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Recommended Resources


As equestrians it's important to understand that equine science has come a long way in even the past 10-20 years and more research is yet to come. Even without science the best classical trainers of all time were able to practice mostly ethical and surprisingly biomechanically correct training; however, it is still important to note all the scientific research and studies on the equine body, nutrition, brain, equipment fit, etc. that came AFTER their time. Balance your reading with learning from the best the classical trainers with current up-to-date studies on equine biomechanics, fitness, nutrition, etc. For example, if you want to focus on equine fitness, be certain to read, listen to or watch at least 3-5 sources on equine fitness from the best sources so you get a proper foundation knowledge base in order to know the information you have is not skewed. Note the author's background, experience, and the date the piece was published. Remember, just because someone is winning in the show arena or "has been doing it for years" or says "well that's the way it's always been done" does NOT mean it is correct. 
Furthermore, modern and classical training techniques both have their pros and cons and just because it's effective doesn't mean it's ethical or the best way. Be sure to always ask yourself - does this benefit the horse? Does it take into account equine welfare? Will this benefit my horse's long term soundness - mentally and physically? At the end of this page, there's a great image of additional questions to ask yourself after you read/watch/listen to think more critically as horsewomen and horsemen for the benefit of the horse. Remember to always keep learning! Our knowledge is never static, but always changing and evolving. 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for other fantastic resources - including books, podcasts, webinars, articles, online/virtual seminars, local clinics to audit, and helpful reminders and tips/hints!

Jec Aristotle Ballou:
Online Courses:

Books: "55 Corrective Exercises for Horses"

"10 Week Conditioning Manual"

"101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider"

"Equine Fitness"

"101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider"


Amy Skinner Horsemanship:
Posture and Daily Handling:

Calm, Forward & Straight Course:
Introduction to In-Hand Work Develop Beneficial Movement Through Correct Posture and Balance for a Healthier Horse and a Happier Relationship

Manolo Mendez Dressage:

Artistic Dressage - Ritter Dressage

Patrick King Horsemanship

Dressage Naturally - Karen Rohlf

Dressage How To...

Equine Behavior : A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists

The Horse First Podcast by AUDREY DECLUE, DVM

SURE FOOT Equine Stability Program - Webinars with Wendy Murdoch

United States Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship:

USDF Training – Fourth Level Recommended Reading List:

"A Horse's Basic Needs: The 6 F's"

Environment Makes a Difference

FEI Campus:

Denny Emerson:
"Know Better to Do Better: Mistakes I Made with Horses (So You Don't Have To)"


Another great list of books as well as a good resource on positive reinforcement training:

Your Dressage Education:

Your Dressage Quick Reads:

Saddlefit 4 Life:

Whole Horse Saddle Fit:

Equitation Science International:

Digital Version:

Classical Equitation: embodied principles tested and verified through the centuries
Welcome to the official website of USDF Hall of Fame Master Horseman, Author, Clinician, and Judge

The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) is a not-for-profit organisation that chiefly aims to facilitate research into the training of horses to enhance horse welfare and improve the horse–rider relationship.

Sustainable Dressage:


Centaur Biomechanics

Centered Riding by Sally Swift:


Conditioning Sport Horses by Hilary M. Clayton:

Resources My Horse University (MHU) has an exceptional breadth of knowledge in equine management backed with the experience of world-renowned horse experts. Through these resources, you’ll gain the information and expertise you need to grow as a horse enthusiast and develop a stronger understanding of horses.

Horse Brain, Human Brain: The Neuroscience of Horsemanship by Janet Jones PhD

Coherent Horsemanship Combining the Quantum and the Classical

Bit Bank Australia - Videos and Blog about Bits

ANNA BLAKE: "Affirmative training is the art of understanding the horse." Relaxed & Forward Training: We train with a profound concern for the horse’s mental and physical welfare. We listen to his Calming Signals to learn his perspective.  We affirm the horse’s intelligence, empowering his confidence with positive energy. Join our Relaxed & Forward Tribe. We put horses first.
We are the place to share knowledge and expertise of over 30 of the most trusted trainers in the world. You can find all the tips and exercises you need to improve your training and build a stronger partnership with your horse, regardless of your level or discipline. Dressage, Showjumping, Groundwork or Eventing are some of the disciplines covered by our trainers. Learn from their proven successful training methods and develop a harmonious relationship with your horse, from the ground and in the saddle.


