This blog has been established with a couple of goals in mind. Firstly, is the hope of bringing together and presenting a few of the underlying concepts of classical equitation. Secondly, on a more personal side, it will (hopefully) serve as a diary for my own partnership with my darling horse, Jack, and document our (relatively) recent emigration to Denmark.

My love for classical equitation has developed over a few years after being witness to some truely horrendous training methods all umbrella’d under the broad title of dressage. I took up dressage after being dazzled and humbled by the beautiful acts performed in seemingly perfect harmony by horse and rider combinations. Dressage, for me, was an art form – the ultimate persuit of perfection! How wrong I was….. I’ve been on a number of dressage yards now and been horrified by some of the modern methods employed by professional riders. Horses are drilled at younger and younger ages and manufactured to be nothing more than competition animals. Riders are under more and more pressure to produce results for owners and the horses are suffering as far too much is demanded of them at such a young age.

It was a chance encounter with a classical trainer that turned my attention to a different path. Here, the focus is on training the horse in such a way that the animal’s wellfare and physiology is always of paramount concern. Many of the movements demanded at even the highest level of dressage can be seen in fields around the world, performed by horses running free. This leads me to the key point…. Horses know how to be horses; It is us, as passengers, who should learn how to ride.

Sadly, many amazing classical trainers have shrunk back into their own microcosms as they become more and more disillusioned with the modern dressage world. Horses with broken outlines, hollow backs and not tracking up correctly can win at top levels in dressage. Rollkur is often hailed as the most amazing way to train horses for the competition arena and the wellfare of the animal that we’re all meant to love so much is becoming more and more compromised.

I am involved with horses due to a love of that animal. For thousands of years, horses have been a partner to man. They’ve carried him to war, they’ve ploughed fields, they’ve pulled his goods, they’ve acted as transport and they’ve been friends and companions. These days, it feels like many people are no longer involved in the sport for that reason or rather they get influenced by new, modern techniques that promise them fast results. There are no fast results. There are no quick fixes. Training should always be done in a way that preserves your friend’s physiology and respects the fact that he, or she, is another living being and that our apparent ownership shouldn’t give us the right to abuse that.

In April 2007, myself and my fiance made a decision to leave the UK. This was for a number of reasons which I won’t bore people with here. In May 2007, my darling horse followed us and embarked on a 24 hour journey to Denmark. It has been a rollercoaster of a year. Things are very different here to the UK and it has been a steep learning curve for me. It’s also been both enlightening (in the sense of learning about how another country train and care for their horses) and amusing (some of the language difficulties have been hilarious). Hopefully, this site can do justice to a few of those more amusing situations and bring a smile to some people, particularly those who have followed our venture to another country.

So, in advance, thankyou for reading and feel free to leave comments 🙂