As Wilhelm Müseler says, anyone can learn to ride, for riding is a skill. But of course there is a vast difference between those who do it well and those who simply get by.
Skipping the basics and not paying attention to the groundwork is never a good idea in any sport. With this as a "bible" for decades, it is no wonder Germany's riders are at the top in the Olympic disciplines.
First published in 1933 (as Müseler: Reitlehre) and reprinted and revised many times, this book is a German classic. Its first English edition was in 1983. This 2007 reprint includes modern colour photographs for the first time, with well-known horses and riders gracing the pages. Line drawings also illustrate the text and help with the understanding of concepts.
Riding Logic is based on classical horsemanship from the famous 1912 German cavalry riding manual and the Principles of Riding and Driving, published by the German National Equestrian Federation.
There are five main sections;
- Training the rider,
which includes topics such as learning to 'feel', and leg, body and rein influence;
- Schooling the horse,
which is broken down into stages, including 'what does a horse look like when obeying the aids?', 'how a rider can tell if his horse is balanced', understanding riding and collection, and there is a section within this on disobediences and how to remedy them;
- The lessons;
where the basic gaits are explored, as well as rein back, turn on the forehand and hindquarters; striking off into canter, and riding on two tracks;
- Further aspects,
which covers riding in and out of the arena and jumping, as well as hunting and competition riding; and finally
- Equipment for rider and horse,
and items used when schooling, such as cavaletti, whips, spurs, and other basic tack.
All told this is probably a book which should be read over and over, and each section dissected as the horse and rider progress through each phase of training.