Book Review: The Seven Deadly Sins of Dressage

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THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF DRESSAGE. BY DOUGLAS PUTERBAUGH & LANCE WILLS. 2012, TRAFALGAR SQUARE BOOKS. $29.95. AVAILABLE AT WWW.HORSEBOOKSETC.COM, 800-952-5813.

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Author Douglas Puterbaugh has spent over 20 years training horses and riders, and he says He's seen many riders who ?think of dressage mainly in terms of technique.? Those students expect a specific how-to answer when they ask, ?What am I doing wrong'? They don't understand ?it's not so much a question of what one does, but the way one does it,? which is a quote Puterbaugh included from Waldemar Seunig.? (There are great quotes throughout.)

So this isn?t a how-to-ride-dressage book. it's a guide to understanding first how a horse naturally interprets what we do and how it affects him (yes, sounds very natural horsemanship, doesn't it') and an introspective look at yourself.

you'll learn the seven sins?Ignorance, Timidity, Pride, Fear, Impatience, Anger and Immoderation?and how they cause riding problems. Even if you're not guilty of all of them, the incredible wisdom presented in each section is well worth the time it takes to read.

The well-designed book contains excellent, large photos (also designed to make you understand and think) of riders, horses at liberty and old-time dressage masters. The photography by Lance Wills is outstanding.

Bottom Line:?While it is dressage-oriented, this book should be a requirement for anyone who owns a horse, no matter what discipline. Horses everywhere will be better off because of it. The quotes from influential trainers in years past are worth the price alone.

Best Suited For:?Those willing to overcome the natural human emotions that get in the way of communicating with your horse.

you'll Be Disappointed If:?You can't honestly look within yourself.

Lee Foley, Contributing Writer