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Gentle Art of Horseback Riding eBook, The

Gentle Art of Horseback Riding eBook, The

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    Horseback riding is one of the world's most popular activities. Much has been written about the various styles, techniques, and competitive events in the sport. But all too often resources, authors, and even instructors neglect the most important and unique aspect of riding: the relationship between rider and horse.

    In The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding, Gincy Self Bucklin shares her horse-friendly approach for developing comfortable, competent riders. Its step-by-step lesson format makes it an excellent resource for those who teach riding to others.

    Whether you are just beginning or have ridden before, Bucklin's methods can improve your skills and make you a better, more confident rider.

    Inside The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding, you'll learn that the key to success at every level is understanding your horse and how to relate to him physically, mentally, and emotionally. This will help you advance more quickly, feel more confident, and have more fun.

    You'll also discover much, much more:
    • The seven steps for dealing with fear-related stress
    • Interpreting your horse's behavior and body language
    • Saddling up, riding in half-seat positions, and using the reins
    • Basic movements, including walk, trot, canter, turns, and transitions
    • More advanced trotting, cantering, galloping, hill work, and fence jumping skills
    Whether you have a serious or casual interest in the sport as a whole or just one of its many disciplines, The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding is a must-read. Insightful and fascinating, it will enhance the riding experience for you and your horse.

    Table of Contents


    Taking a Different Approach
    Laying a Proper Foundation


    Chapter 1 Starting out Right
    Why you Need Professional Instruction                    
    Finding the Right Instructor                             
    Riding Attire                                  

    Chapter2 The Real Tools for Success
    The Three Basics                               
    The Seven Steps and Grounding                            
    Safety Guidelines

    Chapter 3 Getting to Know the Horse
    Handling the Introduction in a Closed Space              
    Getting Acquainted Out in the Open                       

    Chapter 4 Overcoming Your Natural Fear of Falling
    Mounting in Baby Steps
    Dismounting Safely                             
    Preparing for the Emergency Dismount                     
    Getting Comfortable On the Horse                    

    Chapter 5 Taking Your First Real Ride
    Using the Bareback Pad to Achieve a Secure Seat
    Using the Grounding Strap                           
    Mounting: Getting It Right From the Start                
    Following the Motion                                
    Lateral Centering                                   
    Putting It All Together                             

    Chapter 6 The Indispensable Halter and Staying Centered During Turns and Transitions
    Rope Halters                                   
    Leather or Nylon Halters                                 
    Checking the Fit of the Halter                           
    Staying Laterally Centered                
    Longitudinal Centering During Transitions                

    Chapter 7 Negotiating Simple Ground Movements
    Achieving Cooperation Through Communication         
    Moving The Horse's Hindquarters                
    Moving The Horse's Forehand                    
    Moving the Horse Backward                      

    Chapter 8 Gaining Respect and Becoming the Leader
    The Leadership Position                             
    Dealing with Resistance                             
    Starting and Stopping                               
    When the Horse Wants to Take Over                   
    Using The Stick for Gentle Persuasion

    Chapter 9 Expanding Your Ground Skills    
    Leading the Horse Into the Stall                    
    Bringing the Horse Out of the Stall                      
    Cleaning the Horse's Feet                           
    Tacking Up the Horse With the Bareback Pad               

    Chapter 10 The Gentle Riding Aids
    Understanding and Applying Intent                   
    Using Your Eyes                                     
    Moving Your Center                             
    Using Your Seat                                     
    Managing Your Weight                      
    Using the Stick While Riding                        
    Eliminating the Need for Aggression

    Chapter 11 Handling the Reins and Preparing to Ride Solo
    Picking Up the Reins                      
    Lengthening the Reins                              
    Shortening the Reins                                
    Using the Grounding Strap and Stick with the Reins       
    The Sitting Trot or Jog                             
    A Taste of Freedom                             

    Chapter 12 Introduction to Riding In the Saddle
    Preparing for Saddle Work                           
    Mounting the Saddled Horse                          
    Tightening the Girth While Mounted in the English Saddle 
    Dismounting From the Saddled Horse                       
    Getting Comfortable                            
    Your First Ride in the Saddle                            

    Chapter 13 Saddling Up and Starting With Stirrups
    Putting On the Saddle                               
    Starting With the Stirrups                               
    The n Position                                 
    The A Position                                 
    The Full Seat Forward Position                           
    Sitting the Trot In the Saddle

    Chapter 14 Half-Seat Positions and Preparing for Faster Gaits
    Staying Grounded in the Half Seat                   
    Working From the Hip Joint                          
    Using the Grounding Strap in the Half Seat               
    Three-Quarter Seat Position                         
    Half-Seat Open Position                             
    Half-Seat Closed Position                                

