If you go back to 1912 you can break down the Classical Education process as follows,
Age 0 to 4 or 5 was natural development.
Age 5 to 8 was campaign stage development.
Age 8 and up was upper level development.

The core principle of the art, was the preservation of the horses natural attributes from the bottom to the top.

“Instruction in Superior Equitation is more especially reserved for officers who, besides being skillful and bold riders, should endeavor to acquire all the finesse of the art. It is the object of the riding instructions given at the Cavalry School.” The Manual of Equitation of the French Army for 1912.

This resource is a structure to study the basic fundamentals of the Classical Process so the horse and the rider have the foundation to practice upper level horsemanship.  This is a different approach than modern horsemanship, which trains both the horse and the rider to perform artificial upper levels. If you consider Classical Equation as a dead art, you will be far better served in your progression in horsemanship.

“Outside the Army, the pursuit of Academic Equitation and the preparation for dressage tests is far more difficult.
Those who which to study the art will need a passionate devotion, a rare tenacity, and great ingenuity to surmount all the obstacles they will find in their way.
 They will have to sacrifice time and money and worldly pleasures. In fact they must have the courage to withdrawal from the world, not to the extent perhaps of entering a “religious order of Equestrianism”, but at least a lay brotherhood of the order of St George”. One cannot but admire those who decide to do so and who remain steadfast to their purpose.
And as for the “spirit” that should animate the student, the formula used by General L’Hotte, to describe the spirit of dressage in the sequences of its aims can also be applied to it. Calm, Forward, Straight.” General Decarpentry.

When I started this project in 2006, I had the complete infrastructure in place, largely due to the world of Emmett Brislawn.  It was more a project of documenting the process and making it accessible.  Today, none of that infrastructure exists.  The horseman I was working with have passed on, the 13 stallion bands, which was the core of the natural horse studies no longer, roam the plains of the Cayuse Ranch.

What has not changed is the need for a professional grade horsemanship education structure and process.  This resource is at odds with the horse industry, which is comfortable with selling expertise with out an education process. The goal of this resource is to produce an education process that actually produces quality expertise.

The process that is documented on this resource is the process that produced the great classical horseman of the past.  If you actually study the natural horse, you will realize that the study of the natural horse was the root of the Classical Equation process.  There is no mystery to this process it is described quite plainly by past masters.

“The discourses on principles and the discussions about “effects of effects” are to me as “sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal”. I firmly believe that as long as the horse is not a soulless machine, so long as he enjoys mental faculties permitting him to receive impressions in all parts of his being more quickly than we can apply aids deduced from our calculations, his training by the hard and fast rules of mathematics will ever remain the idle dream of Utopian.

I am convinced that the main requisites of training are:
To observe the horse at liberty, to reflect, and to strive to perfect ones self rather than blame the horse’s unwillingness or imperfections.” Beudant.


The fatal flaw in modern horsemanship is the study of trained horses, instead of natural horses.  The natural horse is the control group which validates you understanding of the horse.  Today, we mistake our impacts on the horse as natural and every generation of horses shifts the baseline.
The study of an art is actually the building of the education process.  While a technical education freezes and mass-produces that education process, the education process in an art is always growing and refining itself.  This is why the study of the natural horse is critical to the process. Without the natural horse, we fall into the trap that our understanding of the horse is improving when in reality it is only the horse that has learned how to better adapt to us.