If you are just starting out,  start your reading adventure with the following: Licart’s “Start Riding Right” and Froissard’s “Horsemanship for Our Time”. If you have become disillusioned with modern dressage (aka “crank and spank”) then you may want to read Philippe Karl’s “The Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage” and “Falling for Fallicies” by Jean Claude Racinet.

Alios Podhasky “The Complete Training of  Horse and Rider”/ “My Horses My Teachers” / “The Riding  Teacher”

Anja Beran “Classical  Schooling with the Horse in Mind”

Andre Jousseaume “Progressive Dressage”

Antonie de Pluvinel “Le Menage Royal”

Baretto de Souza “Principles of Equitation” / “Advanced Equitation”

Commandant Licart “Start Riding Right” / “Rational Equitation” /  “The Perfection of Equitation”/ “Horse Riding  Through Pictures” / “Equestrian  Evolution through the Ages”

Elanor Russell “The Truth in the  Teaching of Nuno Olivera”

Etienne Beudant “The Training of the Horse  Under Saddle” /  “Horse Training  Outdoor and High School”

Faverot de Kerbrecht “The Methodical Training of the Saddle  Horse” / “Training the Cross Country Horse”

Francois Lemaire de  Ruffieu “The Handbook of Riding  Essentials” / “The Handbook of Jumping  Essentials”

Francois Robichon de  la Guerinerie  “School of  Horsemanship”

General Decarpentry  “Academic Equitation” /  “Piaffer and Passage”  / “Analysis of the Work of Sterinbrecht”

Henry L. de Bussigny “Equitation”

Hilda Nelson “Alexis Francois L’Hotte: The Quest for  Lightness”/ “Francois Baucher:  The Man and his Method”/ “The  Ecuyere of the 19th Century in Circus”

James Fillis “Breaking and Riding”

Jean Claude Racinet “Another Horsemanship” / “Total Horsemanship” / “Racinet Explains Baucher”/ “Fallling for  Fallicies”

Jean Froissard   “Horsemanship for Our Time” / “Equitation” / “A  Guide to Basic Dressage”

Jean Saint Fort  Paillard “Understanding Equitation”

Martin Diggle  “Masters of Equitation on Trot” / “Masters of Equitation on Canter” / “Masters of Equitation on Counter  Canter and Changes” / “Masters of  Equitation on Collecting and Lengthening”

Noel Jackson “Effective Horsemanship”

Nuno Olivera “Horse  and Rider: Annotated Sketches” / “From an  Old Master Trainer to Young Trainers” /  “Horses  and Their Riders” /  “Liberetto for the  Horseman” / “Reflections on Equestrian  Art”

Philippe Karl “The  Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage” /  “Long  Reining, The Saumur Method” / “The Art of Riding: Classical Dressage to High School: Odin at Saumur”

Udo Burger “The Way to Perfect Horsemanship”

William Cavendish,  Duke of Newcastle “A  General System of Horsemanship”

Xenophon “The Art of Horsemanship”


“Natural Horsemanship”  is used to refer to trainers who espouse a gentler approach to training horses. It seems most of them can trace their training back to one of the Dorrance brothers (Tom or Bill). The Dorrance brothers read and thought highly of Baucher!

The popularization of these methods have made the world a better place for horses by educating their owners. These are the handful of books I particularly like but there are lots more out there.

John Lyons  “Lyons on Horses”

Leslie Desmond and  Bill Dorrance “True Horsemanship Through Feel”

Mark Rashid “Horses Never Lie” / “Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse”

Tom Dorrance “True  Unity”

Tom Moates “A Horse’s  Thought, A Journey Into Honest Horsemanship” /” Between the Reins, A Continuing Journey into Honest Horsemanship” / “Further Along the Trail A Continuing Journey into Honest Horsemanship”


If you are starting out or never took the time to consider the history of riding, “The Story of Riding” is a great book to give you a historical context for the evolution of riding and training horses.

E.M. Kellock   “The Story of Riding”

Cherry Hill  “101 Arena  Exercises”

Dr. Deb Bennett  “Lessons from Woody: Teaching  Your Horse to Carry Himself Straight”/ “The Birdie Book”/ “Principles  of Conformation Volumes 1-3”

Gerd Heuschmann “Tug of War: Classical vs. Modern  Dressage”

Susan Harris  “Horse Gaits,  Balance, and Movement”

Alexandra Kurland  “Clicker Training for Your Horse”

Daniel Kamen “The  Well Adjusted Horse” (chiropractic)

Carolyn Resnick “Naked Liberty”

Ingrid Soren “Zen and Horses”

Shawna and Vinton  Karrasch “You Can Train Your  Horse to do Anything”

Temple Grandin “Animals in Translation”

Wyatt Webb &  Cindy Pearlman “It’s Not About the Horse”