    Chapter 15 Bits, Bridling, and Introduction to Using the Reins
    Putting On the Bridle                                    
    Using Hand Effects and Rein Effects to Communicate       
    The Active Hand                                     
    Introduction to the Leading Rein (English or Western Snaffle)          
    Introduction to Neck Reining (Western Curb)              
    Slowing or Stopping Using Direct Reins of Opposition (English or Western Snaffle) 
    Stopping Using Direct Reins of Opposition (Western)          

    Chapter 16 Perfect Posting
    Finding Posting Rhythm on the Bareback Pad          
    Posting in the Stirrups                             
    Understanding Diagonals                             

    Chapter 17 Cantering (Loping) and Galloping (Running)
    Preparing to Canter                            
    Bareback Cantering to the Left                           
    Bareback Cantering to the Right                          
    Cantering or Loping in the Saddle                   
    Cantering in Half-Seat Position                          
    Galloping or Running                                

    Chapter 18 Leg Aids and Advanced Hand and Rein Effects
    The Soft Leg                                   
    The Passive Hand                                    
    The Holding Hand                                    
    The Fixed Hand                                 
    Combing the Rein                                    
    The Taking Hand                                     
    Types and Applications of Leading Reins and Reins of Opposition   
    Developing Effective Aids.                

    Chapter 19 Handling Hills With Confidence
    Riding Uphill In an English Saddle                       
    Riding Downhill In an English Saddle                     
    Polishing Your Skills                               
    Handling Hills in a Western Or Other Deep-Seated Saddle  
    Putting Your Skills to Good Use                          

    Chapter 20 Jumping Made Easy
    Phases of the Jump                             
    Staying Centered During the Jump 
    Teaching Your Body to Ride the Jump                      
    Trusting the Horse
    Giving the Horse His Head                           
    Jumping Courses                                     
    Refusals and Runouts                                
    Jumping for Western Riders                          

    The Horse Already Knows What to Do
    Break It Down
    Use Punishment Sparingly and Correctly
    Love, Trust, and Respect Your Horse

    About the Author


    Gincy Self Bucklin has been teaching riding for more than 60 years. Her students have included recreational riders of all ages and levels, many of whom have also shown successfully and some of whom have become professionals themselves. While many experienced instructors teach only advanced riders, Gincy has also worked extensively with beginners and intermediates, believing that in order to be successful at the advanced level, riders must know and perfect the fundamentals from the start. She now works with instructors to share the teaching methods presented in her books.

    Gincy’s mother was well-known equestrian author Margaret Cabell Self. Gincy was also fortunate to grow up in an area that had many world-class instructors and clinicians, including Sally Swift, George Morris, and Nuno Oliveira. Some of her early instructors trained with European trainers during the 1920s and ’30s while the cavalry, where much of the equine knowledge was developed, was still in existence. Gincy is a retired Centered Riding instructor and is an American Riding Instructors Association level IV instructor.

    Gincy has been writing about horses and riding since 1987. She is the author of What Your Horse Wants You to Know, How Your Horse Wants You to Ride, and More How Your Horse Wants You to Ride. She has been a contributor to national horse magazines, including Equus and Horse Illustrated. Currently she writes a regular column for Riding Instructor, the quarterly publication of the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA). Gincy lives in East Dummerston, Vermont.


    "Whatever your discipline, Gincy Bucklin’s innovative approach to learning the essential skills will help you become a confident rider on a calm, comfortable horse.”

    Charlotte Kneeland-- Founder of the American Riding Instructor's Association

    "The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding will be a valuable resource for those riders who are not lucky enough to take lessons directly from Gincy herself."

    Jessica Jahiel-- Author of Horse-Sense Newsletter and The Horse Training Problem Solver, Horse Training Consultant

    "Hands-on experience is the best teacher, and Gincy transmits this knowledge and experience through The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding. Anything Gincy writes is worth a read."

    George H. Morris-- Legendary Trainer, 1960 Olympic Silver Medalist in Show Jumping

    “Gincy very deeply takes into consideration that a horse has feelings and personality and deserves to be treated with consideration, so the partnership is a mutual, respectful exchange. This book is a must for every rider, be he a beginner, fairly advanced, or of an upper level. It is also a great help for trainers who are teaching young horses the basics, then higher levels of being ridden in a relaxed, balanced, happy way. For riding instructors, this book will give very valuable insight on how to build up lessons and step-by-step teaching of their students.” Yvonne Lehey“Gincy very deeply takes into consideration that a horse has feelings and personality and deserves to be treated with consideration, so the partnership is a mutual, respectful exchange. This book is a must for every rider, be he a beginner, fairly advanced, or of an upper level. It is also a great help for trainers who are teaching young horses the basics, then higher levels of being ridden in a relaxed, balanced, happy way. For riding instructors, this book will give very valuable insight on how to build up lessons and step-by-step teaching of their students.”

    Yvonne Lehey