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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Zen and the Horse

I am the author of Zen and the Horse.  I started this book back in 1990 while studying marital arts and riding horses.   Over the course of 10 years it has evolved into Zen and the Horse.  The book was reviewed by Writer's Digest and USDF Connection.  Below are the reviews:

"This is a very interesting and intelligent little book; the author takes a unique approach to teaching centered, balanced riding, using Eastern philosophy as a context for mastering the art of equitation.  The author writes with credible authority and conveys ideas and concepts clearly and vividly.  Most important, the book delivers what it promises. It does provide specific advice for equestrians hoping to achieve this zen state in their riding." As reviewed by Writer's Digest, 2004.

"Several modern dressage writers, such as the well-known trainer Paul Belasik (Riding Towards the Light;Dressage for the 21st Century), have gone beyond the mere mechanics of riding to compare the study of dressage with the pursuit of a higher consciousness or even a religious quest of sorts.  In this vein comesZen and the HorseBody, Mind and Spiritual Unity, Through the Art of Equitation, by trainer, karate black belt and spiritual advisor, Pamela Au.

Zen and the Horse is not a how-to book; rather it strives to marry the principles of Zen Buddhism to riding and to our relationships with horses, with the goal of helping the reader to re-think those activities with heightened consciousness.  Some of Au's concepts may be lost on the beginner rider, for whom the basics of "whoa and go" may be quite challenge enough; but they may spark some insights and new understandings in the more accomplished equestrian of any discipline, as this is not a dressage book per se.  The principles that Au presents are simple and by no means new -love, passion, trust, and self-respect, to name just a few- but they're lovely when applied to riding. In an equestrian age in which winning trumps all and more than a few egomaniacs pepper our world, I particularly like the use of the word humbleness." Reviewed by Jennifer O. Bryant, Editor, USDF Connection, October 2003 issue.

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