In his May 2008 Practical Horseman magazine column, Jim Wofford says that classical dressage theory has been oversimplified, resulting in too much kicking and pulling, sharper bits, tighter nosebands and "other implements of the devil."
To counteract this trend, Jim recommends reading--or rereading--the classical dressage texts mentioned in the following list. You'll find they make no mention of kicking and pulling a horse into a frame. They stress relaxation, throughness and quiet hands that don't pull back on the reins. They emphasize patient and systematic training. And they underscore the need for the rider to have a good position.
Happy reading and riding!
Academic Equitation -General Decarpentry
Advanced Techniques of Dressage - German National Equestrian Federation
The Complete Training of Horse and Rider - Alois Podhajsky
Dressage Riding - Richard Watjen
The Forward Impulse - Piero Santini
Horsemanship - Waldemar Seunig
Riding Logic - Wilhelm Müseler
The books with links can be purchased online at HorseBooksEtc.com or by calling 1-800-952-5813.
To read Jim's article, see the May 2008 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.