Keep Your Horse Light on the Bit

Here is the latest riding and training book from Eloise King. If your horse has a tendency to get heavy on his forehand and bit, you will want to read this. If you are looking to have a horse that has ‘just the weight of the reins’ contact, check this book out.
Self-carriage can easily be established and maintained in any equine discipline. One of the things I like most about Eloise King’s approach is that the horse becomes a great athlete! All the correct muscles for the work you want him to do become so strong yet supple. It also helps the horse’s mind to become quiet and very attentive to the rider. Your horse will develop the body and mind to perform to the top of his ability.
Learn the how-to and the benefits of having your horse in self-carriage and why it is so important to always train  so that he is not heavy on your hand.
There are many horse training methods for getting the horse to be lighter on the bit. There is the school of:
“The horse will be heavy in the beginning and you just work on getting him lighter.”
“Tie the horse’s head in place and he will develop those muscles.” Ouch!
“Lunge the horse with side reins that keep the horse’s head where you want it.”
“Tie the horse’s mouth shut.” Please don’t!! Forward: Riding with Eloise King explains why.
And so on, and so on. All of which give you a horse with a tense body and a tough mouth. It is hard on the horse’s mind and body and frustrating for you.
Self-Carriage will show you how to work with your horse and maximize his potential. You will love the ride you get.

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Review of Forward book by Classical Riding Club UK

Forward Riding by Eloise King

I have only heard of Nuno Oliveira through various other sources and have always been very taken by his training ideas and theory. Not training with force but with feel is something that is an uncommon sight nowadays. Luckily though, we can still see and learn these lessons through people like Sylvia and Eloise, but it is still mostly an uncommon sight even though it was second nature to the great Masters almost half a century ago.

Having happy horses working with you is far more productive for both parties than forcing the animal to perform under duress and while reading this book I found that this was the undercurrent of the entire book – i.e. happy equals harmonious.  By the second page, I found myself nodding in agreement to the training ideas and classical statements  – “Observe your horse, let him train your eye and feel.”

The book is very sympathetic towards the horse and its behavior and its individual achievements. Conversely, it relies on the reader to be sensitive enough to recognize the progress of the horse and this subtle moment can sometimes be missed even by the more competent person.

I was taught using the well-established ‘training scales’ where collection is the last and highest achievement and rhythm and balance are first established and used as a foundation. The same classical ideas can be seen throughout this very enlightening read. Starting slowly and doing it correctly from the beginning saves time later – no matter how easy it is to cut corners and thereby introduce mistakes.  I feel this book does make the effort to start with the reader from the very beginning of training right up to riding half pass etc. in a very constructive way.

When I teach, I have been told my sessions are like ‘painting by numbers’.  By keeping it simple, I found this book imparts information in a similar way, like an easy to follow instruction guide.

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