Leonardo da Vinci
Study for Battle of Anghiari
BOOKS ON SCHOOLING EXERCISES
Books Aimed More Toward Instructors
Major Anders Lindgren's Teaching Exercises: A Manual of Instructors & Riders
Major Lindgren worked with USDF riders in the 1980's and wrote these exercises as a result. Cone markers guiding riders through arena movements became his trademark. Each exercise is diagrammed, with notes guiding the rider through the skill. They progress systematically through required skills , from Training through the 1998 Fifth Level, based on the AHSA test movements. His clear, careful approach to developing horse and rider skills has timeless value.
Code: 2471 Price: $25.95 Click Here to Order.
School Exercises for Flatwork & Jumping
This book organizes exercises by specific skills: straight lines, circles, etc.; cross-referencing them by horse or rider ability at the end of the book. An exercise is diagramed, with each movement numbered (like a dressage test) and keyed to written notes. The first exercise in each section is fully explained; and the others follow a standard format, progressively developing skills. There is a short section of gridwork exercises, and some interesting "double ride" ideas at the back of the book. Ross demonstrates the almost endless variations possible for each exercise to prevent schooling boredom. Instructors should carefully assess students, stopping a lesson before asking more than the horse or rider is ready for.
Code: 1281 Price: $25.95 Click Here to Order.
Progressive Schooling Exercises for Dressage & Jumping
Auty stresses maintaining pupils' confidence throughout this book of more advanced exercises. The introduction on teaching methods is an excellent quick primer of teaching with positive reinforcement. Similar in layout to Ross's book, there is more detail in the explanation of aids, goals, and execution; ways to remedy faults; as well as a nice addition of "teaching points." The chapter on jumping is a bit more extensive.
Code: 3438 Price: $25.95 Click Here to Order.
Right Track: Arena Exercises for Riders & Instructors
Right from the start, it is clear this would be a great book for instructors working with kids. The introduction on teaching is a lesson in itself, complete with a sample lesson plan. The exercises have names like Snowman and Dominoes, with cones set to help the kids ridge the big and little circles that complete the image. Each exercise is keyed for difficulty and the number of riders. Some are designed to be instructor-guided, and others may offer riders a choice. (I especially liked Venamore's method of teaching half-halts.) These kids will improve coordination and communication, while learning transitions, rhythem, flexion accuracy, and balance, all while having fun!
Code: 4784 Price: $24.95 Click here to order.
Books For Solo Schooling, or Ideas for Instructors
101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider
This is a book you take to the barn with you - it's designed to hang on a wall, open to an exercise. The Visual Glossary clearly indicates movements & gaits, and each exercise is diagramed large on the page. Exercises are arranged in sections titled Warm-up, Looseness, Straightness, Rider Position, Lateral Work, and so on. Ever the teacher, Ballou carefully explains the goals, process and watch points of each exercise, often suggesting how long it should be practiced. Her advice for a schooling plan is so simple you can't help but get organized and structure your riding, with the clear results that come from a plan.
Code: 4443 Price: $29.95 Click here to order.
101 Horsemanship & Equitation Patterns
This book is also designed to go ringside with you. Subtitled "A Western & English Guide for Practice & Show," it is geared to help riders prepare for competition. Again, there are clear visual icons for gaits and movements in the diagrams. Western patterns cover the first half of the book, followed by English patterns to help equitation riders in Hunter Seat, Saddle Seat and Dressage classes. These exercises will certainly give you lots of practice, not to mention improve the precision of both you and your horse in preparation for the show ring.
Code: 2588 Price: $29.95 Click here to order.
101 Arena Exercises: A Ringside Guide for Horse & Rider
This book is written for English and western riders, moving between jog and posting exercises, western pivots and Dressage pirouettes. Exercises are divided into work on gaits, transitions, circles, lateral work and "mini-patterns." There are good reminders of basic skill and knowledge of gaits, and a variety of exercies keeps any practice from becoming boring. It is aimed at the many pleasure rider who want to train on their own between occasional lessons.
Code: 2 Price: $29.95 Click here to order.
