Walter Zettl is one of those rare instructors who cares as much for horses as he does for riders. I cherish the inscription he wrote in my copy of Dressage in Harmony, from Basic to Grand Prix, wishing my horse, as well as me, luck in our journey together. That horse is no longer with me, but the journey and Herr Zettl’s good wishes remain.
Doctor of Philosophy in the Glass-Half-Full School, Herr Zettl sees the progression of the dressage horse as a continuum, without the commonly perceived (and sometimes considered impassable) hurdles between levels — even the lower levels.
How refreshing this is, as the bar keeps getting set lower and lower in terms of what is expected of the everyday horse and considered attainable by the everyday rider. This isn’t only true of dressage, it’s also true of jumping, when a horse is now considered something special when he “can do three feet.”