The piaffe is a relevant part of the higher dressage tests of the FEI and is cultivated as folklore in many riding styles (e.g. on the Iberian Peninsula , in Pakistan and India and in many South American countries).
The piaffe belongs to the artificial gaits (artistic adornments of the natural gaits). It represents the decoration of the trot gait. The other artificial gaits are Spanish walk , as refinement of the step , passage , as refinement of the trot and Terre à Terre , Mezair and Courbett as refinement of the canter .
The authors of all centuries unanimously describe the beneficial effects on the equilibrium and the permeability of the horse as significant. Not all horses are equally suitable for the piaffe. It takes an innate, sublime, noble movement and a lively but at the same time patient temperament. During the execution, it is important that the rider does not need the rein because the horse does the exercise on its own. The piaffe is usually trained on the hand and only performed later under the rider. Hinrichs divides the aids into four components: moderate bustle, full bustle, wait for the effect, let the reprise fade away. He recommends waking a lazy horse in short repetitions and calming an overzealous horse in long repetitions. Francois Baucher gives the strict instruction to follow the rule "hands without legs, legs without hands" meticulously, especially in the piaffe. He means that reins and thigh aids must never be used at the same time. Steinbrecht sees the ideal piaffe when the foreleg is almost horizontal, the neck is in good shape and the horse is chewing the bit with every step. Philippe Karl demonstrates this in a field test that proves that only the piaffe with the neck at the highest point, the front leg in the vertical and lowered croup can shift the horse's body weight to the hind legs.
The following errors are described:
- Hindquarters hopping backwards
- Sticky (lack of activity of) hindquarters
- Weaving or "leash weaving" (lateral lunges of the hind legs)
- Stepping on (short footing of the rear hoof)
- Croup higher than the withers
- Exaggerated crawling under the hindquarters
- Flat forehand
- Insufficient straightening of the withers
- Backward forehand
- Lowered neck, bridle
Bernhard Hugo von Holleuffer names the "cross in the piaff" as the orbital figures in the piaffe , a cross-shaped forward, sideways and backward piaffe (see also Sarabande ), the "piaffpirouette", a slow rotation around the hindquarters in the piaffe and the " Piaffe in motion ”, in which a pesade is added at the end of the piaffe (see also Falkade ).
- Schools and tours of baroque equestrian art , Princely Riding School Bückeburg , 2011
- La science et l'arte d'equitation , Mercier Du Paty de Clam, 1777
- Dancers at a Light Hand , Richard Hinrichs, 1989
- Method of Riding Art , François Baucher, 1874
- The Gymnasium of the Horse , Gustav Steinbrecht, 1886
- wrong ways of modern dressage , Philippe Karl, 2006
- The logic of riding art , Peter Spohr, 1903
- The treatment of the riding and carriage horse between the Pilaren , Bernhard H. von Holleuffer, 1900
- Ecole de cavalerie , François R. de la Guèrinière, 1783
- Fine riding , Jean-Claude Racinet, 2007