Pluvinel lesson one

I will write this in english as maybe it can be of some intrest for non-swedish speakers.

For one I have started to train HEMA (historical european martial arts), more specific sword and buckler, but one thing that you do in hema is study maniscripts. So I got intrested in manuscripts of mounted combat and got to read Antoine de  Pluvinels La Maneige Royal or Linstruction du roy, In this book Pluvinel describes to the King of France how he schools both horse and rider.

He gets into how the schooling of the horse and starts with, what we today, call lounging. As of what I understand from Pluvinel he has developed a very fast paced method where the horse in a short time will preform the movements we today are in quite awe off, the courbette and terre a terre.
As I have decided to take a time out from riding for a week or so I decided that it could be fun to see if I can follow his instructions and see where it leads us. Of course I wont follow it to the letter if I believe it will harm the horse or me, but I will try to see if I can, as far as possible, follow his schooling. Also Im am but an amatour and do not have all the aids or manpower that Pluvinel has, but I wanted to try to catch the core of the proceedours as far as I can follow it.

So today we started with, what we call, lounging. Pluvinel describes it that he ties the horse to a pole, where one man stands at the pole seeing that the the ropes doesnt tangle, and the other stands with a whip at the horse thihg. Here I ran into my first problem. I dont have  a pole or another person. But I understand the concept that the horse should be tied to something that doesnt give in, like when you are lounging today. It should be a fix point so he doesnt have an option but to bend. The solution for me was to stand on the line and then use that to get my hand steady and really try to be still. It wasnt, a pole, but I believe it fit the purpose. Also the volte needed to be small, as I saw in the picture. Which I believe is to get a larger bend in the horse, thus the horse get strenghten.

One thing I have pondered over when I now went back to the section is that he says:

”(…) to go forward, and making him turn the crupe to the outside of the ring. Consequently the horse will hold his head inside the volte and will more or less be forced to look at the pillar with both eyes, thus aquiring the habit of always looking where he is going (…)”

It sounds like he wants the horse to go around  in a very lage movemnent shoulder in, but looking at the pictures they are just going around bent in a lounge. Somehow I believe it probably is a shoulder in that he is after, that makes more sense to me, with the head towards the pillar, but I dont know. I need to experiment a bit more. Also he is not the one himself to have done the drawings (as I understand) so I believe the worded description is probably more of what he is after, then the drawings.

But only from today I was quite amazed over how good my little horse took it as he is usally not very found of loungework.



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