Spirit before body.

I am deeply inspired by the academic art of riding. I was never drawn to dressage, the few lessons I had in the past both me and my horse did not enjoy. And modern competition dressage I can hardly look at without crying. But understanding it was the key I was missing.

In order to learn to ride and  train better I searched the internet. Because when I got Csik I found out how little I knew about training a horse who had some real issues, naturally she would hollow her back and she had a habit of bolting. I should have known better when I bought her. She was ridden with blinkers on her headstall. Skin over bone and big wound on her hind leg from an accident. When she arrived home I found out that she had deep wounds in the corners of her mouth as well. Needless to say that she was already ruined when I got her, she became my biggest teacher. She is the most intelligent horse I have ever met. So she was a real challenge, and had lots of old habits from her former life. Our road together was bumpy at the start, but today we have a real strong connection.

With straightness training and academic art of riding, a whole new world opened for me. I finally understood the real purpose and learned the essence of dressage. As well as the history of dressage and it is such a rich resource there is so much to learn from the masters of the past. The knowledge made me more believable for my horse because I knew what I was doing and most importantly WHY.  I understood more about biomechanics and the logical order of the exercises and how to organize the training of the horse. In groundwork, work in hand, longing, riding, and even at liberty. I never dreamed that I would be using shoulder in, travers, renvers, and half pass and all these stuff. But I do now, it is just normal way off suppling and building strength and most important. To keep things in balance so the horse stays healthy and happy with riding. Every horse rider should learn this knowledge no matter what discipline they perform.

“Dressage is for the horse, the horse is not for dressage.”

The following text is from Bent Branderup his book, The academic art of riding.



“The spirit of a young horse is like a blossom, when it withers it will never return.” This was written by Pluvinel (1624) , who rode out into several battles in his time. He also said : “You can never rely on a horse which is educated by fear! Because there will always be something that he fears more than you. – But when he trusts you he will ask you what to do when he is afraid. ” Even earlier Xenophon quoted Simon of Athens saying: ” If a dancer was forced to dance by whip and spurs, he would be no more beautiful than a horse trained under the same conditions. ” 

The problem nowadays that we live in a time in which nature has become foreign to us and what is abnormal and unnatural is more appreciated than the attributes of a carefully developed equine nature. We see too many people, who are believed to be great riders, sitting on horses that have lost the beauty in their eyes.

Therefore the first goal that I have in my work with a young horse who comes to me for education is not to give shape to the body, but to open his mind. I will try to win his friendship. He must look forward spending time with me.    


I love the way he can explain everything so well, and I learn a lot from his educational video’s about the academic art of riding. I finally learn riding and, instead of just sitting on a horse. And this all without the help of a trainer at home. Ok, but I have got almost 35 years of experience with horses and I am autodidact. And the horses help me of course.

Let the horse be with you!


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