The Plaid Horse
The only complete reference explaining classical arena tracks and how to use them.
Rider and trainer Christian Baier has been educated in horses and equitation all over the world. In his work to develop an international rider and trainer education and certification system, he realized the equestrian lexicon lacked a practical reference that brought all the classical “arena tracks”—patterns and figures used in training the horse in a schooling area—together in a simple way that is easy to understand. The arena tracks guide the rider in how to safely work the horse within a specific space in an organized way. They are also an integral tool in the conscientious trainer’s development of the horse’s body and conditioning. For the instructor, arena tracks are an important tool for communicating with the student.
Ultimately, these classical tracks are at the foundation of everything we do in an arena with a horse, from the beginner rider just off the longe line, learning basic navigation around the ring, to the most experienced rider working a horse at the highest level of international competition. Even jumping courses consist of a combination (or variation) of arena tracks strung together from start to finish marker!
In these pages readers not only find handy quick-reference sections on the correct arena tracks for training and riding, but also a unique collection of over 50 select exercises for using them in the development of a sport horse on the flat and over fences. Putting the arena tracks into practice is the basis for correct systematic training and education in both dressage and jumping. Baier shows the reader exactly how, with distinct sections devoted to clear illustrations of where to go and fundamental explanations for what to do. Progression in ability and understanding of both horse and rider is the goal, with tracks featured from simple to most complex, and the sections dedicated to cavalletti and jumping moving from the very first time riding over a pole to advanced exercises and courses at a very high level.
The exercises shared in this book, used in combination with a working knowledge and understanding of the classical arena tracks, can lead to huge leaps in the growth and advancement of horse and rider—sometimes even after years of feeling “stuck.” Arena Tracks is a fabulous reference for all riders to keep in the barn and for any instructor dedicated to teaching the classical art of riding, as well as being a much-needed learning tool for equestrian federations, associations, and schools worldwide.