A few weeks back, Lynda and I went to a Thursday horse show at the horse park. We were both off from work, and thought it would be fun to go watch an open stake class. It wasn’t as big as the Grand Prix class, and there were more riders. It was pretty awesome.
And while they were having an intermission in the class and preparing for the jump off, we were lucky enough to meet a guy that had come to the horse park all the way from Montana. And he didn’t come alone, he came with Charlie Carrel.
If you haven’t heard of Charlie Carrel, he is a Grand Prix rider who is sponsored by Voltaire Design.
So naturally, I had to talk to this guy. He was telling us about Charlie’s training methods, and how he is basically a cowboy who converted to show jumping.
He also told me that Charlie had recently written a book on training show jumpers, and I could probably find it at one of the vendors booths. Unfortunately, we didn’t make our through the vendor shops that day, but I did want to find this book.
When I got home from the show, I went to Amazon to see how much this book would cost me. It wasn’t on Amazon. Then I did a google search for the book and found it. Finding this book online is hard. Almost impossible really. I did find it once, and I was having difficulty being able to buy the book, so I didn’t. When I did a search for it right now, the only place I can find it is on eBay And when I went to buy it originally, I couldn’t because of a shopping cart error.
So I decided to see if I could find a book instead of the one I really wanted.
Searching For A Good Training Book
I ended up staying on Amazon and finding a few other books to try out. I did buy some, but they weren’t really what I was looking for.
The first one I found is called Schooling and Riding the Sport Horse. It was $35.00. The last half of the book is pretty good with schooling work, and plans. But for the most part I wasn’t super happy with the book. I like pictures, and this one didn’t have a lot of pictures. So while it is helpful, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.
So I bought another book. This time I found Riding For The Rest of Us. It is listed at $25.00, but if you look at all the buying options, you can get it for less than $10.00. Now this book fulfilled my requirement of photos, it has lots of pictures.
But the content wasn’t what I was hoping for. It’s called a practical guide for adult riders, but it is mainly focused on adults that are getting back into riding, and don’t already have a horse. The author talks a lot about goal setting and planning, but not much about coming up with a training plan.
Another purchase I made is Called 40 Fundamentals of English Riding. And what really drew me to this book is that it was actually a training book. It also has a 90 minute DVD that demonstrates each of the exercises in the book.
Although this wasn’t the Charlie Carrel book, it is a fantastic book with lots of exercises I can do with my horses. And the writing is great. The author makes it easy to understand how to do the movements. I am really glad I found this book. It has been very useful so far. And it’s affordable. You can get the book, with the DVD for around $15.00 on Amazon.
And another book that I have had for a long time, and recently really started reading is Anne Kursinski’s Riding and Jumping Clinic. I love this book. It is a little more expensive than the others, but the book is packed with useful information that you can apply to your own riding. You can find it on Amazon for around $25.00.
I really like Anne’s approach to riding, and focusing on the importance of balance in the saddle. She also shows the reader step by step how to be balanced in the saddle. As well as focusing on the importance of flat work to improve your jumping.
But I think out of all of the books I have bought in the last month, my favorite has been The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training book by Linda Tellington-Jones. And the best thing is how affordable this book is. You can find it for around $9.00 on Amazon.
This book is all about touch, and basically massaging your horse. She has all kinds of names for the touches, like Bear TTouch, Lick the cow’s tongue, Tiger TTouch, and Tarantulas Pulling the Plow (seriously). But the book covers topics of stretching, touching and working with your horse. By learning to slow down, and pay attention to your horse you can work through many problems that our horses have.
It may sound silly, some of the techniques, but they really do work. I have been using them on Ethan, and they really do work.
One of my favorite things to do with Ethan is to do the body wrap. You take 2 ace wraps, and wrap them around the chest, and the other is around the horse’s hind end. It’s like he is getting a hug from the front and the back and is supposed to quiet your horse.
After practicing this with Ethan, I can tell you, it does work. And this is just one example of practical applications that are presented in this book. It’s well worth the $9.00 in my opinion.
Find A New Favorite Horse Training Book Worth Buying
I was finally able to get a copy of Starting The Young Jumper. And I will tell you more about that in an upcoming post. But on my quest to finding the elusive book, I was able to find a couple of others to add to my equestrian library. And I am really happy with the information I have found.
We never stop learning right? So I am rediscovering the joy of opening a book, and then applying what I am reading when I work with my horses.
How about you? What is your favorite horse book to pick up? Do you have an all time favorite, or have you found a new book that you are so happy to have found? I would love to know what your reading right now. Leave a comment below, and share with the rest of us your favorite book!