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The Dressage Chronicles #1

The Dressage Chronicles

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You know what happens to all those girls who are just crazy about horses?
Once they discover boys, the horses are history.
Or maybe not.
For Lizzy, and others like her, no boy, no man who knows what’s good for him, speaks the unspeakable.
“It’s me or the horse.”
It’s no contest.
And so Lizzy snips the threads that hold her, however tenuously, to a conventional life, and begins her journey into the world of horse sports.
She signs on as a working student for dressage superstar Margot Fanning, heading to south Florida with her six year old mare, for “the season.”
She immerses herself in an extraordinary world of high-dollar horses and ambitious women and receives an education in more than just riding dressage.

Welcome to The Dressage Chronicles.

242 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Karen McGoldrick

9 books40 followers

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5 stars
322 (57%)
4 stars
165 (29%)
3 stars
58 (10%)
2 stars
9 (1%)
1 star
3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie Zapata.
1,732 reviews26 followers
November 5, 2022
Nov 5, 1030am ~~ It seems that November will be Horse Book Fit Month. I am already reading horse book titles at Project Gutenberg, and with this book I have begun a Horse Book Fit Print Version. Not sure if it is possible to overdose on horse books, but even I have my limits. I plan definitely to read the four titles in this series, and then see which way the Book Universe directs me.

So here we are with book number one of The Dressage Chronicles series. We get to meet Lizzy from Georgia and her horse Winsome. They are on their way to Florida to spend at least the winter season as a working student for famous dressage rider Margot Fanning. Lizzy wants to learn if the life she dreams of is truly a possibility for her. She also wants to prove to her college boyfriend (turned into ex- in the first chapter) that she is not just in a horsy phase of her life, that she truly does plan to have a career in the horse world.

But can she survive even the first week of her new job? Up early early early, work work work, ride ride ride, groom groom groom: when does she find time to even eat? Fact is, she barely ever seems to do that! She does adjust, though, and learns the ins ands outs of the barn, from the work involved to the hierarchy, both human and equine.

I liked Lizzy, and rooted for her throughout the book. She was not always sure of herself (who really ever completely is?) and at times I was surprised by her lack of awareness about other areas of the horse world. I cannot imagine not being interested in everything that horses and people do together. Even if I cannot do it myself (dressage) or would never be able to even try (vaulting) I love to see and learn about all types of horse activities, I always have. For me, the horse is the main attraction, it does not matter what they are doing, as long as I get to be around them either in real life or virtually.

My life would be so much emptier if I had not had my many years of working with horses. I miss them terribly at times, which is the reason for these horse book fits of mine. I appreciate any author who understands the connection that can be achieved between a horse and a rider and can bring it to life on the page. Karen McGoldrick does that in this book, and I am very much looking forward to the rest of Lizzy's story!

Profile Image for Brittney.
Author 18 books337 followers
April 23, 2014
LOVED!!...Karen McGoldrick captures the "behind-the-scenes" stories of the horse show world in The Dressage Chronicles. From the first page I was wrapped up in the storyline and the characters and my interest never faded through 405 pages! This is essentially a wonderfully juicy soap opera for the horse-crazy reader! And, the descriptions of the horses, riding, and equine behavior is exactly on-spot...I even learned some new things about dressage! Kudos to McGoldrick!

I cannot wait to download the sequel!!

If you enjoy Equine-Fiction, check out my "Horse-Books" Review Blog at: http://brittneyjoybooks.sqsp.com/jour...
Profile Image for Stephanie.
48 reviews4 followers
March 4, 2018
Stylistically not quite my bag, and I had been dreading another horse book that ended up being a telenovela-style Barn Drama, but this book managed to surprise me with its nuanced, positive portrayal of the rigors of the sport / lifestyle and the relationships between riders, trainers and barn owners - and of course the horses. McGoldrick doesn't stoop to the level of anthropomorphizing the animals in this book because she doesn't have to. She knows and has worked with actual horses, and it shows.
Profile Image for Tammy.
12 reviews
January 31, 2012
Finally a book truly focused on the world of dressage, written by somebody who truly knows what she is talking about. Loved this glimpse into the world of elite dressage. I was sad that it ended and found myself wanting it to go on and on. This book could have been 4x's longer and I probably still would have wanted more.
Profile Image for Kathi Defranc.
1,183 reviews460 followers
February 21, 2017
Great, real story of life at a dressage barn

