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Three women practicing horse riding techniques as written in horse training books

Top Selection Of Best Horse Training Books To Read

Horse riding may seem comprehensive at first, but with some help, anyone can easily learn how to make an excellent relationship with their equine. Learn more about this practice in this select list of horse training books written by some of the best horse experts.

Take a look at these books and choose the one that will work for you and your beloved beast.

1. Training and Riding with Cones and Poles: Over 35 Engaging Exercises to Improve Your Horse's Focus and Response to the Aids, While Sharpening Your Timing and Accuracy by Sigrid Schöpe

This spiral-bound edition book is one of the horse training books on our list. It teaches you how to help your horse focus on your commands.

It gives 35 exercises with cones and poles that improve your horse's timing and accuracy. Every level of rider will be able to follow the instructions to teach the horse foundation skills using traffic cones and ground poles.

The techniques taught in this book are designed to help your horse develop accuracy with figures and transitions. Your horse's responses to your commands and overall riding performance will improve.

Other readers of this book agree that the clear pictures make this book easy to read and understand. It is a fun read, loaded with ideas for how to train your horse as well as fine visuals.

2. What I'd Teach Your Horse: Training & Re-Training the Basics (Volume 8) by Keith Hosman

Horse rider jumping over obstacles in a circuit

This highly-rated paperback training book explains how to train any horse regardless of age, gender, or breed. It is full of horsemanship tips and techniques to help you succeed.

It explains the basic moves that every horse and rider needs to master - moving forward and in patterns, backing up, reining, etc., and how to visualize your horse moving correctly.

Chapter 1 is for owners of newly broke horses. Chapter 2 starts the section on retraining older horses. The first few chapters should be practiced in order. After that, you can focus on the parts of the book that you need to work on the most.

If you follow the instructions in this book, your horse will be competently trained and more dependable. He will go where you direct him at the speed you want him to go. You and your horse will be partners, not adversaries.

When your horse completes this training, he will be ready to move up to the next level of education, no matter which discipline - English or Western. He'll be ready to be trained for barrel racing, roping, jumping, or dressage.

Please note that there are no pictures in this book. It is all text. It is also divided into two sections. The above-mentioned chapters are in section I.

Section I is about horse training - what to do and precisely how to do it. It's appropriate for horses of every age, so you can use these techniques with all your horses. A few of the points covered are:

  • Leg control
  • Neck reining
  • Classic serpentine movements
  • Speed control
  • Backing up
  • Training the brain
  • What to do about a balky horse
  • Dealing with scary stuff, like crossing creeks
  • And much more.

Section II is for the rider. It includes horsemanship theory and techniques, which speaks to every rider at every level. In this section, you will learn:

  • To understand horse behavior
  • How the horse reads your body language, even to move and turn
  • How to keep your horse's attitude in check
  • How to prevent mounting problems
  • How to use your hands properly as a tool of communication
  • How to keep the cues from the reins soft
  • Six ways to improve your training
  • The rider's checklist
  • How to diagnose problems
  • And more

Readers of this horse training book comment that it is excellent and full of information for horse lovers on any level. Others mentioned Keith Hosman's encouragement to visualize your horse doing things right the first time while you practice patience. A lot of people considered this one of the most effective books for horse trainers in their collection.

3. Finding the Missed Path: The Art of Restarting Horses by Mark Rashid

This is another paperback book on how to train horses. Just like the previous samples, this book has also been given numerous stars by those who have purchased and read it.

It helps trainers know how to give a horse with gaps in his training a second chance, which is quite a common and very real occurrence. However, it is also a suitable guide for teaching those without riding experience.

Mark Rashid knows that there can be gaps in a horse's training. When this happens, the horse and the rider do not connect sufficiently. When being ridden or trained, the horse's mind can become confused, worried, and even angry.

If this occurs, an owner can restart the horse's training to learn what he has to know. When the horse is given this second chance, he becomes confident and comfortable.

Using full-color photographs and insightful narratives, readers are given practical steps on how to restart the horse's training. As we all know, sometimes we just need a second chance before we can get things right.

Reviewers of this endearing book comment that it is a window into the mind of the uncooperative horse and that it helped them to build a trusting, respectful relationship with their horse. For horse owners who are frustrated and discouraged with their horses, this book shows you how to start over with the horse's training, giving them a fairer chance for success.

Mark Rashid was able to explain problems and proffer solutions without belittling horse owners who were trying. This book is great for anyone who works with horses, not just those who have a horse that has to start over with training.

4. Horse Listening: The Book: Stepping Forward to Effective Riding by Kathy Farrokhzad

Two girls learning how to ride a horse from a female instructor

This highly-rated paperback book is volume 1 in the Horse Listening series. It focuses on riding to improve a horse's abilities and make the rider more effective.

A special "In the Ring" section has many tips you can try with your horse to gain a finer understanding of:

  • The rider's aids
  • The use of the seat
  • The half-halt
  • Improving turns and circles
  • Improving transitions
  • Improving hind-end engagement
  • Rein work

The author, Kathy Farrokhzad, has been a professional trainer for more than 20 years and a writer for even longer. She is the owner of the blog called Horse Listening, from which many of the tips are gleaned.

Strategies are intended for beginning and intermediate riders, presented in a clear step-by-step way. Furthermore, reasons are given for taking these steps.

Although this book benefits any rider, it is particularly interesting for dressage riders. It explains how to be more effective with your cues, draw out the horse's potential, and improve the human-and-horse relationship. Of all the other books, this has the most information about dressage.

A reviewer on Amazon said she bought the book to find meaningful talking points with her horsey friends. She found that it gives sound information that can help people become educated, caring horsemen.


So here you have four excellent books about horse training. Each has a different focus, yet all cover many essential basics that every horse and rider must know to enjoy each other's company and communicate well.

You can't go wrong with any of these books. Perhaps over time, you'll include them all in your equine collection. You should also check out our collection of horse t-shirts, perfect for riders of all stages!


How do I read what my horse is thinking?

You should look for body languages such as ears twitching up, head movement, tail, and even eyes.

What horses are good for beginners?

The Missouri Fox Trotter and American Quarter Horse are both recommended for beginners. Avoid spicier horses such as Andalusians and Friesians, both of whom may require more experienced handlers.

How do I start tacking a horse?

Tacking up a horse means putting any means of domestication on it, such as a saddle or a stirrup. We've made a helpful guide about it here.

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