Book Review: ‘Brain Training for Riders’

By Andrea Monsarrat Waldo

To say I loved this book is an understatement. There is so much to learn from this book that I may just read it a second, third or possibly a fourth time.

From the very first page of the introduction author Andrea Monsarrat Waldo caught my attention by sharing a humorous story about her and her eventing partner, a Thoroughbred named Chauncy. Monsarrat Waldo makes it easy to relate to her when discussing stressful situations while in the saddle.

In the first chapter she explains in detail the brain anatomy and a person’s fight or flight response. She makes it clear to the reader that if you can understand how your brain works you have a better chance at controlling it.

Monsarrat Waldo then goes into acknowledging fear and anxiety. She provides exercises to identify fears and gives explanations on how to face your fears head on. She reminds her readers that we can’t control everything, especially with horses.

After discussing doubts and fears she tackles motivation and positive thinking. We are our own worst critics and Monsarrat Waldo does a phenomenal job elaborating on the importance of positive self-talk.

Throughout the book she goes on to discuss stressing less in the saddle, how to get better, competing with confidence and getting over a big stressful event. She gives real life examples and great exercises within each topic.

Another topic she discusses is how the right horse will decrease stress and stressful situations. She also reviews an issue most riders have had at one point or another, if they’ve been riding long enough — what to do when you have the wrong horse for your needs or abilities.

Lastly, she has a section to aid trainers in decreasing stress. This section gives input on stressing less while training the horse and while training the rider.

No matter where you are in your riding abilities or what your goals are with your horse, this book can teach something to every rider who decides to pick it up. Brain Training for Riders was a fantastic book that I highly recommend every rider read at least once!

If you’d like to purchase this book, you can do so here.