As equestrians it's important to understand that equine science has come a long way in even the past 10-20 years and more research is yet to come. Even without science the best classical trainers of all time were able to practice mostly ethical and surprisingly biomechanically correct training; however, it is still important to note all the scientific research and studies on the equine body, nutrition, brain, equipment fit, etc. that came AFTER their time. Balance your reading with learning from the best the classical trainers with current up-to-date studies on equine biomechanics, fitness, nutrition, etc. For example, if you want to focus on equine fitness, be certain to read, listen to or watch at least 3-5 sources on equine fitness from the best sources so you get a proper foundation knowledge base in order to know the information you have is not skewed. Note the author's background, experience, and the date the piece was published. Remember, just because someone is winning in the show arena or "has been doing it for years" means it's necessarily correct.
Furthermore, modern and classical training techniques both have their pros and cons and just because it's effective doesn't mean it's ethical or the best way. Be sure to always ask yourself - does this benefit the horse? Does it take into account equine welfare? Will this benefit my horse's long term soundness - mentally and physically? At the end of this page, there's a great image of additional questions to ask yourself after you read/watch/listen to think more critically as horsewomen and horsemen for the benefit of the horse. Remember to always keep learning! Our knowledge is never static, but always changing and evolving.
Jec Aristotle Ballou:
Online Courses: https://jecballou.thinkific.com/?ref=5a733b
Books: "55 Corrective Exercises for Horses"
"10 Week Conditioning Manual"
"101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider"
"101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider"
Manolo Mendez Dressage:
Artistic Dressage - Ritter Dressage
Patrick King Horsemanship
Dressage Naturally - Karen Rohlf
Dressage How To...
Equine Behavior : A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists
The Horse First Podcast by AUDREY DECLUE, DVM
SURE FOOT Equine Stability Program - Webinars with Wendy Murdoch
United States Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship:
USDF Training – Fourth Level Recommended Reading List:
"A Horse's Basic Needs: The 6 F's"
Environment Makes a Difference
FEI Campus: https://campus.fei.org/
"Know Better to Do Better: Mistakes I Made with Horses (So You Don't Have To)"
Another great list of books as well as a good resource on positive reinforcement training:
Your Dressage Education: https://yourdressage.org/education/
Your Dressage Quick Reads:
Saddlefit 4 Life:
Whole Horse Saddle Fit:
Digital Version: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305326746_Equitation_Science
Classical Equitation: embodied principles tested and verified through the centuries
Welcome to the official website of USDF Hall of Fame Master Horseman, Author, Clinician, and Judge
The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that chiefly aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse–rider relationship.
Centered Riding by Sally Swift:
Conditioning Sport Horses by Hilary M. Clayton:
Horse Brain, Human Brain: The Neuroscience of Horsemanship by Janet Jones PhD
Coherent Horsemanship Combining the Quantum and the Classical
Bit Bank Australia - Videos and Blog about Bits
We are the place to share knowledge and expertise of over 30 of the most trusted trainers in the world. You can find all the tips and exercises you need to improve your training and build a stronger partnership with your horse, regardless of your level or discipline. Dressage, Showjumping, Groundwork or Eventing are some of the disciplines covered by our trainers. Learn from their proven successful training methods and develop a harmonious relationship with your horse, from the ground and in the saddle.
"Webinar No. 93. Hilary Clayton DVM: A Bit about Bits and Bridles"
No. 127. Natascha van Eijk More on Bit Fitting
Episode 38: Causes and Solutions to Contact Issues with Your Horse
Bitless Bridle Guide
Best Horse Practices Podcast
Thompson & Associates Equine Medicine:
Yasmin Stuart Physio:
Physical Therapy for Horses: A Visual Course in Massage, Stretching, Rehabilitation, Anatomy, and Biomechanics by Helle Katrine Kleven
TIGER TALK: Where Somatic Experiencing® and Attachment Meet Equine-Assisted Practice A Trauma-Informed Blog (Articles like: "Connection Before Concepts: A Comparison of 3 Pressure-Release Methods Or: Why Not All Pressure-Release is Created Equal" & "The Polyvagal Theory and Horses: An Introduction"
Superior Therapy LLC
Superior Therapy LLC is owned by 16-year massage therapist, Summer Terry, offering injury rehab, fitness, and conditioning options for horses. We also offer certification courses for equine Rehab Therapists & Bodyworkers. GREAT VIDEOS FOR ALL EQUESTRIANS!
Give Your Horse a Chance: The Training of Horse and Rider for Three-day Events, Show-jumping and Hunting by Lt Col a L D'Endrody
Academic Horse Training Book by Dr Andrew and Manuela McLean
Way to Perfect Horsemanship by Udo Burger
Cavalletti: For Dressage and Jumping by Ingrid Klimke
The Humble Hoof
Nutritional requirements for the horse is a vastly overlooked field. It is my goal to give you the tools you need to make informed, educated decisions regarding your horse's health and nutrition.
