"Kottas on Dressage" is a distillation of the practice and philosophy of one of the most highly regarded international trainers of the current era. Having stressed the need for the rider to establish correct posture and a thorough understanding of the aids before attempting to train the horse, the book goes on to highlight the value of establishing a rapport with the horse, enhancing his mental responses, and developing his physique with groundwork before progressing to work under saddle. Following this, the text focuses on thorough, incremental development of the basic gaits, explains the value and execution of the lateral exercises, and introduces advanced work including tempi changes, pirouettes, piaffe, and passage. Throughout the text there are many notes, based on Kottas' experience, of precisely how to address points of detail. A number of commonly encountered problems are also analyzed, and remedies offered. Underpinning the whole text is the author's fundamental stance on horses and training: "I always see the horse as a partner. He must be trained slowly and patiently." This book will prove instructive to all who empathize with this view and aspire to the development of classical principles.
Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg is a classical dressage trainer and runs horsemanship clinics internationally. He was a member of the world-renowned Spanish Riding School in Vienna for more than 40 years, spending the last seven in the esteemed position of First Chief Rider. Julie Rowbotham is a dressage trainer with Aspire Dressage in England.