Essential Exercises for Training Horses: An Illustrated Guide
O'Conner is a respected name in eventing circles. But all riding starts with good flat work, and Sally O'Conner makes excellent sense of this training. Text is more prominent in this book, with diagrams and photos subordinant to it. I have always found her explanations very clear, helping the reader understand the mechanics of what is happening, not just the buttons to push. Some of the chapters include Flexions in Hand & Under Saddle; Work in Hand; Putting Your Horse on the Aids; Making Your Horse More Responsive and Supple; the Road to Collection: Better Bending & Balance; Exercises for Improving Strength & Balance; and Piaffe & Passage. The photos are clear, illustrating a young horse just learning the exercises, at times with faults, and then as he begins to understand what is asked of him.
Code: 4672 Price: $29.95 Click here to order.
Build a Better Athlete! 16 Gymnastic Exercises for Your Horse
Webb uses these exercises to "gymnasticize" her own horses. Rather than teaching dressage movements per se, they are meant to help balance, supple, straighten and strengthen a horse, whether a green youngster or an advanced European import. Rider position is emphasized in these exercises, and the photos and detailed explanations are very clear about correct communication by the rider. With these exercises, you're going to carefully read the section, and then work on one exercise during a schooling ride. Use half-halts to improve horse-rider communication; learn how to change a horse's bend by changing your balance; or use a flattened figure-eight to achieve a lengthened trot stride, maintaining rhythm & balance. It's a good book to add depth to your program.
Code: 4674 Price: $19.95 Click here to order.
100 Ways to Improve Your Horse's Schooling
McBane's book is couched more as an introductory training book for the rider having a hores with minimal training. She starts with an explanation of basic principles of training. The groundwork lessons are those necessary to make a horse well-mannered and safe. The flatwork continues to work toward a responsive and obedient mount. The book is well illustrated: since patterns play only a minor role, there are few diagrams. What comes through is a knowledgeable horseworman sharing her experience in order to assist an enthusiastic, but novice, rider.
Code: 4522 Price: $29.99 Click here to order.
30 Minutes a Day to a Better Horse
This book covers everything from stable management issues (diet, stable and pasture check, massage, tack cleaning, clipping), to groundwork training, to conditioning, jumping and safe trail riding. It's a good idea book, one that you can pick and choose through for sections tha help with issues you're currently facing.
Code: 4712 Price: $29.99 Click here to order.
Schooling Books Specifically on Jumping
Better Jumping: Using Grid Work for Success at Every Level
No matter how experienced a rider you are, you can always work to jump better. From being a complete beginner to competing at the highest level, there is always room to improve and, for jumping, gridwork is the key. Internationally known jumping trainer Carol Mailer fills this new book with exercises to finesse technique and solve bedeviling jumping problems. The book is packed with color photos and exacting diagrams.
Code: 5076 Price: $49.95 Click here to order.
Everyday Jumping Exercises for Riders & Instructors
This title comes from the same publisher as the School Exercises and Progressive Exercises listed above. The first half has a good introduction to jumping: it addresses the stages of a jump; rider position and its importance for the horse's balance; flatwork exercises for jumping preparation; and remedies for common horse and rider problems. The second half includes exercises: poles for groundwork; gridwork; jumping related distances and jumping courses. The book has plenty of sound advice, with good commentary on the photo sequences, and diagrams to reinforce the text instruction.
Code: 4704 Price: $36.95 Click here to order.
101 Jumping Exercies for Horse & Rider
From basic guidelines for safe riding and jumping to correct construction of jumps, and developmental exercises, Allen structures this book for safe jumping. Rather than present complete course designs, she takes elements of a course that ask specific questions, diagrams the exercises and explains how to ride them and what to look for. Although you can't learn to ride from a book, there is much to practice and master in these pages, preparing riders to safely undertake jumping courses at their next show. while it doesn't offer jump or course design, it will help amateur course designers at small local shows design more appropriate and safer classes for their competitiors. As with 101 Dressage Exercises, the book is spiral bound and ready to hang on the arena wall while you practice.
Code: 3755 Price: $29.95 Click here to order.