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  • Language, Literacy and Other Ideals…

    Language, Literacy and Other Ideals…
  • 1952 Performance of the Spanish Riding School: Quadrille led by Alois Podhajsky

    1952 Performance of the Spanish Riding School: Quadrille led by Alois Podhajsky
  • UNCUT: The Vanishing Point of the Eighth Art; 2005 Interview with Michel Henriquet

    UNCUT: The Vanishing Point of the Eighth Art; 2005 Interview with Michel Henriquet
  • I Know You By the Horse You Ride: In Search of the …

    I Know You By the Horse You Ride: In Search of the Golden Bridle
  • La Guérinière’s Square and Doubling Exercises

    La Guérinière’s Square and Doubling Exercises
  • François Robichon de La Guérinière – An Insightful Analysis of “…

    François Robichon de La Guérinière – An Insightful Analysis of “L’Ecole de Cavalerie”

Language, Literacy and Other Ideals…

Language, Literacy and Other Ideals…
I was reviewing my website analytics and wanted to remark on a trend that I know is growing in internet usage…that is, people are using their mobile devices more (it’s now predominant), and their tablets and desktops less. I thought it might be a good idea to point out that my website, though fully internet-optimized, is purposefully image-rich and contains longer, more expository types of post than the more typical “How to do something 5 different ways” post. It is not really meant to be accessed from a mobile phone, in the same way that you can’t drive by a physical library or museum and think you’ve seen them. You actually have to park your vehicle and walk into the library or museum and spend some time there looking around, to say you’ve visited the institution or seen an exhibit or attended a lecture or a reading.

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1952 Performance of the Spanish Riding School: Quadrille led by Alois Podhajsky

1952 Performance of the Spanish Riding School: Quadrille led by Alois Podhajsky

This is a lovely short film of beautiful riding…rhythmic, synchronized steps, relaxed stallions in almost all cases, who actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. It really struck me how balanced the horses, the riders, and the riding were. The suppleness, strength and exercises of the horses were without resistance, the aids invisible or nearly so. Very much something not just to enjoy but to contemplate…

Thanks to EquiFAVA Film & Video Archive on Vimeo and www.equifava.org for making this vintage clip available!

UNCUT: The Vanishing Point of the Eighth Art; 2005 Interview with Michel Henriquet

UNCUT: The Vanishing Point of the Eighth Art; 2005 Interview with Michel Henriquet

[© 2020 Kip Mistral. I recorded this uncut interview with Michel Henriquet at his estate, Fief de la Panetière, Autoillet, France, Sunday, February 27, 2005. The internationally well-received article “The Vanishing Point of Lightness” I wrote based on this interview and was first published in the Equine Journal, reprinted in L’Annee Hippique and multiple other publications. Photo courtesy of Catherine Henriquet.]

“Marvellous animal, the horse deserves of his rider the understanding of his character and potential. The art of riding is the school of surrender and humility. Its practice, if well executed, makes of the human a greater being.” Nuno Oliveira

Is there a “glass ceiling,” an intangible barrier, for classical equitation, the fine art of riding?

Master Oliveira considered that it was impossible to reconcile the classical equitation, meaning the equitation of the School of Versailles, with the modern dressage.

And I think the same thing.

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I Know You By the Horse You Ride: In Search of the Golden Bridle

I Know You By the Horse You Ride: In Search of the Golden Bridle

Image: Detail from “Equestrian Portrait of the Duke of Lerma,” 1603, by Peter Paul Rubens: © 2020 Kip Mistral

[I was asked to contribute a guest post over at StreamHorseTV, which is just about to have a re-launch by new owners Tom and JoAnne Pierce. I wish them great success with their upcoming new platform! I chose to do a rare autobiographical piece so have a laugh on me ]

What an odd title for an article…how could I possibly know you by the horse you ride?

First, let’s contemplate the horse and rider presented to us. From a practical perspective, I might know something about you if the horse you have chosen—or seems to have chosen you—has or doesn’t have the conformation, athletic ability, temperament, and level of training that are compatible and well-matched with your level of experience and expectations. I might know something about you if you must have a horse of a certain color or gender. I might know something about you if you vastly prefer one riding discipline over another.

To read more please go to: https://streamhorse.tv/blog/f/i-know-you-by-the-horse-you-ride-in-search-of-the-golden-bridle

La Guérinière’s Square and Doubling Exercises

La Guérinière’s Square and Doubling Exercises

I was taught this riding-a-square exercise on my young horse at the walk 30 years ago by the assistant instructor of Roy Yates, student of Charles O. Williamson, author of the classic book “Breaking and Training the Stock Horse (and Teaching Basic Principles of Dressage)”. For more information about this lineage please see https://www.kipmistral.com/charles-owen-williamson-on-collection-from-range-bred-broncs-to-high-school-dressage/

In these days I had no idea that the exercise was connected to the French classical masters and ultimately to the work of François Robichon de La Guérinière. Nevertheless I was impressed at the time and have been impressed since that horses seem to immediately enjoy this exercise that is quiet at the walk, and gives them a chance to refine their focus to the aids, learning to smoothly turn the shoulders and cross over to the inside, and become more precise in their movements. It is…

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