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TRAINING PERIODS and particular riding lessons "INTERNET" by Jean-Yves Le Guillou



An original method to educate the horses : Riding by self-posture of the horse

Training periods

The training periods last, in general, one week.

More often that not, they are composed of a part of work in hand and a part of work mounted.

But we try to adapt ourselves to the individual aspirations of the riders and to the specific needs of the horses.

We also offer training periods of baroque riding (cf J.-Y. Le Guillou: L’équitation de majesté, book published in 1992).

Do not hesitate to contact us in order to obtain more information.

The training periods are intended for a horse and his rider.
To do a serious work, the horseman takes only four students (the teaching is individual, but the students can be present at all sessions and ask questions).

Two examples of courses

A training course of sensual equitation which departs from the habitual equestrian ways

It is not at all a question of wanting to be original at all costs. The points studied in the course of the training course are essential points of the three methods of equitation and of the method of working in hand for the instructor.

These methods are freely given to the trainees. It allows to the instructor to limit himself to some explicative words and for the trainees to deepen, if they want, by themselves, these points and the practical exercises.

General remarks on equestrian philosophy and the purpose followed in the course of training.

The horseman must sense the different parts of the body of the horse: for instance, position of fore-legs (vertical or not) and of the half croups (high or low). He must have an influence on the movements of the horse by different positions of his body and analyze the answers of the horse to his interventions. Equitation offered is therefore an ethological equitation that allows gently finding harmony between the horse and the rider.

Some original points:

* Work the canter at the walk (during this learning, the horse remains at the walk, never canters!)
* Transformation of the rider and the instructor into human pillars
* Preliminary search of the piaffer...

The Program

* Verify if the horse is well bitted. The number of badly bitted horses is considerable and their riders do not, very often have an awareness of the horse’s discomfort. The goal: find the softest possible snaffle for the horse and immediately resolve a certain number of problems.

* Pressures on the back of the knee of the rider. The feeling of the fore-legs in the three paces: pressure, and suspension of pressure, felt across the saddle, by the back of the knee of the horseman.

In particular, feeling of the vertical straightness of the fore-legs; Goal: optimization of the request of departure in canter (particularly important!), to know on what diagonal the rider rises and sits down in the posting trot, to know on which lead the rider canters.

* Feeling of the hind-legs in the walk :movement of elevation and diminution in the rider's buttocks. Goal: departs in canter with the aid of an optimized request.

* The half-halt and the breathing of the horseman. Goal: become aware of the importance of breathing, to frequently make it an aid which is not offensive. See **

* Balance of the horse :study of the impulsive and the restraining seat. Purpose: create conditioned reflexes in the horse, handle the horse principally by the seat, restrict as much as possible the interventions of hands and legs and render their indications very soft.

* Work canter at the walk! : During this learning, the horse remains at the walk, never canters! Interest: commanded walk and change of foot at a walk; Goal: create a conditioned reflex at the horse, raised hand of the rider = raised foot of the horse.

* Position by the horizontality of the hand and the verticality of the whip. Purpose: cease from giving to the rider advice by describing the elements of position, hand, legs, back that are of no value, because they can concern only a static position, while position of the rider is a constant adaptation to the movements of the horse.

* Shortening of the walk: attentive walk (of the old equitation), counted walk or extremely shortened walk. Purpose: to obtain the piaffer very quickly and make of the piaffer be an ordinary starting point of the education of the horse, and not a distant end. The length of training period allows only pointing out the method. My last pupil worked for three months (only one working session per week) to achieve the start of the piaffer.

Work in hand with a cavesson and two human pillars (the rider and the instructor). Purpose: to shorten the walk, to balance the horse and to seek the piaffer, to seek the rectitude, commanded walk, change of lead at a walk, collected trot, passage.

* Possibly, for the horses with a poor carriage of head and neck, or who take too much support from the hand, manipulations of the spinal column with the hand only: Flexions of the neck downwards, followed by elevation, followed by giving freedom in order to obtain, by self carriage, the correct carriage and contact with the hand (personal technique for the self carriage of the instructor). Any mechanical positioning of the head and neck, any forcing of the hand are forbidden.

** Here is an extract of one of the methods for the instructor, The Equitation of Majesty, about breathing :

The breathing of the horseman is often an aid

Amazing? Oh well a long practice allows me to maintain that the horseman can, and in a very happy manner, synchronize his breathing with very definite periods in the cycle of the horse's legs to put him in harmony with the rider, or to ask for a movement, or for a position, and make the breathing an aid.

  • For canter departs: the horseman begins his inspiration when he gives the signal with the hand on the side of desired lead;

  • For a basic operation, the half-halt. The breathing of the horseman allows synchronization and harmony of the movements: the inspiration accompanies the movement of elevation of the hand and the aids of weight on the back of the saddle; the expiration accompanies the yielding of hand and the end of the weight aid.

