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Debbie McDonald Riding Through

Olympic medalist Debbie McDonald and her fabulous partner, Brentina, have thrilled crowds the world over with their stunning performances.

In her new book, Riding Through, Debbie describes her system for success in dressage and relates her life story: "There is more than one reason that I call this book Riding Through. Of course, first and foremost, riding through is a dressage term, something you strive for as you attempt to get your horse on the aids and moving back-to-front. You have achieved it when everything the two of you do together is one fluid motion, the ultimate of coordination and expression, in which the horse is maximizing his assets.

It's all about harmony and correctness, summing up the meaning of dressage in a single short phrase. But "riding through" has other meanings for me as well. I've learned to ride through hard times, on and off a horse, when I thought about giving up. We all have to learn about riding through, because that's the only way we will arrive at our destination, whatever it may be." Even if passage and piaffe aren't your ambition, or you don't want to compete in dressage at any level, the good basic riding skills involved in learning this discipline will help you in whatever you want to do with dressage horses whether it's improving adjustability for jumping or just having a more pleasurable trail ride.

And the challenges will keep you interested while you explore the very special connection that develops between human and horse when you're doing meaningful work together.


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Olympic medalist Debbie McDonald and her fabulous partner, Brentina, have thrilled crowds the world over with their stunning performances. In her new book, Riding Through, Debbie describes her system for success in dressage and relates her life story: "There is more than one reason that I call this book Riding Through. Of course, first and foremost, riding through is a dressage term, something you strive for as you attempt to get your horse on the aids and moving back-to-front. You have achieved it when everything the two of you do together is one fluid motion, the ultimate of coordination and expression, in which the horse is maximizing his assets. It's all about harmony and correctness, summing up the meaning of dressage in a single short phrase. But "riding through" has other meanings for me as well. I've learned to ride through hard times, on and off a horse, when I thought about giving up. We all have to learn about riding through, because that's the only way we will arrive at our destination, whatever it may be." Even if passage and piaffe aren't your ambition, or you don't want to compete in dressage at any level, the good basic riding skills involved in learning this discipline will help you in whatever you want to do with dressage horses whether it's improving adjustability for jumping or just having a more pleasurable trail ride. And the challenges will keep you interested while you explore the very special connection that develops between human and horse when you're doing meaningful work together.
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