This book looks at a series of common rider faults or problems and, through words, photos, diagrams and practical exercises, it explains how to correct them. Each issue is demonstrated by a different rider – some working at basic level, others more advanced.
Mary gives each rider a lesson taking her through the changes she has to make, and recording her progress through specially taken photographs. Readers can witness the changes taking place and understand through Mary’s gifted teaching HOW to make the necessary shift to improve their own riding skills. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures show not only the improvements in the rider’s position and effectiveness but also in their horse’s way of going, for the two are interconnected.
American International Grand Prix dressage rider Heather Blitz, who Mary has coached for the last 14 years, acts as the ‘model’ who demonstrates exemplary biomechanics in walk, trot, and canter, as well as in the advanced movements. The book then asks, ‘What is she actually doing? Is she ‘growing tall’, is she ‘stretching her legs down’? etc.’. It offers some alternative descriptions of her skills – which are then taught in the lessons to the other riders.
Among the topics for in-depth discussion are
Faults such as tipping forward, leaning back, hollowing the back, rounding the back, and pulling on the inside rein
How our minds and bodies learn new techniques or change old habits