  • For the change of lead in canter: the light elevation of the hand of the horseman, on the side of new canter is accompanied with the beginning of the inspiration of the horseman;

  • For the changes of lead in canter brought closer together, identical respiratory aid;

  • For the canter in place. Breathing of the horseman to accompany the horse and avoid the apnea which "congeals" this horse: inspiration in the first time (horse inclined from the front to the rear), expiration when the fore-leg of the third time is on the ground (horizontal horse) until the fourth time (horse inclined from the rear to the front).

  • For canter to the rear: identical respiratory aids;

  • For the Spanish walk: the horseman makes an inspiration starting from the raising of the snaffle rein until the horse puts the leg horizontal and an expiration when the horse begins lowering this leg. The rider have time do that: movement is rather slow.

You will learn that, thanks to the synchronization of the breathing of the horseman and the different stages of this half-halt, that word "centaur" corresponds to a reality.

Training Course: Introduction to baroque equitation

The Program

Trying out of two baroque saddles:  The Spanish: “piquer saddle” and” Portuguese “rase” saddle ". Interest: comfort of the rider and comfort of the horse (rigid tree, a greater number of points of application on the horse’s back). This try is perfectly possible in Canada, more difficult elsewhere, because of the problems of transport and customs...

The handling of the whip; Purpose: replace the much as possible the aids of hand and legs by the gentler long whip.

* Turning with the only whip, particularly in the serpentine. Advantage: remove the aid of hand and legs and make easier to study of the new exercises.

The control of the horse in one hand; Interests:
* Removal of the sometimes contradictory indications of both hands (imbalance between asymmetrical hands of the right-handed or the left-handed person).
* Stability of the cannon of the curb bit in the mouth of the horse.
* Study is made with reins held in the left hand with assistance of the right hand.

The attentive walk by the old masters; Interests:
* Easily collect the horse.
* Shorten the walk until obtaining the diagonalization of the legs.
* Develop muscles of the horse and particularly the base of the neck.
* Study movements in a gait which favors the memorization of the horse, avoids accidents of sinews and muscles which the awkwardness of the horse at the trot can cause.

* Balance of the horse: study of the impulsive and the restraining seat. Purposes: create conditioned reflexes at the horse, handle the horse principally by the seat and the whip, restrict at the farthest the interventions of hands and legs and make their indications very soft. Preliminary search of the piaffer (the methods of the instructor allow quick obtaining the piaffer.

The "living teaching" is very special.
For all slow movements (at the walk, at the trot, even at the canter), the horse is mounted by the student, but the horseman goes with the "mass" (technical term = the whole horse + the rider), in quasi-touch of the horse. The rider holds a part of the "levers" (the reins), the horseman the other part of the "levers" (the long reins, sometimes the reins).

The position of the rider, in order to use his weight by acupressure, is permanently adjusted. The indications of her (his) hands and legs are permanently corrected, in particular to obtain the release of the reins (hands) and to stop their actions (legs). The horseman "orchestrates" the movements and leads the horse and the rider to "blossom".

The horseman holds a long crop in order to release reflex reactions, often with the knob, by pressures, or by tapping with the thin end (with the knock in case of extreme sensitivity). The rider wears spurs, but she (he) uses them only in precise cases (for two limbering up and loading to relaxation exercises, preparatory to equitation) and exclusively by pressure (the spur is never coercive in my method and the impulse is searched by specific exercises).

The rider and the audience can note that the results are immediate. The "living teaching" is a combination of the two horseman’s methods, Riding by the self-posture of the horse (CD 1) and Work in hand by the self-posture of the horse, horseman at the haunch (CD 2).

I want to remind you that the method does not confine to "dressage" and it is intended to all horses in order to make them supple, to develop their muscles, to discipline them. Consequently, all riders are welcome.

The curvet is one of the school jumps of the French equitation of the seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century. The two curvets are executed by JYLG and his stallion of Morgan’s breed, Icare, 19 years old at the time of the photographies.
Spanish walk
The Spanish walk is a graceful exercise, extremely useful for the development of the shoulder’s muscles. It is executed by JYLG and a gelding of Portuguese’s breed, Tango, 10 years old at the time of the photography. The horse is mounted with the method of Victor Franconi (L’écuyer, published in 1890).
Spanish walk

Bareback canter, a simple cord of silk
in the horse’s mouth

Mister de La Bigne (1743-1825) took one hour to cross the Square of Versailles on his horse, Campéador, in a straight line, at an uninterrupted canter. This achievement inspired JYLG, who is mounting here his stallion of Morgan’s breed, Icare.
The horse, 19 years old at the time of the photography, is mounted without a saddle, but keeping the famous cord of silk. This cord of silk is not tightened, the horse is mounted in the lightness (light-handedness) of the "French manner".

Cord of silk