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.
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:
- Anne Kursinski's Jumping Clinic by Anne Kursinski
- Hunter Seat Equitation by George Morris
- Winning With Frank Chapot by Frank Chapot
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.