Dressage, the equestrian practice in which a horse makes highly precise movements in response to barely perceptible signals from the rider, has taken hold of America’s equestrians. Participation rates have risen by 200 percent over the past twenty years, as baby-boomer riders have discovered dressage to be less strenuous and dangerous than jumping, yet offering the satisfaction of mastering techniques and the opportunity to compete and advance to higher levels of achievement. 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider, presented in Storey’s highly visual “Read & Ride” format, features a full arena diagram and step-by-step instructions for each exercise. The exercises address all levels of riders, starting with the basics and moving up to maneuvers developed by members of the U.S. Olympic team. Training tips and masterly guidance make this an indispensable reference for all dressage riders. Even Western riders interested in enhancing their performance will find these foundational exercises useful.
Dressage riders are information-hungry readers, often referred to as “the thinking horsemen.” This book’s sturdy format, combbound and drilled so it can be hung on a ringside post, will appeal to these reading riders, whether in or out of the saddle.
About the Author
Trainer and author Jec A. Ballou’s teaching and training articles have been featured in every major equestrian publication. She has worked with over 20 different breeds of horses and continues to enjoy the day-to-day journey of training– and learning from– horses.
For most of her life, Jec has immersed herself in the study of classical training, including seven intensive training residencies in Portugal, two training residencies in Holland, and one training residency in Germany with the late Egon von Neindorff. Additionally, she has studied horse behavior and communication with many masters in this field. Most recently, she traveled to Melbourne, Australia to train with her mentor, Manolo Mendez, original head rider of the Royal School of Equestrian Arts in Spain.
Jec’s initial passion for the proper gymnastic development of horses arose at age 13, when she became the youngest rider in history to win the coveted Vermont 100 Mile Competitive Trail Ride. She followed that up with three back-to-back national long distance championships. Since then, she has continued to study every aspect of classical training and conditioning with an undying commitment. She has prepared multiple champions for disciplines as varied as endurance, hunt seat, and carriage driving.
Jec has collaborated with reknown trainers for articles in national magazines. Her book, 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider (Storey Publishing), was on the best-seller list for eight consecutive weeks in the spring of 2006.
Currently, Jec specializes in helping horses obtain healthy, optimal movement, regardless of their discipline. She works most often with dressage horses, but also assists a number of FEI endurance riders/horses. Jec collaborates willingly with trainers from various backgrounds and disciplines, believing that more is accomplished for the horse when experts work together.