Depicting Art (of
The Horse of Phideas / Cavallo in bronzo dal Vicolo delle Palme
At our visit to the museums of the Capitoline Hill in Rome in May
2012 we accidently stumbled upon a bronze statue of a horse, hidden
behind the paperwalls of the "Lux in Arcana". It became immediately
clear to me, that this was the most beautiful depiction of the "school
halt". Possibly, too, it is the oldest depiction of this stance!
this lesson/movement, recently rediscovered, is very
old, the term "school halt" (meaning a super-collection in standing) has
been agreed on by the academic riders as lately as 2011!
(See also knighthoodoftheacademicartofriding). Through my discovery someone might even be able to find out the ancient greek word for school halt, who knows?
Unearthed in 1849 in Rome-Trastevere under this house , it was renovated some years ago
with the sponsoring of a gallop-racing entity. People then imagined it's
stance as a sort of carriere, the explosive start of a galopp
racehorse. The statue was supposedly created around 500 B.C., possibly by Phideas, a famous sculptor.
there is new knowledge about the old art of riding being produced every
year by researching riders, now the stance of this horse can be made
clear: It is the "school halt" (german: "Schulparade"), a stance which
occurs in the transition from a deeply collected standing horse to the
horse on his hind legs in a very deep levade. For the dep levade horse has to
bend it's hind quarters low and elevate the shoulders until the forelegs leave the ground. If the rider
masters this transition perfectly, the school halt occurs in between,
where the horse already lifts one leg, before levading fully. It takes
many years of gymnastication of the horse to reach this stadium, no
wonder Phideas and the orderer of the statue valued it so much to built a
very precious statue on this theme!
School-Halt / Arrêt d'école / Schulparade
Who knows, possibly, at the
high time of riding culture in ancient greece, there might have existed a
whole alley of statues, depicting the various steps in educating a
horse for the high school of riding?
Sadly bronze is valuable and easy to melt, so this statue survived only, because it's owner had hidden it very, very well!
statue a second time in May 2015 I had
the opportunity to take some measurements:
Length of the
horse from ischiatic tuberosity to bug joint: 150 cm, hight to the withers from
the imagined ground: 144cm, distance from the middle of the standing front
hoof's lateral rim to the withers: 150cm: a truly
squarely built stallion! Breadth of the breast: 42cm. Length of cannon bone: 30cm. Lenght and breadth of hoofprint : 10cm each.
We noticed again
that not only saddle with rider had been cut out but the stallion's penis and scrotum,
During the excellent
dinner in the restaurant above the bronze horse's discovery site (at the same
time had been found a piece of a huge bull and a wonderful statue of a greek
athlet) the owner told us some facts: the basement is 80 years older than the
colosseum and the house itself is Rome's oldest with an unchanged structure, it
was built around 1075!
He had heard of
another theory by the researchers: After narrowly winning the battle against
the Persian fleet, Alexander the Great commissioned the sculptor Lisippos (4th
century before C.) to build a memorial showing the 24 felled generals on horse.
This memorial was stolen after the subjugation of Greece through the
commander Quintus Cecilius Metellus
"Macedonico" und transported to Rome. There it was last seen in the
5th century after Christ by a pilgrim, who reported one of the horses standing
on 3 legs.
beside the open basement door dinner was exciting twice as much!A third theory
is mentioned on the Italian wikipedia page, saying that it's builder could well
have been Aegias, the teacher of Phidias.
over thousand very lively figurines of
the neapolitane Christmas crib (crafted around 1750 in Naples) we find several horses in lessons of the high
school of riding (the saracene(?) below
in a school
halt); lessons the artists had been able to observe daily in their
hometown Naples, which had been the seat of one of the best riding academies
for hundreds of years during renaissance
Here Antoine de
Pluvinel had been educated, here he had refined Federico Grisone's teaching of a soft
horse-training free of violence.
Up to now, a
figurine of the school halt directly from this time has been unknown to me!
(in the Palau March Museo, Palma de Mallorca)
other pictures of the crib in the Bildergalerie
Turkish School Halt
Thomas Allom shows us a school halt from Constantinople (now Istanbul) from ab. 1835 :
to view the complete picture click here
Philips Wouwerman, Army Camp
, c. 1660 - 1670 (Mauritshuis, Den Haag, Netherlands)
Ladies with servants preparing for the hunt. Etching in 1738 by Jean Moyreau, after
a painting by Philips Wouwerman (1619-1668)
Moyreau crafted many many etchings after the pictures of great artists, and out of the 500 to 1000 paintings ascribed to Pilipps Wouwerman, he made over 80 which served as base for hundreds of pressed copies; and some of these deliver to us pictures long lost.
