Be sure to check out the new book review on, where blogger Vanessa Wright explains what she finds so valuable about DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, the new book by USEF S and FEI 4* Dressage Judge Janet Foy.

“Fortunately for all frustrated riders—and tired horses—the extraordinary and effervescent Janet Foy has come to the rescue,” writes Vanessa. “Assuring riders that, yes, horses do make mistakes and, yes, they do have their own quirks, problems, and foibles, she goes on to explain how we can guide them—and ourselves—to happy and harmonious success from our very first lessons through our best Grand Prix.”

You can read the entire review on by CLICKING HERE.

Plus, check out this “Personal Story” from DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE, where Janet explains a little about two of her own “imperfect” horses—a “hot” and fiery mother-daughter pair—and how she learned to work with them:

USEF S and FEI 4* Dressage Judge Janet Foy and her book. Photo from
USEF S and FEI 4* Dressage Judge Janet Foy and her book. Photo from

High Society (“Hi-C”) was a Holsteiner mare who came by her “spice for life” via her mom. Her dam was Abracadabra, a Swedish mare who had a lot of Arabian (Urbino) blood in her. Abra was fifth in the country at Training and First Level for the USDF Horse of the Year awards. she was only 15.3 hands, a chestnut, and usually “on fire.” Hi-C’s dad was a stallion I owned named Constitution. Condo was a 17.2 bay Holsteiner. He was my favorite stallion of all the ones I owned and trained. He had a great attitude and loved to show. I told him he would “get more girls” if he won his class. He usually obliged.

Having had my patience tested by Abra, I was ready for Hi-C. I relied on quiet slow work, trying to relax her as best I could. With Abra, a battle had also been the spooking. At least Hi-C did not inherit this trait. I found with both mares that they had an incredible work ethic and worked very hard to try and please me. Too hard in fact. Half the time they did not wait for my aid. Lots of movements were “not my idea.” Experience taught me that if they were punished for all of their great ideas, they would get more tense. So patience, repetition, and reward finally got through to them.

I caution anyone with this type of “hot” horse to be careful. Punishment doesn’t work. If you don’t have patience yet, you will after you get this one trained. Try to think of each of the horse’s mistakes as a training opportunity. Often, when a horse is learning, there is tension. The horse may be trying to understand the desires of the rider. However, he often gets confused. If the rider freely deals out punishment at this time, especially with a high-spirited horse, the horse’ mental tension will increase and he’ll be unable to progress.

DRESSAGE FOR THE NOT-SO-PERFECT HORSE is available from the TSB online bookstore.