Loved this story,told in a realistic way, of a life making a living with horses. I have taught riding and trained thoroughbred race horses, and feel this is a wonderful glimpse into such a life. Great characters, from people to animals,described in such a way to become your friends. Recommend this to all horse loving people, you will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Ingrid.
68 reviews2 followers
May 2, 2021
Other the bland title, this book was satisfying like a dish of delectable ice cream on a hot summer day. It tells the tale of a young woman who applies and gets accepted to be a working student for a Grand Prix rider. She hauls her young mare to FL for the winter show season there. Full of complex characters, stunning dressage horses, and lots of dressage training details, it chronicles her path from 1st level to Grand Prix in a couple months as she rides a schoolmaster and rises to the challenges set for her, both equestrian and personal. There's some romance here as well. Written by a dressage rider/trainer, you can tell she writes what she knows. A must-read for all dressage riders looking for novels about dressage (so hard to find!). Look for the sequel soon.
Profile Image for J. L. Linn.
80 reviews22 followers
October 11, 2012
The Dressage Chronicles was another entertaining adult horse book. It really made me wish I was still young enough to try the hard world of being a working student. This book attested to the fact that a working student has very long days and hard work, but has the opportunity to reap the rewards of training under a top level instructor. And let's not forget the horses you would be able to learn on! This book covered all of that in a great story with interesting characters. I honestly wouldn't mind a sequel to continue the adventures with Lizzy. I would definitely recommend this book!
Profile Image for Irene.
39 reviews7 followers
June 5, 2013
Searching for books to download on to my kindle I found the Dressage Chronicles. As a rider who loves dressage it seemed the perfect book for me to curl up and read. Its the story about Lizzy who gives up everything to follow her dream and ride at the top level. She loads her horse Winsome and heads south to Florida to become a working student to Margot.

I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. I was just as interested in the story and its progression as well as with the surroundings and the events the story was taking place at. I became suitable immersed with all the references to flying changes, serpentines, although the references to 1-tempis etc were new to me. I quickly figured they're what we'd call 1 time changes etc over in the UK. Loved it!!!

It made me smile at times. Lizzy's in a completely different league, but the comments Lizzy faces from her ex and her Mum at the start were familiar. It made me think you should never give up on your dreams whatever anyone says and that its never too late to learn.

