Balancing ACT: The Horse in Sport--An Irreconcilable Conflict? (Paperback)
A wake-up-call of a follow-up from the bestselling author of Tug of War: Classical versus "Modern" Dressage.
In no uncertain terms, this book asks what it means to be a responsible rider, and whether, in today's society, it is indeed possible for equestrians in any horse sport to put the good of the horse first and foremost, and above ambition and fame.
With vibrantly clear illustrations of the horse's anatomy and how it is impacted by various riding techniques, Balancing Act presents proof that, although some steps have been taken to prevent the use of forceful and cruel techniques, many sport horses still perform in pain and discomfort. 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 working equine's body, Dr. Heuschmann ultimately intends through his expos to show how bad horse-training methods can be eradicated in favor of far more humane ones.
Readers will also find five chapters full of researched and proven recommendations for retraining horses with behavioral or biomechanical issues related to poor training techniques, including:
- The tense horse.
- The rein-lame horse.
- The horse with gait deviations.
- The hyperflexed horse.
- The unbalanced horse that is off the aids.
About the Author
Dr. Gerd Heuschmann trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German FN, which he eventually left to start his own practice in Warendorf. He has been an active member of the "hyperflexion" (previously referred to as Rollkur) debate, weighing in at the 2005 USDF National Symposium and the 2006 FEI Veterinary and Dressage Committees' Workshop. Along with Klaus Balkenhol and other prominent figures in the dressage community, Dr. Heuschmann is a founding member of "Xenophon," an organization dedicated to "fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sport" (www.xenophon-classical-riding.org). Dr. Heuschmann's other books include Tug of War: Modern versus Classical Dressage and Collection or Contortion? He also produced a video If Horses Could Speak.