In these etchings (at least in the reproductios of today) that they are very often depicted side-mirrored. Orientation is possible mostly by the knowledge, that most men are right-handed and so wear the sword on the left side, and also the reins in the left hand.
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany
Etching by Jean Moyreau after
Philips Wouwerman,Museum of fine Arts, Budapest, Ungarn
Etching by Jean Moyreau after
Etching by Jean Moyreau after
Etching by Jean Moyreau after
Etching by Jean Moyreau after
Indian School Halt:
In the online Search of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam I found an East-Indian School Halt from 1577:
School Halt In War:
Also from the database of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam:
Sketch by Leonardo da Vinci
Here my latest School Halt finds in the online database of the British Museum, London:
Roman glass sealstone, 3. bis 1. century before Chr.
British Museum, London, Great Britain
Also said to be created by Phideas: the Parthenon freeze (most of it in the British Museum now):
The horse on the left shows a School Halt (British Museum, London, Great Britain)
In the french Joconde database I found the following depictions:
School Halt from Antwerpen
Unfinished picture by Pieter Paul Rubens, (1577 - 1640), in the Rubenshouse, Anterwepen
School Halt by an American-Indian
Catlin, George:The Running Fox on a Fine Horse - Saukie; 1861/1869 (National Gallery of Art, Washinton, USA)
Soldier's horse in a school halt
In the Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy
Two school halts before a war charriot: in front a bent one, behind a straight one:
Please notice the holding of the reins, another kind of 3:1 : the left "snaffle"rein between thumb and indexfinger of the right (!) hand, the right "snaffle"rein by the left (!) hand!
This prevents pulling the horse around by the inside rein, as only the desired "shoving" against the outside part of the neck is possible for turning the horse..
From the Tang Dynasty
"Corrective lesson for unsound horses"
aus: Galiberto: "Il cavallo dal maneggio",1650
Sauveur Le Conte:"Die Rheinüberquerung", 1672; Schloss Chantilly
Sauveur Le Conte:"Die Schlacht von Rocroi",1643; Schloss Chantilly
Jean Baptiste Martin,"The siege of Dinant",ca.1690; Musée des Beaux Arts d'Orléans
Hippolyte Lecomte: Jeanne d'Arc erhält ihr Schwert out of the hands Charles' 7., 1807; Musée des Beaux Arts d'Orléans
1753, engraved by Jean Daullé ?, painted by Philibert Benoît de La Rue ?
presents a school-halt in a wonderful easy manner.
He uses the
Gueriniere-seat: the rein-hand a bit supinated, the thumb pointing obliquely (45° ?) forwards, the finger middle joints (PIPs) pointing in a 90° angle to the right side; the switch-end within the rider's palm, which stance he tries to approximate that of the rein hand as much as possible.
The rider holds
his legs before the horse.
To produce the
school-halt he pulls his shoulder-blades even more together and more
downwards, by this the rider's breastbone advances forwards
significantly; the horse's mid-back
is somewhat relieved by slightly raising the rider's heels and, additionally,the upper thorax of the horse
gets unburdened by a stirrup-tread on both sides because now the
rider's thighs gets wider.
He exerts a
slight pinky-pull with the rein-hand which leads to a backwards tilt
of the rider's pelvis. So the rider's back comes to be a mirror of
the horse's back: Erection of the forehand coupled with a tilted
In this picture
he presents a special, very complicated situation for the support of
the right-bending in a not very far educated horse: leading the right
curb-rein with the right hand in a lower position, just as Gueriniere
described 20 years earlier in his “Ecole de cavalerie”. (A rider
with only some years of academic training better should use the
left-hander seat if having problems with the right-bending, all the more, if he is using an unbroken mouth-bit!).
The curb with a
very short lower branch makes the rein-action even more difficult, as
with this even a small rein-displacement leads to an impact.
Gueriniere's depictions he holds the switch downwards (in the
ski-stick position) and leads the right curb-rein between ring- and
middle finger. The switch lies fast at the right thigh, to prevent as
much pronation of the switch hand as possible and to give the hand as
much freedom of movement over the switch's end. Holding the hand
this way makes the right-bending even more difficult to achieve, as
the rider cannot try inducing the horse to it by laying the switch
parallel to the left side of the horse's neck.
The rope, which
serves as a second pair of reins is not used at the moment;
interestingly it is fastened at an additional neck-strap which itself
is fastened at the curb's eye (the point where the chain is
attached). This means that by tightening both pairs of reins
simultaneously, the leverage of lower branches is neutralized
(Old report about über Nestier here)
Natural stance of the wild horse
Picture taken from the website of Dr. Brian Hampson and Prof. Chris Pollitt.