Read more on Dr. Kellon's new blog:
Equine Nutrition Group
The Equine Documentalist
Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group, Inc.
Feed Room Chemist: An Equine Nutrition Podcast - Dr. Jyme Nichols
The Essential Horse
Changing to a Forage-Based Diet
Feeding the Foot: How Diet Can Make or Break Hoof Health
Feeding the Hoof by Pete Ramey
Interesting Opinion Piece on Treating Equine Ulcers:
Comprehensive Ulcer Care & Information
Equine Discomfort Ethogram
"Pain and discomfort behavior in horses tends to be especially subtle, and not readily or widely appreciated even by equine professionals, including many long-time horse keepers, trainers, and even by veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and care staff. Based on decades of evaluating the behavior of normal and physically uncomfortable horses in a referral hospital, as well as research context, we describe and illustrate a catalog of behaviors (ethogram) associated with equine physical discomfort. Our objective is to promote an unambiguous universal understanding of equine discomfort behaviors associated with various body systems and anatomic sources."
Surefoot Equine Stability Pads & Webinars with Wendy
https://www.surefootequine.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfEABQkijMBefx7oLmbke2Q
The Ideal Ratio of Aids
The Biomechanics of Engagement (pt 2) The Essential Components of Self Carriage
The Horse First Veterinary Podcast by Dr. Audrey DeClue
A Holistic View For Keeping Your Horse's Back Healthy
Walk Exercises for all Horses (And Especially Older Horses) by Amelia Newcomb
Training Tips by Jec Aristotle Ballou
Articles by Manolo Mendez: Training for Wellness
The Half-Halt and Positioning
Artistic Dressage - Ritter Dressage
No. 156. Steven Peters, PhD: Horse's Brain, Optimum Learning
Q&A with Jenku - Shoulder in In-Hand - Falling through shoulder
"Building your horse's strength through groundwork" by World Horse Welfare
"Webinar: Understanding our horses' behaviour and how they learn by World Horse Welfare"
(ISES webpage that Gemma mentioned - https://equitationscience.com/learning-theory/ & Here's the link Gemma referenced - https://www.abtc.org.uk/)
"Dressage Webinar Series #5: Anatomy of Dressage with Alexis Martin-Vegue and Andrea Chandler"
Discussion on the horse's musculoskeletal system and what to look for in the horse's development of a topline, including asymmetries.
"Conditioning with Tina Watkins EST, EEBW3"
"Equine Conditioning Exercises" with Tina Watkins, Inhand Equine Therapy"
Fantastic Podcast Interview with Dr. Andrew McLean: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-with-andrew-mclean/
About Dr. McLean: Winner of the highest Australian Science award, the Eureka Prize for Science, Andrew McLean developed and manages the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, specialising in horse training and behaviour modification. Andrew McLean holds a PhD in equine cognition and learning, has been an accredited horse riding coach for over 30 years and has written numerous books (including an International Best Seller) and authored 35 peer-reviewed journal articles.
"Webinar featuring Sir Mark Todd - Maintaining your horse's fitness and health during winter." by World Horse Welfare
Listen to JJ Tate's interview with Patrick King to learn about building an equine athlete, horsemanship, equine welfare, dressage, etc: https://youtu.be/ZTVlY24YBiw (JJ Tate, TALKING ABOUT HORSES, Episode 53)
Saskatchewan Equine Expo 2020 Series - Part 3: Bringing the Mind & Body Together
Part 3 of the Expo series showcases Josh's second lecture where he illustrates the difference between a horse in self-carriage vs. a held frame. Josh also explains the biomechanics of how horses need to use their bodies in order to carry the weight of a rider properly. In this lecture we learn how the classical horsemanship principles of movement are foundational for every riding discipline because horses must be taught how to balance the weight of a rider - carrying a rider is not something they know how to do by default.
Natural behaviors. Happy horses. Better lives.
Find the following books at www.thriftbooks.com
Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement
Mills Horsemanship & Hoofcare:
Horse Head: Brain Science & Other Insights by Maddy Butcher with Dr. Steve Peters
Evidence-Based Horsemanship by Dr. Stephen Peters & Martin Black
The Evolving Equestrian:
The Willing Equine:
Sculpture Equine Anatomy (some fantastic diagrams!)
