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The Elements of Dressage: A Guide to Training the Young Horse Hardcover – December 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
This book focuses on the German dressage training scale. The author explains the steps in training the horse, dividing it into stages (i.e. stage one you focus on A, B, and C elements, stage two you begin developing D and E). He gives some guidelines as to what your horse should be able to do before you push him for more. He then devotes a chapter to each element needed in dressage, in the order it should be developed in the horse (relaxation, regularity, freedom, contact, on the aids...). He finishes with a few miscellaneous chapters on the flying change, transitions, the inclined arena (great for eventers), Prix St. James test, and lateral movements.
This book mainly aims to discuss the development of the young horse, providing a correct foundation for all further work, including eventing and show jumping. It provides more detail about the early years of training, rather than say, development of the piaffe, passage, extensions, etc.
I would recommend this to all dressage riders (especially those just starting out or at the lower levels), to those people interested in putting a good foundation on a young horse (this applies to ALL disciplines!), or to those that just want a better understanding of how to ride a horse correctly. This book has great clarity, is an easy read, I even recommended it to my youngest sister (she's 12).
Don't get me wrong, this is not a book for novices just learning to post. You do need a basic understanding of riding. He's not going to explain how to ask your horse to shoulder-in or get on the bit. I read this with a good working knowledge of dressage. This just put everything into a clear format and made dressage, for once, seem simple to understand (even if its very difficult to perform!)
The author's instructions are written clearly and are plentifully illustrated with diagrams and photos.
As well as dressage riders, Western Pleasure and Western Horsemanship riders will find this book to be amazingly applicable to their favorite events. All riders will find that this book is both a wholistic and a specific guide to good horsemanship.