Ten years ago, Dr. Gerd Heuschmann rocked the equestrian world with his international bestseller Tug of War, a searing indictment of modern training and riding techniques that are sometimes used to the detriment of the horse. Now Dr. Heuschmann returns with this follow-up book: a critical examination of two concepts--flexion and bend--that are necessary to understand in absolute terms when the goal is to achieve collection on horseback. Citing the many masters of classical dressage who wrote essays and even entire books about flexion at the horse's poll and longitudinal bend of the horse's body, Dr. Heuschmann strives to conflate the often complex classic literature with the results of his own studies as an expert in equine anatomy and biomechanics. He meticulously describes various movements used, their desired effects, and the truth behind the rider's role in each. In addition, he unveils his recommendations for dealing with the horse's natural crookedness and false bend, providing basic guidelines for schooling that ensure correct gymnasticization with the end-goal of a more athletic, collected horse in mind, and happier, healthier horses in the long run.
Dr. Gerd Heuschmann trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before attending veterinary school 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 (Rollkur) debate, weighing in at numerous symposiums and workshops around the world, as well as writing the bestselling books Tug of War and Balancing Act, and creating the DVD If Horses Could Speak. 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 against serious mistakes in equestrian sport (xenophon-classical-riding.org).