How a Grand Prix dressage rider competed at the highest level before finding her way to liberty work, and the extraordinary lessons that molded her perceptions, understandings, and feelings along the way.
“In my eyes,” says former French international dressage competitor Alizée Froment, “dressage is the journey to perfect communication and absolute harmony between horse and rider.” Her own journey began on the backs of Shetland ponies under the watchful eyes of her mother and then found its way into jumping competitions, and later on, dressage arenas. Along the way, many horses entered and exited her life, each bringing with them a depth of personality that steadily built her understanding of the relationship a rider can build with an equine partner.
In her deeply personal and strikingly beautiful book, Froment traces her evolution as a horsewoman, a dressage competitor, and now a world-renowned performer and liberty trainer. Readers meet the ponies she learned on, and the challenging mounts that helped her grow as a junior rider. There were horses she immediately loved and horses she had to work to connect withand eventually there were Mistral and Sultan, who she calls her “yin and yang,” and who elevated her aspirations both beside and on the back of a horse. It is with these two special souls that Froment further explored riding the Grand Prix movements with only a neck ropeno bridle or bit, and often bareback as welland demonstrating to the world the potential that is there for all riders to enjoy, if they are open to the experience and are willing to take the time for it to evolve.
Readers will be entranced by Froment's willingness to bare her soul, powerfully articulating her feelings when confronted with jealousy, with performance expectations, with the possibility of losing the horse she loved to an unknown buyer, with retiring a beloved partner, and with the changing circumstances and altered allegiances of her heart when her daughter Louise is born. As tender as a story about riding, competing, and performing with horses at the highest levels can be, The Horses Who Made Me is first a story of one woman's personal journey, eternally questioning herself, and second, an inspiration for anyone who is forever striving for a better way of training horses, because of the profound beauty you just might find.