In the online Search of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam I found an East-Indian School Halt from 1577:
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..
Parthian belt buckle, 3rd to 4th century after christ (British Museum, London, Great Britain)
No wonder in the run of the 19.century the school halts deteriorated and the levade degenerated into a circus lesson.
Statue of king Leopold I of Belgium, 1863, on Leopoldsplaats, Antwerpen.
(Photo © www.aviewoncities.com)
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".
"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 collcted gait, with an angle of ar. 80°, 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 ist is translated sometimes by
If one wants to use "passegiare" literally, it could describe a rider, who wanted to keep pace with sauntering people on foot accompaniing him on a promenade,for
which the normal field-walk of his horse would have been far too
expansive, so he permanently had to curb the horse, shortening its
strides, and, not to let the horse fall apart, had to erect its forehand
and to drive under its hind legs, hereby collecting it. If then a
diagonalising occured, all the better and precious! The calm, this movement is radiating, lets it become the mean of choice within a crowd of people or horses, for example at processions.
The term "Passage" (= trot-passage) expresses more "to pass", like in the italian "passare", in French accordingly "Passage" means "passing by", and same in the German "passieren". This gait would be a bit frigthening if executed near people or in
a thick crowd and so is not suited well for these occasions. But for the passing by of a gallerie/tribune or the passing by of somewhat distanced people on the street sides, the power it shows
produces a magnificent impression. Its tempo can be adjusted readily to a
fast marching group of soldiers, when riding at the front of them in
Saunier at least specifies by adding "Walk" to "Passage", which gait he means, Gueriniere nearly never specifies which gait is meant, or even if straight or sideways is meant..So Daniel Knöll in his german
transanslation of Gueriniere of 1791 always choose „Spanish Walk“
(„Spanish Tread“ would have been the alternative for the trot).
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 80°-sideways.
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
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".
In the chapter "About passegeing straight-forward and where and when", the authors N.
& L. Santa Paulina (1696) write 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
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 a normal volte, with the croupe to its center. Maybe this word now could get to be our unequivocal term for the 80°-sideways? The counterpart, the croupe-out in the 80°-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!).
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 onvoltes 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 hindklegs.
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 80°-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 80°-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 80°-Travers and Full-Renvers for the 80°-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 80° 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 80° 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.
Then we could postulate: the Walk in the Travers and in the Renvers always is two-beated, and: in the Travers and in the Renvers the horse is always in half a Terre-a-Terre: the Terre-a-Terre of the forehand, when the forehand is wide, and the Terre-a-Terre of the hind, when the latter is wide.
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.
5. Then we could separate the two-beated straight-ahead movements by terming: There is a "Walk-Passage" and a "Trot-Passage" (floating-trot).
Possibly this could be discussed at the summer academy 2017 in Toreby?
“Natural Walk” in the old depictions and scriptures
Newcastle's description of the
natural walk is incomprehensible: “A horse in walking, has two feet
in the air and two upon the ground, which move otherways at the same
time, one fore and one hind-foot, which is the movement of a gentle
trot.” !! It is barely imaginable, that
an unschooled horse without need should do without the secure
Saunier,too, describes (after
Newcastle?) the normal walk as two-beated “with crosswise moved
legs, as in the trot”.
Ridinger's depiction of a
„School-suitable walk at the wall straightforward“ gives us
rather the impression of a brisk working-walk, if it wasn't for the
Among the many thousands of
depictions with riders I viewed in museums and databases only
very seldom there were ones showing a normal four-beated walk.
Platin-Moretus-Museum, Antwerpen, Belgien >>> more pictures
Strong Walk-Passage ( = span. Walk), executed correctly: Simultaneity of the diagonal movement, the hind leg is elevated in the same extremness as the front leg, no pushing away of the back.(Landesmuseum Braunschweig)
Greecian coin, 3.Cent BC .
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 for a slight croupe-in during a trot-passage, on a saddle pad without stirrups with a one-handed, crosswise led reins. 1.500 years later, Gueriniere will write:" outside a manege only the posture Half a croupe in is suitable.
The rein-hand is supinated maximally, the right hand pronated nearly maximally.
(For a secure stand of the statue, the artist regrettably had to do without a correct depicting of the left hind leg, which in reality will have been held higher and more to the front).
The name "Floating-Trot" for the trot-passage in this case, without stirrups, doesn't stand only for the movement of the horse, which shows a prolonged floating trot-phase, but also for the feeling of the rider on a pad without stirrups: 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.
(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