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The USDF Guide to Dressageby Jennifer Olson Bryant
Synopses & Reviews
Dressage is a sport of precision and harmony whose participants aspire to meet a rigorous standard of perfection. The classical ballet of horsemanship, dressage is a graceful dance between horse and rider that demands impeccable communication, coordination, and timing. Myriad details, when done well and seamlessly combined, appear effortless and make the horse look his most beautiful.
Dressage requires patience and persistence. When even the slightest progress is made, the result is an especially satisfying day of schooling that may eventually lead to a great score in the show ring. Jennifer Bryant demystifies the discipline of dressage, explaining its intricacies and historical traditions with insight, authority, and the full support of the United States Dressage Foundation.
Beginning with a detailed history of classical horsemanship, Bryant explains the origins of dressage; necessary dressage attire, tack, and equipment; and how best to approach training. She guides you in locating a qualified instructor, then explains what to expect in your first lesson, the importance of the training scale, and the subtleties of the three basic gaits. She also provides a solid overview of basic dressage movements and useful lessons that will help you and your horse learn as a team. Throughout, terms are clearly defined and proper form and technique are emphasized. In addition, Bryant includes out-of-saddle exercises to improve your strength and flexibility and explains common faults and how to avoid them.
Then it's on to the show ring. From finding suitable shows and paying entry fees to proper show etiquette, Bryant offers an insider's guide to dressage competition. Even if you don't ever intend to show, a solid understanding of dressage tests and judging criteria will enhance your training.
Whatever your primary equestrian discipline may be, dressage is an ideal way for you to increase your self-awareness and to enhance your relationship with your horse. It can be a rewarding, lifelong journey. Enjoy every minute!
In this, the official guide to the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), Jennifer Bryant demystifies basic dressage techniques for riders of all disciplines. Assuming no prior knowledge of the sport, The USDF Guide to Dressage leads you through a full course of exercises, from simple to complex, illustrated by easy-to-follow full-color photographic sequences. This authoritative guide also includes the dramatic and colorful history of dressage; an overview of proper terminology and equipment; and information on competition, cross-training for other disciplines, management of the dressage horse, cross-training for achieving rider fitness, and much more.
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.
George Williams is an international Grand Prix--level dressage competitor and vice president of the United States Dressage Foundation.
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