I have bought three copies of this book so far: one I gave away to my trainer (who loved it), one to mess with (cut out cards, write notes on, drag out to the barn, etc.), and one to keep on the coffee table for constant reference. Just the chapter and exercises on the horse's neck were, for me, the best and clearest description of how to help build your horse's top line in the most effective, healthy way was worth much more than the price of the book.
I have gained a lot more confidence from Jec's clear, careful explanations and the excellent illustrations, so that I now have a plan when I go out to work with my horses. As winter and rain season approaches, I also now feel like I have exercises I can do even in a very small space, and even if it is too wet to actually ride. I spent the last year working on getting one of my gaited horses to trot, and trot with a good stretched top line and also 'on the bit', but was still struggling until Jec helped put the rest of the pieces together.
Just a few of the specific things I have learned to do in this book include:
How to do a proper warm-up
Vary the workouts throughout the week and month to better "cross-train" my horses for better sustainable fitness
How to strengthen the hind end
The importance of working on getting the correct bend, and tools for helping make it happen
How and why NOT to make the most common mistake of "forcing" contact in a frame the horse is not ready for (and how to evaluate what they ARE ready for)
How to bring a horse back from a vacation or other layoff
How to work the older and/or stiffer horse
But mainly, I now have a much deeper understanding and rich toolset for helping my horses become better athletes in a way that is sustainable, healthy and feels good for both horse and rider.
I have Icelandic horses -- all gaited -- and though this book does not address specific development of gaited horses, everything in it is exactly what my horses need to work better in all gaits, and especially to enhance their "special" gaits (tolt and flying pace).
What the book does NOT address (or try to) is rider performance and fitness. So, that needs to
be the next book please! Because as wonderful as the book is, it is clear that some of what horses need to become better athletes is simply for us to become better riders.
Overall, this is the best money I have spent on a horse book... all three times!