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Equestrian art is the equestrian presentation of a horse in its individual perfection of mental and physical grace.

A riding school on a peep box, around 1760

Riding art today

Resurrections in the art of riding from the 16th to the 18th centuries are called baroque riding . Her lessons are refinements of the riding maneuvers required in war on horseback.

The art of riding in Central European equestrian culture from the 19th to the 21st century is known as classical riding . Her lessons are made up of lessons in baroque equestrian art and later art gaits.

The equestrian art of the Iberian Peninsula is called Doma Clásica. It combines elements of baroque equestrian art and folkloric elements.

Every riding art builds up from the work in the elementary school to the promotion in the high school . The high school is divided into "schools on (or near) the earth" and " schools above the earth ".


The principle of voluntariness runs through the interpretations of the equestrian art of all epochs. The desired longevity of the riding horse is achieved through individual, biomechanically appropriate training of the musculoskeletal system and pedagogical use.

In equestrian art, the horse is understood as an artistic medium that needs to be optimally staged. The rider should cut a subordinate, inconspicuous and good figure and steer the horse with invisible aids. The equestrian artist is characterized by a level-headed, controlled and concentrated mindset .

Baroque horsemanship

Exercise " Sitting up " from Johann Elias Ridinger's introduction and description of their school and campaign horses after their 1760 lessons

Baroque equestrian art is differentiated from other equestrian arts in that it claims to be a reconstruction of the baroque teachings as precisely as possible. The teaching aids include the books and illustrations of various European riding masters (such as the Italian Federigo Griso , the French Antoine de Pluvinel and De la Guériniere , the Portuguese Manoel Carlos de Andrade or the German Georg Engelhard von Löhneysen ).

The baroque art of riding includes the basic gaits, but has no gait reinforcements. The schools on (or near) the earth are:

The schools above the earth are:

Many lessons are developed while working on the hand, and the pillars , which came into use in the 17th century, also serve as training aids .

Baroque equestrian art is currently demonstrating publicly:

Classical horsemanship

The term “ classical equestrian art ” does not refer to the cultural-historical epoch of the classical period , but to its status as a classic (= generally applicable / independent of fashion).

The best-known public places of classical equestrian art are the Spanish Riding School (Vienna) , the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation (Saumur) and the Egon von Neindorff Riding Institute in Karlsruhe.

Doma Clásica

Spanish horsemanship is very similar to classical horsemanship, but shows additional folkloric elements (e.g. Spanish step ). The Portuguese art of riding in particular also includes typical elements of the baroque art of riding (e.g. Terre à Terre ).

Doma Clásica is publicly practiced at the following institutions:

History and Development

The oldest evidence of horsemanship can be traced back to ancient Greece to riding master Xenophon (around 400 BC). The art of riding was used to train war horses and for parade purposes.

In general, the art of riding stands in the field of tension between the artistic claim (the horse as an art object “l'art pour l'art”) on the one hand and the practical use of the horse for certain service purposes. Solinski goes so far as to subdivide the riding into a purpose-free leisure riding (which also includes equestrian sport) and a practice-related utility riding ( called applied equestrian art in the Bückeburg Riding School ).

The following (chronologically ordered) developments are to be seen as the crossroads of the art of riding:

  • the clash of the light cavalry ( Hannibal ) and the heavy cavalry (Iberian tribes) in the battle of the Tagus in 220 BC Chr.
  • the progressive change in the military system through the spread of firearms in the 15th to 16th centuries
  • the patronage of the absolutist rulers for all kinds of arts in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • its abrupt demise with the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century
  • the "Anglomanie" called breeding selection and preference for English thoroughbreds in the 19th century
  • the introduction of large cavalry units and the need for rapid training for rider and horse in the 19th and early 20th centuries
  • the decision to build equestrian sport on the principles of military equestrianism in the 20th century
  • the change in riding as a popular sport in the 20th century

See also

further reading

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Schools and tours of baroque equestrian art , Princely Riding School Bückeburg , 2011
  2. a b Reitkunst , Xenophon, translation by du Paty de Clam, contained in The chariots and chassis of the Greeks and Romans , Johann Chr. Grinzrot, 1817
  3. Le maneige royal , Antoine de Pluvinel, 1605.
  4. ^ A b The Gymnasium of the Horse , Gustav Steinbrecht, 1886
  5. "Complete instruction in the sciences of a stable master", Johann B. von Sind, 1770
  6. : Méthode d'équitation basée sur de nouveaux principes , Francois Baucher, 1842
  7. ^ "Riding art in the mirror of their masters", Volume 1, Berthold Schirg, 1987
  8. "Rider, Riding, Riding" - Basics of equestrian riding, Sadko Solinski, 1983
  9. ^ About equestrian art , Otto Baron Digeon von Monteton , 1877/1879