Book Review – Balancing Act – The Horse in Sport – An Irreconcilable Conflict?

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In no uncertain terms, this book asks what it means to be a responsible rider and whether, in today’s society, it is possible for equestrians in any horse sport to put the good of the horse first and foremost above ambition and fame.

With vibrantly clear illustrations of the horse’s anatomy and how it’s impacted by various riding techniques, Balancing Act presents proof that many sport horses still perform in pain and discomfort, even though some steps have been taken to prevent the use of forceful and cruel techniques. 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 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 find five chapters full of researched and proven recommendations for retraining horses with behavioral or biomechanical issues related to poor training techniques, including: tension, the rein-lame horse, horses with gait deviations, the hyperflexed horse, and 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.

Published by Trafalgar Square. Can be purchased from and other booksellers.


See this article in the April 2021 online edition:

April 2021

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  • Allison Blake

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