Ten years ago, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann rocked the equestrian world with his international bestseller Tug of War, a searing indictment of modern training and riding techniques that are sometimes used to the detriment of the horse. Now Dr. Heuschmann returns with this follow-up book: a critical examination of two concepts—flexion and bend—that are necessary to understand in absolute terms when the goal is to achieve collection on horseback.
Citing the many masters of classical dressage who wrote essays and even entire books about flexion at the horse’s poll and longitudinal bend of the horse’s body, Dr. Heuschmann strives to conflate the often complex classic literature with the results of his own studies as an expert in equine anatomy and biomechanics. He meticulously describes various movements used, their desired effects, and the truth behind the rider’s role in each. In addition, he unveils his recommendations for dealing with the horse’s “natural crookedness” and “false bend,” providing basic guidelines for schooling that ensure correct gymnasticization with the end-goal of a more athletic, collected horse in mind, and happier, healthier horses in the long run.
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