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The Complete Training of Horse and Rider
For over a quarter of a century, Colonel Alois Podhajsky was the Director of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, home of the famous white Lipizzaner stallions whose remarkable performances have thrilled audiences throughout the world. Now, for the first time, Col. Podhajsky has set forth explicitly and in practical, instructive fashion the step-by-step methods of training both horse and rider that are used at the School and that are the applicable foundations of all good horsemanship, for their purpose is to develop the natural abilities of the horse and to make riding a graceful, pleasurable experience.
From the very beginning – indeed, from the moment that the young horse is led from the stable – we follow stages of training on the longe and mounted. The walk, trot, canter, the halt and half-halt, lateral work, and, at the more advanced levels, the piaffe, passage, pirouette, and other figures are clearly described and the methods for obtaining best results given in simple, exact terms. Contact with the bit, collection, bending, position of the head, straightening, prevention of bad habits – all are discussed with relation to development and improvement of every phase of accomplishment.
Similarly, the training of the rider is meticulously programmed, with full attention to the use of the aids at every stage and in all the exercises. Equipment, too, is analyzed in detail. And finally, there is a unique revelation of just how the spectacular “airs above the ground” are achieved and correctly performed.
The result is a definitive book on classical horsemanship, and a record and manual of the fundamental principals, the techniques, and the practice of the art of riding.
Author: Colonel Alois Podhajsky