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101 Jumping Exercises for Horse & Rider (Read & Ride) Plastic Comb – November 18, 2002
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Equestrian competition is a fluid melding of horse and rider. But the grace and beauty one sees in the competition ring does not just happen. Like any sport, it is the result of hours of practice. Allen, a former international competitive rider, licensed judge, and Olympic course designer, offers a series of exercises for horse and rider designed to isolate and master specific skills. The increasingly complex exercises conclude with skills for more advanced riders, but she begins with basic skills, such as the walk and trot. Throughout she emphasizes straightness, calmness, balance, and rhythm. She also defines terminology along the way, so novices can build their equestrian vocabulary. Each exercise includes a detailed diagram as well as an explanation of its purpose and benefits. Included are a glossary, index, and brief professional biographies of additional contributors. Carefully structured, well written, and effectively illustrated, this is an excellent addition to collections whose patrons have exhibited an interest in horses and equestrian sports. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
'If you can master all 101 of Linda Allen's examples, you'll never encounter anything on a course that will surprise you - at least not very much.' William Steinkraus, 1968 Individual Olympic Gold Medal, Show Jumping --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It's also difficult to see both the diagram and the instructions side-by-side unless you hold the top of the book out with one hand. And if you flip the pages all the way over like I did you risk having them flip out of the binding all together.
As for the actually book, it's nicely laid out and written. However, I would have liked to see a bit more on jumping technique (body & hand position) in the beginning pages as well as some canter pole exercises. It basically has 20 trot pole exercises, then goes into jumps with flying changes. Not the best beginner transition. The canter pole exercises come after about midway through the book and I found some of the distances to be a little off.
Overall, a pretty good book that would benefit from a design change.
I can safely say that the exercises in this book really helped Ruby and I with jumping confidence, control (we had issues with bolting after jumps), bending, and consistency. The illustrations are very clear and easy to use. Once you master the lessons in this book, you can move things around and make changes faily easily.
Note: I think the distances in this book are set for a very large riding arena: Connie and I improvise to get these gymnastics to fit in our small ring, but we have never had any issues doing this- we might have to leave out a jump, but we have done well with this anyway. For safety reason, please do not attempt the higher difficulties without a trainer present. For trot pole sequences, you can get away with setting yout lines a little off, but if you plan on jumping, you really need to be mindful of your distances. Generally, Connie will set up an exercise for me to do with her, then I leave it and practice the same one during the week.
Have fun! Bounces are my personl favorite
Lessons and clinics are difficult to replicate and the rider can often be too busy during training to remember the trainer's words and timing thereof afterwards. This will inevitably leave him or her with many questions, especially: "How did I achieve the goal of this training, how did I do it?" This book makes you answer for yourself. It is however almost mandatory to have a helper stand alongside, to read and look and comment on how the exercises are performed. This too is a very good learning experience.
Anyone using this book is strongly advised to start at the beginning, however simple it may seem and perform each and every exercise as precisely as possible before transitioning to the next. I feel this is not a book for the beginner rider. But being very thorough and precise will help you to be very critical of your own and your horse's level of training, while getting into a good position to pinpoint flaws. All in all this book is a wonderful addition to your existing training and understanding thereof. Patience, empathy and self criticism are the virtues of horse training anyway, so get the hang of it!
A similarly good book is
101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider
Also very recommended!
Enjoy your training and be grateful for your horses willing response to your combined efforts!