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Reviewed by The Editors on Dec. 1, 2008
A unique and beautifully written work—first published ten years ago—Dressage in the Fourth Dimension is both a book about horseback riding and a primer on mysticism. In its second and revised edition, Ackerman dives deeper to point toward the transformational power of horseback riding. A professor of philosophy and an internationally acclaimed dressage clinician, she asks readers/riders to deconstruct every assumption they hold about riding, to ask “why?” and to become okay with not knowing. Through such inquiry, she illuminates a path of liberation from societal conditioning and ultimately from one’s own ego. She also evokes the unconditioned, higher dimension of existence that animals—horses, in this case—inhabit and offer to us. In the genre of spiritual works such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The Tassajara Bread Book, and Road Sage: Mindfulness Techniques for Drivers, Ackerman’s numinous account of dressage reminds us that every moment can be a gift of awakening.