time you focus on the most subtle of cues, each time you brush your leg against the horse’s side and receive a gentle, controlled response, you have experienced a small miracle for which you should be thankful. Remembering to give thanks and express your gratitude for these things should be something you work at daily. I remind myself of this each morning when I rise and each night before I journey into the dream world.

Although whether or not miracles are brought about by divine power may be a point of debate, it is not one that concerns me in this book. Instead, I prefer to acknowledge that events do happen in life that are surprising, inspiring, and in every estimation “good,” and in these instances I choose to recognize them as “miraculous.” With this attitude as part of your day-to-day existence, an unparalleled relationship with your horse can be the result.

 

DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

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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).

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