Modern Riding with Notes on Horse Training
INTRODUCTION: The scientific treatment of the art of teaching riding is no novelty, as the works in many languages which have been consulted by Major Birch bear ample testimony, but the variety of views expressed therein by the authors is confusing, and it is apparent that the methods which have from time to time been adopted and then abandoned, only to be rediscovered as something new, partake rather of the nature of haphazard expedients than of principles established on a well- thought-out foundation. That a similar divergence of views and practice now exists amongst authorities on the subject is equally true. Under these circumstances I venture to think that the present work will be found most valuable the author has by exhaustive research rescued from books no longer generally available much that is good, while his reasons for not agreeing with some of the views expressed by these writers are convincing and, last but not least, he has shown clearly in Sections XV and XVI what the aim of the instructor in riding should be, and the best means to that end. There is, I think, no portion of the book more interesting than Section II, where he deals with the evolution of the present-day seat on a horse, and shows how the pendulum, after oscillating between the extreme of the Haute cole, or straight-legged seat, and its opposite as practised by Tod Sloan and his imitators, both of which are unsuited to general purposes, has finally come to rest at the hunting seat...
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