If you need to be persuaded, here is an array of faux advertising for the Dressage Book of the Century
HERE’S A SAMPLE :
I must have been traveling too often, staying in too many hotels…. You know how down by the ice machine next to the elevators they always have vending machines? The ones with a big Plexiglas window and a whole mess of snack items—Sun Chips and Fritos and Ring Dings and Lorna Doones—each stacked on copper spiral holders all in rows and columns? And you put your 75 or 85 cents in the slot, the machine blinks READY READY READY, and all you have to do is “Select.” Punch B-4 and grind grind fwoop, out the slot at the bottom comes your Snickers. E-6 and fwoop, here are the Cheetos. In other words, once you’ve made the preparation, the machine is equally, universally prepared to deliver you anything on its menu. It strikes me that it isn’t a bad idea to think of making your horse a bit like one of those vending machines. This is what I mean: (Click here to continue reading Bill’s article “Vending Machines.”)
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Here, an excerpt from the catalogue of the Kenilworth Press, the leading British publisher of instructional equestrian books, regarding DRESSAGE Unscrambled: “A quirky. lighted hearted look at the world of dressage through the eyes of American dressage guru, Bill Woods. “If you are looking for a serious dressage handbook, then this is definitely not the book for you! What you do get is a sideways look at the world of dressage from an author who has spent four decades riding and teaching. In a uniquely chaotic style and with over 100 entries, Bill Woods sets out to unscramble many of the myths and urban legends that have become set in stone and entertains readers along the way with his own takes and experiences. This book is one of a kind and deserves a place on the bookshelf of every dressage enthusiast.” Pictured at right is Bill modeling his Guru suit which he found in the back of his closet, left over from 1967. He remembers being taught by his mentors to constantly inquire, “Would you like that in a waffle or sugar cone?”
What a randomly-chosen selection of shoppers encountered in the Wal-Mart parking lot have said about Bill’s book: “If dressage were really this funny, more people would be doing it.” “I read this book till I fell asleep.” “An off-the-beaten path to finding the Real Dressage in you.” “Pithy! Thath all I can thay.” “Dressage images, analogies, and metaphors that will exercise your Right Brain right. And anecdotes to reassure riders who lack a Killer Game Face that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.” “Should come with an optional V Chip installed.” “Makes an excellent coaster. Buy four copies.” “Reads like ‘Sally Swift Meets the Firesign Theater.'” “The definitive diary of dressage improbabilities.” “I don’t understand any of this.” “Stuff that needed to be said. I couldn’t fail to disagree with him less.” “Put this book under that shorter table leg.” “Buying this book will help ameliorate Bill’s condition.”
An Elizabeth Waller interview with Bill about the book from Horse and Pony Glitterati: E. Waller (at left) and S. Woods TWICE WITH YOUR INDEX FINGER HERE takes you to Elizabeth’s opus.
For real! DRESSAGE Unscrambled turns up in far away places: