Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse

Riding Through the Levels on the Peculiar, Opinionated, Complicated Mounts We All Love

Janet Foy



A 5* dressage judge's practical ways to learn to love your horse's idiosyncrasies and turn weaknesses into strengths. 

Thousands of riders pursue the sport of dressage across the globe, and the majority do so on a budget and with the horse they already have, or quite simply, the one they can afford. This means riders daily face the challenge of mastering one of the world's most esteemed equestrian pursuits on horses that may not be bred specifically for the task, or even if they have been, may not be top prospects for any number of reasons—behavior quirks, conformational impediments, age or soundness—you name it. 

International dressage judge, clinician, and riding coach Janet Foy has ridden many different horses in the course of her riding and horse training career—different sizes, shapes, colors, and breeds—to the highest levels of dressage competition. Now she has compiled her best tips for training and showing the horse you have (or the horse you love, despite his “faults”) through the levels. With lists of common “imperfections and evasions” experienced when riding movements—from simple transitions and leg—yield to zigzags, tempi changes, and piaffe—followed by training tips and creative ways to “perfect” the “imperfections.” Riders are bound to discover countless ways to apply Janet's advice to their dressage pursuits.

Additional Information

Author: Janet Foy

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 192

Illustrations: 100 color photographs

ISBN: 9781646011551

By Janet Foy

Janet Foy is an FEI 5* Dressage Judge, Young Horse Judge, and a USEF “S” Dressage Judge. Janet has judged all the major shows in the United States and Canada, including the North American Young Rider Championships and the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She judged the Paris World Cup Finals in 2018 and the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam. Janet has been honored to judge many top CDI-W and CDI 5* in the world, including the famous Aachen 5*. She has also been to Australia and South America, judging in Brazil and also judging the Central American Games in Bogota, Colombia, and the Central American Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico. She judged the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 and was the FEI Technical Delegate for the World Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark, and judged the World Breeding Championships for Young Horses in Ermelo, The Netherlands, in 2022. Janet is a former member of the AHSA and USEF Board of Directors and well as a former Board Member for USDF. She currently serves on the Dressage Sport Committee and the International Disciplines Council. She also is a member of the USDF “L” Faculty.

Equine Journal Says:

“These training tips and innovative ways to turn
idiosyncrasies into successes will prove to be invaluable to any aspiring rider.”

Dressage Today Says:

“I have a pretty huge equestrian library but in the future, any problem that presents itself, this book will be the first place I will go for help.”