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Klaus Balkenhol - Success with Sympathetic Hands by Roland Blum

Item Code: HHB0001

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This is a magnificent glossy book with full colour photographs, which reveals the secrets of world renowned trainer Klaus Balkenhol . Click here to view selected extracts.

"Grand Prix horses are not born, they are made." Klaus Balkenhol

Riding modern dressage according to the classical theory allows us to work with a horse without straying from its natural behaviour. Respecting the horse's animal instincts and bettering the horse's health are what stand at the forefront of this work. Klaus Balkenhol's experience in the saddle as well as his experience as a trainer of riders and horses, is mirrored in this book and gives the reader an authentic set of guidelines.

This book accompanies the development of a horse from youngster to Grand Prix level, along with its rider. Whether one is working on the paces, the half halt or the seat and the effectiveness of the rider, dressage must always be seen as multi-dimensional and never merely as the performance of a specific set of movements.

This book does not set out to be an instruction manual. However, with the help of the photos and the images in the DVDs (also available in this shop), the aim is to describe and demonstrate, so as to make the training more accessible and easier to grasp with greater depth.

Suppleness, relaxation, rhythm and self-carriage are integral factors in producing horses well. These strengthen the horse's hind legs so that it is capable of stepping under the weight of the rider. Certain anatomical features have unavoidable impacts, for example, if the front foot does not make room for the hind foot quickly enough, then there can be no freedom of the shoulder and it then follows that the horse will not carry its back, will not swing and so on and so on.

The force of the horse's forward motion lies in its hindquarters. The strength to carry itself and push forwards and under from behind must be developed in order to be able to piaffe in a correct rhythm, in order to float across the diagonal in extended trot and also to make a fluent transition from extended to collected walk. These are the fruits born from years of training. The foundation lies in the training of the horse's strength and suppleness, following the motto "to challenge without demanding too much." Even loose and supple horses need relaxation and rewards and can only be as loose and supple as their rider.

The book offers the secret of Klaus Balkenhol - never finding fault with the horse! It talks about his early influences, training philosophy for horse and rider and gives his views on modern dressage training. It was translated into English by GB dressage team member (and Horse Hero celebrity) Laura Bechtolsheimer. As it is closely aligned with the Klaus Balkenhol DVDs (also available on this site), viewing the DVD trailers can also give you a glimpse into the essence of the book!

Editor's note: Horse Hero has several videos featuring Klaus Balkenhol working with Laura and Dr Bechtolsheimer, plus an interview with Klaus. Go to the home page of the main site and type Klaus Balkenhol into the video search.
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