Former French riding: Salomon de La Broue

Two famous equerries, students of Pignatelli, who was at the head of the Naples academy, left their imprints on the early days of French equitation: Salomon de La Broue (around 1530-around 1610), ordinary equerry at the King’s Main Stable (Grande Écurie) and Antoine de Pluvinel (1555-1620), first ordinary equerry. They take further the Italian attempts in the art of freeing the horse’s movements from the aids.

The first French ecuyer publishing an equitation essay, La Broue appears as a genuine head of school. In his Préceptes du Cavalerice françois (1593), he describes the aims of dressage following a method that may be compared to “calm-forward-straight”, as published by General L’Hotte in his Questions équestres [Equestrian Matters] (1906): ”The first effort for rider who wants to direct the horse, through his art and diligence, to the perfection of its nicest exercises, is to first get the horse calm to the hand and obedient: since from that the rider gets the horse’s courage and ease in all the nice airs and schools.” Which may be translated by “calm to the hand - courageous - light”.

The first effort for rider... is to first get the horse calm to the hand and obedient.

”A thing should be appreciated, only when it is done with ease. […] What the horse is being taught, apart from war schooling serves no other purpose than specific delight. "

To reach these aims, he was inspired by his master who, unlike other riders favouring complicated bits, never used other bits than a common canon. A rider who does not use complicated bits is typical of the French “light hand”. " légèreté " française.

He also developed the horse’s training by breaking up the figures in simple elements and using the square volte imagined by Pignatelli, which was gradually reduced to the round volte on the quarters.

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Website of the National riding school (Documentation Centre)


Ancient collection