by Yvonne Barteau
But I'm not the target audience for this book. So I found all the lists of points and instructions uninteresting after a while, and started just skipping through the book to read the case studies; samples from the author's own experience with many various horses are given for each point. I liked reading about the different animals and how she worked with them. Appreciated that not all were success stories- some animals (or their owners) were ultimately not curable of their bad habits, and with a few the author herself was not experienced enough at the time she encountered them, but they all made good examples. I also gleaned a little bit about things in the horse world never imagined existed before: there is a competition with a "champagne class" where a rider has to hold a full glass of champagne in one hand- whoever ends up spilling the least amount of champagne wins. There is a type of endurance race which is a 100-mile all-day ride. The author also worked a lot with standardbred horses, which compete at a trot in harness- a discipline I hadn't read about before so that was interesting. Amusing was the story of one horse named Shorty who won several races in a row, and seemed to enjoy the fuss made over him afterwards. At the end of subsequent races he would automatically turn to go into the winner's circle. When he then lost a race, it "was so close that even the tired and sweaty youngster thought he had won" and he sulked at not being allowed into the winner's circle!
So it feels rather unfair of me to give this book an "abandoned" rating. I did enjoy the parts of it that I read, I just skipped around to what interested me. I'm sure people who ride or work with horses would find this book very useful; I'd be interested to hear someone's opinion who really knows the subject matter and doesn't just read about it from the sidelines like me. I only found one (see below).
Abandoned 298 pages, 2007
Thoughts on Dressage