Nature, Nurture and Horses

A Journal of Four Dressage Horses—From Birth through the First Year of Training

Paul Belasik



Follow along as four young horsesCorsana, Kara, Elsa, and Escarpaleave their babyhood behind and begin their training for future careers as sport horses, well schooled in the art of classical dressage.

Renowned rider, trainer, author, and equestrian philosopher Paul Belasik shares the daily schedule, weekly events, and his own musings over each horse's character, physicality, athletic ability, and training as the months and seasons pass. Belasik's honest and enlightened journal entries give the reader an inside look at training horses according to the classical system he has used for almost 40 years. His style of writing allows the reader to “live” the experiences as he did —— in the moment, and without the benefit of hindsight. The result is a true account, both thoughtful and thought provoking, and by turns tender and efficiently practical.

While many horsemen may have the opportunity to train a young horse in the course of their life, it is only he who both breeds and trains who benefits from working with full and half siblings, horses both closely related and distant. Training horses that share bloodlines, birthplace, and breaking-in techniques enables one to witness the power of nature and the influence of nurture on the eventual result — a “finished” riding horse. Whether that horse is a pleasure to work with and ride, or dull and dispassionate, or worse, a danger to himself and others, is ultimately dependent on the right mixture of nature and nurture, and a sensitive knowledgeable hand to offer lessons in fair and yet effective measures.

It is this that we witness, in words and photos, in the pages within. Paul Belasik opens his farm and his experience to us all, in the hope that his continuing education in the realm of horsemanship can be our own.

Additional Information

Author: Paul Belasik

Format: eBook

Page Count: 184

Illustrations: 84 color photographs

ISBN: 9781570765315

By Paul Belasik

Paul Belasik is a highly respected international rider, trainer, writer, and teacher, and an avowed proponent of classical equestrian ideals. Belasik has ridden and trained at every level in dressage, from young horses to Grand Prix and beyond. He also has had extensive experience in eventing, which encompassed the early part of his career, before turning solely to his first and true love: classical dressage and the art of riding. Belasik has sought wisdom from great riding masters such as Dr. HLM van Schaik and Nuno Oliveira, and his wide-ranging studies include the concepts of Zen Buddhism and martial arts. Belasik has authored eight books, and he gives clinics, lectures, and demonstrations internationally while training a wide cross-section of clients at his Pennsylvania Riding Academy at Lost Hollow Farm (

Dressage Today Says:

“The richness of the contents of this book is way too valuable to bypass.”

Horse Journal Says:

“The concepts being discussed here would be helpful for anyone who starts youngsters.”