Tug Of War: Classical versus “Modern” Dressage


The book Tug of War: Classical versus Modern Dressage provides an insightful and straightforward explanation of why classical training works and how incorrect “modern” riding negatively affects horses’ physical and mental wellbeing.



The author of the book, German rider and equine Veterinarian Dr Gred Heuschmann, explores both classical and modern dressage training methods, comparing and contrasting the physical and psychological effects that both training methods have on horses. Dr Gred Heuschmann highlights that in today’s success-oriented society a small cohort of the equestrian world are no longer motivated by their love of these magnificent creatures and of the sport itself to work with horses, but are instead interested in using horses for performance and profit. In most cases, this hunt for success and recognition leads “trainers” to abandoning the sport ideals and alternatively looking for whatever will produce the the most spectacular show (regardless of the detrimental effects these incorrect gaits have on the horse’s body, and furthermore the psychological stress that the horse is forced to endure in order to develop and ultimately produce such ‘flashy’ movements). I use the term “trainer” loosely, as Dr Gred Heuschmann makes evident that “in order to truely call oneself a trainer, one must be educated in the horse’s basic physiology, conformation and behaviour”. These prerequisites for being considered a horse trainer gives us, as horse riders and potentially trainers, a lot of food for thought, especially because Dr Gred Heuschmann highlights that if riders learnt to recognise and respect the horse’s physical and psychological make-up many training mistakes could be easily prevented. Dr Gred Heuschmann continues by explaining in a detailed yet comprehensible fashion the horse’s anatomy and biomechanics in the following chapters. He brings all this knowledge about how the different parts of the horse’s body functions (both individually and within an anatomical system) into context by exploring correct and incorrect aspects of the movements of conventionally trained horses, and comparing these movements to those of classically trained horses to illustrate what is regarded as correct.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Tug Of War: Classical versus “Modern” Dressage”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *