andrade



"Die edle Kunst des Reitens. Erklärungen für eine vernunftgemäße Praxis"
(The Noble Art of Riding. Clarifications for a Rational Horsemanship)

    «Luz da Liberal et Nobre Arte da Cavallaria» (Lisbon 1790) by Manoel Carlos de Andrade is the "Bible" of classical Portuguese riding and the canon of today's Escola portuguesa de arte equestre.

    My translation of the treatise (the very first ever in history, into any language) was published in the renowned series documenta hippologica (Olms). Dr. N. Záliš, former director of the State Breeding Farm at Kladruby, Czech Republic, called its publication "a milestone" and the magazine Piaffe qualified the translation as "a true gem". The book is often mentioned as equal to the work of La Guérinière but de Andrade offers an incomparably more detailed, indeed the most complete, description of the practice of baroque riding. Here, the very source of "classical" European school- and manège-riding and thus of modern dressage is presented with a degree of detail never reached before and the exposé is complemented with the finest and most minute etchings of equestrian work from the 18th century.

    To translate de Andrade, to formulate the paradigms and concepts as well as the descriptions of the practical aspects of training and riding in a manner which is true to the author's intention, technically correct, and yet transparent to the modern reader, was an undertaking of several years. De Andrade must be counted among the very few most exceptional classics of European equestrian literature because he is the first author to attempt an "interdisciplinary scientific" rationalization of equestrian art. Drawing on the then available knowledge in the fields of anatomy, behavioural psychology, kinetics and physics, he constructs a theoretical foundation which attempts to explain and validate what correct, because rationally grounded, riding and horsemanship ought to be. De Andrade is, in that sense, the predecessor of modern holistic approaches to "horse-appropriateness".

    The facts and the intellectual background of training and riding which de Andrade describes and which are now finally available are the model which many modern "baroque" or "iberian" riders attempt to adhere to. The enormous wealth of information, the sheer monumentality of the work, though, demands a considerable amount of research and analysis which the section of Annotations by the Translator hopes to render a little less arduous.

    de Andrade confronts the reader with an enormous wealth of "food for thought". I would be glad to offer thematically focussed clinics or seminar presentations or to prepare  short interpretative texts on specific questions arising from the study of the treatise. 





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