Friday, August 14, 2009


Oh dear I gone broke my 'puter. I'm typing on hubs laptop (english keyboard) and it's making my brain hurt. Normal service will resume when it's fixed.
Brief communication....had a lovely day with Di, Moo behaved'ish and we drank beer and wine (ha nothing new then) and she brought most of her garden with her (green beans, toms, beets, plums and of course chook eggs) ta Di.
Thanks for the disc Claire, it arrived today. Anyone needing to email use the patrick. instead of trudi.

That's it folks.....ah excpt, Cabruze mentioned the other day about downsizing her equestrian bookshelf. My question to all you bloggers......if you were only allowed to keep one equestrian book, which one would it be and why? I'll start by keeping Waldemar Seunig's Horsemanship; so much common sense and superb equitation that it stands the test of time.


Anonymous said...

Just finished a week of Pony Club Camp - brain dead! No, I wasn't before..... had a great time; kids ab fab and learned lots (not necessarily anything to do with equines!!). Can I have the weekend to think on the book thing, please?

Sheila (tired but happy in MK)

Di said...

Blimey, that's a hard question.
I don't think I know enough to know which book to keep! I know which book started me on this classical road - Paul Belasik, Riding Towards The Light.

Cabruze said...

Noooooo you can't keep a book I haven't got! You're tempting me to buy it! I think it would be impossible to limit myself to one book! These are the ones which I constantly refer to: The Athletic Development of the Dressage Horse by Charles De Kunffy; Total Horsemanship by Jean-Claude Racinet; Dressage for the 21st Century by Paul Belasik. But there are loads of others that I frequently dip into and would be loathe to part with!

HorseOfCourse said...

Sounds like you guys had a nice day!
Here it is pouring down outside.
Books. Hm.
You know, I believe I would take Mary Wanless' "Ride with your mind: Masterclasses". I keep returning to it, not the least when instructing others. I believe she has done a good job in analysing the interaction between the horse and rider, and also in describing it in such a way that it is easy to understand and remember...

Claire said...

i wouldn't sell any of them, unless, someone brought out a new edition (i must sell my first copy of elwyn hartley edwards saddlery, having bought the new edition last year....

trudi said...

Sheila, take your time....

Di, yes I love him too and of my 'modern' books his would be a keeper.

Jane...cheeky girl didn't follow the brief but you have reminded me that I still haven't read my C de K book, I didn't get on with Racinet's writing but I don't think that was the one that Claire lent me so perhaps I'll have to try that one (oh no I'm trying to downsize) and of course, as I said, I love PB.

HofC I have to admit to never reading MW, I did once try to watch a video of hers but I'm terrible and can't always stay awake :-( I should read her because I have heard the 'against' side ( ad infinitum...) and really that's not fair.

Claire, you win the medal for subject avoidance. It's not real, just pretend or tell me your favourite.

So, many thanks guys; I now have a xmas list, lol, and it tells me a little about my fellow bloggers, I will expand the theme but only when I get my own computer back, it's too hard going back to an English keyboard, he is working on it as I type.

HorseOfCourse said...

I believe it is with books like with instructors.
They might see the same problem, but have a different key to the solutions, and some ways work better for you as a person.
And what works is seldom the same for two individuals!
What I like to do is to collect as many tools as possible.
Sometimes they can be contradictionary, which might be frustrating. But the horse never lies, right? So to me, that's the ultimate proof. If the horse works fine, then it's right.

If we look at the riding world, I get sad sometimes because I feel that some people have to make their theories look good at the expense of others.
Being a rider is one of the most difficult sports there are, IMHO, because we are dealing with different animals. All the time! And of course, the riders are different too. And the situation changes from second to second.
C d K have said: "Riding is a quest, not a conquest" (love that). And as a consequence of that, I should think that we are better off keeping an open mind to get as much knowledge that we can, while on this quest.

Many of the riders that have written books have been natural talented riders. What I do like about MW is that she is describing very normal, basic problems that the ordinary rider meet. In a way much similar to Sally Swift, and her centered riding. I don't agree with everything in it, but the book has made me think and ponder about many things that has resulted in aha-experiences.
And I love those, lol!

Curious though, Trudi: what were the chritics saying about MW? And how is an English keyboard different?

Claire said...

i dunno, trudi. I don't think I can make a choice at this time....

possibly racinet, if i was pushed.

keyboards - don't talk to me about french keyboards.

for starters, to type a number, yo have to use the shift key (as if you were typing a capital letter). and some of the letters are in a different place. and even the full stop requires a shift, which is mad...

I take my hat off to Trudi working with it to the extent that she now doesn't like the english one!

Cabruze said...

HofC - you speak great words of wisdom!! (spoken with an American Indian accent LOL! but meant nevertheless!)

trudi said...

HofC a French keyboard has the letters placed differently and has all the French accents, it's not the best format for a keyboard but at least I can type 'proper' French on it.

