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Dr. Gerd Heuschmann Lectures and Clinics

Tug of War:
Classical Versus “Modern” Dressage

“Some horses are being trained with mechanical and technical devices in the shortest time possible…The goal of training should be to further the horse’s capacity to perform, and optimize his physical beauty as well as his overall well-being by taking enough time [in the process].”

–Gerd Heuschmann, DVM, in the preface to “Tug of War”.


Dr. Heuschmann's lectures address the major topics in his recent book, “Tug of War”:

  • Who’s responsible for today’s training problems?
  • Riding according to classical principles: What does it mean?
  • Basic equine anatomy
  • Functional connections and their importance in correct training
  • Correct physiological training
  • Training from a veterinary point of view
  • The fact that riders working with horses in international competitive sport are frequently contradicting the well-being of the animal
  • The use of schooling and training measures which ignore significant aspects of animal rights
  • Equestrian judges not adhering to the valid principles of classical equitation, thus failing to observe the rules and regulations of the International Equestrian Federation, and National Equestrian Organisations

The goal for most clinics is to have a variety of horses at different levels so that Dr. Heuschmann will be able to demonstrate exercises that will most benefit the horse.  By describing the basic anatomy and physiology of the horse, Dr Heuschmann will identify widely-used incorrect training methods—especially in dressage—that can undermine a horse's health and well-being and will offer solutions that do not cause pain or fail to respect the mental habits and physiological needs of the horse.

Lectures and clinics will be of interest to:

  • Equine Health professionals, including veterinarians, and  physiotherapists
  • Coaches
  • Technical Officials
  • Junior and Senior Riders
  • Parents

Dates and locations for upcoming US clinics are in our calendar.

Gerd HeuschmannDR. GERHARD HEUSCHMANN  trained as a  Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German Equestrian Federation, which he eventually left to start his own practice in Warendorf. He has been an active member of the “hyperflexion” (previously referred to as Rollkur) debate, weighing in at the 2005 USDF National Symposium and the 2006 FEI Veterinary and Dressage Committees’ Workshop.  His arguments have been features in many magazines, including Dressage Today and Horse and Hound.  Along with Klaus Balkenhol and other prominent figures in the dressage community, Dr. Heuschmann is a founding member of “Xenophon,” an organization dedicated to “fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sport”.  [From “Tug of War…”.]

He is the author of the following book and DVD which is the basis for the lectures:

Tug of War: Classical Versus “Modern” Dressage: Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect Riding Negatively Affects Horses’ Health, Trafalgar Square Books (September 2007) 143 pages.

If Horses Could Speak, 60 minute DVD with unique 3-D animation which clearly demonstrates the principals in the book.

He also provides margin notes and commentary in the book:

Classical Schooling with the Horse in Mind: Gentle Gymnastic Training Techniques, Trafalgar Square Books (October 2007) 192 pages.

You can find his own web site here.

Copyright (c) 2012 Equestrian Educationals LLC, Bozeman, Montana