• Horse Culture,  Travel

    The Library of Equestrian Art: A Unique Classical Compendium

    Just west of Lisbon, inside the Palace of Queluz, lies a hidden gem for riders dedicated to the art of equitation. Amongst the ornate baroque rooms and expansive French gardens of the Queluz Palace, lies an unexpected surprise: The Library of Equestrian Art. Unique in the world, this library is dedicated solely to equestrian books and art, and holds about…

  • People

    Christina Wunderlich: Passing on Classical Riding with Vertikal

    Working dedicatedly to share her passion and spread the knowledge of classical dressage, Christina Wunderlich is a sought-after trainer and teacher, and the head rider at Oliveira Stables, the now well-known classical stable located in the epicentre of the modern dressage world in southern Germany. With a highly approachable, direct manner and a tireless sense of humour, Christina specializes in…

  • People

    António Borba Monteiro: Creating Harmony through Classical Riding

    If there is one thing that distinguishes a master rider, that results from years and years of working with horses up to the highest levels, it is having an extraordinary sense of “feel.” This intangible quality is invaluable, enabling a rider to simply “know” what is needed in any given moment, and have the ability to harmoniously and seemingly effortlessly…

  • Training

    Combining Steinbrecht’s Critiques with Baucherist Riding

    As an outspoken critic of François Baucher’s work, Gustav Steinbrecht described his critiques of Baucherism in his classic book, The Gymnasium of the Horse, as he advocated for following the training methods of the Old School. While both horsemen lived in the 19th century, Baucher and Steinbrecht had quite different approaches to training the horse – with Baucher seeking lightness…

  • Training

    Making Sense of Baucher Part 3: Comparing Baucherism, Steinbrecht’s Gymnasium, and German School Dressage

    François Baucher’s training methods brought a unique system of developing a horse in lightness, yet his techniques countered some of the fundamental, prevailing ideas of horse training in his time. His methods continue to offer a philosophy that at times significantly differs from German School riding that we now see most commonly in dressage. This has led to quite a…

  • Training

    Making Sense of Baucher Part 2: Baucher’s Evolution

    Over his career, François Baucher refined his methods considerably. But while his earlier work (the first manner) became quite well known, his second manner, which first appeared only in the 12th edition of his New Method of Horsemanship, sadly didn’t achieve the same reach. Thus, there’s sometimes some vagueness about his philosophy and methods, as it can be easy to find only his first manner…

  • Biomechanics,  Training

    The Conformation of Balance

    I don’t know about you, but I remember learning conformation as being very complicated.  There can be endless diagrams, angles to analyze, triangles and squares to visualize, and various different methods of analysis. But really when it comes down to it, all that matters most to us as riders is how a horse’s conformation will impact its movement, our riding,…

  • Training

    Making Sense of Baucher Part 1: The Principles and Philosophy of Baucher

    An influential horseman who brought a new philosophy of riding in lightness, François Baucher worked to develop a system of training to bring any horse into balance. The author of the now often-quoted principle of “hands without legs, legs without hands,” and whose work greatly influenced the riding of horseman Nuno Oliveira, Baucher was in fact a highly controversial figure…

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