101 Schooling exercises for horse and rider is a book I bought not long after I got Scottie and although it only gets picked up once every few months, it is a great book to have around. Especially if like me, you occasionally run out of ideas to keep your schooling interesting.
The book is compiled by Jaki Bell and includes exercises from top riders including: Pippa Funnell, Tim Stockdale and Mary King. Although each exercise is rated for its usefulness when working towards various dressage levels (Introductory-Medium), the book as a whole isn’t aimed towards improving your dressage scores. – Or that is the impression I got at least.
The introduction introduces you to the basics of how and why we should school our horses as well as touching upon the horses way of going and riders position. All of these things are very useful and a good resource, however, I am also of the opinion that this isn’t something you should/can learn from a book. But it is a good thing for established riders to check back to occasionally.
There is also a ‘Rider’s Problem Solver’ in the introduction. This is almost like a second contents page or an index. This is a great resource and lists some common problems and suggests exercises to try to solve the problem.
The exercises are well explained and illustrated. They tell you what to do, what should happen, how to advance it and any potential problems to look out for. The best thing is, if you are able to remember an exercise, you shouldn’t need anyone else around to help while you are riding. Therefore you can begin introducing as many of these exercises you can remember to your schooling.
Like I previously said, I don’t read this book religiously but when I’ve hit a bit of a wall in our schooling or if I’m feeling particularly motivated, it is great to pick up and browse to see what new things I could try. In fact, I want to use it more often, as I can be very boring in my schooling routines and need to start using more exercises to keep me and Scottie interested!
I can highly recommend this book as it is easy to read and understand. Whether you are training/retraining a horse or just want to improve your schooling this is a great resource for any horse owner.
I also own the jumping exercise version of this book I might try and review for you guys soon too!