Recommended Reading: 3 of my All-time Favourite Riding Books

There are some books that will always have a place on my bookshelf…

Centered RidingCentered Riding book

by Sally Swift

Anatomy, the use of imagery as a tool to enhance riding (and one could even say life) skills, and an understanding of how the mind affects the body, underlie much of what is great about both editions of this book. Sally Swift was a legend and I’m so glad she encapsulated her vast depth of knowledge in these two great books.

Centering, breathing, soft eyes… there are so many aspects of Sally’s wisdom that I have carried with me and that have percolated through my mind since I first read her work, many years ago now.

Highly recommended, whether reading for the first time or the 17th.

 

Dressage FormulaDressage Formula book

by Erik Herbermann

I love what this man has to say – through and through – and I only hope that one day I will be able to make it to one of his clinics.

His books (he also wrote Dressage Notes, but I read Formula first, so it left a greater impression on me) are written in easily accessible point form –- comprising thoughts and observations of what one is aiming to achieve and how.

With an unfailing respect for the horse and his natural way of being (and moving), and an emphasis on the partnership – particularly upholding one’s own end of it as the rider – Erik’s insights, instructions and knowledge are as equally inspiring as they are informative. This man is my hero.

 

Yoga for EquestriansYoga for Equestrians book

by Linda Benedik and Veronica Wirth

There is actually quite a bit of overlap in the concepts presented in this book and those of Centered Riding. While there may be more out there today in terms of bridging the practices of yoga and riding, this book was one of the first ones I read on the subject and was actually, for me, one of my first introductions to yoga, period.

(I later discovered Donna Farhi’s Yoga: Mind, Body and Spirit, which is one of my most cherished yoga books – also highly recommended!).

The union embodied in both the tradition of yoga and in the horse-rider partnership is an underlying theme throughout. And the sometimes strange choice of sweaters for the photos in this book do little to detract from it’s value, both in providing practical exercises to try and in offering a helpful and encouraging lens through which to think about, and experience, the act of riding and working with your horse.

 

About Lindsay Day, REMT

Lindsay Day is a Registered Equine Massage Therapist and award-winning writer based in Ontario, Canada. She is a graduate of the two-year equine massage therapy program at D'Arcy Lane, and brings to her practice over 20 years experience riding and working with horses. With a strong commitment to promoting the health and welfare of horses through her work, Lindsay uses massage to help horses find ease of movement and comfort in their bodies, so they can feel and perform their best.