Vet Physio Phyle
PhysioTom - Equine Performance Physio:
Ecole de Légèreté Perth:
Concordia Dressage at Split Mesquite Farm:
Ian Leighton Horsemanship:
4Dimension Dressage International:
This is a list of helpful Equestrian podcasts that are 100% free: Best Horse Practices, Equilogical Podcast, Warwick Schiller, Dressage Today Podcast, Equestrian Performance & Fitness Podcast, Equine Body Talks Podcast, Equine Veterinary Education Podcast, Equine Verterinary Journal, EquiTheory, Horse Radio Network, Horse Training in Harmony, How to Dressage, Making Strides, May the Horse Be With You, Talking About Horses, Dressage Radio Show ,The Equestrian Podcast, The Horse First Podcast by Dr. Audrey DeClue, The Veterinary Rehabilitation Podcast, The Whole Horse Podcast, The Willing Equine, Dressage Radio Show - USDF Official Podcast, Working From The Inside Out, The Arabian Horse Connection Podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-arabian-horse-connection/id1510573878) THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF OTHER PODCASTS TOO!
www.drdavidmarlin.com - podcasts, webinars, and articles
Webinar: "Tacking up: Being a pain or in pain" by World Horse Welfare
THE FIVE REIN AIDS: INTRODUCTION (Lots of fantastic blog articles/posts on different topics!)
Sue Dyson's paper Development of an ethogram for a pain scoring system in ridden horses and its application to determine the presence of musculoskeletal pain is available here - https://www.sciencedirect.com/.../abs/pii/S1558787817301727
The Horse Physio
The Osteopathic Vet
Horses Inside Out - Gillian Higgins
Pilates for Horses: https://www.horsesinsideout.com/pilates-for-horses
Many of the Pilates principals can be applied to the horse. Core stability and strength are as important to horses as they are to riders. Maintaining stability, posture and balance can contribute to more effective training, improved performance and can reduce the risk of injury.
Stimulating and strengthening the core muscles will come through correct work and skillful use of ridden movements and exercises as directed by your trainer. There are however a number of exercises, performed from the ground, which can supplement ridden work to help to improve core stability.
By performing these specific exercises, the core muscles that make for good posture, a strong back and assist in carrying the weight of the rider can be strengthened. These include the deep internal muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, thoracic sling, and back together with the more superficial muscles of the trunk.
Core strengthening exercises can be invaluable as part of a rehabilitation programme following injury. Using specific exercises to target and stimulate weak or injured muscles can be particularly useful. Following permission from your vet, any well-qualified therapist will be able to advise on an individually designed programme of exercises.
Gillian Tabor - ACPAT Chartered Physiotherapist
http://www.gilliantabor.co.uk/online-rehab/ ONLINE COURSE FOR REHAB & PERFORMANCE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
This course will teach you:
Simple exercises for your horse from the ground
Exercises in the stable, in the arena and hacking
To understand which exercises to use and when
How to progress low intensity exercises
How to positively influence your horses posture
A range of exercises to support your horses training journey
EQUUSOMA: Somatic Experiencing and Equine-Facilitated Trauma Therapy
Australian Equine Behaviour Centre:
Hear Your Horse Whisper - science based information and education
Justine Harrison - Equine Behaviourist
Claire Ford Veterinary Physiotherapy
https://www.clairefvetphys.co.uk/ | 100 Polework Exercises: https://www.clairefvetphys.co.uk/product-page/100-polework-exercises
Strategic Strides: Animal Chiropractic for Optimum Health
The Ultimate Guide for Horses in Need by Dr. Stacie Boswell
PSSM & MFM AWARENESS: Spreading Awareness On Hereditary Muscle Myopathies In Equines
Amelia Newcomb Dressage:
More great books at www.ThriftBooks.com:
The Dressage Formula
Tug of War : Classical Versus Modern Dressage - Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect Modern Riding Negatively Affects Horses' Health
Understanding Horse Behavior : Your Guide to Horse Health Care and Management
Equine Behaviour : Principles and Practice
Collection or Contortion? : Exposing the Misconceptions and Exploring the Truths of Horse Positioning and Bend
The USPC Guide to Conformation, Movement and Soundness
Anne Kursinski's Riding
Fit to Ride : Train Your Horse, Train Yourself
Getting Horses Fit : Improve Your Horse's Performance
The Nature of Horses : Exploring Equine Evolution, Intelligence, and Behavior
The Athletic Horse : Principles and Practice of Equine Sports Medicine