"Webinar No. 93. Hilary Clayton DVM: A Bit about Bits and Bridles"

No. 127. Natascha van Eijk More on Bit Fitting

Episode 38: Causes and Solutions to Contact Issues with Your Horse

Bitless Bridle Guide

Best Horse Practices Podcast

Thompson & Associates Equine Medicine:


Yasmin Stuart Physio:

Cesar Torrente Dressage

Physical Therapy for Horses: A Visual Course in Massage, Stretching, Rehabilitation, Anatomy, and Biomechanics by Helle Katrine Kleven

TIGER TALK: Where Somatic Experiencing® and Attachment Meet Equine-Assisted Practice A Trauma-Informed Blog & Free Podcast (Articles like: "Connection Before Concepts: A Comparison of 3 Pressure-Release Methods Or: Why Not All Pressure-Release is Created Equal" & "The Polyvagal Theory and Horses: An Introduction")

Superior Therapy LLC 
Superior Therapy LLC is owned by 16-year massage therapist, Summer Terry, offering injury rehab, fitness, and conditioning options for horses. We also offer certification courses for equine Rehab Therapists & Bodyworkers.  GREAT VIDEOS FOR ALL EQUESTRIANS!

Give Your Horse a Chance: The Training of Horse and Rider for Three-day Events, Show-jumping and Hunting by Lt Col a L D'Endrody


Academic Horse Training Book by Dr Andrew and Manuela McLean

Way to Perfect Horsemanship by Udo Burger

Complete Training of Horse and Rider: In the Principles of Classical Horsemanship by Alois Podhajsky

Advanced Dressage by Anthony Crossley

Cavalletti: For Dressage and Jumping by Ingrid Klimke

The Humble Hoof


Nutritional requirements for the horse is a vastly overlooked field. It is my goal to give you the tools you need to make informed, educated decisions regarding your horse's health and nutrition.
Read more on Dr. Kellon's new blog:

Equine Nutrition Group

The Equine Documentalist

Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Group, Inc.

Feed Room Chemist: An Equine Nutrition Podcas‪t‬ - Dr. Jyme Nichols

The Essential Horse

Changing to a Forage-Based Diet

Feeding the Foot: How Diet Can Make or Break Hoof Health

Feeding the Hoof by Pete Ramey

Custom Equine Nutrition has a great bog on everything nutrition!

Interesting Opinion Piece on Treating Equine Ulcers:
Comprehensive Ulcer Care & Information 

Equine Discomfort Ethogram
"Pain and discomfort behavior in horses tends to be especially subtle, and not readily or widely appreciated even by equine professionals, including many long-time horse keepers, trainers, and even by veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and care staff. Based on decades of evaluating the behavior of normal and physically uncomfortable horses in a referral hospital, as well as research context, we describe and illustrate a catalog of behaviors (ethogram) associated with equine physical discomfort. Our objective is to promote an unambiguous universal understanding of equine discomfort behaviors associated with various body systems and anatomic sources."

Learn About Your Horses Posture, Core Strength & Crookedness, AND How You Can Help Your Horse!

