DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY, AND SOUL, BY LINDA TELLINGTON-JONES WITH REBECCA DIDIER. HARDCOVER. 2013. TRAFALGAR SQUARE BOOKS. $29.95. AVAILABLE ONLINE AT WWW.HORSEBOOKSETC.COM OR 800-952-5813.
Whether you’re a fan or not (and most people have strong opinions about it), the popularity of the Tellington-Jones TTouch method has grown significantly since its start more than 40 years ago. In this book, Tellington-Jones focuses on dressage, although any discipline could benefit from it.
The book centers around the three components of the Tellington Method – TTouch body work, ground exercises, and ridden work – and shows how combining them can integrate horse and rider to achieve optimal performance. She emphasizes the spiritual and emotional side of horses, especially the positive emotion – where rider and horse move in union, as one creature, harmonious in mind and body and spirit. This book offers a blueprint for achieving just that.
We were intrigued by the concept of doing body work on the horse while in the saddle and impressed with the results when we tried it. Tellington-Jones acknowledges the stresses of modern life and discusses the challenge of being present in the moment with your horse. Numerous case studies are provided. you’ll find common issues discussed, including anxiety, hollow backs and high heads. Frankly, our riding improved after absorbing this book. We rode with greater mindfulness and clearer intent.
The photographs illustrate the concepts well. It was inspiring to see the diminutive Tellington-Jones working with enormous warmbloods.
Bottom line: This book is a keeper. It blends the author’s philosophy with practical techniques.
Best suited for: Dressage riders with knowledge of TTouch methods.
You’ll be disappointed if: You need a manual for TTouch methods. The book includes a new look at the classical training scale/pyramid. Balance is added as the underlying foundation, and there is a color associated with each level. We didn’t find this particularly helpful.