© 2018 by Philippe Karl & APPEL – Association pour la Promotion de l'Ecole de Légèreté. Photography supplied courtesy of Guillaume Aymeric, Alain Laurioux, Reitanlage Hellwig & Matthes, Claudia Schipper, Philipp Seifert, Niels Stappenbeck, Meike Wix.

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Philippe Karl & High Noon, Part 3

A French riding master and his Hanoverian, Part 3:
The key elements of training in Légèreté

Let the riding philosophy of Légèreté inspire you! Enjoy a cross-section of the complete programme of the Hanoverian gelding High Noon in the third part of this film documentary.

Seven years after the beginning of his training with the renowned French riding master Philippe Karl, the pair presents the key elements of riding in Légèreté – from the loosening on the lunge and under the saddle through lateral movements up to piaffe, passage and tempi changes.
Comprehensive horse training should also include jumping. A recording of the show of Philippe Karl and High Noon at the 2018 HansePferd horse fair in Hamburg, Germany, demonstrates that High School dressage and jumping perfectly complement each other.

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel for wehorse, available in German and English.

Theory lecture: Classical or not Classical?

The Role of the Forehand

According to the official doctrine, it’s the hindquarters that, as the “motor” of the horse, determine its locomotion – but is this really true? Or is it the forehand that plays the decisive role? Which consequences would follow from such a predominance of the forehand for the training of the horse?

In this filmed theory lecture, the French riding master Philippe Karl analyses these fundamental questions, assisted by the biologist Dr. Tamina Pinent.
Tamina Pinent first presents a scientific study she directed, which shows a clear connection between the raising of the horse’s neck and the lifting of the withers – both without and with rider. Afterwards, Philippe Karl explains the effects of this anatomical relationship in riding and the consequences for the training of the horse, using the examples of turning, jumping, passage and school walk.
Philippe Karl, former Ecuyer of the famous Cadre Noir in Saumur, France, is known for his sharp analyses and outspoken criticism of modern dressage. With the help of numerous photographs and drawings of his own, he highlights the crucial role of the forehand and explains why – in contrast to “Rollkur” and “hyperflection” – the raising of the neck combined with a time-limited, proper neck extension is classical and a precondition for preserving the health of the horse under the saddle.

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, English and French

Theory lecture: Collection – Dreams and Reality

Philippe Karl, former Ecuyer of the famous Cadre Noir in Saumur in France, is renowned for his razor-sharp analyses and outspoken criticism of modern dressage.

In this filmed theory lecture, the French riding master examines one of the key elements of horse training: collection. Starting from the official concept of collection, he analyses the exact locomotion of the horse in the light of latest scientific findings and points out widespread mistakes and fallacies. He explains the different forms of collection using the example of passage and piaffe and describes the consequences arising for the entire training of the horse.

Philippe Karl's line of reasoning, which he illustrates in this lecture with numerous photos and drawings, shows collection – one of the cornerstones of horse training – in a wholly new light.

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German and English.

Philippe Karl & High Noon, Part 2

A French riding master and his Hanoverian, Part 2:
One year later – progressing to High School dressage

Let the philosophy of Légèreté inspire you! Follow the progression of High Noon in the second part of this educational and informative film documentary and watch him as he continues his partnership and training with the renowned French riding master, Philippe Karl.

One year after the recording of the first episode, we take a look at a cross-section of the Hanoverian’s entire training programme – from loosening on the lunge and under the saddle up to High School dressage work, such as school walk, piaffe, passage and tempi changes.

Enjoy highlights of High Noon’s first venture into the public limelight, as he takes centre stage at the HansePferd horse fair in Hamburg in April 2014.

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, French and English.

Philippe Karl & High Noon, Part 1

A French riding master and his Hanoverian, Part 1:
20 months of trusting collaboration

Be inspired by the riding philosophy of Légèreté. Get close up to the action in Part 1 of this highly instructive documentary film where the young Hanoverian gelding High Noon goes through his first two years of basic training with the renowned French riding master.
Philippe Karl trains him on the lunge, in hand and under saddle with respect, esteem and expertise. Enjoy their trusting work together, from the basics, to the first steps of piaffe.

Read the letter written by Werner Schade, a former director of the Hanoverian Breeding Association, to Philippe Karl, in praise of this DVD here (in English).

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, English, French and Czech.

