The Development of Classical Theory
Classical Riding – essentially is working with the horse, not against the horse. It is correct riding incorporating understanding of a horse’s physiology and psychology. There is no place for fear or force. There is no place for gadgets or quick fixes. The seat is essential. It needs to be well balanced, deep and feeling. Horses are ridden from the seat first followed by the legs then lastly the hand. The rider leads the horse’s movements, he does not follow the horse. The rider first must possess self-carriage and then guide the horse into it. Aids must not only be correctly executed, but must occur at just the right moment. Competitive Dressage and Classical Dressage have drifted apart and the knowledge of the Masters and their approach to training should be rekindled. First Coast Classical Dressage aims at resurrecting their theories and approach and bring the two discipline’s closer together. First Coast Classical Dressage believes the more riders educate themselves on the classical methods developed by the Masters, the more their journey progressing through the training pyramid takes prescient over their goal destination. A greater bond is formed with their equine partner(s) as they learn how to guide them through the steps leading to an elegant dance.
"I have time." should be the guiding words especially of dressage riders during the entire course of training and remind him of the fact that the goal of the classical art of riding is to be attained only by the gradual increase of demands" --- Alois Podhajsky (1965; translation: T. Ritter)
430 BC -355 BC; Ancient Greece
He was the first to recognize training through kindness, not force.
His writings are the first known time
western civilization is introduced to the concept of a training system for the horse that deals with the nature of the horse's mind and the mechanics of his body motion.
Xenophon also explained the correct position and seat of the rider. It is still the position which is used today regardless of the riding discipline.
plus numerous other non-horse related publications.
- "When mounted, the rider should sit on the horse not as if he were sitting in a chair, but as if he were standing with his legs apart......The lower legs should hang loosely from the knee,.....The rider's body above his hips should be supple
February 24, 1898 - May 23, 1973
His writings form the basis of modern day Classical Dressage.
· 1936 Olympic Medalist Men’s Individual Equestrian Sport / Bronze Medal for Austria. Germany secured both the Gold and Silver Medals
· Participated in the 1936, 1948 Olympic Games in Berlin and London
· Director of the Spanish riding school in Vienna 1939-1965
· Classical horsemanship instructor following retirement
· Author of numerous publications
· Saved the Lipizzaner bloodline during World War II by evacuating both stallions and mares from threat of bombardment and secured their protection by the United States Military to prevent them from becoming horse meat.
· Podhajsky is remembered most for saving the Lipizzaner mares. He was an acquaintance of Patton since both had participated in equestrian events (Patton in the 1912 Olympics) and alerted him to the presence of the Lipizzaner mares behind Soviet Lines. Patton ordered a dramatic rescue by elements of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment which conducted a raid and evacuated the horses.
· A movie about the incident was made into a move by Walt Disney – Miracle of the White Stallions.
English Translation Version
The Complete Training of Horse & Rider
The Riding Teacher
The Art of Dressage
My Horses, My Teachers
Xenophon was the first one to claim that horses can become only more beautiful with correct training, never uglier. I would like to add to this that if the horse becomes uglier in the course of his work, it is the unmistakable proof of wrong dressage training." -- 1956; translation: T. Ritter
The best guidance for the appropriate intensity of the work is provided by the old rule that the horse should return to his stall as fresh as he left it." -- 1965; translation; T. Ritter
Egon von Neindorff
November 1, 1923 - May 19, 2004
· A student of Alois Podhajsky, amongst others
· Had a riding institution in Germany
· His teachings are the standard for the German School of Dressage
· Started a foundation in 1991 – Egon von Neindorff Stiftung (foundation) with the mission of preserving Classical Dressage through training horses and supporting young riders
· Riding lessons continue at his riding institution today and are open to the public in Karlsruhe, Germany.
The Art of Classical Horsemanship
Brutality begins where skill ends."
info and photos taken from Phillipe Karl website
The Philosophy of LégèretéIn 2004, Philippe Karl founded the Ecole de Légèreté (the School of Lightness) in order to pass on his philosophy and methods to committed and qualified riding teachers. The School runs training courses around the world through which already experienced riding teachers may gain the highly respected licence authorising them to teach the way of Légèreté in the name of Philippe Karl.
As this training concept is legally protected by patent against plagiarism, distortions or arbitrary, unauthorized use, no one may refer to the Ecole de Légèreté or the teaching of Philippe Karl without having received the corresponding licence.
The founding principle of the Ecole de Légèreté is the absolute respect of the horse. In this concept, Légèreté (lightness) is not a declaration of intent of a poetic or esoteric nature, but a philosophy bringing together clear, effective and measurable equestrian concepts.
The philosophy of Légèreté excludes any use of force or coercive artificial aids (including side reins, draw reins, tightly closed nosebands etc.), but includes all types of horse and takes an interest in all equestrian disciplines. It provides an understandable and reliable training plan with clear principles, efficient methods and procedures that fully respect the nature of the horse. It thus allows any seriously motivated rider access to high school equitation, even with a perfectly ordinary horse.
L'Ecole de Légèreté takes its inspiration from the masters who have contributed to this equestrian philosophy: Xenophon, Fiaschi, La Broue, Pluvinel, La Guérinière, Dupaty de Clam, Hünersdorf, Freiherr von Sind, Baucher, Raabe, L’Hotte, Faverot de Kerbrech, Beudant, Oliveira etc. It is based on in-depth knowledge of the horse and is ready to re-analyse and improve itself with all types of progress in this respect (anatomy, physiology, locomotion, balance, psychology, ethology).
Lastly it has the aim of getting the best from any horse and fulfilling the rider through the constant search for efficiency via the minimum use of means.
· dropped out of Medical School to dedicate himself to working with horses
· First studied breeding at the Zootechnical Studies Centre (Centre d´Enseignement Zootechnique) in Rambouillet and later at the French national stud, Haras National du Pintarted a foundation
· Became head of the riding department at the Centre d´Enseignement Zootechnique in Rambouillet, where he was in charge of various branches of professional training
· he ran his own stablesand competed regularly in eventing and show jumping.
· General Pierre Durand appointed him as a member of the French national riding school, l'Ecole Nationale d´Equitation, in Saumur where he became an écuyer of the prestigious Cadre Noir.
· He left l'Ecole Nationale d´Equitation to devote himself to the clinics he was giving in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. Since 2004, he has been especially dedicated to the training of riding instructors within his Ecole de Légèreté.
The Art of Riding
The Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage
+ others: visit his website page re: his books and DVDs
More Masters and Theorists to come....
- Federico Grisone (mid-16th century)
- Salomon de La Broue (1530–1610)
- Antoine de Pluvinel (1555–1620):
- William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle (1592–1676)
- François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688–1751)
- François Baucher (1796–1873)
- Count Antoine Cartier D'Aure (1799–1863)
- James Fillis (1834-1913)
- Gustav Steinbrecht (1808–1885)
- Maximilian Weyrother (1783–1833
- Nuno Oliveir (1925–1989)