Book Review - Better Than Bombproof

A friend of mine lent me a copy of Better Than Bombproof: New Ways to Make Your Horse a Solid Citizen and Keep You Safe by Sgt. Rick Pelicano. This is a follow on book to Bombproof Your Horse. I haven't read the first one but I really liked this one. It was a great mix of advice on how to read your horse and work up to things in easy stages - and reminders that "dressage" is just French for training.

The first chapter was a quick review of the first book - and an introduction to how the author uses certain terms. This was followed by several chapters on basic training - first from the ground and then in the saddle. He covers a number of basic dressage movements, shoulder in, turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches, leg yield - but from the perspective of increasing your horse's maneuverability in police patrol or trail riding situations. There is a chapter on how to teach trailer loading in a way that makes it just an extension of the horse going quietly wherever you ask it to.

There is also a very detailed chapter on how to teach a horse to accept you shooting from his back - which would be great if you are interested in mounted shooting competitions. I don't think I am likely to take that up any time soon, nor riding in parades, but the chapter on formation / cavalry riding looked like fun. Too bad Reitmaster Frye and the rest of the Renaissance cavalry gang is 1,100+ miles away.

There is also an extremely useful chapter entitled "Defensive Tactics for Trail Riders". I hope I don't ever need to exercise any of the skills mentioned - but definitely some useful and, to me, unexpected ideas in there.

After riding for over a decade, other than the defensive tactics, there isn't a lot here that was mind-blowingly new but it is definitely a book I could have used when Ansel and I were first starting out together. It is definitely a book I would recommend to any adult beginners who want to get out and do things with their horse but who are struggling with confidence issues (their's or their horse's).

Published August 31, 2014