I met Brian at his wonderful lectures about hoof
health in the wild living horses of the australian outback during the
7th. symposion on hooves by the DHG in Leipzig, Germany..
A wonderful teaching video about the school halt one can find here: School-Halt
Parthian belt buckle, 3rd to 4th century after christ (British Museum, London, Great Britain)
Baked clay imprint (3000-6000 years old!) from Ur, Mesopotamia (British Museum, London, Great Britain)
The School Halt as a Political Statement
In "The Departure of a Dignitary from Middelburg" by Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne (1615) the affluent, important riders let themselves be seen in a school halt.
As the levade was allowed only to noblemen, the had choosen the lesson most near the levade. (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
"The Entry of Maurits in den Haag 1594"by Christian Indewiik, 1851-1863, shows a school halt with the opposite political meaning:The nobleman Maurits von Nassau Oranje,
on Prince of Orange, is shown here as a servant of the Dutch Republic, more as a burgher than a noble.
Had there been an original of the 16. century or had there actually been a living model? (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
That Napoleon let himself depicted in the school halt repeatedly can, at least at the beginning, be viewed as a symbol for his proximity to the people and a demonstration against the nobility.
Statue of king Leopold I of Belgium, 1863, on Leopoldsplaats, Antwerpen.
(Photo © www.aviewoncities.com)
The sculptors A.D.
von Fernkorn/Franz Pönninger und Ernst Haehnel succeded 1874 very well
in depicting this extreme rift in the way of riding with his double
rider monument on the Brunswick palace square :
In passing it I'm
always glad to see how near my horses and I have come to the way of the
old one, despite our only small achievements!
(The father on the left with supinated hands and therefore a much more relaxed belly: see also page "Research": here
User:Brunswyk (User:Brunswyk) [GFDL
(http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) oder CC-BY-SA-3.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
With this sketch Pablo Picasso recorded for us what people remembered of
the school halt in 1905 (trying for a remembrance of the walk-passage (= real spanish walk)
in the right upper corner, see also below.
(National Gallery of Art, Washinton, USA)
School Walk = School Trot = Walk-Passage?
La Broue's (1595) description
of the "pas d'escole": "The pas
d'escole shall be: restrained ("adverty"), shortened, and
light-footed, contrary to the detached and slow walk cross-country or
during strolling before and after the lesson." (I/S.103).
Gueriniere writes: "The
movement in the "pas d'ecole" is more cadenced, shortened and united
than in the field-walk." At one point he advises
us, “to change from a shortened "pas d'ecole" into a passage” (without
specifying if a walk-passage or a trot-passage is meant).
Obviously both mean a collected, four-beated walk.
Prizelius (1777) to the contrary writes : "One differentiates the school-walk from
the normal walk, which was given this name very unsatisfyingly, and
should really be called "school-trot", as it actually is a pulled
together, shortened trot. The only difference of the normal trot to the
school-walk is, that the latter is slower, shorter and unified,
everything else is the same in both. In both one finds two beats and one
time in between, whereas in the walk one expects more of them. It is
much better to call this gait "Action", and to say, if the horse is
going in a school-trot:" it is going in action", .....
This explanation points to a change of meaning of the the word "school-walk" at around 1750, which would explain Ridinger's and Eisenberg's depictions, which show an action of the trot as a school-walk. A translation error? Because "pas d'ecole" can mean "school-step" (= walk) as well as "school-tread" (= trot).
But Saunier's "passage au pas" can only be translated as "walk-passage". Here Saunier has chosen the other way: the very collected trot on the haunches is so slow, that he calls it "walk" despite its staying two-beated. With this name he would, with the words of Gueriniere "Passage in Walk", possibly say the same as Prizelius with his "school-trot"? Then from around 1750 "school-walk",
"walk-passage" would have been the same, or at least very similar?
School-Walk, Ridinger, 1760
School-Walk: Baron von Eisenberg, 1746, in "Wohleingerichtete Reitschule oder Beschreibung der allerneuesten Reitkunst"
(citation from the teaching video "School Walk" by Bent Branderup: HIER
From the "L'Art de la Cavalerie" by Gaspard Saunier: He explicitly calls it: the "passage in walk" (The right hindleg seems to be crossing over the left one).
"Passage" and "Passege" and the "Sideways"
Grisone, Broue und Pluvinel used the term "Passege/Passeige" derived from "strolling", in Italian: "passegiare"(= spazieren). Somewhat later William Cavendish/Newcastle began to use the name "Passage": from this time on mostly this term is used.
