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Winter Reading List from Jim Wofford

Veteran eventing coach Jim Wofford suggests books to boost your knowledge during riding down time.
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In my January 2008 "Cross Country With Jim Wofford" column, I suggested that you read at least three books this winter to further your riding education while you wait for good riding weather to return. I suggested three books in the column and promised additional selections online.

Jim Wofford | ? Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore

Jim Wofford | ? Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore

Here, then, is my short list for suggested winter reading for both dressage and show jumping.

For my continuing education in dressage, I would read one of the following:

  • Riding Logic by Wilhelm Museler
  • Academic Equitation by Gen. de Carpentry
  • Complete Training of Horse & Rider by Alois Podhasky
  • Practical Dressage Manual by Bengt Lundquist
  • Advanced Techniques of Dressage by the German National Equestrian Federation

If you have read any three of the dressage books above, then consider reading one of the following:

  • Centered Riding by Sally Swift
  • Riding Toward the Light by Paul Belasik
  • Basic Training of the Young Horse by Reiner Klimke

For my show jumping continuing education, I would read one of the following:

  • The de Nemethy Method by Bertelan de Nemethy
  • Reflections on Riding and Jumping by William Steinkraus
  • Training Show Jumpers by Anthony Paalman
  • Training Hunters, Jumpers and Hacks by Col. Harry D. Chamberlin
  • Jumping is Jumping by Jane Wallace

Again, if you have read several of the above works, then you might consider reading one of the following:

What is on my own reading list for this winter? I usually return to one of the above list of books from each section and re-read it. I am always amazed at what I pick up on further inspection, that I missed the last time I read it. I plan to re-read Blyth Tait's book, Eventing Insights, which is not on the list above solely because of space limitations. Then I will read Training the Modern Jumper by Elmar Pollmann-Schweckhorst. Currently, I am almost finished with Dressage for the 21st Century by Paul Belasik. I always find that after a winter season spent reading and thinking about my riding and training, I am ready to go when the new season starts.

Jim Wofford has represented the U.S. in eventing at three Olympics and two World Championships; he has won the U.S. National Championship five times on five different horses. As a coach, he has had at least one student on every U.S. Olympic, World Championship and Pan American team since 1978. He is a regular columnist for Practical Horseman magazine.