Posts Tagged ‘Dressage 101’


Huntington Farm of South Strafford, Vermont, is just over two hills and across a river from the TSB offices. We’ve ridden there, competed there, worked there, filmed DVDs and photographed books there. It is a beautiful spot in the quintessential Vermont valley, and in the spring, it is customary to plan a roundabout drive just to catch view of all the babies frolicking in board-fenced fields.

With all the Pre-Superbowl Playoff Fever in the New England air this week, reporter Jack Thurston of NECN paid a visit to Huntington Farm, where a filly named “Patriot Girl” regularly takes charge of the colts. Click below to watch the fun clip that aired last night:



Deb Dean-Smith has been a model rider in TSB books over the years—be sure to check out Jane Savoie’s excellent DRESSAGE 101: THE ULTIMATE SOURCE OF DRESSAGE BASICS IN A LANGUAGE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND.


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TSB author Jane Savoie---her energy and ideas are always an inspiration!

TSB author Jane Savoie—her energy and ideas are always an inspiration!

We were lucky enough to spend time with dressage rider, author, motivational speaker, and (now) dancing queen Jane Savoie while attending Equine Affaire in Massachusetts last week. Her vitality, enthusiasm, and vibrant energy reminded us why TSB is so proud to have published her books, including JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101, THAT WINNING FEELING!, and IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS.


Here’s one fabulous lesson from Jane’s winning playbook from IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS:

horsewarningAt one time or another, you’re going to get discouraged about your riding. This might happen when you think you’re just not making any progress; you feel like you’re taking two steps forward and three steps back. Maybe it happens when either you or your horse are sidelined with an injury. Perhaps you get discouraged because your horse is so good at home, but he’s inattentive or disobedient when ridden in a clinic or a show.

Your reactions are perfectly normal, and it’s fine to be discouraged for the moment. The problem only exists if you stay that way. The antidote to “getting stuck there” is to be resilient.

Resilience is an important quality in every area of life but it seems particularly necessary if you’re going to survive in the horse business. How many times have you been chugging along, smoothly working toward a goal, and then you show up at the barn and discover your horse is lame and needs a month off? How many times have you felt like quitting because you’re riding so badly? At times like these, your resilience—your bounce-back ability—will help you stay optimistic and ready to soldier on.

It really doesn’t matter what the challenge is. You can get knocked down in any area of your life as you pursue your goals. But getting knocked down doesn’t matter. You never truly fail unless you quit. And if you’re resilient, you’ll be able to bounce back after disappointment and stay in the game.

It’s normal to get discouraged from time to time. It only becomes a problem if you stay there emotionally. Obstacles and setbacks shouldn’t stop you in your tracks. Look at “failure” in a positive light. It gives you necessary feedback. It tells you what doesn’t work so you can figure out what does. Remember: You never really fail unless you quit.

Here are five tips for making resilience your “bounce-back” secret to success in the saddle—to be resilient you must:

  1. Have have a “fire in your belly” (a burning desire).
  2. Believe in yourself.
  3. Commit yourself to your goal.
  4. Be bold enough to dare to keep on “keeping on.”
  5. Use hurt, such as anger, as a motivator, rather than allowing it to become a roadblock.


You can get all of Jane Savoie’s fabulous books and DVDs from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.


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Jane Savoie with TSB Senior Editor Rebecca Didier and Managing Director Martha Cook.

Jane Savoie with TSB Senior Editor Rebecca Didier and Managing Director Martha Cook.

If only we can all find the energy to pursue our passions, our hobbies, our careers like Jane Savoie!

Jane, author of many TSB books, including her most recent bestseller DRESSAGE 101, is forever an inspiration when it comes to identifying a goal and then making it happen. It was great to catch up with her and her husband Rhett today, and have a chance to talk about her Happy Horse Home Study Course, her Friesian Moshi, and her newest pursuit: ballroom dancing! Jane looks great and says she can’t believe the parallels she’s discovering between dressage and dance—plus, she says fitter than she’s ever been (and she gets to buy fabulous dresses).

Today we also explored Wellington’s famous Tackeria, an expansive and impressive collection of equestrian clothing and horse gear (and TSB books and DVDs!) right outside the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Show Grounds. I was thrilled to see they had copies of DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, the new book I cowrote with renowned horse trainer and animal behaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones already in stock.

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We then grabbed the shuttle to the PBIEC in time to watch the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty. It was infinitely educational to watch the riders warm up prior to their go, and of the 53 starters, 11 made it to the jump-off. We had a great view of a nail-biter of a finish as Kent Farrington and Blue Angel edged ahead of Beezie Madden on Cortes ‘C’ by the slimmest of margins.

We ended our day with a with George Morris, whose retirement ceremony was last night, and who spent his 75th birthday last week in the saddle, over fences. It was wonderful to hear his “post chef d’equipe” plans, as well as hope that we, too, will be riding, and smiling about it, at 75.

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In a new review of the (not equestrian specific) book Nerve by Taylor Clark, the reading horseman’s go-to blog Great Books for Horse Lovers recommends pairing it with the “iconic” best-selling book IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS by international rider, trainer, and motivational speaker Jane Savoie.

This reminded me of all the fabulous tips (supported by wonderful graphic art colored with a dash of humor) Jane included in her book, a follow-up to her worldwide hit THAT WINNING FEELING! Jane is a master at providing the images we need to envision to shape our mind and attitude and thus achieve peak performance, both in and out of the saddle.

This is what she says about “belly breathing,” a common relaxation technique that many of us have heard of but few probably actually have mastered or are able to employ when we need it:

Jane says to start by watching your dog or cat as he or she sleeps (ideally, not in the midst of an exciting dream involving bacon or catnip). Rest a book upon your belly and breathe in so deeply you can see the book rise. Jane likes to use the image of plus/minus signs—she envisions inhaling plus signs (positive energy) through her nose and minus signs (negative energy) through her mouth.

Bye-bye tension, hello confidence!

You can order IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS, THAT WINNING FEELING!, and Jane’s newest book JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101 at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

And you only have ONE MORE DAY to sign up to win a $100 gift certificate to http://www.horseandriderbooks.com/. Click the green banner at the bottom of our home page or visit us on Facebook. The contest closes at the end of the day today (Friday).

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The new book is here! Yep, line up for your copy, folks, because JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101 is all you could want in a user-friendly guide to the sport and pursuit of dressage training. A one-volume edition of Savoie’s best-selling books Cross-Train Your Horse and More Cross-Training, DRESSAGE 101 is like “The Joy of Cooking” for dressage–all you really need to know, in a language you can understand.

Don’t miss out on our “Facebook Friends” special 15% off–friend Horse and Rider Books on Facebook and get the special code for great savings at the TSB bookstore today!

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