"Passege" was used for two different kinds of movement: If the horse is going sideways in a collected gait, with an angle of ar. 85°, a diagonalization of the walk occurs, which leads to a two-beated walk (normal is four-beated). This Two-Beat was kept in the "Strolling" straight-ahead, but despite being a different movement, the name remained unchanged!
Thus irritatingly, the term is used not
only for a sideways movement, but a straight ahead movement, too (so in
the German translation of Pluvinel's "passeige" is translated sometimes by
Gueriniere means by "Passage" the floating trot straight forward, but uses the term "passaging on the volte on two hoof-beats" s.t. for the sideways in the chapter "About the voltes" .
and Passage: Citations
Broue (1595): "Passege: Pace in a restrained and
shortened school-walk either in the voltes [by which he means
also: carrees] and also in riding straight forward."
"... when the horse passegieres on the volte, his
or hers action is always supported by one foreleg and one hind leg on
the ground, meanwhile the other two legs are in the air...."[=
diagonalized, two-beated action] (II/S.97).
He uses "Passege" for the walk-passege, sometimes as a light croupe-in, but often for a 85°-sideways.
Vol.II, chapter 20: "While following this order of the two tracks the horse shall make movements with the hindfeet the same as with forefeet: but much smaller ones, as their space and cirlcle is smaller; and because the circle of the forefeet is bigger, the horse has to make bigger steps with the forehand, so because of that, the action of the outer shoulder has to be more free and more forward than that of the hindlegs, so that the forefeet have the opportunity to cross over, without falsifying the circle and without bringing the hindfeet into disorder, which shall go in the same way, namely with outer one crossing over the inner one, but the crossing over not as strong as the forefeet, because their way is shorter; and finally the horse in this passege shall never have three feet on the ground simultaneously."
With him the term "passage" means more "the passing", he uses it for example for covering a distance in Mezairs or Courbettes.
Pluvinel ( before 1620): The true Passeige is a
shortened walk, the horse performs somewhat livelier than the normal
walk, but not as lively as the trot (no mentioning of a two-beated
William Cavendish/Newcastle (1658) writes about the “Passage upon a
walk, which has the action of the trot”, but also about a passage
in the trot. In his dictionary he defines: "Passage: to passage a horse, is to make him go upon a walk or a trot upon two pistes or treads, between the two heels, and sideways, so that his hips make a track parallel to that made by his shoulders." He views the diagonalized walk as a result of the sideways moving of the horse (with him for example with the croupe to the pilar in the same 80° angle as Gueriniere's croupe-au-mure). He writes: "When the forelegs are crossing, the inner hindleg moves to the side, and when the hindlegs are crossing, the inner foreleg moves to the side, so this is the action of a trot.")(= two-beated).
In his second book (1667) at the first two times he uses the term "Passege", after that only "Passage".
He shows us in his first book not simply one, but both phases of the sideways:
The falsely painted overbending has to be ignored by us.
Georg Simon Winter, Wolberittener
Cavallier, 1678, in the chapter describing the “Passegieren” (=
„…… And all these the horse
should be well taught before one starts the education of the canter,
as these are its lessons before its fifth year. I can assure
everyone: if he will spare his horse until the above mentioned years
[sixth and seventh], he will gain hereby in the canter, as well as in
the redop [terre-a-terre] or other schools, within three months more
than otherwise in two whole years of canter work; as in the passeger
lies the fundament of all firmness of head and neck. If one has
achieved these, together with the ability for a good full halt, then
the horse already is won over in most of the cases”.
Nicolas di Santa-Paulina (1696 writes in the chapter "About passegeing straight-forward and where and when" ) in the L'Arte de cavallo, S.96: "There are four ways to passege a horse.... To passege in walk means that the horse elevates his foreleg and hindleg as
in the trot, but not in the exactly very moment as in the trot, merely
with a not perceivable pause before moving the other leg;
the horse lifts the forelegs higher than the hindlegs, and when the
horse lifts the legs equally high on both sides, it is called a Passegio, which, despite not being as gracefully as in the trot, is majestic nevertheless and appropriate for a prince."
Gueriniere (1733) writes: “The
passage, which in former times was called Passege (from the ital. word "Spassegio", which means stroll), is a measured walk or trot. The
horse holds, as in the trot, both opposite legs crosswise for a
longer time in the air than in the ordinary trot, so that the leg in
the air moves forward no more than one shoe before the one on the
ground."(= floating trot) . But the term "passaging on the volte on two hoof-beats" he is using s.t. for the sidewaysw in the chapter "About the voltes".
Saunier (before 1748) calls the Passege "Walk-Passage",
but he also describes (after Newcastle?) the normal walk as
two-beated, with crosswise moved legs just like in the trot.”
