[© by Kip Mistral 2012. First published in The PRE Horse magazine, Issue III 2012. Feature image by Peter Müller Peter. Painting by PETER PAUl. RUBENS / * The Triumph of the Church (1628)* / Flemish School / © Prado Museum, Madrid.]
It seems that Peter Müller Peter does nothing in a small way. Even his award-winning, oversize, magnificent book “Caballos Con Arte” (Horses with Art) is the coffee-table book to end all coffee-table books.
An internationally acclaimed advertising photographer, Peter has executed major campaigns for a wide-ranging list of clients including Coca-Cola, De Beers, Smirnoff, Credit Suisse, Rolex, Spain’s National Tourist Board, Iberia Airlines and more. His photographs have been featured in magazines from Vogue to Playboy. Though honored with numerous awards in his career, Peter admits that his biggest passion is horses. Peter describes the inspiration for his book and artistic masterpiece Caballos Con Arte (Horses with Art) which won Spain’s esteemed Gold Lux Award. The stunning photographic series now forms a touring exhibition entitled Pureblood Reflections which has already traveled Spain to Istanbul, Qatar and recently, Switzerland.
[“30 Years With Master Nuno Oliveira: Correspondence, Photographs, and Notes” Chronicled by Michel Henriquet. Translated by Hilda Nelson. Published by Xenophon Press LLC 2011]
This remarkable book will be of great interest to anyone following the work of Master Nuno Oliveira, its author French écuyer Michel Henriquet, and the subjects of classical training of the highest level and equitation history in general.
[First published in the U.S.A. in 1990 by Trafalgar Square Publishing, North Pomfret, Vermont, Printed in Great Britain, reissued 2001. © Sylvia Loch 1990. Out of print. 11″ x 8 7/8″ x 1″, 229 high quality glossy pages.]
I am a classicist; I have a deep reverence for important messages that the past has left us. And why do I review out-of-print resources? They can be hard to find, sometimes almost impossible. But I believe they are worth looking for and waiting for (and paying for!) because many 20th books are irreplaceable in the canon of classical equestrian literature…their authors are closer to the “source” than modern ones. What is the “source”? To me, the “source” in classical equitation is represented by a point or place in time where ideals were strong and represented by truly masterful practitioners of the art.
(“THE HORSE RAMPANT: How to Learn to Train and Ride, A New and Simple Method for the Education and Training of Horses and Riders” by Captain James J. Pearce, Formerly Equitation Instructor: Cavalry School and Weedon School of Equitation. London, Robert Hale Limited, 1947)
Rampant: rearing upon the hind legs with forelegs extended.
When I first saw the title of this book, immediately my curiosity was engaged. The cover image of the rider raising his horse in levade suggested that the reader would learn advanced training methodology. However, the subtitle (A New and Simple Method for the Education and Training) confused the issue for me, since learning to ride and train a levade is anything but simple. My curiosity was amply rewarded when the battered old book arrived and I read the author’s Preface. It alone was a real eye opener for me.
(© 2020 Kip Mistral. Images and excerpts used with permission of the publisher Xenophon Press.)
“The horse must always feel comfortable in all equestrian activities. This is how we show him our love and respect.”
I read books about classical training and riding techniques all the time (and have even co-authored one), but I find “Dressage Principles and Techniques” by renowned Portuguese classical dressage trainer Major Miguel Tavora, published by Xenophon Press in 2018, to be extraordinary.
It is extraordinary because this author is able to teach a complete, well-illustrated program of basic classical equitation and training in great detail, and combine high seriousness about the importance of classical method and technique with repeated reminders to treat the horse with understanding, kindness, love and respect…all this written in simple and easy-to-follow language, in only 158 pages. Those 158 pages will take you from terminology and theory to first longeing to work in-hand to canter pirouette, piaffe and passage. Finally, here is the thought-provoking yet very useful book you really can take to the barn.