The Training Spiral
Traditional Methods Reimagined for the 21st-Century Horse and Rider
The “Scales of Training,” “Training Scale,” and “Training Pyramid” are familiar terms to riders. Around the globe and across disciplines, equestrians hear reference to them or study them as a part of their equestrian education. Dressage rider and trainer Sue Grice grew up with these concepts, too, and like many, found them to be not only fairly boring, but also confusing when it came to actually implementing them as part of daily training. In the course of her work with other riders, she came to realize that although many seemed to know about the Scales of Training in theory, few actually applied them in practice. Grice determined that this was because there was really no clear framework or methodology for implementing the system in a progressive manner.
So Grice conceived a new approach based on the standard but with a focus on a better rate of success. Success could be achieved when the rider was engaged with the system and understood how to continually adhere to it, even as advances (or falters) might occur. For over 30 years she has continued to develop and apply her ideas, and now she has finally brought them together to share with the world in this book.
Here readers find a detailed plan for applying what Grice calls the “Training Spiral.” She does not try to rewrite what history has shown to work in the development of the riding horse, but instead simply provides a fresh framework that enables riders and trainers to:
- Apply the classical elements of the Training Scale in a more progressive and logical manner, and,
- Employ them systematically within daily training as well as over a longer period of time.
Grice provides clear explanations of how to use each of the six elements (Rhythm, Suppleness, Contact, Impulsion, Straightness, and Collection), how the elements are to be used in order, and what can go wrong if they are applied in the wrong order. Clear examples are given at all levels of training, and detailed case studies demonstrate how the Training Spiral can succeed where traditional systems have failed. The spiral structure provides a means of applying the Scales of Training in practice that is not just logical but also extremely easy to follow. The clarity of Grice's approach also helps horses understand what is being asked of them, leading to a happier relationship between horses and riders, and training that progresses more quickly and easily overall.
The Training Spiral is an invaluable and immensely practical guide for trainers and riders at all levels, from novice to advanced.
Reviews for The Training Spiral
“This is an insightful book and Sue is a feeling rider that trains all horses to improvement. I am one of several trainers she works with and I just love how she improves the ordinary horses as well as the well bred superstars. She is always thoughtful and kind with her training methods; this book expresses her inner thoughts”