Eisenberg (1748) speaks of the
a."Walk of the horse,
which is well trained and lifts his legs crosswise together, which is
short and measured, contrary to the walk of a utility-horse, which is
low, long and slow." The word Passage is used in his book only
for the floating-trot.
"passager un cheval" means: to passage a horse in a tread on two hoofbeats, by letting it go along a wall or to the side, so that it yields to the rider's calves, and holds the croupe in, so that haunches and shoulders make two parallel lines (s. Traverser),
c. "passager par le droit" [straight forwards;DA]
is different to the afore mentioned passaging, but is found on only few riding schools, as it is difficult to teach to ahorse.
Such horses are suitable for publich entries, as to horse-ballets and other solemnities.
"longeur, passager un cheval des sa longeur" means, to let a horse go on narrow voltes on two hoof-beats, so the croup is in the round, the length of the horse nearly makes the half diameter of the volte, and the horse is kept always between both calves, without the croupe falling out and falsifying the school.
In the french Grisone (1550) translation of 1579 by Sébillet the "Incavallare" (sideways-pasege) during the "Mezza Volta" (Demi-Volte) to the left while crossing the forelegs is depicted.
The word "Incavallare" means riding sideways on an academioc volte (= volte on two hoof-tracks), with the croupe to its center. Maybe this word now could get to be our unequivocal term for the 85°-sideways? The counterpart, the croupe-out in the 85°-angle on the renvers-carree we could call the "Excavallare" . This word-couple thus would never have been in use either for walk-passage, trot-passage, promenading, nor for the former lessons croupe-in or croupe-out.
(The rider surley is right-handed, to be assumed by the positin of his sword, but here he uses the left-hander seat!).
Fiaschi, too, shows a picture of the sideways:
Ridinger depicts the walk-passege as the sideways on an academic volte with a small inner circle,
here the crossing of the forelegs:
just as La Broue described it: the horse holds body and neck straight, and is looking a bit to the inside.
And here the crossing of the hindlegs:
In the Dictionnaire de Manege from 1741 LINK (p. 761 in the PDF/p.165 in the Dictionnaire) I found the following entries:
PASSAGE: The Passage, ecxecuted according to the common proportions and distances, is the only tool to accomodate the horse to every other kind of lessons, and the best lesson to train, after one has educated the horse to move well from the hand, to stop and to turn. It uses all the proportions and distances deeming necessary to the rider: be it forwards, backwards, sideways, much or less, with more or less hand-action while turning, in enlarging or diminishing, in accelerating by one or both heels, just as it is desired, on one hand equally as on the other.
The Passage develops, when the horse during turning or moving sideways crosses his legs, the hind legs somewhat less than the forelegs; to execute a Passage on Volte, the forelegs have to produce a circle a bit near the length of the horse and the hind legs another one, which is smaller.
PASSAGING: Promenading the horse in walk or trot; To passager a horse on voltes; Passager a volte; some say: passeging, but passaging is the usual word.
PASSEGING: Leading a horse sideways on two tracks in walk or trot, so
the hind draws a track parallel to the one of the shoulders.
The passeging in trot has not been in use for long: the word passeging means actually: to promenade a horse on two tracks, between two heels. It is also expressed: to passege a horse or to promenade a horse.
One passeges a horse on a straight line and on voltes. In this sense ist is used less often than passaging.
One passeges a horse on two tracks along a wall or a hedge. One passeges also on voltes of the horse's length, by leading it sideways around the centre, whereat it shall look into the volte and its shoulders shall walk before the hindlegs.
In both cases the horse shall cheval [the ital. "incavallare" became "enchevaler" in fr., then "chevaler"; DA] his legs extremely, this means, the outside front leg crosses the inside one every second beat.
In the Passege the movement of the horse is the same as in walk and trot. but more animated in trot.
The Passege straight forward is a lesson used seldomly in France, but frequently in Italy and even more in Germany. One chosses for this a horse without fire, but with much movement. One teaches it in the Passege straight forwards to lift two legs simultaneously, a fore- and a hindleg, as in the Cross of Andrew. At putting down the two legs it lifts the other pair in alternation, holding them in the air in the same height and duration, gaining not more ground than one foot [= 30cm;DA]. The beauty of the Passege consists in holding the legs in the air for a long time. The movement of the legs in this Passege is the same as in walk or trot, as they are moving in the same order. The only difference is, that they are held longer in the air in the Passege straight forwards.
Horses assured in this lesson and in the piaffe are proper for use in the Caroussel or for public cermonies.
The difference between the piaffe and the Passege is, when the horse piaffers naturally, it does not hold the legs so long in the air as in the Passege straight forwards.
