Légèreté is an extremely versatile philosophy intended for all breeds and disciplines of horsemanship. It is more than a 'method' one extracts exercises from to hasten training goals - it is a commitment to never compromise a horse's nature in order to hasten training. The following is an excerpt of the philosophy expressed on Philippe Karl's website:
The founding principle of the School of Légèreté is the absolute respect of the horse. In this concept, Légèreté (French: lightness) is not a declaration of intent of a poetic or esoteric nature, but a philosophy bringing together clear, effective and measurable equestrian concepts.
The philosophy of Légèreté excludes any use of force or coercive artificial aids (including side reins, draw reins, tightly closed nosebands etc.), but includes all types of horse and takes an interest in all equestrian disciplines. It provides an understandable and reliable training plan with clear principles, efficient methods and procedures that fully respect the nature of the horse. It thus allows any seriously motivated rider access to High School equitation, even with a perfectly ordinary horse.
Légèreté condemns the use of artificial and unnecessary training tools such as draw reins, side reins and tight nose bands. Riders will find the program naturally intuitive and infinitely more rewarding. A thorough education exposes these tools as short-sited shortcuts which often lead to irreversible mental and physical consequences. In truth, it is these tools and the mindset behind them which hold riders and their horses back from achieving true harmony and from their physical capability.
Légèreté simply asks riders to be honest and humble in their understandings and to only put tools in their tool box when they have a thorough understanding of their moral, ethical, logical, progressive nature for the horse. The horses' responsiveness to this respectful, clear, progressive approach and the scope it caries across breeds speaks for itself.
Reading Material and Educational DVDs
Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage: A Search for a Classical Alternative (Book by Philippe Karl)
The School of Legerete Parts 1 & 2 (DVDs)
Classical Dressage; The Philosophy of Ease Volumes 1-4 by Philippe Karl (DVDs)
Classical versus Classique ; with Christoph Hess and Philippe Karl: Riding Instructions of Légèreté - Sport or Art? (DVD)
The Art of Riding: Classical Dressage to High School: Odin at Saumur (Book by Philippe Karl)
Long Reining (Book by Philippe Karl)
Philippe Karl and Légèreté Demos
Academy of Equestrian Arts
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