Arte Ecuestre en Belém

Portuguese School of Equestrian Art >> Exercises

Exercises

The teaching of a horse begins with what is called “Baixa Escola” (or low school), in which process the animal has to learn how to execute in perfect balance the three basic gaits (walk, trot and canter). This phase also includes the teaching of the lateral steps, shoulder in and individual half-pass.

In a later phase, the horse starts learning the Haute École exercises practiced in the Picaria Real (Royal Riding School), such as the passage, the piaffe, the pirouettes, the timed half-pass and also the airs above the ground such as the levades, the pesades, the courbettes, the balotades and the caprioles. The airs above the ground are the splendour of baroque horse-riding and represent the maximum perfection of 18th century horsemanship. In order to teach the airs above the ground the riders resort to crop work. The main preparative exercise is the piaffe and its transitions to walk, trot and canter and on the spot. Crop work allows the improvement of the flexibility and lateral mobility of the horses, allowing them to progressively focus, using their gravity centre.
The main airs above the ground are the levades, the pesades, the courbettes, the balotades and the caprioles: