The Horses Who Made Me

A Journey to a Horsemanship Philosophy

Alizée Froment

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How a Grand Prix dressage rider competed at the highest level before finding her way to liberty work, and the extraordinary lessons that molded her perceptions, understandings, and feelings along the way.

“In my eyes,” says former French international dressage competitor Alizée Froment, “dressage is the journey to perfect communication and absolute harmony between horse and rider.” Her own journey began on the backs of Shetland ponies under the watchful eyes of her mother and then found its way into jumping competitions, and later on, dressage arenas. Along the way, many horses entered and exited her life, each bringing with them a depth of personality that steadily built her understanding of the relationship a rider can build with an equine partner.

In her deeply personal and strikingly beautiful book, Froment traces her evolution as a horsewoman, a dressage competitor, and now a world-renowned performer and liberty trainer. Readers meet the ponies she learned on, and the challenging mounts that helped her grow as a junior rider. There were horses she immediately loved and horses she had to work to connect with—and eventually there were Mistral and Sultan, who she calls her “yin and yang,” and who elevated her aspirations both beside and on the back of a horse. It is with these two special souls that Froment further explored riding the Grand Prix movements with only a neck rope—no bridle or bit, and often bareback as well—and demonstrating to the world the potential that is there for all riders to enjoy, if they are open to the experience and are willing to take the time for it to evolve.

Readers will be entranced by Froment's willingness to bare her soul, powerfully articulating her feelings when confronted with jealousy, with performance expectations, with the possibility of losing the horse she loved to an unknown buyer, with retiring a beloved partner, and with the changing circumstances and altered allegiances of her heart when her daughter Louise is born. As tender as a story about riding, competing, and performing with horses at the highest levels can be, The Horses Who Made Me is first a story of one woman's personal journey, eternally questioning herself, and second, an inspiration for anyone who is forever striving for a better way of training horses, because of the profound beauty you just might find.

Additional Information

Author: Alizée Froment

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 200

Illustrations: 180 color photographs

ISBN: 9781646012152

By Alizée Froment

Alizée Froment grew up spending all her days away from school in the family stable that her mother, a professional journalist, ran in the South of France. A former jumper rider, Froment switched to dressage when she was a young rider, and eventually competed successfully internationally at the Grand Prix level, as well as training the French National Dressage Pony Team for five years. Since 2009, Froment has been sharing her philosophy of working with horses in beautiful performances where she demonstrates that even the most technical dressage exercises can be ridden with only a neck rope (no bridle or bit). With several hundred thousand spectators who have seen her perform live all over the world, more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, and almost 50,000 on Facebook, she has become famous for integrating the bitless bridle and the neck rope into her training routine with horses of all ages and levels. She shows it is not only a way to strengthen the relationship with the horse but above all a way to empower him, testing whether dressage training is progressing correctly—slowly needing less and less from the aids while still keeping the connection and understanding with the horse. Froment has been called “The French woman on a mission,” as she is always looking to achieve a better understanding of horses while discovering new things to help them reach their full potential and become the best version of themselves, both mentally and physically.

Catskill Horse Magazine Says:

"A beautifully produced book both in its layout, editing and writing.... It is a thoroughly engaging read that travels the length and breadth of a life well-lived with horses."

Library Journal Says:

"A great memoir for animal lovers, it will inspire anyone who faces seemingly insurmountable career obstacles."