Surefoot Equine Stability Pads & Webinars with Wendy and

The Ideal Ratio of Aids

What is Prehabilitation? by VET PHYSIO PHYLE Science based, holistic Veterinary Physiotherapy practice


The Biomechanics of Engagement (pt 2) The Essential Components of Self Carriage

The Horse First Veterinary Podcast by Dr. Audrey DeClue

A Holistic View For Keeping Your Horse's Back Healthy

Walk Exercises for all Horses (And Especially Older Horses) by Amelia Newcomb

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Equine Research Behavioral, demographic, and management influences on equine responses to negative reinforcement Kate Fenner, Rafael Freire, Andrew McLean, Paul McGreevy:

Journal Home Page:


Training Tips by Jec Aristotle Ballou

Articles by Manolo Mendez: Training for Wellness

Academic Art of Riding is the effort to rediscover the European art of riding of the past centuries. Originally from Germany, Bettina Biolik teaches horses and riders in the Academic Art of Riding, a method based on the ways of the old masters which was rediscovered, compiled and refined by the Danish grand master Bent Branderup. "There are no difficult horses, only misunderstandings between horses and people." Groundwork, lunging, work in hand and riding.


The Half-Halt and Positioning

Artistic Dressage - Ritter Dressage

No. 156. Steven Peters, PhD: Horse's Brain, Optimum Learning

Q&A with Jenku - Shoulder in In-Hand - Falling through shoulder

"Building your horse's strength through groundwork" by World Horse Welfare

"Webinar: Understanding our horses' behaviour and how they learn by World Horse Welfare"
(ISES webpage that Gemma mentioned - & Here's the link Gemma referenced -

"Dressage Webinar Series #5: Anatomy of Dressage with Alexis Martin-Vegue and Andrea Chandler"
Discussion on the horse's musculoskeletal system and what to look for in the horse's development of a topline, including asymmetries.

"Conditioning with Tina Watkins EST, EEBW‪3‬"

"Equine Conditioning Exercises" with Tina Watkins, Inhand Equine Therapy"

Fantastic Podcast Interview with Dr. Andrew McLean:
About Dr. McLean: Winner of the highest Australian Science award, the Eureka Prize for Science, Andrew McLean developed and manages the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre, specialising in horse training and behaviour modification. Andrew McLean holds a PhD in equine cognition and learning, has been an accredited horse riding coach for over 30 years and has written numerous books (including an International Best Seller) and authored 35 peer-reviewed journal articles.

"Webinar featuring Sir Mark Todd - Maintaining your horse's fitness and health during winter." by World Horse Welfare

Equine veterinarian Dr. Erica Lacher and show host Justin Long discuss horse healthcare, and proper care and maintenance. Whether your horse is an athlete or a lawn ornament, you'll learn something that will help you be a better horse parent!

Validation of the Equine Behaviour Assessment and Research Questionnaire (E-BARQ): A New Survey Instrument for Exploring and Monitoring the Domestic Equine Triad Kate Fenner, Sarah Matlock, Jane Williams, Bethany Wilson, Andrew McLean, James Serpell and Paul McGreevy:

Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Trailer-loading of horses: Is there a difference between positive and negative reinforcement concerning effectiveness and stress-related signs? Payana Hendriksena, Katrine Elmgreena, Jan Ladewigb

Animals is an international, peer-reviewed
, open access journal devoted entirely to animals, including zoology and veterinary sciences, published monthly online by MDPI.
Equine Responses to Acceleration and Deceleration Cues May Reflect Their Exposure to Multiple Riders Jessica McKenzie, Kate Fenner, Michelle Hyde, Ashley Anzulewicz, Bibiana Burattini, Nicole Romness, Bethany Wilson and Paul McGreevy

Using differential reinforcement to improve equine welfare: Shaping appropriate truck loading and feet handling Charlotte Slater, Simon Dymond

Behavioural Processes is dedicated to the publication of high-quality original research on animal behaviour from any theoretical perspective. It welcomes contributions that consider animal behaviour from behavioural analytic, cognitive, ethological, ecological and evolutionary points of view. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and papers that integrate theory and methodology across disciplines are particularly welcome. The quality of research and focus on behavioural processes are the sole criteria for acceptance.

