|French Classical Dressage For All
|Classical Dressage in the French style is characterized by lightness
- The horse is in self-carriage and has self-impulsion
- The reins have a light contact or even a slight loop
- The rider sits with a deep and supple seat, legs hanging long and quiet
- The whole picture is of quiet elegance
Does this sound impossible for you and your horse?
It is not.
Using this method any rider can become quiet and deep in the saddle, any
horse of any breed, as long as he is sound, can learn at least some of the
movements of grand prix.
How does French Classical training differ from FEI or German dressage?
One of the greatest differences is that the rider does not drive the horse onto the bit
with seat or legs.
By following the principles below we create horses who are willing partners,
understanding and enjoying their work, giving generously of their energy and talents.
The Four Main Tenets of French Classical Dressage:
1. Hand without legs, legs without hands. We don't use the legs and the hands at the
same time, or even both reins at the same moment.
2. Release of the aids. The instant the horse responds the aid ceases thus keeping
the horse willing and attentive.
3. Moderation of the aids. Leg aids are limited as to strength (very light) and rein aids
are limited as to duration (very quick).
4. Optimization of orders. (Optimal timing of the aids) The horse is prepared for the
movement and then the movement is allowed to happen at the optimum moment for the
horse to respond.
Who developed this system of horsemanship?
Francois Baucher who lived from 1796 to 1873 revolutionized the
horsemanship of his day with his careful scientific study of horses.
He reached the conclusion that the seat of all resistance is in the
horse’s jaw. He developed ways to address the jaw directly in order
to free the horse’s entire body so that the balance for the
movements of High School dressage can be attained. Baucher was
the first to perform the flying change of lead at every stride on
many different horses. His methods of training horse and rider
were adopted by the French Cavalry where they proved successful
with all types of horses and riders.
Who teaches it today?
Until his death in 2009 Jean-Claude Racinet international clinician,
rider, author of Another Horsemanship, Racinet Explains Baucher,
and Total Horsemanship, as well as several books in French and
German was its main proponent.
Lisa Maxwell, a student of JeanClaude Racinet offers daily lessons
and introductory courses in this light method of dressage.
What is offered?
Housing is available in a charming rustic farmhouse on the
- Residential programs of varying lengths
- An intensive two-day introductory course
- Courses up to five days or longer.
- Bring your own horse or work with our school horses.
Where is Sugar Creek Farm ?
Located in the Western tip of North Carolina we are surrounded by
the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Why try this type of Dressage?
It’s tons of fun!
The horses love it!
Getting Started in
The French Classical Dressage
of Francois Baucher as taught
by Jean Claude Racinet and
presented by one of his
students, Lisa Maxwell
This 95 minute video provides
detailed information on the
Classical French dressage
methods used by Francois
Baucher and Jean Racinet
Sugar Creek Stables
206 Sugar Creek Rd.
Weaverville, NC 28787
approx 15 miles
north of Asheville