Kottas On Dressage by Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg
Kottas on Dressage is a distillation of the practice and philosophy of one of the most highly regarded international trainers of the current era. Having stressed the need for the rider to establish correct posture and a thorough understanding of the aids before attempting to train the horse, the book goes on to highlight the value of establishing a rapport with the horse, enhancing his mental responses, and developing his physique with groundwork before progressing to work under saddle.
Following this, the text focuses on thorough, incremental development of the basic gaits, explains the value and execution of the lateral exercises, and introduces advanced work including tempi changes, pirouettes, piaffe, and passage. Throughout the text there are many notes, based on the Kottas’ experience, of precisely how to address points of detail. A number of commonly encountered problems are also analyzed, and remedies offered.
Underpinning the whole text is the author’s fundamental stance on horses and training: “I always see the horse as a partner. He must be trained slowly and patiently.” This book will prove instructive to all who empathize with this view and aspire to the development of classical principles.
ARTHUR KOTTAS-HELDENBERG was born in Vienna in 1945. His parents owned the oldest riding school in the city and he started riding on his own pony at the age of two-and-a-half. In 1960, Kottas succeeded in joining the Spanish Riding School as an Elève (trainee). Progressing rapidly, he became an Assistant Rider in 1964 and a Rider in 1969. In 1981 he became Chief Rider, and in 1983 Riding Master. From 1995 until retiring from the School in 2002 he was First Chief Rider. In recent years, Kottas has been in great demand as a trainer and holds clinics regularly on an international basis. With a philosophy of training and riding firmly rooted in the precepts of the Spanish Riding School, he is a fervent advocate of true classical horsemanship.
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