~Recommended Reading~

Recommended Reading is a section designed to Educate and Empower my students, and any who come across this web site. I am not, in any way, being paid to promote these materials. These are all resources I have used myself, and found helpful. To my knowledge, all are available for purchase on Amazon.ca 

On Riding, Training and Horsemanship: 

Centered Riding By Sally Swift:

An absolute Classic for anyone interested in improving how they use their body to influence the horse. Centered Riding is a fairly easy read, with plenty of helpful and unique diagrams used to help the reader understand the main principles of the book.

Classical Schooling With The Horse In Mind By Anja Beran:

Along with it's sequel, ''Classical Dressage'', this is one of the most useful books I have in my arsenol. What is provided in this book is very specific information on how we can make it easier for the horse to have success. Anja is detailed in her explanations of how to ride specific movements so you are enabling the horse, not blocking it. An absolute must for anyone interesed in Classical Equitation, this is a bit more of a technical read. Still, there is a large variety of beautiful photos to accompany the material.  

True Unity By Tom Dorrance:

Truly the first person in North America that Natural Horsemanship can be traced back to, True Unity is a relatively short book with a lot to say. My experience reading it was that it rolls along at about the rate of molasses rolling down a hill, and then it hits you with an absolutely life changing bit of wisdom that keeps you reading fervently for more. As stated, it's a short book, and a relatively easy read. I would recommend it to any horseperson who wants to learn to step back, and appreciate the whole horse. 

Hunter Seat Equitation By George H. Morris:

George Morris, considered the grandfather of Hunter Seat Riding, provides a detailed, technical analysis of what it takes to be successful riding horses over fences. A must-read for anyone interested in Jumping, it is a fairly easy read.  

Secrets to Barrel Racing Success By Heather Smith:

Heathers books are on Barrel Racing, but her concepts on attitude and maneuverability apply to all horsemen. This book in particular is very versatile. Her secrets in this book pertain mostly to interacting with your horse, yourself, and your schedule better. 

Ranch-Horse Versatility By Mike Major:

Mike's approach resonates with me because he is very thorough, and doesn't accept any shortcuts with his horses. He does this through clear, systematic training, rather than through force. I'd recommend his book to anyone looking to bring a horse along. 

The First 51 Barrel Racing Exercises By Heather Smith:

This book is a great resource for anyone bringing their horse along, whether for Barrel Racing or not. The follow up, ''The next 50 Barrel Racing Exercises'' gets a little more advanced for those further along. 

Anne Kursinski's Riding & Jumping Clinic, By Anne Kursinski:

Anne is one of the best resources on Show Jumping that we have in this day and age. Her theories are easy to understand, and they work. She is another no-short cut trainer and rider, which is always something to be admired. 

Western Training By Jack Brainard:

This book breaks down basic principles in a way that is ambitious about developing feel and sensitivity in horses, at the same time as you develop clarity and try. Jack's insights are refreshing even for the avid reader. 

Classical Dressage By Anja Beran:

The sequel to ''Classical Schooling With The Horse In Mind'', this book builds on the first. Another somewhat technical read, it is filled with information on how to bring horses along so that each exercise you teach enables them physically and mentally to do the next one. I would definitely recommend this as a more advanced read, and would highly suggest reading ''Classical Schooling With The Horse In Mind'' first. Again, beautiful photos accompany the text, making for an overall satisfying experience. 

The Faraway Horses By Buck Brannaman:

An example himself of Tom Dorrance's legacy, Buck Brannaman is a student of Ray Hunt, who learned his trade from- you guessed it- Tom Dorrance. This book is part biography, part horsemanship manual. I can assure you, it succeeds greatly as both. For those wishing to understand how the horses brain works, how instinct influences them, as well as how we fit into all that, The Faraway Horses answers many questions. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work better with their horses, as well as anyone who wants to observe an intriguing and somewhat miraculous perspective on life.   

A Journey to Softness By Mark Rashid:

There are roughly 100 books by Mark Rashid out there, and I would recommend all of them. Mark is a very easy read for anyone who finds books challenging. He delivers advanced concepts in a way that is easy to understand through stories and anecdotes. He is likely the author I enjoy reading the most on this list. 

The Balanced Horse By Sylvia Loch:

This book is the dessert in a long line of hearty meals Sylvia has provided us on the subject of Classical Equitation and Classical Dressage. It offers up further information on how to communicate with the horse subtly, gently, and successfully. Information is presented on each of the natural aids, as well as certain aid combinations. As Sylvia put it, it's about ''The Aids by Feel, Not Force''. This is a book about refining aids, quieting communication, and developing lightness and fluidity between horse and rider. For anyone looking to do those things, this is a fantastic read. 

Basic Training of the Young Horse By Reiner and Ingrid Klimke:

This book was originally written by Reiner, and later revised with his daughter Ingrid. The father-daughter Olympian pair outline the basic training of a young horse in a way that is specific, and easy to understand. This is a must read for anyone interested in horse training, or who is interested in the mind of the young horse and how to work with it. The horses training is outlined from beginning to be haltered and brushed, through basic lateral work and jumping. This is a classic with much to offer, and the system is proven with a variety of horses Reiner and Ingrid have brought up on their own farm and, in some circumstances, taken all the way to the Olympics. Hard to argue with those results! 

Reflections on Equestrian Art By Nuno Oliveira:

This is perhaps one of the only works about Nuno's philosophies that is written in his own words. That alone gives it value. Nuno understood horses on a level that will likely never become dated. 

The Dressage Seat By Anja Beran:

This is the third book by Anja Beran to be translated into English. This book offers a lot to the rider, in terms of understanding anatomy and bio mechanics. Her writings are a lot to take in all at once, because they are that detailed and specific. However, it is of great benefit to the rider to gain an understanding of what has been written in this book. 

 On The Horse, Physically:

Principles of Conformation Analysis Volumbes I, II, III By Dr. Deb Bennet:

Sometimes offered combined into one book, these volumes give exact and detailed explanations of every aspect of conformation (bone structure), and how it effects the horse physically. Whatever discipline or breed you are partial to, this series sets you up to evaluate a horses quality and potential.  

Conditioning Sport Horses By Hilary M. Clayton:


This book covers a wide variety of disciplines, both English and Western. It discusses conditioning a horse from both a perspective of cardiovascular fitness, as well as muscle building. For anyone serious about bringing a horse along, this is a great read. 

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