Classical Dressage Reading List from Jim Wofford

Veteran eventing coach and Olympian Jim Wofford lists the classic dressage texts he says every rider should read.

In his May 2008 Practical Horseman magazine column, Jim Wofford says that classical dressage theory has been oversimplified, resulting in too much kicking and pulling, sharper bits, tighter nosebands and “other implements of the devil.”

?Practical Horseman. All Rights Reserved.

To counteract this trend, Jim recommends reading–or rereading–the classical dressage texts mentioned in the following list. You’ll find they make no mention of kicking and pulling a horse into a frame. They stress relaxation, throughness and quiet hands that don’t pull back on the reins. They emphasize patient and systematic training. And they underscore the need for the rider to have a good position.

Happy reading and riding!

Academic Equitation -General Decarpentry

Advanced Techniques of Dressage – German National Equestrian Federation

The Complete Training of Horse and Rider – Alois Podhajsky

Dressage Riding – Richard Watjen

The Forward Impulse – Piero Santini

Horsemanship – Waldemar Seunig

Riding Logic – Wilhelm M?seler

The books with links can be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-952-5813.

To read Jim’s article, see the May 2008 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.

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