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Dressage School

A Sourcebook of Movements and Tips Demonstrated by Olympian Isabell Werth, by Britta Schöffmann, Translated by Reina Abelshauser; JA Allen/Hale Books, 2010. Hardcover, 189pp, RRP £19.99. ISBN: 978-085131-9674.

June 22, 2009

This is a fantastic guidebook for riders who want to know the reasons behind the movements performed in the training of the horse.

And who better to give a photographic example of this work than German Olympian Isabell Werth?

Knowing why certain movements are asked for is imperative to training and competing the dressage horse - if a rider wants to do it properly, that is.

However I don't see this book as strictly for dressage enthusiasts. It would be nice to see those from other disciplines schooling their horses with purpose - instead of the all too common sawing the horse's head down "on to the bit" and a bit of leg yielding, before hooning off to do something else.

There are dozens of movements shown and explained here. From change of pace such as extended walk, trot and canter, and collection, to the lateral movements, to circles, halts, lead changes and so on.

Nearly all of the movements are pictured, and for each we are told how it should look, what the most common mistakes are (by both the horse and rider), what the correct aids are for the work, and the movement's goal. Fast facts are included (such as indicating the level at which the movement is required). Also listed by each is its "training pyramid factor", which tells the rider how much the exercise furthers the respective element of the training pyramid. For example, the lateral bend is important for straightness, slightly lesser so for contact, impulsion and collection, and lesser for rhythm.

If your budget does not stretch to extra lessons then you would be well served with a copy of this book instead.



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