This is a School for Princes

This is a School for Princes

Ferdinand II of Spain in a letter of May 23, 1498 to the Marquis of Mantua:

“To answer here what you asked me, that is to say, whether it is necessary that a well-trained horse should obey both the leg and the hand as if, without the repeated action of the hand or the leg, one could not direct all the operations decided by the Cavalier; while you have also seen horses evolve without any help with the firm legs of the rider which seemed immobile, and still others who guided their horse very well without the help of their legs.

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“Oliveira Shows His Art of Riding: An Insight into Training Methods” Horse and Hound 1987

“Oliveira Shows His Art of Riding: An Insight into Training Methods” Horse and Hound 1987

[“Oliveira Shows His Art of Riding,” by Elizabeth Polling, Horse and Hound, November 1987.]

SEVEN HUNDRED enthusiasts drawn from all walks of the equestrian world gave a standing ovation to Nuno Oliveira following a day of equestrian artistry at New Hall Riding Centre near Chelmsford, Essex.

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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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