Useful Publications

Western Dressage is an increasingly popular new discipline in the world of horse enthusiasts.

Author Jec Aristotle Ballou is a nationally recognized educator in equine conditioning and gymnastic development as well as a national advisor to the Western Dressage Association of America where she helped write the current rules for this new sport, and along with Stephanie Boyle, Founder & CEO of Unbridled Rider, they have combined their many years of experience in the equine world.

This thoughtfully laid out book provides comprehensive yet easy to understand explanations on the art of Western Dressage with detailed descriptions and easy to understand illustrations for each of the exercises.

In chapter 1 “What is Western Dressage ?” the authors present the reader with a comprehensive description of this new discipline.  Chapters 2 through 7, each focusing on a different emphasis in dressage riding (softness, looseness, rider development, engagement, adjustability and ground work) begin with an explanation of the topic and are followed by the appropriate exercises to achieve that goal.  The exercises are further broken into three levels of difficultly - beginner, intermediate and advanced. 

Each exercise is presented on two pages which give the benefits of the exercise, helpful hints in completing the exercise along with a large detailed illustration of the exercise.  Icons from the visual glossary of dressage movements (provided in chapter one) are incorporated into each illustration.  With its vertical lay out and sturdy plastic coil binding this book is perfect for taking out to the round pen or arena to lay over your fencing or on a barn wall for easy reference while practicing the exercises.

As Al Dunning says in his foreword “There’s plenty in here to benefit horses and riders at every level and from every discipline.”

With its ingenious layout, detailed illustrations and thorough explanations, riders will enjoy many hours of fun while practicing these exercises.  Whether you desire to improve your balance and communication in riding on the trail or have aspirations of becoming a competitive Western Dressage rider, this book is a "must read".

Reviewed by Kathy Arch


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