Hello I train horses in the Way of Baucher and also use some of the old Baroque methods .
This is not competitve dressage but somthing different. I find many people do not understand the way a Horse is trained in this manner and so if anyone would like to talk about it in a friendly way I would be glad to.
Please just dont think it will conform to what you may have been taught or be doing because as I said it is a different road in many ways. I am 59 years old riding since a child, taught the Calvary way by my father which was based on the French school . Was a long time student and friend of the late Baucherist Master, Jean Claude Racinet , trained for elleven years with Mestre Luis Valenca in Portugal, a cousin of Nuno O. A great Master and a man who lectures on Baucher . I have been teaching and using the Baucher way for over 20 years . Just as a small background . 
Last edited by Moderator 1; Aug. 20, 2010 at 08:49 AM.
Hi Eagles. I would love to learn more ..... Is the Baucherist method considered part of the French school?
I don't even know what to ask since I am completely uneducated in this school, but for example how would a Baucherist start a young horse? at what age? what would be the progression? in hand work? lunging?
when first getting on any horse, what is your warm-up methods?
Do you have a "Scale" like the german system? if not, what is the progression used to achieve collection?
Dear MBM, at the time of Baucher , for a while it was part of the French school but because of politics it was removed as a whole anyway. Some years ago my old Teacher, the late Jean Claude Racinet returned to the French school to give them some lessons on Baucher .
The age of starting a horse is not different in this school than any other school .
The progresion can be quite a bit different. We have a foundation in the flexion of the jaw of the horse, believing it is the key to release tension and as proven later by Osteopaths to remove actual subluxations in the vertabrae. So the horse is taught on the ground these flexions and then worked in hand .
I then teach all of the moves of the horse , even before it is backed within hand work . This work is based on the second principle after Jaw flexions that Position proceeds action . The horse is positioned so that it can be balanced at the halt before it is allowed to take one step . That one step then needs to remain in the "mother Positin " of balance . We might take one today and two tomorrow and then put the horse away . if is balanced we can go to the trot and so fourth but it is never driven forward and then pulled back .This slow progresion builds the necessary muscles but we dont think we are wasting time with mediocre steps as well .
The horse must do all of this work from behind and is NEVER pulled in from the front or is any hard contact tolerated . No contradiction of the hand against the leg or the leg against the hand.In fact we want the horse ahead of the leg and behind the hand a bit .
The horse must come to the position or the bit itself not the other way arround .
Yes their is lunging but not the way you might think . I dont do normal lunging as it does nothing more than raise the heartbeat of the horse and when I go to work I wan't a calm relaxed horse .
I prefer to turn them loose an hour before I work then and let them get out the bucks that way if needed . On the lunge we do slow and deliberate work to show a comunication between horse and rider and the horse does not sweat like mad or run wild on the lunge at all .
Collection is asked for from day one as it comes from the Mother position , tiped pelvis , raised withers , neck with pole at highest point and head hanging vertical on its own , no drop nosed bands or cranks , a soft mouth we can flex when we want.Any horse born can and does these positions from a few hours after it is born,it does not need years and years to arrive at it we believe .
Horses I have trained like this are like a round glas orb on a glass table , able at will to move with the lightes of aids , live a long time and stay healthy . I have a 29 year old that still does the Piaffe , Passage , capriole .etc. He came to me with blown tendond at seven and that was 22 years ago . You can see him on that gallery I mentioned in an above post , he is the white horse in the Pesade in the upper right hand corner and in the bottem in the capriole and spanish walk , he was 27 in those shots .
We also use a diagonalized walk , Jean Claude called a diagonal counted walk and that drives some people up the wall as they can't get arround that a walk can be diagonal in this school . if , of course anyone reads his books it is repeated and in his last book he devotes an entire chapter about how natural it is . But that move obtains elevation , collection ,a raised back and supreme lightnes and I have found it to actualy improve all of the other gaits including the four beat lateral walk .
