A recent webinar on Légèreté

On youtube:

This Légèreté webinar is 2 1/2 hours long with a question answer at the end. It is hosted and narrated by Philippe Karl.

It addresses dressage horses as well as jumping horses.

I am a longtime Chronicle forum reader and sometime participant. I have employed many of Légèreté’s exercices, over the years, to jumpers that I work on the flat as well as my own young dressage horses.

I have had nothing but success in strengthening my horses and achieving a light forward contact.

Before you disagree from the start, watch the entire webinar (especially the Q&A). Then please comment!!!

Enjoy :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for sharing!

I will definitely watch. Thank you

I finally watched all of it. Great, great presentation. I didn’t know that my unique way of dressaging so closely followed the Legerete school. And how did you get the accents in our post? My normal method of holding the key down longer just resulted in a line of eeeeeees, hahaha.

I recently read an article by a classical dressage instructor in the Southwest, USA who also advocates the flexions. In fact many are now following these prpractically ancient methods and writing about their experiences.

I really liked the Q &A because it addressed real world training concerns.

It’s still very prevalent to see videos on YouTube advocating LDR and while demonstrating it in the video it is borderline Rolker and stating that you must do this to gain softness among other things. Well OK, then…

For the accents, I use an android device and just indicated in settings that I wanted a French language corrector as well as English. It allows me to select the correct accented word. Who knew it was that simple :laughing:

LDR seems to be universally promoted or at least accepted and I am considered a bit of a wacko for actively not allowing my horse to go in it. Other than a few equine biomechanics experts, I did not know there was a training school that rejected it as well. Definitely felt like I found my people. Thanks for the tip – it works on iPhone as well!

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I have yet to watch the video, but I want to show some historical context for the melding of American educated riding and the French school of riding.

Harry Chamberlin of the US Cavalry was sent to Saumur for a while to get educated there (he was also sent to an Italian Cavalry school.) Chamberlin then went on to write two very good books “Training Hunters, Jumpers and Hacks” and “Riding and Schooling Horses” that were very influential for hunt seat type riders until the German type dressage “invasion” happened.

Vladimir Littauer, the writer, instructor and promoter of the Forward Seat was originally trained in Russia in the dressage method of Fillis, who got his dressage training in France. Littauer had enormous influence on hunt seat riding in the middle of last century in the USA.

Based on this knowledge base the first time I read about Rollkur I was totally horrified. I had just started taking lessons at my present lesson stable and I told my teacher what I had read about Rollkur. I told her I hoped she did not teach it, but if she did I would totally refuse to do it because it was totally against my horsie “moral code”, which was developed by reading Littauer and Chamberlin.

It is going to take me a while to watch the whole video. Out of all the dressage schools the only one I have any attraction for is the French school out of Saumur, if only I had a normal sense of balance.

I want my horses light in hand.


I finally watched the whole thing. I love it.

I do not ride dressage, due to my MS there are SEVERAL reasons why I am not fit to ride dressage. But riding horses with the Forward Seat and LISTENING to the horses while I got weaker and weaker with my MS I have ended up with much lighter hands and now I have conversations with the bit every ride. Before I did not have many conversations with the bit but I was having fun just riding around outside the ring and my horses just did not seem to mind my hands so long as I did not block the motion of the horse.

But now, in the ring, mostly walk and trot, the horses have been showing me a lot of stuff Karl talked about with the bit. My horses always reached out for the bit, but those were horses I owned and nobody else rode them. It has been through riding horses who never learned to accept the bit that has gotten my hands light enough so that I get some of the reactions Phillipe Karl describes.

It is nice to find out that I am on the right path even though many people disagree with my riding philosophy (luckily my riding teachers agree with me and like how I ride their lesson horses.)

Thank you again for posting this video.

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It’s fast donating to delve into some of the old US Cavalry methodologies and to find exactly what you described!
Interestingly, one of my friends has MS and after I helped her with her gelding’s groundwork (the flexions and in hand work) she is able to ride her horse following Légèreté in a nice balanced lightness.
Her horse is an Oldenburg who was always lugging on her hand and


I’m glad you could help your friend with MS, @belgianWBLuver.

Personally I have not had many problems with horses lugging at the bit. I am just too weak to hold the horse’s head up, if the horse starts lugging he gets my invitation (legs, loose fingers) to go on stretching down while the reins slide through my fingers. After a while the problem disappears for me though I might have to go through some time with the horse’s nose almost touching the ground. Eventually the horse figures out how to carry his own head.

Littauer gets into this. That the horse needs to get strong enough to carry his head higher, and with the logical and rational Forward Seat schooling it is inevitable.

I just don’t get hung up about where the horse’s head is at. All it takes is time, intelligent schooling, patience, and soft responsive hands. It has worked every time for me.

The last decade, under the eyes of my riding instructor, I finally figured out for sure that if I can get the horse to reach for contact with his tongue first I am well on my way to a responsive mouth. My contact is in ounces (1 ounce=28 grams), my hand aids are in grams with immediate release. The horses will willingly reach for contact with me in spite of my hand tremors and me not always realizing where my hands are, so long as my fingers are loose and supple the horses forgive me all of my hand faults once they understand what I mean with a certain rein aid.

I really liked seeing Phillipe Karl’s method. I absolutely refuse to ride a horse behind vertical, I only used side reins lunging once my whole life (I did not like the horse going behind vertical.) I’ve taken my nosebands off the bridle, if the horse feels it necessary to open his mouth because my hands are too harsh, well I just have to lighten my hands until the horse stops opening his mouth. Bitless is fine for trail riding or if it is really cold, but I and the horses I ride vastly prefer the bit over the 7 different bitless systems I tried, even when I use the double bridle. The horses taught me what Phillipe Karl describes in the video.

All through this video I was going “YES!!!”, you’ve got it, that is how dressage horses should go under the rider.

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Thanks for sharing the video

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