Dressage for No Country

Dressage for No Country

by Paul Belasik

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In the 1970s, the sport of dressage was still in its infancy in the United States. Unlike the countries of Europe, there was neither an established tradition nor a written history to educate and inspire. A rider intent on learning the discipline had to be prepared to travel, to immerse himself in other cultures, and to care only for what those who had already mastered the art might teach him. Paul Belasik was this rider, intent on learning all he could about dressage methodology, and willing and able to compare and contrast the various means for achieving related goals: beautiful movement, “lightness,” connection between two beings. In these pages he shares a lifetime of searching and studying, both through stories of his own adventures and thoughtful essays on the subjects he has pondered during the years he has trained and ridden horses. Beginning in northern New York, and traveling to Portugal, and later, Vienna, Belasik serves as a tour guide of the various dressage “paths” he had the chance to explore, including the German system, the Portuguese art of equitation, and the revered institutions of the Spanish Riding School. Armed with the knowledge and experience he accrued over time, Belasik debates whether classical dressage and competition dressage are at all compatible. Then, he considers the role of mindfulness, how to become a good teacher, and how to be a good student in today's horse world, providing the guideposts needed to take dressage–and riding, in general–the next step forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570769443
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 08/15/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 366,870
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

Paul Belasik is a highly respected international rider, trainer, writer, and teacher, and an avowed proponent of classical equestrian ideals. Belasik has ridden and trained at every level in dressage, from young horses to Grand Prix and beyond. He also has had extensive experience in eventing, which encompassed the early part of his career, before turning solely to his first and true love: classical dressage and the art of riding. Belasik has sought wisdom from great riding masters such as Dr. HLM van Schaik and Nuno Oliveira, and his wide-ranging studies include the concepts of Zen Buddhism and martial arts. Belasik has authored eight books, and he gives clinics, lectures, and demonstrations internationally while training a wide cross-section of clients at his Pennsylvania Riding Academy at Lost Hollow Farm www.paulbelasik.com.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 The 1970s: The Planes Come West German Horses and the German System 7

2 The 1980s: The Plane Heads East The Most Seductive System of Them All: Lightness 27

3 The 1990s: The Plane Heads East Again The Spanish Riding School 49

4 Today and Tomorrow Are Competitive Dressage and Classical Dressage Compatible? 63

5 A New School of Mindfulness Mastering Not Medaling 75

6 The Road to Mastery The Modern Study of Expertise 87

Epilogue: The Destination The Path Is Not an Itinerary 113

Recommended Reading 119

References 121

Index 122

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Bringing Together part history lesson, part biography, a dash of hope, and a pinch of unvarnished truths, Paul Belasik knits together a professor’s tale of dressage theory, taking us on a journey through his travels around the world both by air and by studied text, narrating his experiences along the way. Visiting Germany, Portugal, France, Spain, and Austria either by foot or by research, he weaves us through the varying faces of classical dressage and how it intertwines between cultures and schools of thought on a search for where collection truly resides. Once again Mr. Belasik proves the journey itself is far more important than the actual destination.” &mdash&Jeremy Steinberg, USEF High Performance Rider, Former USEF Dressage Youth Coach

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