Their is a training scale but is is based on these things of flexions work in hand position etc . Not levels like training level 1st etc . What I do is not for competition but for the sake of the horse and the rider .
Trained like this riding is more to me like a meditation and one does not need the chiropracter for both after each ride .
Really interesting post and I for one appreciate you sharing your wisdom. What happens when you take on a horse that is poorly trained? Heavy on the front, etc? Is the training progression similar? How do you educate the muscles to adapt and change?
Dear Wylde sage ,that depends on what is wrong with the horse but usualy I start right with work in hand . Getting the horse to accept me up close , setting up the contract so to speak between horse and trainer , me getting to feel the mouth of the horse , how it feels light or rigid etc . Puting the horse in the position as explained etc before it is ridden . Often I go directly to a double bridle to prevent the horse from dragging me all over the arena , as most are used to pulling like mad and people would soon realize that if they ever tired to work their horse in hand .
One thinig is we go to a double bridle MUCH faster than modern dressage does . A curb was the mark of a good rider in times past . I hate to say this but I believe the snaffel is the cruelest bit ever devised . The current cult of the snaffle ,in the name of it being a nice kind bit has created more so called hard mouthed (really stiff ) horses , on the fore hand , and riders who ride from the balance of the reins on the horses mouth than anytime in history . To cover this up the mouth is tied shut with droped nose bands, cranks etc etc etc . A Horse soon learns it CAN brace against this and if the rider is looking for so called "contact " which can often mean lots of pressure as is now done ,then each learns to lean on the other .
Of course a heavy hand and a curb can also be a disaster BUT you find out much faster if it is with a curb . No horse would tolerate the massive pressure in its mouth you see demonstrated in about every book or magazine with horses in a snaffle , they would flip over backwards or break as many do in the snaffle at the third vertabrae .. Also a horse that never learns to pull on a curb , can be ridden after that in a snafle or a piece of string and wont pull .while a horse who HAS learned to pull on a snaffle , will stop in a double bridel ,BUT if you go back to just a snafle will soon remember the trick . hence I think the progresion is BACKWARDS to me . We start young horses with a snaffel just to hold a piece of metal in the mouth and do the flexions but do all of the work form the cavasan at first. When the horse learns not to pull we can touch the bit a little with no force . I then go to a pellham perhaps and then to a double bridle in some months so when the rider first steps on their is a double bride , of course you have a snaffle in their as well you can use for the turns at first etc etc but that horse wont pull , has allready learned a postion of balance from the start of its career ,not four years on the forehand and then , by the way we now want you to work on the hind quarters .
If you go to" The International Academy of Baroque and Academic Equuestrian Education web site "and to the gallery page you can see me on a small bay stallion in a curb , in release of the aids .the horse in self carraige and balanced correctly in the piaffe that results from this type of training . Everyone allways asks for pictures so there you go .
The so called second Manner of Baucher was more concerned with putting the horse in the really correct position by lifting the withers , they cant rise by the way unles the pelvis can tip at which point you have the connection from front to back everyone talks about the neck arches with the pole at the highest point on its own and the head hangs verticlay with out pulling on it so the horse can breath nornmaly as well . Both the first and second manner use the combined effect for position which Baucher did not explain very well ,his son did a little better Job . The horse is asked to move forward with the leg first so as not to overbend , the horse walks into a slight lifting of the outside rein to help rebalance the horse at the halt .
Last edited by eagles; Aug. 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM.
Master Sanders, I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the snaffle bit.
You are not the first person to make this assertion, however. Any rider with poor hands makes any bit harsh.
In the past, I started young horses in a Bosal. Once they respond adequately to that, to the lightest aids, I add a snaffle and ride with both sets of reins, the mecate and the snaffle reins, gradually placing more emphasis on the snaffle reins. Once the horse learns to balance himself, there is no need for him to lean on the rider's hands. With a Bosal, "leaning" is impossible. By the time he's going in the snaffle, he balances himself.
