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Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse: Riding Through the Levels on the Peculiar, Opinionated, Complicated Mounts We All Love Hardcover – Jun 8 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse: Riding Through the Levels on the Peculiar, Opinionated, Complicated Mounts We All Love
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  • Creative Dressage Schooling: Enjoy the Training Process with 55 Meaningful Exercises
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  • Jane Savoie's Dressage 101: The Ultimate Source of Dressage Basics in a Language You Can Understand
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books (June 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157076509X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570765094
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 2.5 x 26.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #139,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Now [Foy] has compiled her best tips for training and showing the horse you have (or the horse you love, despite his faults) through the levels. Her lists of the common 'imperfections and evasions' experienced when riding movements are followed by Janet's creative ways to perfect those imperfections, sprinkled with numerous personal stories." —Lone Star Horse Report (August 2012)

"The book is divided into three sections . . . each section includes chapters on individual movements, making it easy to find exactly the kind of insight and help you might need. The book is well-organized and easy to understand and makes for a good read for those of us with 'imperfect horses.'" —The Chronicle of the Horse (October 2012)

"From the start, Foy makes the book easy for readers. Foy's refreshing honesty made me read on. In fact, this book is sort of inoculation against training despair. She is outright in telling self-deprecating, humorous tales about her long journey from rodeo queen to dressage queen. . . . In the future, any problem that presents itself, this book will be the first place I will go for help." —Dressage Today (January 2013)

"What is perfect is the way this book is put together. With little effort, you can find your problem and get a workable solution. We love Foy's insistence that horses are individuals with physical and mental limitations and how she works with those issues. She believes in developing a strong foundation, so her explanations start with where your horse's basics might be weak." —Horse Journal (January 2013)

About the Author

Janet Foy is an FEI I" judge, USEF "S" Dressage Judge and an USEF Sporthorse "R" Breeding Judge. She has judged at all major shows in the United States, including the FEI North American Young Rider Championships, the FEI North American Junior Championships, the USA World Cup League Finals, and the FEI North American Championships. She has also judged national championships, is on the USDF "L" Faculty, and instructs federation judges training programs throughout the United States for dressage and sport horse breeding. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Nancy Jones is a novelist who teaches college English literature, writing, journalism, and women's studies courses in Minnesota and North Dakota. A dressage rider with FEI-level riding experience and national level competition success, she also specializes in equestrian journalism and has published numerous features. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was a good deal on arrived very quickly in excellent condition.. the content is excellent and easy to understand with FEI references, pics..everything u need for the not so perfect horse! Use it constantly in my training and see a difference in our rides already. a great teaching and resource guide. would suggest to anyone with an interest in dressage.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great training aid,very clear and straight forward.
I would definitely recommend this book especially for those riders who often ride alone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have not been able to put the book down. With so much information available within the covers, you keep re-reading the pages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cca4108) out of 5 stars 66 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c75ec84) out of 5 stars Fun reading and useful too July 28 2012
By Karen Mcgoldrick - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Through the years I have learned a lot from attending Janet's sessions teaching in the USDF "L" programs. I've ridden for her as she sat in the Judge's box, and also scribed and apprenticed for her.
I have also read and re-read her excellent magazine articles, yellow marker in hand. And on top of that I have watched online videos of the excellent clinics she has team taught with some of our dressage superstars.
She has a wealth of knowledge.
So when notices of her book came out I pre-ordered my copy.
And I am not disappointed. Again, my yellow marker came out, and I also made annotations in the margins.
I think it is not just the problem-solving approach that is so refreshing, but the fact that Janet is willing to tell her own story, and describe her own training challenges without trying to shine-up the apple.
She is just like most of us, "less-than-perfect" riders.
Janet has a wicked sense of humor too, and I think it comes through. It will be a book that rider's will enjoy reading, as well as can keep in the tackroom as a "go-to" resource for training problems.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c75eed0) out of 5 stars Ride dressage? You need this book! July 7 2012
By Haley Madden - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough good things about this book! Janet goes through each movement through the levels methodically and clearly while giving LOTS of help for any problems you might encounter. She also gives tips for showing, as well as includes stories about her own riding journey.

As someone who loves riding all different breeds, this is an invaluable book. It provides useful, time-tested solutions to problems we encounter as dressage riders all the time. Simply practical in every way! In addition, it is clear to see that the training advice is written with the best interest of the horse and rider in mind.

I'm lucky enough to ride with Janet and am happy to say that her fabulous teaching style translates very well to the written word. She is a kind, knowledgeable, fair, and correct teacher, and we are so lucky to have her insights contained in this book!
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c75ee94) out of 5 stars Not for the beginner April 14 2014
By Trish Dev - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book does not really cover how to ride these movements. She talks lots of terms like impulsion but she does not really tell you how to achieve that except in very general terms. I think it is assuming you already know how to do these movements. Lots if pictures bragging about her and her students achievements but nothing to really help the beginner trying to figure out basics like how to get an extended trot, what are the exact steps etc... something you get from Mary Wanless - Ride with you Mind Essentials or Sally Swift - Centered Riding. I am so disappointed in this book I wish I could get my money back..For example this is what you get for a collected walk -- the collected walk is difficult and requires a lot of suppleness. It really shows the judge whether the training has been correct up to this point. For this reason, the collected walk is not required until fourth level. In the FEI levels, collected walk often has a double co-efficient -- the USEF Rule Booik offers guidance for the collected walk (see sidebar)... etc nowhere does she tell you how to get a collected walk... I am completely blown away here.. this is useless for someone that does not know the steps to achieve a walk - medium walk.. listen to this... "Medium Walk - Again lets turn to the USEF Rule Book to understand the definition of medium walk (see sidebar) it is the same walk but with a different name. The medium walk is the first walk you ask for that requires contact. If you are not elastic with the reins, the horse will stiffen against the contact and problems begin...!!!! WOW please tell me what are the steps, how do you ride a medium walk.. I thought maybe if I kept reading eventually there would be something like what a trainer would tell you in how to ride any of these gaits, movements.. What a waste of time.. nothing.. even if you are already at first level or higher.. I don't know what you would get from this book!?!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c75f1a4) out of 5 stars Buy This Book July 23 2012
By Kathie Hybl-Anderson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Janet's book, Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse, is the legacy she gives to all who have ridden with her and all those who wish they could. Only a lifetime of training many different horses and riders could prepare someone to write a book this informative and helpful.
HASH(0x9c75f69c) out of 5 stars INSPIRATIONAL Dec 17 2015
By Pegasus - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In all my years of riding there have only been three books that have truly inspired me as a rider. This book "Dressage for the Not-so-Perfect Horse" is definitely one of them. It has helped me achieve things I didn't think possible and all the exercises in the book are very helpful. Having this book was like having a trainer right next to me - something which is difficult in rural Australia.
Riding through Janet Foy's exercises helped me gain much better work from my horses and also helped me with the lateral work. She actually tells you how it should be ridden and then what to do when things go wrong. A book which I have found to be truly inspirational.