The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding
The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding
The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding

* Book Type:

Publisher: Firefly Books

Author Statement: Zoe St. Aubyn
Audience: Trade
Specs: color photographs and illustrations throughout, glossary, index
Pages: 192
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4" x 1/2"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20070914
Copyright Year: 2007
Price: Select Below


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The Riding Handbook: The Complete Guide to Safe and Exciting Horseback Riding

A well-illustrated comprehensive guide to both English and Western horseback riding that stresses an understanding of the horse and developing a solid relationship between horse and rider, and organized to follow the natural progression of a new rider.

A comprehensive and practical guide to learning horseback riding, both English and Western.

This illustrated reference provides information that is important for all riders, whether they are taking formal instruction or learning to ride on their own. Written for those with no or little riding experience, it approaches horsemanship in a thorough and insightful manner, ensuring that riding is enjoyable for both the rider and the horse.

Successful riding, whether English or Western, requires an understanding of the horse and a solid relationship between horse and rider. The Riding Handbook addresses these important requirements throughout the book and shows how to establish a genuine partnership. It is organized in chapters that follow the natural progression of the horse-and-rider relationship:

  • Getting to know your horse
  • Essential equipment
  • Learning to ride
  • Caring for your horse
  • Improving your riding
  • Riding for pleasure and riding for competition
  • Horses and ponies of the world.

This book deals with all the challenges and decisions that a rider encounters. Full-color photographs and annotated drawings -- many in step-by-step sequence -- illustrate equipment and demonstrate skills. Detailed lists and question-and-answer segments help solve specific problems, making this the ideal handbook for any new rider.


Zoe St. Aubyn lives in England, where she owns and publishes a leading regional equestrian magazine and works extensively in equestrian training.



Equestrianism is a sport on the increase. It is a great social sport and is one of the few where men and women can compete on equal terms. Riding can be started at any age and can very easily offer a lifetime of enjoyment for the whole family.

Many people spend years attending riding clubs for regular lessons, while there are those who buy a horse and learn the ropes together. Whatever level you are at, there is always room for improvement, new skills to learn and better methods of achieving your goal.

Horses are often portrayed as complex animals -- but this is not really true. They are very intelligent and, with the right level of understanding and training, they are totally cooperative. Their size makes them potentially dangerous so we, as humans, try to control and direct them in order to keep the upper hand.

Horses like routine and continuity -- and these are good discipline for us as well. Having a horse or pony is not all about the riding: the stable management and what we do on the ground will set the standard for much of the ridden work.

From a very young age I was enrolled in the Pony Club and our local riding club. Through both, I learned valuable lessons in horse and pony care and riding skills. Over the years I was able to take part in every discipline with a variety of ponies. I never had any fear but I did have huge respect for my animals and took the time to bond with them. It is fair to say that there are a lot more "gadgets" around today to assist the rider. In reality, though, there is no substitute for a good basis of knowledge both on and off the horse.

I hope that this book will enable you to enjoy the sport of riding and owning your own horse to the utmost. It offers key advice on all of the important areas that you need to know about and aims to give you a desire to take your riding to the next level.

Zoe St. Aubyn



Getting to Know your Horse

  • Knowing your Horse
  • Assessing Conformation
  • Poor Conformation
  • Choosing the Right Horse
  • The Horses Language
  • General Handling
  • Relationship Building
  • Bonding Exercises

Essential Equipment

  • English Tack
  • Fitting an English Saddle
  • Fitting a Bridle
  • Other Equipment
  • Western Tack
  • The A-Z of Bits
  • Work Clothes
  • Riding Clothes
  • What Not to Wear
  • Riding Hats
  • Body Protectors

Learning to Ride

  • Basic Rider Fitness
  • Mounting
  • Dismounting
  • Basic English Seat
  • Common Problems
  • Riding Western
  • Achieving Balance
  • The Aids
  • Stopping and Starting
  • The Walk
  • The Trot
  • The Canter
  • The Gallop
  • Turning and Circles
  • Keeping Control
  • Basic Jumping
  • Bounce Strides
  • The Right Instructor
  • Lessons
  • Understanding Terms
  • Practice Drills

Caring for your Horse

  • Basic Needs of a Horse
  • The Grass-Kept Horse
  • Feeding for Health
  • Hoofcare
  • Worming
  • Teeth
  • Vaccinations
  • Pasture Management
  • Preventing Ailments
  • Choosing the Right Stable
  • Bedding
  • Grooming
  • Checklist for Health
  • When to Call the Vet
  • A Holistic Approach

Improving Your Riding

  • The Right Approach
  • Acquiring Advanced Skills
  • Advanced Rider Fitness
  • Lunging
  • Long Reining
  • Improving Transitions
  • Your Jumping Seat

Riding for Pleasure or Competition

  • Riding Club Activities
  • Gymkhanas and Shows
  • Competition Preparation
  • Plaiting or Braiding
  • Eventing and Hunter Trials
  • Riding Classes
  • Dressage
  • Dressage Tests
  • Cross-Country Schooling
  • Le Trec and Endurance
  • Racing
  • Driving and Trotting
  • Hacking and Trail Riding
  • Holidays on Horseback
  • Horse Transport

Horses and Ponies of the World

  • How the Horse Evolved
  • Humans and Horses
  • Horse Breeds
  • Breeds A-Z

Glossary of Terms

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