Caper (riding)

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Caper painted by Ludwig Koch

The Caper (from ital. "Capriola" = caper) is an exercise in classical equitation in which the horse enough to bounce up forward and upward into the air, to the highest point of its trajectory with the hind legs refuse to and then back to land safely .

The Capriole is the highest and most perfect of all jumps. When the horse is equally high in the air with fore and hindquarters, it strokes strongly behind, and the hind legs are close together at that moment and it stretches them out as much as possible. "

- François Robichon de la Guérinière : Ecole de cavalerie , 1783

The caper is the refinement of wedging out of the horses' natural fighting behavior. It was already known in an unspecified form during Xenophon's time in ancient Greece (around 400 BC) in war riding, because in this context he speaks of:

... a horse that rises voluntarily and is lively. "

- Xenophon : horsemanship , translation by du Paty de Clam

Berthold Schirg also shares the opinion that this meant a caper-like movement .

Caper drawn by Ludwig Koch

The caper in its use as a defensive leap in war is depicted for the first time in an illuminated manuscript from the late 15th century. The caper is one of the schools above the earth of classical horsemanship. These are divided into surveys ( levade and pesade ) and school jumps ( croupade , ballotade , caper, Viennese courbette ).

Griso distinguishes between two types of caper: the ram jump (horse jumps straight up, wedges towards the ground and lands on all fours) and the leapfrog (horse jumps forward and up and wedges and lands with the front hooves first). Like Löhneysen later, he favors the latter .

An Aram is a high, hard jump, and you want it to be the same in the same Aries; It is to be held in such a way that one makes use of the shooting leap, which has hardly any lead or inflow for itself, but rises straight up from the earth above itself like a ram with all fours. ...
That is why the horse gives itself something to itself in the leapfrog, does not fall where it is lifted up with jumping, nor does it fall with all fours at the same time to the earth as in a ram jump, but with the front ones first and then with the rear ones. ...
In addition, the difference in hitting is to be had in good eight, because the goat does its prank when falling, when it almost touches the earth. But the ram does his tricks by jumping up. ...
You should therefore watch out for the movement of these two jumps, namely the ram and the ram, which make these jumps. ... Namely, that you endeavor to make the horse jump like the goats. "

- Federigo Griso : Artificial report , 1570

The caper is first trained on the hand, and later performed on the hand and under the rider. Guérinière gives the rider important instructions on how to stay in the saddle:

The rider's body must not follow the movements with every jump, but must stand and hold itself in such a way that the movements one makes seem as much to beautify his seat as to help the horse. "

- François Robichon de la Guérinière : Ecole de cavalerie , 1783

As a preliminary exercise, Pluvinel shows the "seasoned caper" (horse stands on both front legs and wedges with both hind legs) and the pesade (horse stands on both hind legs and lifts both front legs in the air).

The aim was to jump the capers in series. If the horses made individual jumps between the capers in a greatly shortened gallop, one spoke of “step and jump”, also called gallop gaillard.

Because at step and jump the horse can gain new strength and balance while it is taking the step; in the capriol school, however, the jumps are continuous, without a break between two, which would give the horse the opportunity to regain its strength. "

- Antoine de Pluvinel : Newly erected Reut art , 1670

When the horses that have been trained to be caprioles begin to be worn out, they take a school of their own to their relief, which has been given the name Step and Leap, and which is done in three times. The first is a short gallop or tèrre à tèrre, the second is a courbette, and the third is a capriole. "

- François Robichon de la Guérinière : Ecole de cavalerie , 1783

Steinbrecht even describes capers on volts and in side corridors, but notes:

That among thousands of horses there is hardly one that can reach this peak of all dressage. "

- Gustav Steinbrecht : The Gymnasium of the Horse , 1886

Individual evidence

  1. Quotation contained in The wagons and carts of the Greeks and Romans , Joh. Chr. Ginzrot, 1817
  2. Riding art in the mirror of their masters , Volume 2, Berthold Schirg, 1992
  3. Medieval house book
  4. Medieval house book , Wolfegg Castle. Late 15th century
  5. ^ About the Reutterei , Georg E. Löhneysen, 1609
  6. Fig. In Le maneige Royal , Antoine de Pluvinel, 1605
  7. Riding art in the mirror of their masters , Volume 2, Berthold Schirg, 1992