This, of course, assumes that the rider can balance him-or-herself in the saddle as well.
I've ridden with teachers of varied backgrounds -- Hungarians, Russians, Germans, Poles and Americans. NONE of them advocated riding on the forehand & heavy on the bit. Yes, there might be moments of that with a weak horse, but as he develops, that phase quickly passes, as it should. I've always been amused by the individuals who advocate their method or school of riding as the One True Way.
A good trainer needs to have many tools at his disposal. Every horse is different, sometimes different from one day to another!
No problem it is a good question .Our horses are relaxed with the flexions before we ride . They act like a silver bullet and if the horse has a stiff back the horse is put in ways in hand to stretch the back while flexing to soften it or where ever else the horse feels stiff in this preliminary preperation . We start arround the ring with a telescoping neck just as a relaxed walk and then once the work starts the horse goes to the same position it would take in the wild to do this kind of work where it had to collect and move easily . AFTER the work ,which remember hardly ever makes the horse sweat (That is to long a seesion unles it is really hot outside etc ) we allow the horse to stretch as long as low as the horse decides it wants to as we go arround and let him have some relaxed passes . I never have a sore back horse or the myriad of saddle isues that seem to be everywhere . I have never had a lame horse form the work either . I get plenty of them to work on from the other manner however .
[Beasmom what you said you do sounds very good and correct/
HOWEVER that does not mean the VAST majority of others DON'Tabuse the snaffle .They do becuase the bit allows it .Iit was designed for a horse to lean and brace against and that is taken full advantage of by so many top trainers and riders. Which Dressage trainer in the big time uses a Bosal ? Have you ever seen one in a dressage magazine ?
Just grab any of them and look at allmost all the pictures in the snaffle , if you mentaly cut the reins you can see the rider might flip over backwards . Here I get and see dozens of horses trained in the snaffle now adays and they ALL come here heavy because of the misinformation of "Being on the Bit " as pullling and holding . It is a a term that Decarpentry by the way NEVER used or came close to before his FEI work was translated by someone not very familer with the French nuances in Equitation. Their is a great article in the eclectic horseman about that . .
The bit is somthing the horse comes up to in our way.
Again what you are describing is the old Baroque method but they used the curb and cavasan . I use this as well with the cavasan . However even in that you might find in the work in hand the horse can soon learn to lean on your hands with a snaffle . A double bridle has a snaffle if that is the part you want to use moslty but you can rebalnce the horse at once if needed with the curb .
A friend of mine and a very famous elderly German trainer I respect a lot , Fritz Stahleker does the very same thing , to the double as fast as possible for the same reasons . The old Masters who did this every day for many hundreds of years daily were not fools or misguided idiots as some would like us to believe .
totally *not* Baucher, but I have been fascinated with ponies trained for the "hack" classes i breed shows. (Connemara's mostly) they train those ponies in a double it looks like pretty ear;y as they show in the double even young horses.
what i have tended to notice is that many of those ponies are going in what i would consider to be excellent dressage "frame/balance - they are up and open IFV, even triangles and they look light! It has me thinking.....
Master Sanders, you try to paint the dressage community with a broad brush. No, my method of starting young or previously ruined horses is unorthodox, "unclassical", depending on who you ask, but it works for me. I disagree that the snaffle was "designed" for horses to lean and brace against, and also disagree that "any of them" (dressage riders pictured in magazines) would fall backwards if the reins were suddenly cut.
I can ride in a Bosal and not fall backwards. I cannot use the mecate rein to balance myself as that negates the purpose of the device. Likewise, I can ride in a snaffle and take responsibility for my own balance. Any modestly capable rider can do the same. If they can't, they need to go back on the lunge to achieve balance and an independent seat.
