In Lessons in Lightness, veteran trainer Mark Russell carries the classical knowledge of “riding in lightness” forward.


His theories and concepts are drawn from the teachings of the French and Iberian ecuyers, or riding masters, who are credited with being the first to promote the benefits of suppleness and flexion in the horse in order to achieve lightness to the aids. By using these methods the rider liberates the horse’s true movement without either driving force (the rider’s legs) or holding restraints (the rider’s hands). When the rider enables the horse to use his energy efficiently, the horse will drive himself forward- once balanced in self-carriage, there will be no resistance in the rein.

Mark Russell wrote this book about his methods and his program because riding in lightness works for both horse and rider. To understand how the horse thinks and how he creates forward impulsion and propels energy through his body empowers the rider to better educate the horse. An exploration into the horse’s physiological and psychological state is the basis for building that strong bond most riders yearn to achieve. Learning lightness opens the door to the art of riding.

Due to the unexpected death of Mark Russell on June 12th, 2016 Lessons in Lightness is temporarily unavailable. Prior to Mark’s death he was in the process of a revision. 

The revision will go forward and will further reflect the wisdom that Mark gained since the original publication in 2004. The revision will include updated material, clarifications, and a new section authored by holistic veterinarian and student. Updates will be posted as we cope with the ramifications of Mark’s death and begin to move forward.  July 30th, 2016.