Paul Belasik: “The Grand Silence”

(© Paul Belasik, from “The Songs of Horses,” first published 1999. Reprinted with permission of the author and The Crowood Press. “Louis XV hunting deer in the forest of Saint Germain” by Jean-Baptiste Oudry. This story was inspired by the 18th century écuyer to King Louis XV, Louis Cazeau de Nestier, also called The Grand Silence. It is said that the rider on the grey horse on the left side of this painting is Nestier.)

Somewhere in the countryside near Paris, 1735…

It is ironic to say that I had heard of his great horsemanship, since he was known as the Grand Silence. I had seen him hunting near Paris, where I once had lived. I have to say that I thought of him then more as the Great Arrogance or the Great Pomposity. It was through the following twist of fate that I met him.

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News! Official Author at Equus Film Festival Los Angeles Tour Stop in June!

The director of the Equus Film Festival, Lisa Diersen, and organizer of the Equus Film Festival Los Angeles Tour Stop 2018, Naomi Boinus, have been so kind as to invite me to the Los Angeles Tour Stop (June 15-17 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center) as the “Official Author”. This is an surprise and a real honor. I will have a table, so if you will be in Los Angeles that weekend, come on by! This will be great fun and I’m really looking forward to it!

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News! I Joined the Patreon Creative Community and Invite You to Consider a Patronship!

(René d’Anjou, “The Book of Tournaments” circa 1460, illustration by Barthélemy d’Eyck “Arrival of the Duke of Brittany”) provides rich, highly curated content for horse lovers in the form of posts by auspicious authors, book excerpts, and colorful, beautifully illustrated articles. The subjects range widely from pieces on training methodology by today’s classical masters, to interviews, to literature, to content about the horse in art, history, tradition, myth and legend.

My vision is that the site will become a combination of museum and library, where visitors find unique and unexpected resources that inspire…a place where out-of-print wisdom can be found and today’s writers can add their insights and knowledge to the canon of equestrian literature.

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John Keats: “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”

(© John Keats (1795-1821), “La Belle Dame Sans Merci, 1818, 1821. Painting “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928))

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

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John Richard Young: “The One-Sided Horse: Riders Make More One-Sided Horses Than Nature Does”

(© John Richard Young, “The One-Sided Horse” first published in Arabian Horse Express, January 1992.)

A reader of this column writes: “How come you have never mentioned horses that have one-sided mouths, horses that just won’t take an even feel of the bit on both reins? They give easily to the rein on one side, but stiffly resist the opposite rein. They move forward with their necks more or less curved to one side, always the same side, and their heads slightly tilted so that their ears are not on the same level. What makes a horse move this way? What can be done to correct such a horse, beyond riding with the reins completely slack?”

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