One needs a great artisanship for the Passege straight forwards and the horse at least two or three years in the manege; and if two out of six horses turn out well, it is much!"
For the 85°-sideways we could use: to inchevaler and to exchevaler. (La Broue uses the verb "chevaler"
as synonym for the simple crossing over of the legs. This word derives from the Italian "incavallare", which chabged in the french translation to "enchevaler", both have the same meaning: an 85°-siedeways with the grouipe inside the volte. Later one called a horse, which often or constantly passaged/piffed of his own volitin when agitated, a "chevaler").
Alternative for terming: Full-Travers for the 85°-Travers and Full-Renvers for the 85°-Renvers.
But the simplest way might be to introduce redefinitions of the words "Travers" und "Renvers" as follow:
1. The Travers is a sideways movement in an angle of 85° to the line one is moving along in a very collected gait, with the horse's head bent into the direction of movement, if the horse's croupe points to the middle of the manege-figure. Any other degree is called travers-like.
2. The Renvers is a sideways movement in an angle of 85° to the line one is moving along in a very collected gait, with the horse's head bent into the direction of movement, if the horse's croupe points outwards. Any other degree is called Renvers-like.
For the sideways movement along a wall we should use only the term "Croupe-au-Mure", to prevent putting the horse's head to the wall, as this is harmful.
Thus we would be able to describe the training after Gueriniere
exactly and simply as follows: starting at first with the Croupe-au-Mure in walk, after that going on to the smaller Carrees in the Walk-Renvers, later then further in the Walk-Travers on Carrees and later on in Demi-Voltes in passades.
The Perfect Seat on a Pad
The artist depicts Marc Aurel in an exemplarily balanced, truly light seat: the rider nearly floating in complete equilibrium; giving the utmost finest aids on a saddle pad without stirrups with a one-handed, crosswise led reins.
If the horse is going this softly, the rider's thighs are wandering up ever more. Thus the rider now holds his legs not only "before the horse", but in this case even, as I'm calling it: "over the horse"! This very comfortable posture can be seen in the mesopotamic school-halt, too.
By translating the Cavendish the statue of Marc Aurel appears in a completely new light: depicted here is not a trot-passage, but a sideways in walk!
The holding of the hand equates that of William Cavendish, when he takes his rein-hand across the neck of the horse onto the outside, to achieve a bending of its neck and lead the croupe into the volte. This is the prerequisite of the sideways, which often was called “passage”.
The stance of the horse’s body is that of a sideways in walk with an angle of less than 80°: by this a full, simultaneous diagonalizing during the crossing over of the outer forefoot over the inner one, with simultaneous broad treading wide of the hind-feet, but a dragging behind of the outer hindleg during its crossing-over phase over the inner hind-leg, while the forefeet are stepping broadly during the next phase. Nikolas di Santa Paulina writes: “In the walk-passage one hind-leg is dragging imperceptibly.”
One author of the old art wrote as a premiss: ”During the passage the horse is always bent to the side to which it goes.” This means, a passage straight forwards on one hoof-beat hadn’t been one really in those days. Though it didn’t describe, how strongly sideways one goes in the passage, how big the angle is.
The beautiful, high holding up of the right front leg was conditioned on or this was a horse with exceptional high gaits, but is not necessary for the definition as a passage.
How strong the sideways of Marc Aurel is executed here, we cannot gauge by the direction of his gaze, because then, too, possibly the rule was on, that the rider could only achieve a graceful stance when looking through the ears of the horse or along the inner side of the horse’s head.
This all implicates, that this beautiful gait could have led to the ruler riding always obliquely, possibly in the right angle, to his spectators. Maybe he sometimes changed the side, to which he rode? Or would he always stay in this bending to the right, suitable for combat man-to-man for a the rider who is right-hander? Possibly so there was a “chocolate-side” of the parade-way, at which all the important people stood, to see and be seen by their ruler (in this case the left side)?
(Original in the Musei
Capitolini, Rome, 2. Century a. Chr.; copy-cast on the Piazza del
Campidoglio. The gilded bronze statue didn't get molten down only because for centuries it was believed to show the christian emperor
This sketch I found in the book „ Nouvelle Methode ….,
Traduction nouvelle“ (new translation of the English, second book
by William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle of 1667, executed by Jacques
de Solleysel), and publicized in Paris, 1677 (Cavendish had
died in the year before), and I hope to contribute hereby a little
bit to the retrieval of his honour. Solleysel as a good artist
probably has done the sketch himself.
