(© Kip Mistral 2022. Image “Time Escapes Me” by Betsy C. Knapp used with permission of the artist.)
At the beginning of this New Year 2022, many of us are busy making New Year’s resolutions and other forms of road maps for our goals and what we otherwise want to accomplish during the coming year.
Note I said busy. Because being busy is the opposite of taking time.
When I look around it seems that the majority of people are engaged in busyness, activities that include a horse, or their horse, and they have a more or less proscriptive approach to the inter-relationship. The popular model is that the horse must always be submissive no matter what.
What I really like to see is people just simply spending companionable time with their horse, to deepen the bond between them.
I’ve been following German classical specialist Richard Hinrichs since his beautiful DVD and its companion book “Schooling Horses In-Hand” were published in English in 2001 by Trafalgar Square Books here in the U.S. [The DVD is on the list of Recommended Reading on Longeing for the Fourth Level on the USDF website, to this day.] If you have not heard of Richard Hinrichs, he is literally the product of a lineage of hundreds of years of European classical teaching. But twenty years ago, in all my years of study of horses and riding, I not yet seen anything like these classical training principles.
NOW IN, DECEMBER 2021! “FOUNDATIONS OF HORSEMANSHIP: UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF HORSES AND THEIR PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION IN-HAND” BY THE MARQUIS MAC SWINEY OF MASHANAGLASS !
Text extracted from “Reflections on the Art of Horsemanship” by H. J. Heyer © 1968 J. A. Allen & Company Ltd, London. “H. J. Heyer has, in his time, ridden a wide variety of horses both in Europe and in other parts of the world. He regards riding as a very personal affair between horse and rider.” Cover art by Miss Catherine Edkins.
This book is not supposed to be another riding manual–they are a dozen to the dime, nor is it a work on the finer arts of riding. Any attempt to improve on Xenophon, de la Guérinière or Seunig would only, at its best, produce a pointless parallel.
I am, on these pages, simply trying to express a few thoughts of my own on the subject of horsemanship.
(“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.