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Your favorite book on dressage/straightness

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  • Your favorite book on dressage/straightness

    I am looking to add a new book or two, to my reading list. Can anyone help me find a dressage book that really addresses lateral work, and how to use what, and when, to get a horse even and straight. Useful exercises, diagrams, visuals are easier for me to comprehend as well. Just curious as to what others have found useful. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I am working my way through Janet Foys "Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect-Horse" and it's great. She goes up the levels and addresses each movement (so far, through First Level). She also addresses imperfections and evasions: how to address or what is causing them. It sounds close to what you are looking for.


    • #3
      Advanced Techniques of Dressage by the German Equestrian Federation is my literary ride-or-die for things like this. It can be very dry (and technical), but their diagrams and explicit instruction is peerless. Advanced Techniques does engage with more of the upper level movements - if you are looking for fundamentals of good riding (and straightness/lateral in more of an introductory or how to incorporate it meaningfully into your daily life), The Principles of Riding (also by the German Equestrian Federation) is basically the same approach to instruction, just not as advanced in terms of the movements.

      In the same vein (very technical, step-by-step, useful graphics) is Das Dressurpferd, by Harry Boldt. It has a very credible english translation (sometimes some of the dressage books I pick up don't seem to have done their diligence with language in the translating, so things seem more ambiguous). This book is also quite excellent if you are looking for literature that deals very specifically in application of the aids (when, how, why).


      • #4
        I love Jane Savoies Dressage 101. It is the one book that I keep as a reference at hand, referring to it constantly to make sure I am really doing things properly. The illustrations, photos and text make complex problems simple.


        • #5
          The Janet Foy and Jane Savoie books already listed are my favorites as well.

          In fact, I pulled out the Jane Savoie book last night just to review the straightening exercises she has towards the back of the book.


          • Original Poster

            Thank you for the ideas, I do not own any of those! I will have to look them up and pick out a couple.


            • #7
              Can't beat Walter zettl


              • #8
                "The athletic Development of the Dressage Horse" by Charles de Kunffy.

                It's a favorite.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
                  I love Jane Savoies Dressage 101. It is the one book that I keep as a reference at hand, referring to it constantly to make sure I am really doing things properly. The illustrations, photos and text make complex problems simple.


                  What Mouse & Bay said above times 200%. Jane Savoie's book "Dressage 101" addresses the nuts and bolts of riding. What to do & when, especially when things aren't going perfectly. I also enjoy her methods of addressing tension in the horse.

                  I do enjoy Walter Zettl's book "Dressage in Harmony", but do not refer back to it as often as Jane's book listed above.

                  I love "Lessons with Lendon" by Lendon Gray which is pretty much a compilation of her articles written for Practical Horseman back in the day. Many photos feature a very young Courtney King.

                  I often refer back to both books written by Sally Swift - Centered Riding & Centered Riding II for biomechanics.

                  I also rather enjoy Ingrid Klimke's updated versions of the books written by her father Reimer Klimke "Basic Training of the Young Horse" and "Cavaletti for Dressage & Jumping". The 2nd editions are much more descriptive in my opinion.

                  Most of the books I own, I first checked out via the library before purchasing. Here in Canada, I have access to our provincial library lending system. That means, I can borrow a book from a library HOURS away. If, the lending library cares to share it. Most of the time they do. This way, I can read the book and decide whether to add it to my bookshelf or not.


                  • #10
                    For LOTS of detail "Dressage Principles Based on Biomechanics" by Thomas Ritter.

                    For great diagrams, "Dressage in Lightness" by Sylvia Loch