When I was first asked to review this book I was quick to point out that I am not riding at the Grand Prix level where Piaffe and Passage are part of the test. I have only worked on piaffe or passage with my coach on the ground to help me and it is done as an exercise to improve something else we are working on. So I explained that I could review the book and comment on the layout and ease of understanding the content but I could not comment on the training methods put forward in the book. So here goes….
PIAFFE is the first part of the book. There is a clear explanation of what constitutes a good piaffe, what we should look for when watching a horse piaffe, and what aids should be given to achieve the piaffe, both when working in hand, and when mounted. Finally the book describes what problems can be encountered in piaffe. There are clear diagrams of how to recognize a good piaffe and one that is fulfilling all the requirements.
There are also photos of internationally known riders executing piaffe correctly. Here is Tina Vilhelmson Silfven on Don Aurelio.
PASSAGE is covered in the second part of the book. The passage is described, and the aids to achieve it are described both for in hand work and mounted work . There are also a clear description of the problems that can arise and how the passage can go wrong.
The book concludes with the work of transitions ( ie. walk -piaffe, piaffe- trot, piaffe- passage etc) that are used to develop the passage. Again there are photos of well executed passage.
There are also photos of riders who are doing the movements badly. These photos have been photo-shopped to conceal the identity of both horse and rider. Horses markings have been changed and riders faces have been changed.
As I said at the beginning I am not an expert of piaffe or passage but I think this book adheres to the classic principles of the movements and most importantly emphasizes good treatment of the horse in the learning process of these high level movements.