The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding


Well-known author Gincy Self Bucklin has taught horseback riding and instruction techniques to riders and fellow instructors for over 65 years. The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding (Human Kinetics, 2013) should be a game changer in the way horseback riding is taught at the novice level.

Knowledgeable horse people know that in order to be correct, all riding skills must be founded on a centered and grounded position; also known as a ‘good seat‘. However the average novice rider finds her- or himself struggling, perhaps for years, as the result of receiving “too much information, not enough foundation.” Bucklin has developed a teaching approach which enables riders to develop a correct seat first, then build their skills on this foundation. As well as being safer and more satisfying for the riders, since they are not attempting more than they can accomplish, it is also much more comfortable for their horses, and more rewarding for the instructor.

Her teaching ‘basics’ are also atypical. Bucklin believes a student should, first and foremost, develop a good rider/horse relationship, based on mutual caring and trust. Second, handle the horse on the ground and ride him in ways that are comfortable for both. Third, understand that communication with the horse begins with listening.

Riders in any discipline will benefit from Bucklin’s unique presentation, which features lesson-by-lesson instructions and full-color images. All the basic skills are covered, which makes The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding not only an excellent guide for learning or self-improving riders but also a great manual for instructors wishing to simplify and improve the learning process while developing confident riders with safe, happy horses.


Gincy Self Bucklin has been teaching riding for more than 60 years. Her students have included recreational riders of all ages and levels, many of whom have also shown successfully and some of whom have become professionals themselves. She now works with instructors to share the teaching methods presented in her books. Gincy is a retired Centered Riding instructor and is an American Riding Instructors Association level IV instructor.

Gincy has been writing about horses and riding since 1987. She is the author of What Your Horse Wants You to Know, How Your Horse Wants You to Ride, and More How Your Horse Wants You to Ride. She has been a contributor to national horse magazines, includingEquus and Horse Illustrated. Currently she writes a regular column for Riding Instructor, the quarterly publication of the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA), and maintains her own website. Gincy lives in East Dummerston, Vermont.

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