Book Review: When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics by Beth Baumert

I find that I quote the book frequently when I teach at clinics and symposia.

Carl Hester

When I read that I knew I had to get the book. Carl Hester is, for me, the Master of Dressage. I got the book and was not the least bit disappointed. This book is the How to Ride Guide primarily for dressage but for any discipline.

Beth Baumert covers all of the most important issues of riding a horse and gives us the “possibility of magic”. She starts with the rider’s seat and position. She calls the riders position a “powerline” and explains how the powerlines channel the horse. This is Part I and explains how the rider works.

In Part II Baumert shows us how horses work. In each section she describes what we need to be working toward or what we should be asking ourselves. Then she give exercises to improve ourselves and our horses. For example she asks: “Is my horse heavy in my hands?” Then she gives a six step exercise to improve that. Since my answer would have been “yes” I studied the exercise and found, in my next ride that it worked well. There are also helpful diagrams and the book is very well illustrated with photos of riders doing what Baumert is speaking about the correct way.

My coach Belinda Trussell is always asking me to get more activity in the hindquarters. So imagine my delight when I saw the paragraph headed “Activating the Hindquarters“. And Baumert’s answer to how to do this? “A little rat-a-tat from the calf”. In my next lesson I asked Belinda if she had read this book. “Yes.” She said. No surprise there.

This is the Square Serpentine. Baumert gives this to help the rider blend all the aids, shape the horse, put him in front of the leg, listen to him, and ask for action. I have tried it and it does all of these things.

I have done many of the exercises in this book and found all of them to be informative and helpful. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Dressage riding or in fact any riding discipline.


2 responses to “Book Review: When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics by Beth Baumert”

  1. Avatar

    I also love books that really give you good ideas and explanations of how and what to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I agree. Thanks for leaving this comment!

      Liked by 2 people

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