Listen to JJ Tate's interview with Patrick King to learn about building an equine athlete, horsemanship, equine welfare, dressage, etc: (JJ Tate, TALKING ABOUT HORSES, Episode 53)

Saskatchewan Equine Expo 2020 Series - Part 3: Bringing the Mind & Body Together
Part 3 of the Expo series showcases Josh's second lecture where he illustrates the difference between a horse in self-carriage vs. a held frame. Josh also explains the biomechanics of how horses need to use their bodies in order to carry the weight of a rider properly. In this lecture we learn how the classical horsemanship principles of movement are foundational for every riding discipline because horses must be taught how to balance the weight of a rider - carrying a rider is not something they know how to do by default.

Enriching Equines
Natural behaviors. Happy horses. Better lives.

Find the following books at

Dressage in Harmony : From Basic to Grand Prix


Kottas on Dressage 

Training the Horse in Hand : The Classical Iberian Principles 


Riding Logic 


The Athletic Development of the Dressage Horse : Manege Patterns 


Academic Equitation : A Training System Based on the Methods of d'Aure, Baucher and l'Hotte 

Schooling Horses in Hand : A Means of Suppling and Collection


The Art of Long Reining 


Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement 

Mills Horsemanship & Hoofcare:


Equine Thoughts:

Horse Head: Brain Science & Other Insights by Maddy Butcher with Dr. Steve Peters

Evidence-Based Horsemanship by Dr. Stephen Peters & Martin Black

Beaumoor Sentire:

The Evolving Equestrian:

The Willing Equine:

Sculpture Equine Anatomy (some fantastic diagrams!)

Vet Physio Phyle

PhysioTom - Equine Performance Physio:

Ecole de Légèreté Perth:

Concordia Dressage at Split Mesquite Farm:

Ian Leighton Horsemanship:

4Dimension Dressage International:

This is a list of helpful Equestrian podcasts that are 100% free: Best Horse Practices, Equilogical Podcast, Warwick Schiller, Dressage Today Podcast, Equestrian Performance & Fitness Podcast, Equine Body Talks Podcast, Equine Veterinary Education Podcast, Equine Verterinary Journal, EquiTheory, Horse Radio Network, Horse Training in Harmony, How to Dressage, Making Strides, May the Horse Be With You, Talking About Horses, Dressage Radio Show ,The Equestrian Podcast, The Horse First Podcast by Dr. Audrey DeClue, The Veterinary Rehabilitation Podcast, The Whole Horse Podcast, The Willing Equine, Dressage Radio Show - USDF Official Podcast, Working From The Inside Out, The Arabian Horse Connection Podcast ( THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF OTHER PODCASTS TOO!

How to Lunge for Back and Pelvis Rehabilitation
The Horse First: A Veterinary Sport Horse Podcast


​ - podcasts, webinars, and articles on every topic imaginable! He does LOTS of research and testing and does so much myth busting.  "Scientist dedicated to animal health and welfare. Interests include evidence!" Lots of free information on his Facebook page: 
Dr. Marlin has 25 years working on equine thermoregulation. 20 plus scientific papers on equine thermoregulation. Working with endurance horses in the Gulf. Advising the racing industry on prevention and management of heat-stroke. Working with Governments on heat legislation. Working with charities on thermal stress. Working on the 1996 Atlanta, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Currently working on the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Author of the FEI Guidelines for National Federations on the management of horses in thermally challenging conditions.

Webinar: "Tacking up: Being a pain or in pain" by World Horse Welfare

THE FIVE REIN AIDS: INTRODUCTION (Lots of fantastic blog articles/posts on different topics!)

Sue Dyson's paper Development of an ethogram for a pain scoring system in ridden horses and its application to determine the presence of musculoskeletal pain is available here -

The Horse Physio

The Osteopathic Vet

Horses Inside Out - Gillian Higgins
Pilates for Horses:

Many of the Pilates principals can be applied to the horse. Core stability and strength are as important to horses as they are to riders. Maintaining stability, posture and balance can contribute to more effective training, improved performance and can reduce the risk of injury. 


Stimulating and strengthening the core muscles will come through correct work and skillful use of ridden movements and exercises as directed by your trainer. There are however a number of exercises, performed from the ground, which can supplement ridden work to help to improve core stability. 


