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Lessons and Training

Course structure

„My method is simply to work with empathy and intuition, to change my actions from moment to moment according to necessity and to work more with the horse’s brain than with its legs.“

Antoine Pluvinel

Whether you call a Frisian your own and want to uncover the secret of the piaffe or whether you have a PRE with whom you strive for “Losgelassenheit” – my lessons concentrate on the autonomy of my students. You yourself are your horse’s trainer; hence it is you who define your own way together with your horse. My instructions give you ideas and suggestions for your own equestrian education and consequently form a proper basis for your horse’s training. This is the only way to ensure that you will be able to sustain and expand the results you achieved during training. For these reasons it is very important that the training does not correct you when a mistake is about to occur but rather gives you the opportunity to notice and correct your mistakes yourself. All of the horse’s training does not aim at preventing mistakes but allowing them. Only if your horse is allowed to make mistakes, you have another chance to explain what you want and encourage it to learn. This will bring you closer to your ideal: your horse moving almost by itself in a healthy state of Losgelassenheit.

The horse should be so well educated and attuned to its rider that it moves completely on its own, as if it were a miracle of nature. This is true harmony between horse and rider.

Antoine Pluvinel

The second vital ingredient of my training is what I call positive reinforcement. When the content of the training is communicated quietly and positively to the horse, it will be able to understand them much better. This refers especially to the different ways of rewarding a horse, so it will realise that we are happy with its progress and work with us as avidly the next day.

It is important that the horse enjoys following our commands. The rider achieves this by often rewarding it and bringing it back to the stable whenever he thinks it appropriate.

Antoine Pluvinel

Positive reinforcement however also includes not to ask too much of the horse during training, to explain new and difficult tasks with patience and to test them for a few minutes only. It is also important not to expect perfect results straightaway but to allow the horse to assemble the pieces of the puzzle on its own.

I have to recommend the attitude not to demand more than half of what the horse is actually able to achieve... Horses resist not only because they lack skill or goodwill but also because they do not have sufficient power or stamina.

Antoine Pluvinel

You can visit my stables together with your horse and for instance take morning lessons from Monday to Friday. (Weekday lessons are half an hour long.) On top of that you will have the opportunity to watch me working with my horses and other students during lessons. It is up to you to come for a week, for two weeks or longer. I also teach single lessons on weekday mornings or afternoons to students living in my vicinity.

Horse Training
Training is particularly recommended for young horses that have not yet been trained. I also educate horses that are used to a rider who (for professional or private reasons) is currently not able to work with them. Horses in need of correction, whose problems cannot be solved by its owner alone, receive specific, problem orientated treatment. Horses with physical defects are subjected to an appropriate gymnastic training that will try to solve their specific handicaps.

Gymnastic training on the ground and on the longe
Regardless of age and training level I will use ground and longe work to approach our educational objectives.

The principal goal of ground work is to be able to lead the horse as an alpha animal. You will learn the body language of a higher-ranking horse and how you can lead it on the right and left hand at a range of 1.5 meters using only body language, a cavesson, a longe line and a whip. Stopping and resuming by using body signals and cavesson will be the next step.

We build upon ground work when starting longe work. You will learn how to form your horse by bending and positioning of the neck so that it will find a good equilibrium and be able to put weight on the inside hind leg. Moving forward the horse can be taught with a cavesson to perform the side movements (“versal” and “traversal”) so that its hind legs will be trained to move up underneath toward the centre of gravity. This particular training will be given to all young horses which have not been trained yet. Horses in need of correction will receive ground and longe training specific to their issues.

Gymnastic training for horses used to riding
(second training phase for young horses)
This program will allow the horse – or horse and rider during training – to learn the side movements (“versal” and “traversal”), thus forming a basis for an efficient collection until expanding the work to include the half steps from which the piaffe later results. The piaffe is the key to the art of riding. By training the bending of the haunches (piaffe) one is able to perform a number of additional disciplines: the school canter (collected canter), the passage and the airs above the ground..
How did Steinbrecht put it so aptly? It is the bending of the haunches that constitutes the poetry of the art of riding.

Gymnastic training of physically handicapped horses
Depending on the horse’s specific issues we will start a gymnastic training to build up muscles enabling physiologically appropriate movements for damaged joints, thus relieving them.



ground , longe