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The Elements of Dressage: A Guide to Training the Young Horse Hardcover – December 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1st edition (December 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585747351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585747351
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I recommend this volume for all equestrians. Whether you ride dressage, event, or show jump, this volume can be used as a training tool." --Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar


"This in-depth and intelligent volume is a great guide to the basic training of all horses, not just dressage horses. The author's ideas were accessible and easy to follow. I recommend this volume for all equestrians."--Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar

From the Back Cover

Drawing on centuries of European practice, The Elements of Dressage will help any reader perfect the union between horse and rider. Dressage has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks, but reached its heights in Europe, and particularly in Germany. The German approach is now the preferred method in most countries, and the author has been teaching it for more than fifty years.There are ten principal elements in the German method, and they include: relaxation, regularity, freedom, contact, straightness, and Durchlassigkeit.Both beginning and advanced trainers and riders will learn why the ten elements exist, how to develop them in a horse, and even when not to use them. Starting with the basics, and moving on towards the most subtle aspects, The Elements of Dressage is the complete guide to the art of training and riding a horse. (7 x 9 3/4, 128 pages, diagrams)Kurd Albrecht von Ziegner has operated an internationally renowned riding school in Mechtersen, Germany, south of Hamburg, since 1971. Trained as an officer in the cavalry school in Hannover, he became a leading NATO officer in the 1950s and took over, among other things, the construction of the Turkish cavalry school in Ankara. He is also one of the most prominent and successful dressage trainers in the United States, where he developed a new judging system, the Prix St. James. Winner of the German Rider Cross in Gold, the author shares insights from more than fifty years of training. He is also the author of many articles and books, including The Basics: A Guideline for Successful Training.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
The author's instructions are written clearly and are plentifully illustrated with diagrams and photos.
Lil Peck
This book mainly aims to discuss the development of the young horse, providing a correct foundation for all further work, including eventing and show jumping.
Eventer
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to ride dressage or to school a horse calmly and logically.
DressageDreamer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Adkisson VINE VOICE on February 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Col. v. Ziegner is so personally modest that few may appreciate the role he played in developing the classic German Scales of Training following WWII. The Elements of Dressage shows an uncommon perspective and wisdom that can only spring from a lifetime of advocating for the horse. After riding 1000 horses, v. Ziegner has given us a clear plan of training for the young horse that updates traditional principles and makes them more accessible. The scales of training are expanded and slightly reordered to help riders achieve a more reliable result and to preserve the charm and health of the horse. Each element or characteristic that needs to be developed has its own section, with useful "how-to" exercises and diagrams. This book will help you, whether you are starting a young horse or perfecting an FEI horse, whether you are a dressage "newbie", a jumper rider, or an experienced trainer.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kim Paulin on March 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is without a doubt the best dressagebook I have ever read. It is very well written pedagic and the total design of the book is fantastic. This book is not as pricy as a lot of others containing lots of beautiful photo, but it will give you so much more. Everything comes clear, my trainer was a bit surprised to see my ridning change so drastic after reading this book. I have a lot of dressage books but none makes sense as this one.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Eventer on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was an excellent book. I bought it to help provide some guidance while training my young horse, and it not only gave me a nice guideline of what-to-train-when, but also made dressage much more understandable.

This book focuses on the German dressage training scale. The author explains the steps in training the horse, dividing it into stages (i.e. stage one you focus on A, B, and C elements, stage two you begin developing D and E). He gives some guidelines as to what your horse should be able to do before you push him for more. He then devotes a chapter to each element needed in dressage, in the order it should be developed in the horse (relaxation, regularity, freedom, contact, on the aids...). He finishes with a few miscellaneous chapters on the flying change, transitions, the inclined arena (great for eventers), Prix St. James test, and lateral movements.

This book mainly aims to discuss the development of the young horse, providing a correct foundation for all further work, including eventing and show jumping. It provides more detail about the early years of training, rather than say, development of the piaffe, passage, extensions, etc.

I would recommend this to all dressage riders (especially those just starting out or at the lower levels), to those people interested in putting a good foundation on a young horse (this applies to ALL disciplines!), or to those that just want a better understanding of how to ride a horse correctly. This book has great clarity, is an easy read, I even recommended it to my youngest sister (she's 12).

Don't get me wrong, this is not a book for novices just learning to post. You do need a basic understanding of riding. He's not going to explain how to ask your horse to shoulder-in or get on the bit.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By DressageDreamer on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although this book is entitled "The Elements of Dressage" Col. von Ziegner really presents the elements of basic training of any horse! His version of the training scale is much easier to understand and follow than the German approved version (even though he helped develop the German version, he told me that many years of training has made him develop this newer scale). As a result of reading this book I went and rode with him in Germany ... an amazing experience seeing what I had read in his book being put into practice. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to ride dressage or to school a horse calmly and logically. In comparison to other dressage books I found this one a bit easier to understand and to apply to my riding.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lil Peck on May 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am very enthusiastic about "The Elements of Dressage: A Guide to Training the Young Horse" and will be recommending it to my friends and students.

The author's instructions are written clearly and are plentifully illustrated with diagrams and photos.

As well as dressage riders, Western Pleasure and Western Horsemanship riders will find this book to be amazingly applicable to their favorite events. All riders will find that this book is both a wholistic and a specific guide to good horsemanship.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Patricia M. Ross on March 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that should be in every Dressage enthusiast's library! A clearly written, valuable book for any rider, especially at the lower levels of dressage, with a horse of any age.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. McCulley on February 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Very helpful, great ideas on horsemanship and training. A must read for anyone serious about correct, empathetic horsemanship.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie A. Mcwatt on November 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that should be mandatory reading for all aspiring Dressage riders, as well as those who train and start youngsters! This book provides detailed descriptions as well as a thoughtfully laid out format. Kurd follows the German training tree - with one exception that makes sense and gets results quicker! Read the book to find out what it is!
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