Jean Claude Racinet
Jean Claude Racinet
Jean Claude Racinet
June 2, 1929 – April 25, 2009

Jean Claude Racinet was a great proponent of riding in lightness
through a method of mobilizing and relaxing the horse’s jaw as first
practiced by Francois Baucher (1796-1873)

Jean Claude made an important contribution to L’equitation de
Legerete (riding in lightness) by translating and preserving the
teachings of Francois Baucher’s second manner, for which he was
honored by the School of Horsemanship in Saumur France with their
Lifetime Achievement Award.  His lifetime of work was also recognized
in Germany when they awarded him the title of Trainer of the Year in

Jean Claude recognized the genius of Francois Baucher at a time
when Baucher was largely ignored or reviled.  For most of his
equestrian career Jean Claude, like Baucher before him, was ridiculed
for his belief that the jaw was the seat of all resistance in the horse.  
According to Baucher’s method one must therefore release the
resistance of the jaw with flexions done with the bit.  Then it would be
possible to make each part of the horse supple and then bring all the
parts together in a posture of collection thus creating self carriage and
making possible the movements of Grand Prix.  In Baucher’s method
this posture was to be achieved before riding the horse forward.  This
was diametrically opposed to the more popular method of dressage in
which the horse is ridden forward first and only changed to a more
collected posture over years of training.

Modern veterinarian science has born out Baucher’s theory showing
that the jaw, especially the tongue, because of its leguminous
connections to the poll of the horse at the top of his head and down
into the horse’s shoulder and chest does indeed affect the whole front
end of the horse.  By releasing the jaw (i.e. the tongue) into a soft
chewing motion one can transform most horses very quickly into the
classical posture (i.e. poll high, withers raised, hindquarters carrying a
greater percentage of the weight).  Jean Claude, like Baucher, was
able to demonstrate dramatic changes in most horses in a very short
time without force or artificial devices.

Jean Claude traveled world wide giving clinic and has left behind many
devoted students, however his greatest accomplishment in preserving
Francois Baucher’s work might be in the books he wrote: Another
Horsemanship, Racinet Explains Baucher and Total Horsemanship
published in the United States.  They have also been translated into
French and German.  He contributed articles to “L’Information
Hippique,” “Dressage and CT,” “Riding in Lightness” and “Horses for
Life” magazines.  Mainly through Jean Claude’s efforts Baucher’s
teaching has been made available in the United States.

Among his earlier equestrian accomplishments Jean Claude completed
the Superior Equitation Course in the Cavalry School of Saumur (1953-
54), became a member of the Jumping Team of the Military School in
Paris (1953) and won the title of Champion of Tunisia in open jumping

Besides being a clinician and author Jean Claude was a decorated war
hero.  He was wounded two times in Korea while fighting with the UN
forces (1952-53).  He also served as an officer in the French army in
Tunisia and Algeria (1954-61), where he was awarded the Croix de
Guerre for heroism in battle.
French Classical Dressage picture
French Classical Dressage definition