Should come with a kleenex warning for the end, but that's part and parcel of being involved with horses. The ending just left so many open roads from which more books in the Chronicles could be written about. I'd love to know what happens to Lizzy in the future, but also Emma and Ryan too. Since I downloaded this I've found that a second book is now out and third one sounds like its planned. I can't wait to read them both.
Profile Image for Denise.
183 reviews
November 27, 2011
For anyone who loves horses & the art of Dresssge this is a well written, inspiring read. I love how Karen captures the beauty of of the art of Dressage, and the athletes that participate- both human and horse. I found myself living my dreams through Lizzy's passion, her accomplishments and hardships.
Profile Image for Sharon.
737 reviews
March 21, 2012
I enjoyed this book but gave it only 3 stars. The characters are so shallow but they get you through the book. There was so much repetetition in this book that it exhausted me. I learned much about dressage. This is a good read for any horse lover.
11 reviews2 followers
December 14, 2012
I liked that this book had accurate Dressage references. It is relatable for a working student. I was very disappointed in the ending, however, and felt that there were many loose ends in the plot that were never tied up.
Profile Image for Kelsey.
15 reviews4 followers
July 24, 2012
I loved this book. I learned so much about horse care, dressage and how to be a working student. I own a horse and I learned quite a bit! :)
Profile Image for A.J. Attard.
Author 7 books9 followers
September 27, 2012
A charming, entertaining read! It was chronicled, with exacting and hilarious detail, life as a working student in a dressage barn! I loved every minute and have read it twice already! :)
Profile Image for Erin Everhart.
9 reviews
April 19, 2022
As a dressage rider myself, I immediately got this book as soon as I found it. I was very disappointed as soon as I began reading - the writing style of this book seems very elementary. Pointless information and MANY random scenes that don't make any sense and do nothing to move the plot along. A lot of awkward phrasing and there are multiple spelling and punctuation errors. As much as I love reading something that related to my passions, this was really difficult to get through. It almost seems as if this is written for a very young crowd, ages under 12 maybe? A horse obsessed preteen might enjoy this but if you are looking for a well-written dressage related novel, keep searching.
January 6, 2017
"The Dressage Chronicles" a novel by Karen McGoldrick, is a fascinating, wonderful, creative way to look into the world of horses and the sport of dressage. Lizzy, the main character, goes through many adventures that keeps readers entertained while learning about the bits and pieces that are vital to riding dressage. I recommend this book to girls and guys who love horses and who are interested in dessage and other horse sports.
Profile Image for A.J..
304 reviews4 followers
December 17, 2017
Most realistic horse novel I've ever read ... love it! Yes, there are some things that are not likely to happen, but the background and training is very "true to life" as are the issues and feelings of the riders. I wasn't surprised to learn that the author is a rider / trainer / exhibitor of upper level dressage horses! Would love to read more like this series!
Profile Image for Jessie.
116 reviews4 followers
September 25, 2018
Absolutely loved this first book in The Dressage Chronicles! Margot is so great, the absolute definition of the kind of horse ladies I've known in my life. Lizzy's development was realistic, relatable, and inspiring, I cannot wait to read the rest of this series. Officially one of my favorite books ever.
Profile Image for Sharon.
4 reviews1 follower
May 27, 2017
Truly, a great story

You read a chapter or two and before long you find yourself immersed in the lives of these people, caring about them, loving their rides, feeling the heartbreak....
46 reviews
July 26, 2017
This was the first horse book I've read since I was a kid and really enjoyed it. Great character development and loved the behind the scenes look into the world of dressage riding. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Kim.
1 review4 followers
October 10, 2017
Couldn't put it down

If you ride, you will relate to the barn drama, distinct horse personalities, the amount of work that goes into life as a competitive rider and the love one feels for these amazing animals.
Profile Image for Megan Janes.
6 reviews2 followers
February 22, 2022
I loved the authenticity of the horse training and world, but the story itself was a little slow and clunky. As someone new to the dressage world, I enjoyed learning more about the upper level world of the sport in a novel format.
4 reviews
May 20, 2017
Loved the riding descriptions and the story was spot on, I don't like reading inaccurate horse books. This was fantastic!
Profile Image for Joanne.
54 reviews
January 2, 2018
I couldn't put the book down! Finally a well written Dressage novel. Very well done and can't wait to start reading the next one.
August 24, 2019
Well written and lovely story line. I’ve read all 4 and loved them. It’s a good story for horse lovers and those are not. Please enjoy!!
6 reviews
January 17, 2020
Great for the horse lover

Whether you’re a rider or not; if you love horses and the discipline of dressage, you’ll be entranced. You feel truly apart of it all
Profile Image for Leah.
Author 2 books11 followers
July 16, 2020
I enjoyed this book a lot! I always like stories that show there is huge amounts work behind the glitz and glamour of 6 figure show horses.
Profile Image for Muff.
745 reviews2 followers
May 18, 2021
Learned a lot about horses and the show circuit.
Profile Image for Dana Probert.
236 reviews
January 13, 2018
One of my favorite horse fiction series. Always a bit of mystery and some light romance, but it’s mostly about the horses and the riding. I️ always learn a ton about dressage and horsemanship.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews

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