101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider by Jec Aristotle Ballou and Stephanie Boyles is a very handy resource! Aside from the terms jog and lope, I far from feel this is a book that will benefit those only interested in Western riding! In fact, can I say that everyone who wants to improve their riding and communication with their horse should read this book?
These authors have put together an amazing assortment of short exercises for the beginner, intermediate and advanced rider to help them hone the responsiveness of their mount. The diagrams are clear and easy to follow, the instructions direct and the benefits detailed before each exercise – as well as some hints to the rider. They appear to me to be easy to follow, full of enriching information and inspiring action. Seriously, a great book!
If you’re someone who instructs or has a desire to teach others, the 101 exercises in this book will allow you to easily take a hold of one or two and use them to fill a riding lesson for students. They will learn many, many exercises that they can use to effectively make their horse lighter to their aids; able to work straight and have an awareness of where their horse’s feet are being placed.
To be able to carry out such exercises as a rider, you don’t need a myriad of props. The diagrams are explained in a 60 x 20 metre arena, but having cones set out with the usual dressage letters in the same dimension would work, too. Poles are suggested for some exercises.
101 Western Dressage Exercises provides chapters on softness, looseness, rider development, engagement, adjustability and a last chapter on ground work. This is followed by a glossary of terms that are consistently used in the book. The book does not explain how to carry out actions such as the turn on the forehand or haunches, but instead this is assumed knowledge and it makes use of such movements to bring about certain responses in the horse.
Being a NetGalley copy, I only had access to read it over a short period, so will now need to go buy myself a copy – I can see it will have many, many benefits to myself as a rider and help with guiding others, should I pursue the road of teaching horse riding once again.
Authors – Jec Aristotle Ballou and Stephanie Boyles
Non Fiction – horse riding
In my library – Not yet! But I’m rapt to have had the opportunity to read it.
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.
“If training has not made a horse more beautiful, nobler in carriage, more attentive in his behavior, revealing pleasure in his own accomplishment…then he has not truly been schooled in dressage.” – Col. Handler