Revised and updated, Natural Western Riding, the book which details every weight shift, leg and reining cue for every western maneuver, is now available at book stores, on-line book sellers and at www.donblazer.com.
The new edition contains a special section, Mastering Trail Courses, which explains how cadence and strides make the difference between an average effort and winning championships. With expanded text and 40 new demonstration photos, the book will be in tack and book stores by October 1, 2002.
Written by Don Blazer, the original Natural Western Riding was used for years as the text book for college equine programs.
Out of print for the past three years, Blazer recently secured the rights for the book he wrote in 1978. After being published by Houghton-Mifflin in 1979, the book became the standard by which western riding was measured. The editor of Horse and Horseman magazine declared it, "A classic; the authority on western riding."
"There were descriptions of exercises and cues which I wanted to expand and clarify," Blazer said. "And I wanted to report to all horsemen that western riding has surpassed all disciplines in creating a true and equal partnership between horse and rider."
"No other form of riding allows the horse complete freedom. No other rider asks for a performance, then relinquishes control, allowing the horse to respond with all his brilliance and grace," Blazer said. How it is done is explained in Natural Western Riding. Cathy Hanson, trainer of AQHA champions in western pleasure, western riding and trail, has written the special section, Mastering Trail Courses.
"There has been such a demand for training tips and information on trail classes, we felt it appropriate to detail everything from the equipment you need to train a trail horse, to how to show the horse to the judges," Blazer said.
Readers will find an explanation of "cadence," a requirement of today's trail class, as well as distances and strides required for walkovers, trotovers and lopeovers. Hanson not only explains how to work every obstacle, she gives training tips on how to take a horse to world class levels.
In addition to training western champions, she has also trained AQHA champions in showmanship, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, hunter hack and working hunters. She studied in England and has a B.H.S.A.I. certificate. She has been a director of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association since 1992 and is chairman of the show committee. As a clinician, she has presented programs throughout the US and in England. Blazer, author of how-to training articles and books, is also the author of the nationally syndicated column, A Horse, Of Course, which is must reading for thousands of fans. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Scottsdale Community College where he teaches five courses known as the Horse Sense Series.
Natural Western Riding, which retails for $24.95, is published by Success Is Easy, 13610 N. Scottsdale Rd., Suite 10-406, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. A quick preview of the book can be seen on the Internet at www.donblazer.com
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