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Tug of War: Classical versus "Modern" Dressage



German rider and veterinary surgeon Dr Gerd Heuschmann is known for his plain speaking regarding what he deems the incorrect and damaging training methods commonly employed by riders and trainers involved in dressage competition today. Here he presents an intelligent and thought-provoking exploration of both classical and 'modern' training methods against a practical backdrop of the horse's basic anatomy and physiology.He then outlines his ideal 'physiological education' of the horse: one where training and riding mirror the mental and physical development of the horse fulfilling 'classical' requirements - such as regularity of the three basic gaits

suppleness and acceptance of the bit - rather than disregarding time-tested values for quick fixes that could lead to the degradation of the horse's well-being. Dr Heuschmann's assertion that the true objectives of dressage schooling must never be eclipsed by simple 'mechanical perfection' is certain to inspire riders at all levels to examine their riding their riding goals and the techniques they employ while pursuing them.

Publisher: J A Allen

Format: Hardcover

Number of Pages: 144

ISBN: 9780851319506

Author: Gerd Heuschmann

Author Notes: DR GERD HEUSCHMANN trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopaedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German FN, which he eventually left to start his own practice in Warendorf. Along with Klaus Balkenhol and other prominent figures in the dressage community, Dr Heuschmann is a founding member of 'Xenophon', an organization dedicated to 'fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sport' (

For the Horse

For the Rider