I managed to catch a nasty chest cold at some point in my travels, and we also have the remnants of a hurricane from Hawaii bringing us heavy wind and rain today. Our basement flooded last week in a crazy storm, so I'm a little over the west coast weather at the moment! I shouldn't complain too much because we got off relatively lucky with only a few inches of water and our basement is not a finished one. Some of our neighbours got flooded with 8 feet of water or more :( I'm crossing my fingers they stay warm and dry today. Days like today are also when I'm super grateful the horses are well cared for at the barn so we can all just stay safe and cozy in our respective homes! Long story short, this is an excellent day to review my clinic notes and re-read a few of my favorite training books!
Here are a few of my favorite written resources (in no particular order):
1. Basic Training of the Young Horse. Reiner Klimke.
I've probably read this one a few dozen times and I always learn something new. It covers everything from halter training through lunging and the training scale. It also has a lot of useful information on cavelletti and introducing jumps through to advice for your first competition. My favorite book for young horses. There's an updated version of this one cowritten with Ingrid Klimke that I haven't read, but is probably just as excellent.
2. 101 Exercises From Top Riders. Jaki Bell.
I can't recommend this one enough. It features chapters that read like mini lessons, complete with diagrams. Laura Bechtolsheimer gives advice on everthing from exercises to practice transitions and quicken the hind leg, to extensions and collection, to schooling a correct shoulder in and halt. Lucinda and Clayton Fredericks give exercises to help you see a stride, and David O'Connor gives a few variations of his circle of death. There are lots more notable names, and, as the title suggests, 101 different exercises ranging from dealing with rushing over fences to teaching a canter pirouette. I have a lot of pages bookmarked in this one!
3. Training the Young Horse. Pippa Funnell
What I really love about this one is the photos, and it's straighforward, common sense approach. Again, everything from halter breaking to riding a drop fence into water. There are tons of interesting personal insights, and even conformation photos of some of her top horses, where she discusses their strengths and weaknesses. This is a good one as well because it has whole pages dealing with common problems (straightness, bucking, napping, canter leads, etc). While not super in depth, this one always leaves me feeling like riding doesn't need to be super complicated and anything is possible with a little hard work!
I have a bookcase full of books with topics from natural horsemanship to veterinary issues to barn construction. There are of course several more excellent ones that I go back to, but these are the three that seem to live on my nightstand.