Once the domain of the equestrian elite, dressage (originating from the French word for “training”) is now the most popular equestrian discipline in the United States. Fueled in part by its visibility as an Olympic event, dressage participation levels have reached an all-time high. This centuries-old practice of classical horsemanship, using time-tested and humane methods, is a slow process that requires patience and discipline, but is beneficial to every horse, regardless of breed. The goal of achieving seamless communication and dance-like precision with the horse appeals to riders of all levels, disciplines, and ages. In this book, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), whose membership has doubled in the past 20 years, demystifies basic dressage techniques for riders of all disciplines. Assuming no prior knowledge of the sport, The USDF Guide to Dressage leads riders through a full course of exercises, from simple to more complex, with easy-to-follow photographic sequences, all presented in full-color and demonstrated by outstanding dressage instructors.
This authoritative guide also includes the dramatic and colorful history of dressage, an overview of proper terminology and equipment, as well as information on competition, crosstraining for other disciplines, management of the dressage horse, cross-training for achieving rider fitness, and more.
This intricate ballet of athleticism and grace, demanding precise movement and excellent communication between horse and rider, is particularly appealing to the growing group of “baby-boomer” riders who are looking for opportunities to expand their riding skills and knowledge without the physical challenges and risks involved in jumping and racing. Whether they’ve been in the saddle for years or are just taking up or renewing their riding practice, these eager riders will find The USDF Guide to Dressage key to building a more satisfying relationship with their horse.
About the Author
Jennifer O. Bryant is the editor of USDF Connection, the member magazine of the United States Dressage Federation. Her writing has appeared in numerous equestrian publications including Paint Horse Journal, Horse & Rider, and Horse Show. Jennifer lives in Chatham, New York.