Sunday Book Review: "Hunter Seat Equitation"
My January book of the month was "Hunter Seat Equitation" by the one and only George H. Morris. I would give it five out of five stars for that reason alone. ;) It was originally written in 1971, but has been updated several times. I've read it several times throughout my riding career. All the classic riding principles still hold true.
This book is set up in five parts: The Rider, Work on the Flat, Work Over Fences, Going to Horse Shows, and Some Teaching Suggestions. The great thing about this book is that it describes the most basic elements of riding, such as mounting, in the same detail as flying changes and out of hand releases, and all of it becomes simple and understandable.
George Morris's demand for correct, polished riding, while maintaining the utmost respect for the horse, comes through on every single page in this book. Many of his quotes are very well-known, for good reason. Here are a few of my favorites from this book...
"The right way to do almost anything with horses is mainly a matter of using your natural intelligence in an uncomplicated manner, and this holds true also for the rider's basic mounted position."
"Riders too often are seen riding their position or posing on the horse's back, doing nothing at all about really riding the horse."
"There are not enough hours in the saddle to waste!"
"Smoothness and invisibility are characteristic of polish and form."
"While educated hands are possessed by few, good hands are within reach of every horseman. They are the property of all who are willing and patient."
"Pulling and kicking are in the same category, rough and primitive."
"Habit are quickly and easily established if they are focused upon singly and are given specific emphasis."
Most of the books that I review are available for my students to borrow week to week between your lessons. If you are interested, let me know. Next month, I will be reading "Geoff Teal on Riding Hunters, Jumpers, and Equitation: Develop a Winning Style." Stay tuned for next month's Sunday Book Review!