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Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul: A 21st-Century Approach to the Science and Spirituality of Riding and Horse-And-Rider Well-Being Paperback – March 1, 2013
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“While Tellington-Jones’ book is explicitly oriented toward dressage, her insight into communication and understanding how the horse responds is essential to any equestrian discipline.”—Mid-South Horse Review
From the Inside Flap
Linda Tellington-Jones has worked with top dressage competitors and horses form all over the world during the course of her amazing career, which now spans more than 40 years. Through the Tellington Method, Linda has provided tools riders and trainers can use to better a horse’s attention span and ability to learn; surmount behavioral and training challenges; improve flexibility, balance, and way-of-going; and recover from injury or illness.
In the pages of this unique book, Linda combines her understanding of horses, her world-famous TTouch bodywork, her proven groundwork techniques, and her innovative methods under saddle with exciting ideas specifically for the dressage rider and trainer. Her intriguing ways of looking at the Classical Training Scale, her tips for harnessing the power of intent, and the guiding principles in her Circle of Well-Being provide desperately needed keys to keeping dressage horses happy, healthy, and performing their best.
To demonstrate how the Tellington Method can be practically applied to the dressage horse, Linda shares more than 20 problem-solving stories, featuring the world-class riders, trainers, and horses with whom she has worked. In addition, she includes techniques to help riders improve their ability to focus, cultivate habits of observation and patience, and practice the arts of understanding and thankfulness with both their horse and other human beings.
Linda’s methods hold the promise of a new generation of dressage horses who love their work, thrive in it, and demonstrate soundness of mind and body. She dares to innovate while adhering to what time has tested and proven successful. Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul bears a message of true horsemanship certain to resonate, whatever level you ride and whatever language you speak, wherever you are in the equestrian world.
3 WAYS DRESSAGE CAN BE BETTER FOR HORSE AND RIDER
GROUND EXERCISES • TTOUCH • RIDDEN WORK
“Foremost in Linda’s technique is the idea of trust—inspiring trust in the horse, nurturing that trust, and helping it evolve into a base so strong that your riding partnership can withstand all manner of challenges from without and within.”—From the Foreword by Ingrid Klimke, trainer, author, and Gold-Medal-winning Olympian
Top customer reviews
In the 1960s I was a student at Linda and Wentworth Tellington's Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm and School of Horsemanship. That fertile era is documented in my book life "Strike A Long Trot: Legendary Horsewoman Linda Tellington-Jones" that chronicles her incredible early life and explains her journey of teaching, training and promoting the Hungarian horses, competing in the Tevis Cup 100-Mile Ride and at Three Day Events at Pebble Beach. At her school, I had the opportunity to observe Linda while she worked with horses in ways that didn't have verbal descriptions at the time. Strike A Long Trot explains the origins of the Tellington Method (showing how she used a simple tree branch as her first "wand") that furnishes a dramatic contrast to the distance that Linda's work has come today as told in "Dressage with Mind Body & Soul."
Linda has always been compelled to push her ideas to new levels, all the while firmly planted in a foundation of sound and safe horsemanship. She fearlessly continued to test the boundaries of what was possible while relating to horses. She nurtured her TTouch work forward and it was ultimately validated through scientific studies. TTouch can now be described in easy to understand language, which has made significant strides since its early inception.
I was taken by the simplistic description of her work, "The premise of the Tellington Method is to help horses discover ways to work with their rider and handler, and to improve their attitude and work ethic because lessons are interesting and pain-free." If I were to train a horse, this is the approach I would want to take.
To arrive at this place, Linda has relied on years of experience, she has expanded her own knowledge by consuming numerous other books on various subjects, she actively pursues conversations with brilliant people willing to think outside the normal boundaries set by others and she has compressed her progressive style of working with horses into a distilled essence laid out in this book.
The use of color in this book makes me feel good when I hold it and the extensive material is very well organized, all of which is beautifully presented. I consider "Dressage with Mind Body & Soul" a crowning achievement in Linda Tellington-Jones' brilliant career. Bravo!
As an adult, I still read a lot of horse books, though mostly non-fiction, and I just finished Linda Tellington-Jones' most recent release 'Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul: A 21st-Century Approach to the Science and Spirituality of Riding and Horse-and-Rider Well-Being.' Wow, that's a long and complex title!
And, frankly, it's a long and complex book!
Even for me, admittedly the ultimate horse-dork, it reads a little textbook-y, especially at first. Since I am only superficially familiar with Tellington-Jones' renowned body work (for horses, dogs, other animals and humans!) and training methods, I had to do quite a bit of paging back and forth between the text itself and the glossary. Having said that, I am so glad I stuck with it... truly, the book is filled with vital, valuable information about riding, training, the sport of dressage, learning in general, and just being a best friend to the horses in our lives.
It's hard to summarize a book that contains so much vibrant information, but the premise of the book is an updated, holistic approach to the traditional dressage training scale pyramid, with the addition of balance as the base of the pyramid. (Tellington-Jones is quick to specify this includes physical, mental and emotional balance - Amen!) The author makes a unique, insightful and fun (color-coded!) exploration of each element of the updated scale (balance, rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and collection), and describes how to access these elements using techniques that are holistic, humane, meaningful and, yes, even fun for both horse and rider. I love this organizational premise and it motivated me to keep reading.
I admire how Tellington-Jones explains the importance of intention when working with horses. She develops the concept of riding/ training in dressage with "heART," highlighting the concept that dressage should be an ART, one that is "an aesthetic representation of your relationship with yourself... and with your horse." She elaborates: "It is my desire to make you more open to the idea of being 'one' with your horse." As I was reading this encompassing text, I recognized: if Oprah wanted to choose a trainer/ rider to feature on OWN Network's Super Soul Sunday, Tellington-Jones would be a great pick! (And, yes, that's a huge compliment! I love Super Soul Sunday!) Tellington-Jones simply goes beyond the "norms" in dressage training to include the betterment of the person/rider as a key element of dressage.
'Dressage with Mind, Body & Soul' is definitely a book to be read, studied, re-read, put aside and revisited from time to time and used for reference.
Though there was much practical info woven throughout some really inspiring soul-talk, my favorite line of the book and take away point is this: "Dreams shouldn't be constrained by reality. Reality should subsist of the dreams you make come true." I love that this comes from a trainer who is respected internationally at all levels and in multiple disciplines and is obviously an intellectual, intelligent, practical horse woman on many levels. The fact that much of her advice is extremely down-to-earth makes the inclusion of this dreamer's wisdom all the more inspiring and profound.
After all, most of us do turn to horses and riding for connection and inspiration, as well as sport and fun! There is an element of "dreaming" to loving these animals... at least for me, there has been since I first turned the pages of those "horse-y" novels as a young teen. I believe that dreaming and imagination are woven through all of the best work with horses, and that this can inspire us to pursue, find and get to know our best selves. Tellington-Jones' book is definitely one entry point for this pursuit!