This etching shows us, what in Solleysel's view was a more
correctly and better depiction of Cavendish's actual intention for
his first book in French. The finely done etchings in that luxurious
book of 1658 show mostly anatomically and equestrially incorrect
over-bendings of the horses' heads and necks. The Terre-a-Terre shown
here conforms also with the „preceptes“ of La Broue, who
recommended only very little bending in the neck. So here we see only
a light and correct action by the inner cavesson rein, just as
Cavendish often recommends in his texts.
In the second book of 1667, by the way, there aren't any pictures
at all, and at this time there was a rumour (strewn by Cavendish
himself?) , that the printing plates of the pictures had been
Regrettably Solleysel has been the only one, who used these
corrections for the faulty pictures! Because one can get easily
get very confused by these books, which mostly bear the same title,
following here is an overview:
The first book was written by Cavendish 1658 in English, he let it
be consecutively be translated and publicized in French:
1658 "La Methode Nouvelle...", William
Cavendish/Newcastle, Antwerp, (fr.), with anatomically and
equestrially wrong depictions
The second book he wrote and publicized in English in a somewhat
simple quality was:
1667 "A New Method...", William
Cavendish/Newcastle (eng.) , London, without depictions
1677 "Methode nouvelle ..", Jacques Solleysel, in
parts heavily altered translation into French of the second, English
book of 1657; Paris, (fr.), with correct depictions
1700 "Neu eröffnete Reitbahn", faithful copy of
Solleysel's translation of 1677, together with a German
translation of Solleysel's text; Bernauer/Pernauer, Nürnberg (ger.)
; regrettably Bernauer had arranged for etchings to be made as nearly
exact copies of the faulty depictions, with the same wrong
over-bendings as 1658. (I think, Solleysel would never had agreed to
this, but he had died 20 years before).
1737 Brindley printed in London an identical copy of the
first, French book of 1658 with the resurfaced actual plates,
lent to him by the granddaughter of Cavendishs, so againanatomically and equestrially wrong depictions
1743 Brindley printed an English translation of the first,
French book of 1658, here also he uses the beautiful, butanatomically and equestrially wrong depictions of Dieppenbeck
The art rider of today thus has the following means for getting to
know some or all of Cavendish's (and additionally Solleysel's)
recommendations in these three books:
a.: if she speaks only German, she can only read Bernauer's
German translation, which is full of mistakes, 1700, of the French (heavily amended) translation by
Solleysel of Cavendish's second, English book of 1667.
b.: if she speaks English, she can read
the English original (second book 1667) as a facsimile or here: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A53074.0001.001?rgn=main;view=fulltext
needing a little bit fantasie sometimes to guess the meaning of the
somewhat old English used here,
the English translation of the first book (1658) by Brindley
of the year 1743 (antiquarian in the „Allens Classic Series, 3“,
with the still more confusing title „A General System of
Horsemanship“, 2000, Britain/Hongkong.
c.: if she understands French, she can:
1. read the first book (1658) as original in the internet at
www2.vetagro.fr (see below) or
2. the French, heavily amended translation of the second English book
(1667) by Solleysel in 1677 („third book“, as I call it) or the
identical text in Bernauer (1700)
OUVRAGES EN LIGNE - Liste des auteurs
Imagination in 1833, about the Duchess of Newcastle accompanying her husband William Cavendish at the stag hunt
Lithographie by Charles Motte, ar. 1833, after Ch.Aubrey
"Here the Duchesse is greatly admired by the Cpt. Bazin"
Here Aubrey has copied the faulty, overbent posture of the horse's head in the Dieppenbeck etchings in Cavendish's first book
"The Duchess receives instructions by the Duke, to always be attentive to disturbances or mistakes, which could endanger her seat"
(Actually it is very
unlikely, that the horse expert Cavendish would have agreed to his
wife accompanying a stag hunt on a side-saddle. As Prizelius warns
1777 in his appendix: „Etwas für Liebhaberinnen der Reiterey“ in
the chapter „Anweisung zum Reiten für Dames“ with good reason
against riding the insecure side saddle outside a protected surrounding, as any
time there could shoot a dog through a hedge, or some chickens could
suddenly fly up, or similar surprises could occur, which makes the
horse jumping away unexpectedly. On top of that, the rider very often
lets the rains hang through, which makes the horse careless, sleepy
and leads to him stumbling, and the repertoire of aides is quite
reduced riding in this fashion, too.)