By performing these specific exercises, the core muscles that make for good posture, a strong back and assist in carrying the weight of the rider can be strengthened. These include the deep internal muscles of the abdomen, pelvis, thoracic sling, and back together with the more superficial muscles of the trunk.


Core strengthening exercises can be invaluable as part of a rehabilitation programme following injury. Using specific exercises to target and stimulate weak or injured muscles can be particularly useful. Following permission from your vet, any well-qualified therapist will be able to advise on an individually designed programme of exercises. 


This course will teach you:

Simple exercises for your horse from the ground
Exercises in the stable, in the arena and hacking
To understand which exercises to use and when
How to progress low intensity exercises
How to positively influence your horses posture
A range of exercises to support your horses training journey

Animal Behaviour and Trauma Recovery Service:


EQUUSOMA: Somatic Experiencing and Equine-Facilitated Trauma Therapy

Concordia Equestrians - A Voice for Horses:

Australian Equine Behaviour Centre:

Understand Animals

Hear Your Horse Whisper - science based information and education

Justine Harrison - Equine Behaviourist

Claire Ford Veterinary Physiotherapy | 100 Polework Exercises:

Whispering Horse

Strategic Strides: Animal Chiropractic for Optimum Health

The Ultimate Guide for Horses in Need by Dr. Stacie Boswell


PSSM & MFM AWARENESS: Spreading Awareness On Hereditary Muscle Myopathies In Equines

Keystone Equine

Training the Equine Brain: a headfirst approach to your horse's wellbeing management. Presented by Dr Andrew Hemmings, Associate Professor of Equine Science at the Royal Agricultural University. In this webinar, Dr Hemmings explores the science of learning, along with insights into the fine tuning of a feeding regime to increase welfare and reduce unwanted behaviour.

Amelia Newcomb Dressage:

More great books at
The Dressage Formula
Tug of War : Classical Versus Modern Dressage - Why Classical Training Works and How Incorrect Modern Riding Negatively Affects Horses' Health
Understanding Horse Behavior : Your Guide to Horse Health Care and Management 
Equine Behaviour : Principles and Practice 
Collection or Contortion? : Exposing the Misconceptions and Exploring the Truths of Horse Positioning and Bend 
The USPC Guide to Conformation, Movement and Soundness 
Anne Kursinski's Riding 
Fit to Ride : Train Your Horse, Train Yourself
Getting Horses Fit : Improve Your Horse's Performance
The Nature of Horses : Exploring Equine Evolution, Intelligence, and Behavior
The Athletic Horse : Principles and Practice of Equine Sports Medicine
Training the Modern Jumper : Evaluating Potential, Gymnastic Exercises over Fences, Maintaining Soundness, Dressage for Improving Performance, Course Building
Stride Control : 25 Exercises and Tips for Riding Jumping Lines Just Right
Dressage Training In-Hand : Lessons in Straightness, Suppleness, and Collection from the Ground
Sport Horse Soundness and Performance : Training Advice for Dressage, Showjumping and Event Horses from Champion Riders, Equine Scientists and Vets
Reflections on Riding and Jumping : Winning Techniques for Serious Riders 
George H. Morris : Because Every Round Counts
Equine Fitness : The Care and Training of the Athletic Horse
Creative Horsemanship : Training Suggestions for Dressage
The Complete Book of Show Jumping 
The Equine Athlete : How to Develop Your Horse's Athletic Potential
Equus Lost? How We Misunderstand the Nature of the Horse-human Relationship--plus, Brave New Ideas for the Future

Rewarding With Scratches

The Treats I Train With

"Physical Conditioning of Horses"

"Sensory Abilities of Horses and Their Importance for Equitation Science"
By Maria Vilain Rørvang, Birte L. Nielsen, and Andrew Neil McLean

"Calming Signals and Sensitive Noses." by Anna Blake


Bridling With Feel

How to Safely Bridle A Horse

"Relationship Before Horsemanship"

How To Pet a Horse With Feel by Amy Skinner Horsemanship


​Lunging with the cavesson, basic communication, basics in shoulder control:

