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Monday, August 29, 2011


Nuno Oliveira said of the author: “ I have the honor to declare that Dom Diogo de Bragança has been one of my best students and that I consider him as one of the rare riders I know who is capable of taking on the greatest difficulties of Equestrian Art with the greatest finesse.”

Dom Diogo de Bragança, an eclectic mind who studied languages, music composition and law, is one of the great equestrian figures of our time. His technique was built on a long apprenticeship with Master Nuno Oliveira (of whom he was one of the first students), which resulted in a natural horsemanship, full of tact and sensitivity. He acquired an amazing equestrian culture through the many books he studied in French and Portuguese and kept applying the theories he researched on the numerous horses he successfully trained. His vast experience and spirit of observation allowed him to present in this seminal book a complete analysis of the goals and methods of French dressage. It resulted in a unique synthesis that is destined to remain an authoritative text on this fascinating subject. Beyond revising the original 1976 text, Dom Diogo has added to this edition, a chapter on the specialized dressage for bullfighting, a form of horsemanship in which the horse, while flirting with the gravest danger, “offers us a breathtaking spectacle of beauty, precision, and brilliance.”

Dressage in the French Tradition is a reference for the understanding of classical dressage in which the horse, ridden with the greatest impulsion and lightness, displays his maximum activity in response to the minimum effort of the rider.

English translation by Michael L. M. Fletcher of L’Équitation de Tradition Française, 2nd edition, Belin, Paris, 2005, a re-edited, corrected and augmented version of the book that was first published inFrance in 1976 by Odège. It has had numerous editions inPortugal, the homeland of the author.


Baucher and His School NOW IN ENGLISH

Albert Decarpentry, grandson of Eugène Caron, a direct student of François Baucher is considered the most knowledgeable écuyer of his generation. He contributed actively to the influence of French equitation in his many books and by chairing the F. E. I. dressage jury.

This is the first ever translation of the master work of Decarpentry, now available in September of 2011 from www.XenophonPress.com

Baucher and his School (1948) is an original biography of the “greatest écuyer of all time,” François Baucher. Decarpentry comments on the discoveries of one of the most prolific innovators in Equestrian Art. This book comprises the equestrian biography of Baucher, an analytical examination of his method, and its lasting effect on French equitation. Decarpentry’s treatise is essential for understanding the importance of Baucher, a phenomenal figure in the history of equitation.

Appendix I includes excerpts from the memoir of Louis Rul, clarified and completed by his friend Eugène Caron. Their accounts provide valuable first hand anecdotes of the life and times of Baucher.

Appendix II consists of excerpts from ‘Baucher and his Art: Serious Warning to the Riders of Germany’ by Louis Seeger, Baucher’s German rival. Seeger studied Baucher’s method with malevolent blindness, but also with indisputable competence. With rigorous examination, Seeger compares and contrasts his own method to Baucher’s ‘nouvelle méthode.’ This counter-argument sheds light on the ‘German’ versus ‘French’ method that has endured even today.

One of Baucher’s lasting effects on equitation is the ideas of ‘riding in lightness’. Baucher constantly questioned his and the established methods, experimented and innovated through lifelong trial and error in search of truth.

“The appearance of Baucherism started a new era in dressage.”

NOW IN STOCK AND AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPPING This historic work has finally been translated into English by Micheal L. M. Fletcher.