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Xenophon Press

Lessons in Lightness 2019 Expanded Edition by Mark Russell with contributions by Jillian Kreinbring M. S.

Regular price $39.95
Lessons in Lightness Expanded Edition by Mark Russell, published posthumously, further advances the concept of Art Form Riding first presented in the 2004 edition of Lessons in Lightness. Soft shaping and the development of the horse’s flexibility, balance, and strength through a heightened sense of relaxation, this approach teaches us that mobility gives us forward. Through logical gymnastic progressions, a positive feedback loop of relaxation, flexibility, and strength develops. From these progressions, energy springs forth so horses work in concert with their riders with calmness and exuberance.

Maintaining both relaxation and balance in a forward mindset can be a difficult state to achieve. Lessons in Lightness Expanded Edition offers in-depth guidance on how to create this often elusive combination.

Progressions include:

•   Accessing the horse’s jaw and spine.

•   Teaching the horse that the bit is an indicator of relaxation.

•   Development of the horse’s often over-looked balance-inducing postural muscles.

•   Development of flexion and strength through lateral movements and rein-back in relaxed postures.

•   Necessary for success, each lesson begins in hand before progressing under saddle.

A new chapter entitled The Hidden Influences of the Bridle: The Stomatognathic System by Jillian Kreinbring M. S. underlines an expanded focus on equine biomechanics. Understanding the horse’s functional anatomy is highlighted throughout this edition; it is the key to avoiding many common roadblocks.

All color hardback coffee table style definitive edition.

In the 1980’s Mark studied with Master Nuno Oliveira. He practiced Tai Chi and Chi Gong for decades. Later Mark infused certain Natural Horsemanship philosophies into his practice. Mark’s gifts were to seeunderstand, and maintain an approach that did not stray from these unifying philosophies. Mark Russell lost his life on June 12, 2016. Mark’s wife, Hela, is committed to preserving his life’s work. For more information, visit

Jillian Kreinbring M. S. has been working with horses her entire life. In her early years and through college, she worked in various disciplines, both training and showing horses in the United States and Germany.
After graduating with her undergraduate degree, she continued her education and attained her graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in Life Sciences. Here she studied equine movement, posture, and muscle development. Jillian’s research was guided in part by Dr. Hillary Clayton, Dr. Nancy Nicholson, and Dr. Sara Wyche. Jillian’s conviction is helping riders learn how the horse’s mind and all physical systems of the bodywork in concert to promote healthy riding and training habits, the benefit of which is freedom of movement.

Jillian’s deep concern for the health of horses fuels her ongoing study of classical riding and its relationship to sound biomechanics and mental well-being. She continues her riding and in hand education with Manolo Mendez and appeared in his in-hand DVD. She continues to regularly study with Peggy Cummings, creator of Connected Riding, and with Stephanie Millham, long-term student of Master Nuno Oliveira and author of the book The Legacy of Master Nuno Oliveira.
Prior to Mark Russell’s death in 2016, Jillian studied extensively with him. “I began my studies with Mark in 2012. The importance of his teachings in my life as a student and educator are beyond words. He opened many doors for me as I learned about his use of energy to help softly shape horses in hand and under saddle. His instruction will be a guiding light for me every time I put my hands on a horse. It was an honor and privilege to learn from this man and it is my goal to continue forth with his teachings.”
Jillian developed and teaches a lecture series entitled “Understanding Equine Movement to Realize Your Horse’s Potential,” and she continues as a Connected Riding© Instructor. She teaches her courses and conducts riding clinics around the globe.

ISBN: 9781948717014

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