The school of Légèreté Part 10: Piaffe and Passage



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For Philippe Karl, a horse must want to go forward for a good piaffe. This desire to go forward needs to be combined with lowering the hindquarters. In a good piaffe, the hind legs will move under the horse further towards the front legs and not the other way around. Eventually, the horse is in perfect balance and only then, can the forehand be lightened. The piaffe needs lots of preparation for work and power. The French Riding Master shows us here how he approaches piaffe training.

The elevation of the forehand is what helps the horse start to passage and not necessarily the hindquarters coming under the point of gravity. The horse goes into passage with short but expressive steps and that is what makes this movement so fascinating. Philippe Karl likes to develop the passage by combining the Spanish walk with the trot work.

What you will learn in this video:

  • Why the horse needs to want to go forward for a successful piaffe
  • Why using rein back to teach piaffe is so useful
  • Why a free and expressive front leg is important when training passage

Further videos in this series: 

Philippe Karl

Philippe Karl was a rider for famous Cadre Noir in France for thirteen years. He has made a worldwide name for himself as a trainer, author, and founder of the Ecole de Légèreté.

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