​"Developing Balance In Hand: Free In Hand Workshop › Video 1 of 4" Patrick King

​Basic in-Hand Work, an overview by Patrick King: ​​

Some Thoughts on Working In-Hand By Manolo Mendez, Specialist of In-hand and Classical Equitation with Caroline Larrouilh:

Superior Therapy LLC: Backing for Fitness...The How-To

The Ins and Out of Working In-Hand by Manolo Mendez by Caroline Larouilh:

Problem Solving on the Ground by Warwick Schiller

How To Avoid Being Bitten When Engaging With A Horse by Warwick Schiller

Preventing Back Pain in Horses - Hereford Equestrian

Building topline in horses - an 8 week plan

How to Recognize, Treat and Prevent Back Pain in the Horse | Atlantic Equine Services

Develop Your Dressage Horse's Topline with Sue Blinks

The stretch: what "forward and down" really means for your horse!

The Physics of Flexion in the Dressage Horse



Applied Posture Riding - The Horse Riding Posture And Muscle Imbalances
Modifying Muscle Patterns to Build a Better Equine Athlete

Balancing the Horse: A Closer Look at Posture, Part I | HORSE NATION


Training Your Horse from the Anatomical Perspective. Part 1: Hollow Back Posture

"Ingrid Klimke: Train for Your Horse's Pleasure: Seven elements of a training program that will keep your dressage athlete happy and healthy in his work" by INGRID KLIMKE WITH SILKE ROTTERMANN

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) was founded in 1954 by a group of 11 charter members who saw that together they could direct the focus of equine veterinary medicine.

Maddy: Horsemanship Mentor Coach I help compassionate horse owners solve behavioral issues & connect to their horse without force

Brie, Owner of PATH Equestrian, is a horse behavioural consultant/horse trainer who is dedicated to promoting and training with compassionate, ethical and non-fear-based training methods.

Clicker training horses, positive reinforcement training, a kind and gentle method of communicating with your horses that is based on science.

Confident Rider Nervous System Support For Equestrians

Connection Training with Hannah Weston and Rachel Bedingfield
We specialise in teaching positive horse training that is practical, effective and builds the relationship between you and your horse.

Physical Therapy services for both Equestrians and Equine athletes.

Blog & Books on Positive Reinforcement

Why is groundwork crucial? - Dr Andrew Mclean

Safely Hand Feed Your Horse

Jenni Nellist - Equine Behaviour

Exploring the research of horses, humans and horse-human interactions to build better relationships with horses beyond training, horsemanship, equitation, and handling.

Dressage Rider Training
Core and Stability training for the dressage rider. Create a strong foundation through your core to help you ride more efficiently.


Please remember bridle fit & bit fit is just as important as saddle fit. 

Why use a cavesson at all? von Babette Teschen

Josh Nichol: Why the cavesson?


Fitting Your Cavesson with Patrick King

Cavesson Tips by Jec Ballou (Video)

Straightness Training: The Cavesson


Lunging Training by Horse Pilates: The Cavesson

Brand Suggestions of Cavessons:

- Micklem Multibridle


- Custom Bitless, Bit & Cavessons from Rebalance Equestrian:


- Harry's Horse Leather Lunging/ Bridle Cavesson:


- WH Cavesson Anatomic:

- Barefoot Wellington Contour 2 in 1 Bridles

- Black Leather 3-Ring Lunge Cavesson

Kieffer Ultrasoft Lunge and Riding Cavesson


Cavessons WITHOUT bit attachment option:

- Manolo Mendez Original Spanish Cavesson:


- Patrick King Horsemanship Cavesson: ( or

Real leather Academic cavesson For Lunging and Riding

QHP Leather Lunging Cavesson

Most of all the books, podcasts, and videos listed above have VERY large sections on equitation and horse important the rider's position is. If you want to dig more look into Mary Wanless (, Sally Swift (, Wendy Murdoch (, and Susan Harris ( Several of them have free videos, articles and lots of books. Also, look out for a clinic near you.

More to come!


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