Thanks Claire, Racinet will do just fine. I guess if we ever get stuck on an island together, each with her own tome, then we would be assured of some excellent reading.
HofC, well aside from my own experience of watching the video and not caring to read the book (both returned to the lender) I believe that it was terminology that upset people, I think the oft quoted 'bearing down' created a problem. I imagine that it is not something readily understood unless one has studied the RWYM technique. I can neither support nor critise but Claire and I have spoken before about semantics....always a problem when describing an activity such as equitation.
I have started my C de K book and instantly I see the attraction. When I read one of the Dalai Lama's books, it was littered with deep thoughts an anecdotes, as is de K's. Seunig, par contre, is dry and rather direct but so full of information. de K draws you in with his intellect whereas Seunig is giving you the why's and wherefore's of it. I like the science of Seunig, his honest straight forward advice but I also see the attraction of de K's wordsmanship.
Again I find myself agreeing with the wordsmanship of HofC, wise words indeed, if we fail to take notice of anyone that has an opinion then we are at serious risk of missing out. My problem (and I hinted at this in a previous post) is that if we equivocate for too long in deciding which part of which master's advice to take, then we could be in danger of loosing our own self judgement. I would like to think that we can hone our skills of self judgement to the point of being confident in them. If reading helps the developement of our own self judgement then it is to be applauded. If not, then perhaps we are stifling our ability (in other words scaring ourselves half to death that we are incapable) and we should, perhaps, throw away the books and just keep the one.
Thanks for joining in....may your confidence be with you.

HorseOfCourse said...

When it comes to riding and horses, I believe I am insatiably curious, and I love to have an exchange of thoughts.
Thanks for humouring me, Trudi ;-) and also for some very well formulated thoughts.
I particularly liked your last passage.

I believe many of us feel very vulnerable when it comes to our own riding. We want so much, and we get (at least I do) frustrated of our own lack of skills. And the more we learn, the higher we find that mountain that we have to climb.
C de Kunffy (wonderful to be both a master of riding and of words, don’t you think? Unfair, really) has said: “Riders die ignorant”
I believe we just have to accept that. And let down our shoulders, and enjoy our horses. We will never be perfect anyway!
Maybe our own ambitions have to be sacrificed in the process, but I don’t think that is a bad idea, ref our earlier discussions about abusive training methods used by people that have too much ambitions.

trudi said...

HofC, no need to humour you, I doubt we disagree on much really.
From my days of regular teaching I know how hard it is to get riders to form their own opinion. I may say 'tell me about what you feel the walk' and all I want is to begin an opening of the mind between the horse and rider. No rocket science, no great debate on the finer points of the walk but just the start of the rider recognising what goes on under her. Now when newbies answer me they could say 'it feels fast, slow, bumpy....' but for a rider who reads and has developed their art a little then they panic thinking I want some great quote from history as to what a walk should be, or they are unable to speak (paralysed from fear of cocking it up).
I do genuinely believe, like in parenting skills, we need to have a constant feedback system and this is what I hope can go alongside reading the books. Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

OK - Tuesday already and I think I've pondered enough over this issue. Seeing as I am not a very 'classical' rider/student I would like to keep Sally Swift on my bookshelf. I relate to her imagery and easy wording and her way seems to go hand-in-hand with Pilates training. 'Tho not Classical, my neds seem happy, responsive and are a joy to be with. Trudi you are so right when you say that students feel they need to give 'indepth, correct' answers to your questions. I certainly did! But over recent years I have learned just to relax and enjoy and give. Just a 'happy hacker' now, but what fun!!

Finally, Sheila

Anonymous said...

SORRY - not quite finally. Been looking thro the books mentioned in the blog and was wondering the book most suitable for 'beginner' classical person. I guess I'm really afraid of getting a book that will be so technical I wouldn't get past the first chapter. Suggestions please all you sage classical riders.

Need also to mention that my horses are only happy, easy to ride and very responsive to the aids as a result of very early training with Trudi (and Penny H.) . Miss you loads!

And that is it for now.


Di said...

I agree with a lot that has already been said and echo HofC's sentiments. The more I learn the more I realise what a task it really is! Sometimes I wish for a return to the time when I knew no better. Is that awful? I don't really mean it, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed. At heart, I think , like Sheila, I'm just a happy hacker.

Cabruze said...

Glad I returned to this wonderful debate! Also love your last post Trudi and in particular: "may your confidence be with you"!
And HofC "C de Kunffy (wonderful to be both a master of riding and of words, don’t you think? Unfair, really) has said: “Riders die ignorant”
I believe we just have to accept that. And let down our shoulders, and enjoy our horses. We will never be perfect anyway!"
Timely words for me! Thank you both! I'll be riding with your words in my head tonight!!

trudi said...

Oh what a shame that comments are 'hidden' on here...thanks everyone it's been interesting.

Di.....petit a petit mate, nowt wrong with a hqppy hacker, at least it makes you happy (I assume all hh's ride round with dirty great grins :-))

Sheila....thanks and we miss you too!
Well I think Paul Belasic's Dressage for the twenty first century is a really good start point, lovely 'pics and good writing...