We’ve all been there haven’t we? Lacking motivation to ride because we’re lacking direction. It’s normal, particularly in times like this where we haven’t been able to get out to arena hire, shows, competitions, cross country schooling or fun rides, whatever it is that gives us bursts of fun throughout our training.
In the first lockdown I was determined to not lose my way with the horses training, to keep their brains and bodies active and to keep myself inspired. So how did I do that?
I did it with books. It’s very easy to save photos and bookmark exercises, but then never make use of them or look at them again. But having a physical thing to look at and flick through, really helped me.
I would take the books home on a Sunday evening and put sticky notes on the pages that I was going to work on the following week. I even got carried away enough to give each of my horses a different coloured sticky note, so I knew which exercises I’d marked to benefit each horse. I’d then go back to the yard on Monday morning, ready and organised for the week ahead.
So here they are, my top 7 books for keeping things interesting and sparking inspiration!
This one is pretty specific, taking you through the process of buying a racehorse to retrain all the way to training it for a dressage career. I’ve got a number of books from this company, including How To Dressage. They’re fantastic books for breaking things down into bitesize chunks.
If you’ve read my recent blogs, you’ll know I’m a big advocate for pole work to keep things interesting and helping the horses with rhythm, balance, elevation, the list goes on! So here’s a great book to help with that.
I follow someone who trains with Richard Davison and refers to him as God. Which in the dressage world, he is. So if he is God, this is his bible. The book the sparked my interest in Dressage.
I mentioned above I had a number of books from the How To Dressage series, well here comes another. With that 190 ideas you really don’t have any excuse to slack on training do you?
Someone I met through Twitter pointed me in the direction of this book. I’m not the most confident or capable of riders, but this has helped me fall in love with show jumping again. So thank you!
This is a book I’ve mentioned before and one I used a lot when teaching my young horse to jump or when trying to think of exercises to do in a small space.
If 190 dressage exercises wasn’t enough, here’s another 101! This book shows you difficulty level for the exercises and gives good advice on what to do when facing certain problems, or if things go wrong. Which, lets face it, with horses stuff goes wrong a lot!
I hope these can be useful to some people, especially if you’re just feeling a bit stale or a bit lost with the direction of your training.
Good Luck and keep on keeping on!
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