|Philippe Karl and Classical Dressage, Classic versus Classique.|
Classical versus Classique
Philippe Karl and the School of Lightness (Légèreté).
Riding in general, and dressage in particular, are truly "classical" only when they absolutely respect the horse´s nature.
In his teachings as well as in his next book, Philippe Karl analyses the principles, methods and processes of modern dressage in the light of fundamental data from anatomy, physiology, locomotion, balance, psychology and behavioural research. This procedure helps to avoid meaningless concepts, empty phrases and the tyranny of prevailing fashions.
Two types of conclusion follow from this study:
• The dogmas that rule the official riding turn out to be highly questionable. This explains for the most part the tragic drifts of current dressage, the tremendous amount of broken horses, as well as the disillusionment of the riders and the frequency with which they give up riding altogether.
• The concept of "Légèreté" ("lightness","ease"), which was worked out in all its aspects mainly by La Guérinière, Baucher, Raabe, Beudant und L´Hotte, corresponds to the requirements of the fundamental nature of the horse.
In its true meaning, "Légèreté" is not a luxury that only appears at the end of the dressage of the horse and is reserved to artists riding excellent horses, but truly the most reliable means to show off each and every horse to its fullest advantage.
From simple scientific data, corroborated by the in-depth study of the greatest masters, Philippe Karl draws up his own original synthesis, both for the dressage of the horse and the training of the rider: the "School of Légèreté".
The main features of this equestrian philosophy are as follows:
• It rejects the use of power and all constraining instruments ("muzzling" nosebands, every type of draw reins, side reins etc.).
• It proposes a comprehensible and reliable dressage plan with clear principles, efficient methods and processes that are kind to the horse.
• It refuses to exclude any type of horse and applies to all riding disciplines.
• It makes high-level riding accessible to any serious rider, even with an ordinary horse.
Philippe Karl and The School of Classical