Jec A. Ballou’s distinct love of developing equine athletes is fueled by her eclectic background. Raised in a horse training family, she has devoted herself to the most thorough, correct, and straightforward approach to improving performance for horses and riders alike. In addition to being a nationally recognized educator about equine conditioning and gymnastic development, she is a committed rider, author, philosopher, published poet, and athlete.
Widely appreciated as the author of best-selling 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider, Jec’s aim is to meet what she sees as an enormous need within the industry for simple, clear, and practical information. 101 Dressage remains one of the top sellers of all equine instruction books and has been translated into three foreign languages. It is now available as a smartphone App and was endorsed by the United States Dressage Federation as being one of the most essential books for dressage enthusiasts to own.
Jec’s second book, Equine Fitness, was named #2 among the best horse-related books by the American Horse Publications awards. Following the popularity of Equine Fitness, Jec designed and published specific conditioning plans, the first of their kind for horses. She has also educated about equine fitness, cross-training, and conditioning timelines around the country at Equine Affaire, Western States Horse Expo, American Youth Horse Council, Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, and the Rick Lamb radio show. Jec contributes regularly to Dressage Today, Topline Ink, Honest Horses, and Eclectic Horseman magazines.
Most prominent in the dressage competition scene, she has trained and competed through the FEI levels but has also competed in long distance trail riding, Ride & Tie, breed shows, and almost everything in between. She won three consecutive East Coast championships in distance riding, becoming the youngest rider in history to win the prestigious Vermont 100 Mile Competition. A proponent of interdisciplinary study, she serves as an advisor to the Western Dressage Association of America.
Jec’s lifelong study of classical dressage includes ten intensive training residencies in Portugal, two training residencies in Holland, and one residency in Germany with the late Egon von Neindorff. Most recently, she has studied in Melbourne, Australia with Manolo Mendez, original head rider of the Royal School of Equestrian Arts in Spain. She works tirelessly as an advocate for the understanding that proper biomechanical movement and athleticism can never happen as a result of short-cuts, force, or hurried training methods.