Two Brains, One Aim
A Riding Coach's Key Concepts for Bringing Horse and Rider Together (and Ending in Success)
Every horse person strives to grow in ability and understanding over time whether in the saddle, on the ground, or in the stable; whether in ways that are small or those that are significant. This effort, when done right, lasts a lifetime, and along the way requires the addition of knowledge and experience gleaned from numerous others. Where does one find leadership within the equine industry? How does one know to whom to turn for information? Does riding require an instructor, a trainer, a coach? Can you get by with part-time guidance? Can you effectively learn on your own, with just the occasional directive, and still find personal or competitive success?
With this book, renowned clinician and international team coach Eric Smiley intends to fill the gap when it comes to these questions and others, providing a reliable resource and educational companion for any aspiring equestrian. Smiley addresses fundamental topics pertinent to riders, with philosophical discussion and practical exercises applicable to all levels. Along the way he strives to educate them on being taught, and perhaps, one day, becoming the teachers.
His aim is to bring together the mind of the rider with the mind of the horse, while highlighting the key component in their synergy: understanding. How that understanding is acquired, retained, and put to use is the key to success.
Reviews for Two Brains, One Aim
There is a good balance of theory, with the key points highlighted, and practical exercises which are easy to set up. The Q&A in the practical sections helped me to understand the theory I had just read, and the section on re-balancing was really helpful. … I very much enjoyed the author’s straight clear speaking approach. I found the book very motivating … and I will be referring to it for a long while to come.
(For full review, visit: https://www.hay-net.co.uk/two-brains-one-aim-a-review)
Tam Thompson, Haynet
I have known Eric Smiley, for many years, firstly as a competitor and then as an instructor, trainer and coach up to championship level. Eric has, like me, worked with riders at every level of experience and natural ability.
I have had the opportunity to read his book Two Brains, One Aim and am struck by the evident practical horsemanship that comes through combined with reference and connection to the classical principles of equitation. Eric often puts himself into the mind and skin of the horse, so his advice has obvious feeling at its heart—what it feels like to be a horse. At the same time he also relates to the pupil and what it is like to be taught a skill.
This is an interesting and thought-provoking book for anyone involved as a coach, instructor, or trainer at any level in the sport.
Christopher Bartle, Performance Coach British Eventing Team, Olympic Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medalist, and Author of Training the Sport Horse
It is a truism to say that the best coaches are those who are themselves great students. For the 40 years I have been his supporter and colleague, Eric Smiley has always been a great student. Always listening, always questioning, always thoughtful, he never rests on his laurels but continually looks for new challenges and better ideas. This attitude, combined with his wide experience, gives his words special value.
William Micklem (Equestrian Consultant, Writer, Creator of the Micklem Bridle)
Eric Smiley is one of the few in the equestrian world who has gone from being a top international rider to a top international trainer and coach. He has a great technical knowledge that he combines with a well-thought-through ideology and philosophy. Eric is a naturally good horseman who has a common-sense approach to not just coaching the horse and rider, but also to solving problems where they occur. It’s therefore no surprise to me that Eric has given his book the title Two Brains, One Aim, and it’s a must read for not just coaches but also for riders on all levels.
Yogi Breisner (Advisor, Swedish Equestrian Federation, Former Performance Manager and Chef d’Equipe, British Eventing Team)
I have known Eric Smiley, watched him ride/compete and teach for many years, indeed, have been on the receiving end of some of these lessons. He has always had an incredible ability to break down any problems with a sympathetic and easily understood method—often with a great sense of humor added to take the sting out of any constructive criticism. This book will be an incredible help and reference point for any equestrian. Covering all aspects of training, teaching, and understanding of our equine athletes, it is a must-have.
Ian Stark, OBE (Winner of Four Olympic Silver Medals in Eventing and Cross-Country Course Designer)