The School of Légèreté, Parts 1 & 2

The two films provide an excellent opportunity to watch Philippe Karl working with his students – licensed instructors and instructors-in-training of his Ecole de Légèreté. He teaches riders on horses that we see every day: the charming heavy horse, the impish Haflinger, the lively Lusitano and the elegant competition horse.

In his lessons, he systematically focuses on the specific level of schooling of each horse-and-rider pair.

Thanks to the wide variety of sequences presented with all types of horse-and-rider combinations, the Ecole de Légèreté becomes accessible to everyone, providing riders with problem-solving approaches they can use every day.

 

Part 1: Basic work

  • Flexions in-hand.

  • Warm-up, putting the horse in hand and development of neck extension in walk, trot and canter

  • Training on two tracks in walk and trot

 

Part 2: Advanced work

  • Combined lateral movements in walk and trot

  • Lateral movements in canter

  • Preparation of flying changes

  • Development of Spanish walk, piaffe and passage

  • Summary of a complete training session

A schooling series of two DVDs produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German and English.

Classical versus Classique

German riding principles or Légèreté, sport or art!


In June 2007, the French riding master Philippe Karl met Christoph Hess, head of the instruction department of the German Equestrian Federation (FN). They discussed their respective viewpoints openly and without mincing matters, in an animated debate followed by practical demonstrations on different horses and riders in the arena.


Pferdia TV's camera was there to give an impartial account of this meeting, which was initiated by Claudia Sanders, editor of the magazine Dressur-Studien. Everybody thus gets the chance to form his own opinion about: What is classical?

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, and Dressur-Studien, available in German and English.

Classical Dressage, Parts 1–4

Philippe Karl's philosophy of Légèreté was inspired by riding masters such as La Guérinière, Baucher, Beudant, or L'Hotte. It is founded on the absolute respect of the horse. His personal “training scale of Légèreté” shows a logical and practical way of schooling horses systematically and without force or constraining instruments (side reins, running reins etc.). In combination with a thorough knowledge of anatomy, motion, balance and psychology, it enables the rider to get the best from any horse.
The video series “Classical Dressage” opens new horizons within the actual dressage world and demonstrates how misjudged and misunderstood the most brilliant ancient masters are today.

Part 1, The School of Aids:

It is fundamental that the aids are taught clearly before the horse begins to do any gymnastic work. Complete flexibility of the neck is essential for the neck extension and flexion of the poll. An introduction to training on two tracks completes the first part of this schooling series.

  • Lungeing

  • Basics

  • Light in hand

  • Aids

  • Under the rider

  • Lateral Work

 

Part 2, The School of Gymnastics:

In the second part of this schooling series, Philippe Karl presents additional gymnastic exercises, which continue to further the horse's training. He introduces the double bridle as an important aid for advanced exercises. Through combined lateral work, shoulder-in, counter shoulder-in, travers and renvers, the balance, suppleness and mobility of the horses are trained and established, resulting in a straight horse. Jumping at the lunge and under the rider is part of the basic training of a horse, as well as flying changes in the canter, which every horse can learn if prepared and trained correctly.

  • Canter

  • Riding with a double bridle

  • Combined lateral work

  • Show jumping

  • Flying changes

Part 3, The School of Dance:

“Collection makes the horse look like a classical dancer” – that is Philippe Karl's aim. In this third step of the training, he uses the gymnastic exercises shown on the previous videos to improve collection. Only a supple and collected horse can manage a pirouette in walk or canter. Passage, pirouette and piaffe are the crowning exercises of collection. The Spanish Walk is not only an exercise to prepare the passage, but also a useful movement to improve the mobility of the shoulders and help further the complicity of horse and rider.

  • Pirouettes

  • Piaffe

  • Spanish walk

  • Passage

 

Part 4, Training progress one year later:
Sampaio (6-year-old Oldenburger stallion ridden for two years) and Quiela (7-year-old Lusitano stallion ridden for three years) already participated in the first three parts of this “Classical Dressage” series. One year later, they both show the progress they have made.

A schooling series of four DVDs produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, English, French and Italian.

Long Reining

Philippe Karl, Ecuyer at the prestigious Cadre Noir in Saumur, France, demonstrates how to school a horse on long reins, from the basic training of the young horse to show jumping and High School.

DVD produced by the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation, currently available in German only.