The School of Légèreté Part 10: Piaffe and Passage 2015-01-16T00:00:00+01:00

In order to develop a good piaffe, the horse must show a strong desire to go forward, along with the ability to lower the haunches. In a good piaffe, the hindlegs reach under the body, bringing them closer to the front legs, not the other way around! This eventually puts the horse into perfect balance, making the forehand lighter. Preparing for the piaffe takes a lot of gymnastics and strength. This video shows Philippe Karl’s process of developing the piaffe.

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’s steps are shorter but more expressive in the passage – which encompasses the fascination of this gait. Philippe Karl likes to develop the passage by combining the Spanish walk with trot work. 

Further videos in this series: 


You will learn in this video:

  • Why the horse needs impulsion for the piaffe
  • How to use the rein back in preparation of the piaffe
  • How to combine the Spanish walk and the trot to develop the passage

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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