You exaggerate in an attempt to make your own position valid. I've seen it all before. There are some here who will find your spiel fascinating and perhaps they will flock to your internet riding school in search of the Holy Grail.
Okay, so I am interested in the method, BUT, a trainer that wont season their words with salt and back them up with a horse that is shown lovely in all gaits and moderate movements, then Im a bit skeptical myself.
My own horse had some training that was more "french" in his early years. I guess you could say and his canter was like a hopping motion without rythm whenever "collection" was asked for, BUT then when he was asked for forward before balance by yet another barn (didn't own him yet but knew him and the barns), he was tense, hot, and sore often.
So while I can relate with SOME of what eagles is saying, I can't understand the very cramped riding style (as thats how I see it, without a certain flow to a snaffle first).
It seems very western to me in a sense that the curb is used for a "headset" and then the joints are asked to work without the muscles.
When I bought my pony we found some very open minded trainers to work with him and help me to unwind both extremes and instead find a nice balance between forward and balance.
Yes it did and I was warned by LOTS of private emails of exactly WHO would be the nasty ones and they were right on the money so I wont go their again . By the way I made lots of nice friends from the private emails who agree one hundred percent but did not want to post that on that site because of the jabbers . I am happy to talk about the training methods of Baucher thank you . Pictures can speak for themselves in any book or magazine and anyone can judge for themselves which way they want to ride .
I don't have to paint the competitive dressage world in any way . They have done that themselves quite well . Didn't they just fire the lot of them on the board after the last Olympic debacle and was their not hundreds of thousands of people signing up against Rolkur (which is now just renamed long and low )?
By the way I did learn it does no good to shout to deaf people .
wow we have different definitions of "French " the horse you are describing sounds more "ruined " then "French " I understand these way are so different it can be hard to fathom . 1. There
is NO false head set caused by a curb, the head set develops from the rising of the withers and the tilting of the pelvis. This collection from raising the base of the neck raises the pole and permits the neck to lengthen and arch , the face is not pulled back , the head hangs freely. In most of the dressage horses I see the the pole is braced because the rider has not made the release of the brace top priority . Instead in the holy grail quest for the words decarpentry never uttered ." ON THE BIT ". The neck is forced to break at the third joint .
2. The curb is "touched " to keep the horse from bearing and pulling if needed to stop the neck from breaking as described .
3. When the pelvis tilts and the withers rise the horse is bearing more weight on the hind quarters and in that way , excercising the correct set of muscles for the job and getting stronger and stronger from it .
4. We ride our horses in collection so yes the pictures on my site illustrate we have achieved that .HOWEVER , in the middle their is a bay horse that has extended from the back of the rider and soft open hands as well . Baroque Breeds being bred for centuries as riding horses were favored in all of the old schools as I favor them but any horse can be brought to have balance and collection. I have plenty of students with warm bloods , Arabians , what ever who have transfomed them. One W.B. who was breaking arms and legs of all the trainers through sheer hatred of the system is now a soft and round and a very athletic beauty .
5. A main differance is we want that collection much faster and all of the extensions come from that collection so you dont get so much toe flipping . We ride in a collected attitude which is soft not jamed up which implies the horse is pulled into this position which it is not .
Good Heavens! Don't exaggerate things. It undermines your credibility.
Okey dokey. I viewed YouTube video of the Paso horse in-hand. Very interesting video, still more interesting is what a piaffe looks like when done by a gaited horse. The horse certainly can sit down on his haunches, I'll grant you that.
You state above that "we want that collection much faster and all of the extensions come from that collection so you dont (sic) get so much toe flipping."
You can't get collection any faster than the horse is prepared to give it to you. Perhaps because of structure, an Iberian horse can collect faster, but all horses need time to become strong over the back and loins to carry more on the hinds and lift the withers. Your comment about "faster" collection raises huge red warning flags. But maybe that's just me.
Do you conduct clinics around the country? Do you have any students who (horrors!!!) compete or otherwise perform publicly?