Hi All! Hope your summer is going well!
Larissa and Libby would like to take this time to review books off their summer reading lists!
Dressage in the Fourth Dimension by Sherry Ackerman, PhD
Read and Reviewed by Larissa Cox:
Sherry Ackerman, both an accomplished rider and a philosopher, looks at how Dressage can not only be sport, but also a means by which "a rider can experience liberation from the individual, egotistical self." In exploring what it means to be a "horse lover", Sherry Ackerman states that riding can be a hugely emotional experience that can take a rider to a heightened understanding of self, and deliver them to a place where they can have better communication to the world around them. She starts with how figures in Dressage are based on "sacred geometry" of circles and angles - geometry that was a religion to those like Pythagorus (who we all remember developed a2 +b2 = c2 to find sides of a right triangle). Schooling these "sacred" patterns leads toweards "...resolution by taking responsibilty for blending with the horse." She moves from these ponderings on the geometry of Dressage to how it creates a "transcendal union" between horse and rider. When this union emerges, an authentic reciprocity between human and horse is created. Ackerman wholeheartedly believes that "evaluat[ing] an individual's experience with dressage primarily by means of test scores...is an extremely reductionistic viewpoint that devalues the transformative potential of the art [of Dressage]." Dressage can be this transformational art that "springs from the recognition of this creative unity in the human soul." Ackerman finishes her book with the concluding thought that "the vision of the fourth dimension allows waves of love to funnel through us, creating endless energy - an explotion of creative light - that affirms our unity with all that is."
I would highly recommend Dressage in the Fourth Dimension to any rider in any discipline, not just Dressage, that wants to ponder and develop more how embodying "horse lover" can change a worldview to let in creativity, positivity, and personal growth. ~Larissa
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
Read and Reviewed by Libby Keenan:
At the end of a long day I have Almost had my fill of horses , for the moment and like to unwind with a good book. My most recent read is "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It's a fascinating exploration of how fads,trends, new products etc. become globally famous in a flash.A good example very recently would be Susan Boyle's jump to massive celebrity. Gladwell studies the demographics and finds that social behaviour is spread much like the way in which one person can start a worldwide flu pandemic.
It's really amazing to see him track trends like a drop in the crime rate or the rise of Ipods. Often things start with an idea in someones's basement and spread like wildfire via one small but precisely targeted push.
This book is well worth an evening or two as it gives terrific insight into the causes and consequences of the speed of communication in modern society. ~Libby
Have fun, happy riding, and happy reading!!