François Baucher

François Baucher settled in Paris around 1834 and partnered Jules-Charles Pellier to head the indoor school of the Faubourg Saint-Martin. In 1837, he also partnered Laurent Franconi, the most experimented specialist as regards circus, who made the haute école step into the circus. Baucher entered then the most prestigious period of his career during which he presented his most famous four horses, and more particularly the famous Partisan. In 1842, he published his Riding Method based on new principles.

Baucher abandoned the practice of the "high airs" found in former equitation to turn his interest only on the stylisation of the natural gaits. Sitting a horse as needed in the ‘pesade’ was against the rules of his new aesthetics. All he wanted was to rely on the "rassembler" in order to develop the horse’s agility in all directions for its usual movements and therefore imagined the balance called the "isard sur le pic". He discovered the way to supple all the horse by first educating the horse’s mouth to focus on a half -tension of the rein.

In the Baucher system, the horse has no will any longer, nor intelligence, nor memory. It is no more than a machine, or, if you prefer, a force obeying the slightest movements sent by the rider without any possible resistance.

Jules Janin, A summer in Paris, 1843

The French army, attempting to reform its riding practice, made a series of test with his method, but eventually rejected and forbid it in 1845.

In 1855, the main chandelier hanging over the circus ring where Baucher was working alone came off and he was seriously injured. He then shaped his "second manner" in which he prepared the "ramener" through the maximum heightening of the neck and invented the ‘hands without legs and legs without hands" principle.

Baucher’s last teachings were exposed by General Faverot de Kerbrech in the the Methodic training of the riding horse… in 1891.

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Website of the National riding school (Documentation Centre)


Ancient collection