Book Review: Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies For Equestrian Athletes

I wrote this for The Chronicle. It can be found in the Oct. 15, 2012 issue.

Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic: Success Strategies For Equestrian Athletes. Peter Leone and Kimberly S. Jaussi, PhD. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2012. 224 pages. $18.00.

As an eventer, show jumping is my weakest phase, so Peter Leone’s new book geared towards hunters and jumpers piqued my interest.

It’s organized neatly into chapters based on Leone’s principles of riding. Bullets, Q&A sections and key points stand out and make it an easy read.

The information, especially in the first half of the book, is geared more toward beginning jumping riders, explaining concepts like defining goals, identifying the aids and connecting with your horse. I skimmed over those chapters, but some illustrations of Leone’s concepts were interesting to note. It’s always good to be visually reminded of things like the difference between a two-point and three-point position.

The book uses photos of top riders in action to help demonstrate concepts. It’s easy to be inspired to work on my position after seeing a photo of McLain Ward over a grand prix fence.

I was most interested in the gymnastic diagrams. Since I only see my trainer once a week, I’m always looking for grids to practice at home. While Leone doesn’t guide you step by step over each part of a grid, he does offer advice on how to successfully navigate any line of jumps. He discusses different lines, pace, walking distances and identifying different kinds of jumps.

This book offered some helpful grids to work on and reminded me of the basics. Practice activities and checklists for self-evaluation make this a great pick for someone working on their own or new to the hunter/jumper discipline.

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