Dressage Masters: Techniques And Philosophies Of Four Legendary Trainers

It’s cold out…and I notice that I’m reading more.

Yes, I think there is a direct correlation here. I might as well take advantage of it because I know when the weather gets nice I’ll probably be hitting the trails instead of hitting the books!

I’ve recently been re-reading Dressage Masters: Techniques And Philosophies Of Four Legendary Trainers by David Collins.

When I first order the Kindle version I was prepared to be confused. Instead I fell in love!

There is something about the interview style and the same question being asked of multiple trainers that really worked for me.

What age should a horse be backed? (western translation: mounted)

What mistakes do you often observe in the training of young horses?

What should a three-year-old horse know at the end of the first year of training?

When do you begin to train lateral movements?

I think the reason I enjoyed the book so much is because the author AND the trainers did for the reader what we should all aim to do for the horses. They went back to the basics and made things easy to understand.

I just started reading Dressage Principals based on Biomechanics by Dr. Thomas Ritter. I suspect that if it was a physical book and not a Kindle version it would be HUGE! My kindle says 4,594 pages…

Have you read any good horse books lately?



  1. Christine E on January 25, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    I am currently rereading Jane Savoie’s Cross Train Your Horse. I adore how Jane always boiled things down into easy to digest and visualize things, as well as always keeping the horse’s welfare (and mind) in mind!

    I’ll be looking into your suggestions, Stacy!

  2. Jo-Anne Young on January 25, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    I am delighted to see you are reading one of my favorites: Thomas Ritter’s book combining biomechanics with the principles of dressage. It is not a quick read, but is very much worth chewing your way through and pondering!

    • Stacy Westfall on January 27, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Lots of chewing! I found Thomas Ritter because you suggested him…and it has been great! Thanks again!

      • Jo-Anne Young on January 27, 2021 at 5:17 pm

        The Dressage Masters book you reviewed is also a good one! I love watching and reading how your brain works, and have walked away from every in-person conversation we have had energized and smiling. God bless you. You are having a much needed impact on a whole lot of riders and budding trainers who need what you are offering.

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