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Summary:

A 60-page study of the nature, application, and importance of the equestrian flexion in the basic training of lightness and straightness in the young horse. While the flexion has been recognised and utilised by specific trainers since the beginning of recorded history, this is the first occasion on which a detailed study has been published. The book focuses on the essential foundations on which quality advanced performance is dependent: 'light, energetic, straight'.  It addresses basic training principles, through to the importance of flexion training in relation to advanced dressage, showjumping and hacking.   

Contents

1: Foreward. 3

2: Introduction. 3

3: Fundamentals 5

Calm, straight, forward. 5

Why are straightness and flexions so interdependent?. 5

Why are many horses hard?. 5

What use is flexion training?. 6

Contemporary vs. flexion training. 6

Fundamentals of basic training. 8

What is a flexion?. 9

Successive flexions. 9

What does the flexion feel like for the horse?. 9

The 4 lateral bends of the horse. 10

The freedom zone. 11

Proof of the problem of crookedness. 11

Exercise. 12

Elegance in the hands of the masses. 13

4 : Rider attitude. 13

If riding is not fun don’t ride. 13

On trying. 14

It is better to hear the sound of a string breaking than to have never drawn the bow.. 14

5: The mind. 15

The importance of mental state. 15

What is nirvana?. 15

Horses never forget 16

6: Training Flexions 17

The natural flexion. 17

Executing the flexion. 17

EXERCISE. 17

The first signs of flexion. 19

Hand contact 20

Hands of steel within gloves of velvet 20

Hands of steel 21

Showing the way to the ground. 22

Teaching the stretching down exercise. 24

How low can you go?. 26

Individual rein contact 26

Hand contact during flexion training. 27

On Sawing. 28

Straightening the horse. 28

The flexion half-parade. 29

Signals. 30

7: The paces 31

The importance of walk. 31

Hacking. at walk. 32

The slow walk. 34

EXERCISE: Slow walk. 34

The halt 35

The Rein-back. 35

The trot 36

The canter 36

8: Transitions 37

Halt-to-walk. 37

Walk-to-trot 37

Trot- to-canter 38

Halt-to-trot and walk-to-canter 39

Practicalities with jumpers 39

9: General exercises 40

The inside leg aid. 40

Working on a loose rein. 41

10: Hills are useful 41

11: Aids 42

The leg. 42

The whip. 43

The seat 43

The cluck. 43

Signalling  ‘yes, thank you’ 43

12: Horses 43

The ideal horse. 43

Problem horses. 45

13: Gear 46

14: Summary: 47

15: Conclusion. 48