Training the Modern Jumper : Evaluating Potential, Gymnastic Exercises over Fences, Maintaining Soundness, Dressage for Improving Performance, Course Building
Stride Control : 25 Exercises and Tips for Riding Jumping Lines Just Right
Dressage Training In-Hand : Lessons in Straightness, Suppleness, and Collection from the Ground
Sport Horse Soundness and Performance : Training Advice for Dressage, Showjumping and Event Horses from Champion Riders, Equine Scientists and Vets
Reflections on Riding and Jumping : Winning Techniques for Serious Riders
George H. Morris : Because Every Round Counts
Equine Fitness : The Care and Training of the Athletic Horse
Creative Horsemanship : Training Suggestions for Dressage
The Complete Book of Show Jumping
The Equine Athlete : How to Develop Your Horse's Athletic Potential
Rewarding With Scratches
The Treats I Train With
"Physical Conditioning of Horses"
"Sensory Abilities of Horses and Their Importance for Equitation Science"
By Maria Vilain Rørvang, Birte L. Nielsen, and Andrew Neil McLean
"Calming Signals and Sensitive Noses." by Anna Blake
Bridling With Feel
How to Safely Bridle A Horse
"Relationship Before Horsemanship"
How To Pet a Horse With Feel by Amy Skinner Horsemanship
Lunging with the cavesson, basic communication, basics in shoulder control: https://youtu.be/CzgnW5F4zlw
"Developing Balance In Hand: Free In Hand Workshop › Video 1 of 4" Patrick King https://www.balanceinhand.com/tension-1.html
Basic in-Hand Work, an overview by Patrick King: https://youtu.be/iT5NX6I0P_s
Some Thoughts on Working In-Hand By Manolo Mendez, Specialist of In-hand and Classical Equitation with Caroline Larrouilh: https://www.manolomendezdressage.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/Manolo-Mendez-Dressage-Some-Thoughts-on-Working-In-Hand.pdf
Superior Therapy LLC: Backing for Fitness...The How-To
The Ins and Out of Working In-Hand by Manolo Mendez by Caroline Larouilh:
Problem Solving on the Ground by Warwick Schiller
How To Avoid Being Bitten When Engaging With A Horse by Warwick Schiller
Preventing Back Pain in Horses - Hereford Equestrian
Building topline in horses - an 8 week plan
How to Recognize, Treat and Prevent Back Pain in the Horse | Atlantic Equine Services
Develop Your Dressage Horse's Topline with Sue Blinks
The stretch: what "forward and down" really means for your horse!
The Physics of Flexion in the Dressage Horse
SHOULD HORSES NOD UP OR DOWN?
3 FACTORS INFLUENCING YOUR HORSE’S PERFORMANCE
Applied Posture Riding - The Horse Riding Posture And Muscle Imbalances
Modifying Muscle Patterns to Build a Better Equine Athlete
Balancing the Horse: A Closer Look at Posture, Part I | HORSE NATION
Training Your Horse from the Anatomical Perspective. Part 1: Hollow Back Posture
"Ingrid Klimke: Train for Your Horse's Pleasure: Seven elements of a training program that will keep your dressage athlete happy and healthy in his work" by INGRID KLIMKE WITH SILKE ROTTERMANN
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) was founded in 1954 by a group of 11 charter members who saw that together they could direct the focus of equine veterinary medicine.
Please remember bridle fit & bit fit is just as important as saddle fit.
Josh Nichol: Why the cavesson?
Fitting Your Cavesson with Patrick King
Cavesson Tips by Jec Ballou (Video)
Straightness Training: The Cavesson
BUYING A CAVESSON? HERE IS MY ADVICE.
Brand Suggestions of Cavessons:
- Micklem Multibridle
- Custom Bitless, Bit & Cavessons from Rebalance Equestrian: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShowreadyEquestrian
- Harry's Horse Leather Lunging/ Bridle Cavesson: https://www.minihorsestore.com/harry-s-horse-leather-lunging-bridle-cavesson
- WH Cavesson Anatomic: https://www.artofriding.nl/en/cavesson-anatomic.html
- Barefoot Wellington Contour 2 in 1 Bridles
- Black Leather 3-Ring Lunge Cavesson
Cavessons WITHOUT bit attachment option:
- Manolo Mendez Original Spanish Cavesson: https://www.manolomendezdressage.com/manolo-mendez-original-spanish-cavessons/
- Patrick King Horsemanship Cavesson: (http://www.PKHorsemanship.com/) https://www.instagram.com/p/CHreIUVJvov/ or https://pkhorsemanship.square.site/
EQUITATION/ RIDER INFLUENCE
Most of all the books, podcasts, and videos listed above have VERY large sections on equitation and horse important the rider's position is. If you want to dig more look into Mary Wanless (www.mary-wanless.com), Sally Swift (https://www.centeredriding.org/page/SallySwiftBio), Wendy Murdoch (https://murdochmethod.com/category/video-lessons/), and Susan Harris (https://www.facebook.com/SusanEHarrisClinician/). Several of them have free videos, articles and lots of books. Also, look out for a clinic near you.
More to come!