The future of “Dressage” is at a crossroads today.
That sounds like a dramatic statement but it is very true. Competitive Dressage is abandoning the very rules that its top governing body, the Federation Equestre Internationale (F. E. I.) is responsible to uphold, leading to a crisis in Competitive Dressage. Money and popularity rule the day.
From their inception, the F. E. I. rules were established to protect horses and to uphold the basic principles that are true for all horses, regardless of the style of riding.
Broken or Beautiful explains in-depth:
• What the rules are,
• Why they are important,
• How they are being disrespected,
• and How they are causing harm to horses.
For every top competitor today, there are thousands of riders copying what is perceived as “good training” because their role models are “winning.” So-called “Modern Dressage” is being imitated by the masses to the extreme detriment of the horse.
We offer an alternative path to the many dressage riders that are questioning what is on display in the competitive world today, riders that want to re-affirm and follow the Correct Classical Principles.
The true measure of all correct dressage training is to help the horse to become the “happy athlete” that is so often mentioned in the F. E. I. Rule Book.
“We offer this book in love of the Horse, love of Dressage, love of beauty, and joy that can honestly be part of our everyday experience with our horses, both in and out of the show ring.”
—DOMINIQUE BARBIER & LIZ CONROD
“Dominique and Liz’s essay is a much-needed confrontation of the direct problem that we face with ‘dressage today.’ Exactly what do we mean by ‘dressage’? and do we mean to give dressage a bad name? Even innocent on-lookers can discern a tense, stressed horse versus one in relaxation and lightness. Correct training and principles must prevail over mechanization. I believe this is a very necessary ‘Red book’ that should call all of us to arms in a peaceful way to practice our very best way of being horse-people fi rst with our own horses, and then through activism in the horse community at large.
“Only through education can we make change for the better. Dominique and Liz ask important questions and, like any good riding lesson, they repeat themselves, and say the same thing over again in many diff erent ways, knowing that their message will eventually be heard and understood through repetition. Just as they repeat themselves, so must we speak up repeatedly to the officials, the F. E. I. the stewards, competitors, judges, and trainers.
“Dominique and Liz’s book joins an ever-growing list of educational materials available in the Xenophon Press Library listed at the back of this book. We are constantly adding to this list for the betterment of the art and the sport of classical equitation. We hope this book inspires you to take action on behalf of the horse.”
—Richard Williams, Editor-in-Chief, Xenophon Press
Elizabeth Micheel –
Like many of our disciplines, dressage competition sometimes brings out the worst in us. However, there are those who still remember what competition is for–when done right, competition raises the bar and drives everyone to be better. For anyone with an interest in competitive dressage (rider or observer), this is an excellent read. Barbier and Conrad take an unapologetic look at the fundamental rules of dressage and remind the reader over and over that the FEI standards call for a “happy athlete” and relaxation always. The book spells out several of the FEI Articles and follows up with detailed descriptions. They call out a few If you have NO interest in competition or FEI rules, then I’d suggest reading The Alchemy of Lightness instead. However, I enjoyed the Alchemy of Lightness and Meditation for Two, and I am quite pleased to add Broken or Beautiful to my library.