We all grew to love Janet Foy’s straight talk and sense of humor in her first book Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse, now a bestseller. Janet is back with new insights in her book Dressage Q&A with Janet Foy. In a style intended to be fun to read and easy to learn from, Janet canvased friends, students, and Facebook followers for their dressage questions. Asking, What have you always wanted to know that you’re afraid to ask? and What about dressage is hardest to “get”? she received hundreds of questions that she used as prompts to provide the guidance we need to grow as riders and trainers, while remembering how to keep it all fun.
“It is my hope this book will help your dressage journey,” says Janet. “The Q&As address often-asked questions about dressage, and the commonsense and simple approaches I offer should make your learning easier and more fun. Lastly, by sharing many riders’ ‘Aha!’ moments with you, I hope you won’t have to wait so long to have your own similar breakthroughs!”
Dressage Q&A with Janet Foy is like having a heart-to-heart about your riding and the sport of dressage with one of the most sought-after teachers and clinicians in the country. Here’s an example of how it rolls:
I sometimes feel stupid during a lesson when I don’t understand what my instructor is telling me. For example, she told me my horse was “dropping a shoulder.” I didn’t have any idea what she was talking about. I felt embarrassed to tell her that I didn’t understand, especially when there were other people observing my lesson. Is it okay to interrupt a lesson to ask my questions, or should I wait until after the lesson is over, find the answer in a book, or ask a friend?
A: Remember, you are paying the instructor. This means he or she is your employee, and you are the boss. I am a bit worried about your relationship with your instructor if you feel you can’t have open and honest communication. You should not wait to ask because you’ll miss that learning opportunity—when it has just happened, it is the best time to stop and say, “I am sorry, could you explain that to me? I don’t understand.” You should not be embarrassed. In fact, those watching will no doubt be grateful as well, as they might not understand what she is saying, either! You will never improve if you don’t get immediate information to help develop your feel and your skills. The teacher will just assume you understand everything unless you speak up!