A wake-up-call of a follow-up from the bestselling author of Tug of War: Classical versus “Modern” Dressage.
In no uncertain terms, this book asks what it means to be a responsible rider, and whether, in today's society, it is indeed possible for equestrians in any horse sport to put the good of the horse first and foremost, and above ambition and fame.
With vibrantly clear illustrations of the horse's anatomy and how it is impacted by various riding techniques, Balancing Act presents proof that, although some steps have been taken to prevent the use of forceful and cruel techniques, many sport horses still perform in pain and discomfort. With detailed, practical information on horse physiology and multiple examples of poor riding in pictures so that the reader can avoid similar pitfalls, Dr. Heuschmann gives all of us reasons to examine ourselves and those around us through the lens of the horse's welfare. As a veterinarian with thorough knowledge of the working equine's body, Dr. Heuschmann ultimately intends through his exposé to show how bad horse-training methods can be eradicated in favor of far more humane ones.
Readers will also find five chapters full of researched and proven recommendations for retraining horses with behavioral or biomechanical issues related to poor training techniques, including:
The tense horse.
The rein-lame horse.
The horse with gait deviations.
The hyperflexed horse.
The unbalanced horse that is off the aids.
Released in paperback for the first time with new observations from the author, Balancing Act is for every conscientious horse person intent on riding and training with the good of the horse in mind.
About the Author
Dr. Gerd Heuschmann trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before attending veterinary school at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German FN, which he eventually left to start his own practice in Warendorf. He has been an active member of the hyperflexion (Rollkur) debate, weighing in at numerous symposiums and workshops around the world, as well as writing the bestselling books Tug of War and Balancing Act, and creating the DVD If Horses Could Speak. Along with Klaus Balkenhol and other prominent figures in the dressage community, Dr. Heuschmann is a founding member of Xenophon, an organization dedicated to fighting against serious mistakes in equestrian sport (gerdheuschmann.de).