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Dressage School    by Britta Schoffmann order for
Dressage School
by Britta Schoffmann
Order:  USA  Can
Trafalgar Square, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Olympian and multiple-time German, European and World Champion Isabell Werth demonstrates the what, how and why of dozens of dressage movements, exercises, and school figures in this important guide.

Besides providing page upon page of color photos, coupled with numerous diagrams which illustrate how each movement should look, this book offers information on the common mistakes made by horses and riders and how to avoid them. The author also stresses the various benefits of each exercise at different stages of training.

Armed with the information Schoffmann provides, regular daily training and the most mundane schooling sessions will take on a new relevance as you arrive at a new understanding of how each piece fits into the larger picture - the gymnasticization of your horse in order to keep him sound, healthy and happy.

In the book's preface, Britta Schoffman writes that there's much more to dressage than just 'riding in circles'. She points out that many seasoned riders practice the same movements without any understanding of their purpose.

'That is where Dressage School enters the picture,' she explains. 'It is meant to serve as a practical and easy-to-use reference.' Continuing, the author says that without understanding the interconnectedness between movements and 'without being able to put each movement in the context of the Training Pyramid (explained in the book), a rider can't improve her riding or her horse's conditioning, carriage, and obedience.'

If you are seriously engaged in dressage, this is a book you'd be well advised to at least look at. The odds are you'll find it so interesting you'll purchase a copy and use it to modify your own training routine.

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