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Equine Fitness: A Program of Exercises and Routines for Your Horse Paperback – December 9, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Equine Fitness: A Program of Exercises and Routines for Your Horse
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Total-Body Conditioning for Your Healthiest Horse

 

Keep your horse fit, happy, and eager to please with exercise routines that are simple to follow and fun to perform. Designed to improve equine strength and agility, these exercises give every horse -- regardless of age, ability, or discipline -- the fitness training to perform at consistently high levels. Additional benefits of these routines include increased stamina, improved range of motion, and fewer injuries in your well-conditioned horse.

About the Author

Jec Ballou is the author of  101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider, and Equine Fitness. She is a national advisor to the Western Dressage Association of America and contributed to the current rules for the sport. She teaches clinics across the United States. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; Pap/Crds edition (December 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603424636
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603424639
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have bought three copies of this book so far: one I gave away to my trainer (who loved it), one to mess with (cut out cards, write notes on, drag out to the barn, etc.), and one to keep on the coffee table for constant reference. Just the chapter and exercises on the horse's neck were, for me, the best and clearest description of how to help build your horse's top line in the most effective, healthy way was worth much more than the price of the book.

I have gained a lot more confidence from Jec's clear, careful explanations and the excellent illustrations, so that I now have a plan when I go out to work with my horses. As winter and rain season approaches, I also now feel like I have exercises I can do even in a very small space, and even if it is too wet to actually ride. I spent the last year working on getting one of my gaited horses to trot, and trot with a good stretched top line and also 'on the bit', but was still struggling until Jec helped put the rest of the pieces together.
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Format: Paperback
The exercises are useful and Ballou makes plenty of good points.

On the other hand, she doesn't provide any sources (only a "resources" section, which is not the same thing). It would seem the majority of the knowledge that she shares here is more traditional than scientific, despite repeatedly telling you what is shown by studies she does not cite. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine when authors insist on saying "studies show" fairly often and write as though they are operating on scientific knowledge. If you're going to talk about what studies show, you need to cite the studies doing the showing.

For example, parts of the "cooling down" section I know are factually incorrect as I've attended veterinary seminars that discuss this very topic by researchers whose whole careers are dedicated to studying equine fitness.

The idea that in order to cool down a horse you have to cool down the blood should appear false on its face when you actually take a moment to consider it. The horse's blood isn't creating heat--the muscles are. So cooling down a horse's blood isn't going to cool down your horse if the muscles are still creating heat. Where Ballou recommends using "tepid water" only on specific parts of the horse's body, applying cold water to the horse's entire body is actually more effective as it cools the source of the heat--the muscles--which is really what you ought to be cooling down anyway. Stiffness and a build-up of lactic acid should not be your primary concern if you're exercising your horse on a hot day--heatstroke and dehydration should be. In that case, cooling the horse's muscles down ASAP should be your number one priority, and cold water is the best way to do that.
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Jec Ballou has written a Masterpiece work which is a cummulation of her studies, experience, equine knowledge, and love and respect for this wonderful animal. This book is a must for anyone, from beginner to experienced level, and will assist greatly in achieving a balanced, healthy horse who enjoys his/her work, and will enjoy years of soundness and athletic performance that can only come from a proper foundation. I found that the way she has written the book, the application of her program can be implemented at any stage, whether you are just starting a youngster, want to purify the movements of your horse, or keep your senior companion sound and willing. The pull out cards that you can take with you while working are great, too. I want to buy a second one just to save for my library.
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With a title like "Equine Fitness, A Conditioning Program of Exercises & Routines for your Horse" I expected to see lots of different exercises and routines. I didn't think that this book would be an Equine Physiology Book- including Massage Therapy, Acupressure on the Equine Meridian system or stretching exercises which you do to your horse. These are all good things to know, and which I have studied, but I wanted to find an equine fitness program to condition my horse, in winter and all the other seasons. My biggest disappointment came when I found that all the exercises were for english riding, my first clue should have been the comment "Author of 101 Dressage Exercises". I'm not saying that these aren't good for all modalities of riding but as Western Rider I use a loose rein, my seat and my body to tell my horse how fast I want him to go, when to stop and which way to turn. I liked the little cards in the back which you could tear out and take to the arena but I would have rather had some general fitness exercises, suppling exercises, strength exercises and/or rehabilitating exercises.... for riding in a Western Saddle or even bareback.
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