Different types of
In the dictionnaire of the
second edition of the „Description du manege moderne“ by
Eisenberg (German:“Wohleingerichtete Reitschule“) one finds the
explanation of some very different Demi-Voltes at the ends of the
passades, so now I am able to list the following ones:
1.the one-and-a-half volte
on one hoof-beat in walk and in trot,
consisting of five canter strides with half a croupe inwards (=
croupe-in) which is called also
„passade in five-beats“)
3.the Demi-Volte in the
4.the Demi-Volte in the
5.the „Furious Passade“
with the Demi-Volte in three beats,
6. the „Elevated
Passades“ in the Sideways-Mezair, Sideways-Courbettes oder
Sideways-Croupades on the
Demi-Volte in three or four beats,
7. The „passade en
pirouette“, when the horse creates a Demi-Volte in a single
or more beats as a Pirouette or Demi-Pirouette,
landing straight on the line of the passade again („throwing the
horse around on the hind legs”;
Only in 1. and 7. the
hindfeet don‘t describe a pronounced little circle: in every other
one it would be faulty if the hindfeet got to close to the volte‘s
center (which in French is called „aculer“ = constricting,
narrowing, crawling backwards to the center), as this would put the horse in constraint and could bring
the hind feet into leading and leads to a collapsing of the lesson.
All Demi-Voltes have their
origin in a fast turning-around in the fight rider against rider, where the pirouette basically is nothing
else than a turn on the haunches, but the other ones are very tight voltes in a more ore or less sideways, which results in two hoof-beats, with a tiny
part of a forehand-turn at the end to close/end the volte. A
peculiarity with Gueriniere are the angular voltes, which contain
short sideways-stretches along a straight line.
Nicolas and Luigi di Santa-Paulina, art-riders at the famous Accademia Delia in Padua
Del L’Arte del Cavallo
Libro terzo, capo primo : Come deva star il Cavaliere à Cavallo - Vol. 3, chapter 1: How the rider is supposed to sit on the horse.
The elbow joint shall be bent, and the hand held befoire the middle of the chest, in a height of two or three finger-breadths over the pommel of the saddle, the thumb straight, the hand [in the carpal joint] neither bent towards the chest nor towards the horse's head, nor towards the pommel, but a bit upwards: because in the first three ways the hand will loose its power because it is skewed, but in the latter way will achieve more power, the most by turning the fingers heavenwards, as one should do at elevating the hand.
And as a sign that he is sitting in the correct stance, he shall take care, with a closed fist, that the first finger joints below the nails will point against the chest. When using the right hand, he should hold it in the same way as the left hand. And in such a way that the finger middle-joints face each other.
Section of Ridinger’s “Reitschule” (riding school): on the left a courbette straight forwards, with fore- and hind legs exactly parallel and at the same height, elevation high.
In the centre the 85° sideways/ passege / passage „in the walk, which has the action of the trot“ (= two-beated), which is the pre-lesson and training for the terre-a-terre, here as the „Croupe a la muraille“.
On the right the terre-a-terre to the left. The terre-a-terre is always low over the ground and means always to be moving at least 80° sideways, as otherwise the movement cannot become two-beated, and always produces four different hoove-tracks: the inner forefoot the farthest advanced, then the outer forefoot forming the second and the inner hind foot producing the third line, and the outer hind foot the fourth, most backwards line.
Ridinger calls it „redopp“, from the Italian „radoppiare“ = two-beated canter, under this picture he writes : “Redoppieren auf einem Cirkel von der Länge des Pferdes“ (going redop on a circle of the length of the horse).
A straight terre-a-terre is ridden 80-85° sideways along a wall or along a straight line, for example on the pointed volte, the carree.
Cavendish writes, that trying to produce a terre-a-terre with a lesser angle than 80° (“ on a wide circle”) will produce only a „petit galop“, which is a school-canter.
Lithographie by Charles Motte
"Redopp on a small circle of the length of the horse" |
Right: "The pirouette near the ground" or: "from head to tail"
Die hohen Schulen in der Antike
For enabling a horse to storm forwards in the Carriere one has to sit it down on its haunches in one or two levades.This is also true before a war charriot.
Handwork of the Assyrians: as preparation for Levade und Carriere the lightening of the forehand is necessary and a high uprighting for the highest possible freedom of the shoulders, which manifests itself in the graceful movement of the foreleg.
These Etruskian figurines, ar. 550 before Chr., show perfect, longstretched Carrieres.
This rider from Taranto, ar. 550 BC, already holds his rein-hand in the same way as the art-riders ar.1600: dthe finger middle joints point in a 90° away from the horse, so he achieves a
good freedom of the shoulders with a high uprighting, and the right hind leg staeos for forward under the pair's point of weight.
In the wonderfully preserved big floor-mosaics in the Villa Romana
del Casale di Piazza Armerina https://www.villaromanadelcasale.it/ in Sicily from the 3.Century AC we can also see horses in the Carriere.
The hunter in the same mosaic turns his horse swiftly in a Pirouette on the inner hind-leg into the right position.