Foreword by Carl Hester MBE 'The object of Dressage is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. As a result it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with his rider.'
Inspired by the time-honoured traditions of the Classical World, Sylvia's desire to protect the horse is reflected in her training methods, which concentrate on a balanced seat and quiet aiding. She abhors the use of force and gadgetry in the schooling of horses and believes that Classical riding is the best way forward for all the disciplines.
The Language of the Aids is not as well understood today as it should be and it seems that it is frequently forgotten or fragmented, and it will be the horse that suffers most when this happens. Incorrect aiding can have a very adverse effect.
The aim of The Balanced Horse is to confirm in people's minds what they should be doing for each and every request, and what they must avoid. Every instruction is based on what the horse needs to feel – at that moment in time. Each aid is based on the psychological and physiological effect placed on that sensitive animal underneath us. Over time, applying each aid correctly can elicit a response as instant and involuntary as the knee jerk reaction in our own.
The indoor photographs were taken at the recently restored and magnificent nineteenth century indoor riding school at Ladykirk in the Scottish Borders.
Sylvia Loch discovered classical High School riding in Portugal. In 1984 she founded the Lusitano Breed Society of Great Britain and was awarded an Honorary Instructorship by the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. She trained with a Former First Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and founded The Classical Riding Club in 1995.
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