About the Author
Dianna Robin Dennis is a full-time equestrian writer and lifelong rider. She has written for many equestrian magazines in the United States and abroad, including The Chronicle of the Horse and Equestrian (Horse Show) magazine.
Read an Excerpt
Riding and jumping, like most other activities, are best learned by doing. Practice is as essential for riders as ongoing training is for horses, no matter their current level. The old adage "Practice makes perfect" works best when modified to say: "Perfect practice makes perfect."
This book is for riders and instructors alike. The exercises are fairly straightforward and can be used by horses and riders at every level of experience. Keep in mind that even the easiest exercise can be difficult to ride perfectly!
These exercises are designed to be used by:
- Pleasure riders who are simply looking for new ways to enjoy their horses. The ground pole exercises, even without any jumping, improve accuracy, security, balance, and control, while offering an easy and fun new aspect to riding in the arena.
- Riders who are totally new to jumping, feel the urge to try it, and wish to do so in a way that is simple, safe, sensible, and fun.
- Novice, intermediate or advanced riders looking for an effective way to improve their basics, correct their weaknesses, or brush up their technique.
- Instructors seeking a variety of ways to help their students learn and have fun in the process.
- Trainers looking for a step-by-step system to introduce jumping to the horse and ideas for overcoming some of the challenges faced with horses at every stage of training.
- Experienced competition riders eager for a fresh perspective on achieving and maintaining the competitive edge of horse and rider alike.
The majority of these exercises are rider exercises. To be done correctly, they require that the rider be totally focused and aware of each and every step taken by the horse. They also require, and thus teach, the important skills of keeping your mind focused ahead of your horse; your movements quiet, controlled, and ever so slightly behind those of your horse; and your balance perfectly in sync
Table of ContentsForeword (ix)
1. Basic Exercises from the Walk and Trot (Exercises 1-25) (14)
2. Turning Pole into Jumps: Gymnastics (Exercises 26-40) (66)
3. Gymnastics with Varying Strides (Exercises 41-49) (98)
4. Using Gymnastics for Both Turns and Straightness (Exercises 50-53) (112)
5. Canter Exercises: Poles (Exercises 54-64) (122)
6. Canter Exercises: Jumps (Exercises 65-73) (146)
7. Encountering Challenges (Exercises 74-95) (166)
8. Exercises for the Most Advanced Horses and Riders (Exercises 96-101) (196)