François Robichon de La Guérinière
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
François Robichon de La Guérinière (1688–1751) was a French riding master who had a profound effect on accepted method for correct training of the horse, and is one of the most influential riders on the art of dressage.
Born 1688 in Essay (France) (near Alençon), La Guérinière spent most of his early years in Normandy. Although his brother Pierre des Brosses de La Guérinière directed the Académie d'équitation in Caen (originally established by another French master, Antoine de Pluvinel, in 1594), Gueriniere's most influential instructor was M. de Vendeuil.
In 1715, La Guérinière received his diploma as a écuyer du roi, and he began as a director of an equestrian academy in Paris, a position which he held for 15 years and which earned him an excellent reputation as an instructor and rider. This led to an appointment by the Grand écuyer de France, Prince Charles of Lorraine, as Directeur du Manège des Tuileries in 1730. He held this position of Equerry to Louis XIV until his death in 1751.
La Guérinière is credited for the invention of the shoulder-in, which he called the "alpha and omega of all exercises", having been the first to describe it. His famous book L'École de Cavalerie, "The School of Horsemanship", which was published in parts between 1729 and 1731, and as a complete work in 1733, is one of the most important books on the training of the horse ever written, detailing equitation, veterinary treatment, and general horsemanship. This book has become the most important text of the famed Spanish Riding School, and much of their everyday training is based upon it.
Most of his exercises were to increase the horse's suppleness and balance, and he had a progressive schooling system to reach an overall goal: a light, obedient, calm horse that was a pleasure to ride. La Guérinière is also credited for the invention of the flying change and the counter-canter.
In his book, Ecole de Cavalerie (Paris, 1733), La Guérinière stresses using few aids and punishments while riding. He also comments greatly on the use of the shoulder-in at all gaits, including the gallop. La Guérinière states the rider must also have a good seat in order to have a soft, light hand, and makes several references to William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle.
- Ecole de Cavallerie: contenant un Recueil ou abregé Methodique des Principes qui regardent la connoissance des Chevaux... [S. l] Mernier 1730
- Ecole de cavalerie contenant l'ostéologie etc. Sieur de La Guérinière, 4e leçon, Paris 1731
- École de cavalerie, contenant la connoissance, l'instruction et la conservation du cheval, avec figures en taille douce, par M. de La Guérinière... Paris: impr. de J. Collombat 1733 Volume 2 (only) of the 1736 printing
- Elémens de cavalerie: Contenant la connoissance du cheval, l'embouchure, la ferrure, la selle, &c. avec un traité du haras, Paris: chez les frères Guerin, 1741
- Manuel de Cavalerie: ou l'on enseigne... la connoissance du Cheval l'embouchure... l'osteologie du cheval, ses maladies, & leurs remedes... La Haye: Chez Jean Van Duren 1742 (same as the above, according to Brunet) Full text