Sunday, August 12, 2012

Can't Talk Now, Too Busy. Got A New Book.

I'm so excited!

I finally got myself a copy of Dr. Hilary Clayton's The Dynamic Horse.  I've been wanting it forever, but it's a bit expensive.  My husband noticed that it kept turning up in the Amazon search lists and bought it for me. That's why I keep him around.  He may not be that into the horses himself, but he is more than willing to enable my addiction!

So far, I'm really liking the book.  I am taking it slowly, though, because it's pretty heavy reading.  It's fascinating, but it's very, very technical.  There is none of the "melting candlestick, arching rainbow" visualizations in this book.  It is strictly biomechanics.  There are also no suggestions on technique.  It is not a "how to" book.  It is a "this is how things work, now draw your own conclusions book".

Essentially, it's a physic's textbook.  It has much of the same material in it that I found so painfully boring when I took actual physics in college.  But, unlike my boring college physics textbook that used dumb examples about trains and cosmic rays and other silly things, Dr. Clayton's book uses horses as the examples!

If this doesn't make angular displacement interesting, I don't know what will!

That, my friends, is how you make physics interesting!  (Are you listening Dr. Masur?  I might have actually showed up to your class if you used pertinent examples!)

Anyway, that's my review of The Dynamic Horse.  I haven't actually finished the book yet, but I don't think this is the type of book that you ever "finish".  It's more of a reference material, something that you can go back to and gain insight from throughout your riding career, much like Alois Podhajsky's The Complete Training of Horse and Rider.

Speaking of The Complete Training of Horse and Rider, Spider and I are up to many interesting things these days.  I haven't forsaken him to read my new book.  I'll get to writing about those things soon.  As soon as I can tear myself away from my new book, that is!


  1. I love her! I think a lot of lameness would be avoided if her books and videos were more widely read / watched. Happy reading!

  2. I agree! She is really quite brilliant, and does a good job explaining biomechanics. I have other biomechanics books, but none that are as clear, concise and well explained as hers!

  3. And people will often ask, after I tell them how long I have been riding, "And you still take lessons?" Oh, yes. There is always something new to learn about horses and riding. Always!

  4. Thanks for providing the amazon link. I read through the first part, mostly definitions at that point, but still interesting because horses were used as the examples. I like how she doesn't pull any punches with the science terminology and concepts, although I would need to see more of the book to see where she is headed.

    It is also good of her to include (Table of Contents) the running walk, tolt, fox trot, etc. A lot of times people just through their hands up when asked about the ambling gaits.

    My students know that I love horses, so I am not above using them or my birds to teach physics concepts. I have used the idea of getting a big draft horse moving (and then stopping them to demonstrate momentum) vs. a tiny pony to demonstrate the relationship between mass and inertia. Now, if I could really bring them to school, THAT would be an unforgettable lesson. ;)


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