by Anja Beran
With stunningly beautiful photographs and clear descriptions, classical dressage authority Anja Beran breaks down the physical requirements of the rider’s seat on the horse, as well as its responsibilities during various movements—from the gaits and paces to lateral work, lead changes, piaffe, passage, and pirouettes.
Beran provides a unique perspective on the use of breath when riding, citing the recommendations of a classically trained opera singer who regularly works with Beran and her riding students to develop their deep breathing skills. “A relaxed seat,” Beran says, “is never possible with restricted breathing.”
In addition, she explores the need for an improved inner attitude in order to truly refine your seat on a horse. Fear, stress, and tension all interfere with your ability to focus on the horse and connect with him during the time you are together. Simple practices can help open and calm the mind, and over time, contribute to an overall better outlook and enhanced physical capacity.
In the second half of the book, Beran is joined by her personal physiotherapist and dance teacher for an in-depth look at human anatomy and how it functions in conjunction with the horse. Practical exercises give readers easy ways to improve mobility, strength, stability, coordination, perception, and overall posture, with superb results.