Friday, August 15, 2008

Balance in Movement

Balance in Movement

I recently viewed this DVD and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is one of the best instructional videos I have ever seen.

About the clinician/author, as taken from the DVD back cover: Susanne von Dietze is a physiotherapist and riding instructor. This combination enables her to understand the complex physical relationship essential between horse and rider. Movement studies and individual seat correction are the basis of her work.

I am also going to quote the particulars from the back DVD cover because, as professional writers (which I am not), they can better describe what the DVD is about:

The Art of Successful Riding

Is the development of harmony to such a degree that, to the onlooker, horse and rider perform in total unity. The rider’s key to this ideal is not a static seat but one that is capable of making finely tuned movements with which to both communicate and remain in perfect balance with the horse.This DVD shows how to develop this unity, why and where problems and faults occur, and which methods best address them. Riders of all disciplines and levels will find practical ideas to help remedy problems and correct their seat.

Topics include:

  • Riding as movement

  • Rhythm, balance, suppleness

  • Individual strong and weak points

  • How to supple the hip joint

  • Developing a correct leg position

  • Upper body balance

  • Correcting asymmetries

  • The independent hand of the rider


While I m not a proponent of training via videos, and no video or book can be a substitute for good old-fashioned one-on-one training with a qualified instructor, this particular video has become one of my absolute favorites. The sequences of the exercises on the longe are exceptional for understanding position, balance and independent seat movement, as well as proper use of the aids. I found the analogy of the “breathing leg” particularly helpful, and being able to watch a demonstration was a highlight, as the visualization helped me better understand the action in motion, and not just in theory; now it makes sense and is clearly a value to strive for in your riding.

Another great segment showcases the incorrect ways of riding. Some may think it is a bit overdone and no one could possibly ride that way, but it has been done and has been witnessed many times in the arena and at shows by yours truly. The video provides a good example of what not to do, the effects it has on the horse and, most importantly, how to correct it.

The entire video production is professional, well organized and simple to follow, which is an asset to a rider like me who has always found it easier to watch and learn than to read and learn.

For those of you who prefer a more in depth study in Balance in Movement, you might be interested to know that this video is a companion to Susanne von Dietze’s excellent book of the same title.

Balance in Movement is an outstanding book for the thinking equestrian who wishes to understand horse and rider balance while improving his/her communication skills with the horse. The writing is clear, concise, detailed and practical, but it can get a bit technical at times. The anatomy and physiology combined with exercises help you understand how your body works when riding. The book details how we physically ride and how our body, consciously or unconsciously, influences the way our horses react. Included are outstanding photos and drawings illustrating each point visibly. This book is especially helpful for trainers to explain the physiological basis for the correct seat, hands, leg, etc. It is also recommended reading for the USDF Instructors Certification program.

Since adults learning to ride process information much differently than youngsters, I would suggest this book to anyone who has wondered how to achieve the perfect balance on a moving horse. The author knows how to explain proper riding technique and anyone who reads this book will benefit from her expertise.

Until next time

Quote for Today

A horse already knows how to be a horse; the rider has to learn how to become a rider.

No comments:

Post a Comment

It's so nice of you to take the time to visit. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting on what I've written. Even though I sometimes don't have the time to reply to each comment, I do enjoy reading them.