Horse World USA, Jan 1991
Books and Videos For the Circus
By Janet Blevins
Finally, I did find one book on training circushorses. That is Chuck Grant's Training the Haute E'cole or HighSchool Horse. As one of the first people to promote dressage inthe United States, Grant gave demonstrations of the newdiscipline. It was natural to progress to high school tricks withthese horses with whom he was so in tune.
Beginning with an explanation of the basics oftraining - regularity of commands, progressing in very smallincrements, and learning to "listen" to the horse -Grant treats in detail how to teach a horse everything from asimple bow to the Spanish trot, to shaking his head "yes orno."
It's evident that Grant took time to understandeach horse individually, and that that was a key to his successboth as a trainer and as a riding instructor. A reader who learnsthat lesson should also succeed in training his horse the tricksdescribed in the book.
A final offering is the new videotape made byGrant's long-time associate, Mari Monda Zdunic. Entitled HauteE'cole - Havin' Fun with High School, the 60 minute video coversthe high school training in Grant's book, employing the samephilosophy of slow, patient training. It would make an excellentcompanion to his book, giving a visual demonstration of what'sinvolved.
Note: Janet Blevins owns the bookstore KnightEquestrian Books, PO Box 78, Edgecomb, Maine 04556, 207-882-5494
The Western Horseman January 1992
Havin' Fun With High School
For those who want to teach their horses a fewbasic tricks, but are mystified as to how to do it, thishour-long video is a must. Mari Monda Zdunic takes you step bystep through several of the most commonly known tricks, such asteaching your horse how to bow, kneel, and lie down, say yes andno, sit up, do the Spanish walk, cross his front legs, and more.She breaks down each trick into simple components, and then showshow to combine verbal and physical cues to accomplish the goal.
Zdunic shows her training secrets in this film.Zdunic shows the viewer how to build a vocabulary with a horse,so the horse understands and follows the simplest of commands.She stresses patience and safety, and how a horse must be totallyrelaxed in order to perform. According to Zdunic, there is noplace for time clocks when teaching high school maneuvers tohorses.