Monday, December 28, 2009

A Matter of Trust - Volume I - DVD Review

DVD Review
A Matter of Trust - Volume I

Introduction of DVD
v  Walter A. Zettl is a life-long equestrian with over 57 years experience in riding and coaching some of the world’s finest horses and students.  Walters’ many successes include international level competitions at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the North American Young Riders.  Walter is the author of Dressage in Harmony and countless articles published in the U.S. and Europe. His knowledge of Classical Dressage is unsurpassed. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1929 and now a resident of Canada, he travels all over the world teaching his life’s work to equine enthusiasts everywhere.
v  A Matter of Trust, Volume I, is the first of a four part series that will cover classical dressage techniques from Training level through Grand Prix.  Including basic guidelines for equine behavior, movement, gaits, physical and mental characteristics of the horse as well as a training plan for the first year.  The first half of the video gives an intricate look at the horse, the rider, timing of the aids, movement and correct use of seat and aids. The second half delivers an extraordinary lesson plan for establishing a solid foundation.
v  Walter elaborates on the theory which the classical masters have used for centuries. His classic approach re-defines the correct training methods, proper movements and carriage of the horse.  In this video, Walter sets the standards of what true classical dressage was meant to be.
Some of the special features of this DVD include interviews with Walter that are candid, informative and full of heart.
There are also two lessons in their entirety.
This video is 230 minutes of pure enjoyment for anyone who loves horses and it showcases Walter  Zettl as  one of the true masters of classical dressage instruction, the way it is meant to be.  I found this DVD to be informative and easy to follow.  Listening to this man and his quiet way of teaching and learning from his years of experience, I could only wish I had found an instructor of this caliber and heart somewhere along the way with my horses. Anyone who is interested in riding correctly and treating the horse with respect should definitely invest in this set.  So far, I have only watched this first video but I was so impressed that I would recommend the entire four-volume set without even seeing the rest of it.  Rest assured when I get the time to watch the remainder of the set I will give you an update. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s hard to be a grown-up with responsibilities and not enough time to do what you want when the mood strikes. If you would rather not purchase the set without seeing the contents first, you can rent it at I’m sure that once you view A Matter of Trust you’ll want to keep a set on hand to refer back to again and again.
On closing one more thing I’ve got to comment on was the man himself, I’m not easily impressed by people (especially instructors) but this man is the genuine article.  One thing he said that stayed with me: “The horse’s eyes are his soul”. When was the last time you heard an instructor say something like that!
Until next time
Quote for Today
“I attempt to educate riders to make their horses happy, confident and proud to work for them. Force and battling have no place in my training method. I speak with absolute certainty on this point because I have witnessed its success for 50 years and have sadly watched the effects of rough, insensitive, and impatient methods on these patient animals. I believe in dressage as art, and I have practiced that art throughout my professional life.”
-Walter A. Zettl

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