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Gentle Art of Horseback Riding, The

Gentle Art of Horseback Riding, The

$34.95 CAD


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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

    ò 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.

    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

    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), and maintains her own website, 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