baucher



"Das neue System vom Reiten und Ausbilden. Grundsätze und Methoden"
(The New System of Riding and Training. Principles and methods)


    With this first-ever translation of  Baucher's «Méthode d'équitation, basée sur de nouveaux principes» (13th edition, Paris 1867), the "mature" and definite formulation of his "Second Manner" is finally available to German-reading riders.



    The reception of his system has been notoriously problematic. This is especially true for the community of riders adhering to the "German" school where nearly all of the discussion - significantly very limited in the last 100 years - has been based on the works by Baucher dating back to his "First Manner" period (e.g. in German von Willisen 1843, Ritgen 1844,  Heinze 1846 and 1861, von Kopal 1884, and even Lauffer 1901) and where there is no obvious indication that the authors speaking about him could or did consult his later works in the original. For the 20th century and all the way to the present, none of the discussions of Baucher written by German-speaking authors show that they delve(d) into the Master's "mature" writings. In other words: All statements by authors who did (and do) not have access to this, his last, book must be read "with a grain of salt" because to comment Baucher, who ardently "pushed the frontiers" all his life, can and will do him justice only if one takes into account the pinnacle of his discoveries and inventions, those of the last years of his life. With the publication of this translation, the period of relying on incomplete source material, on secondary literature, or on  "hearsay", has come to an end: With this translation, analysis can be fact-based and a proper understanding of Baucher can now be attempted free of the epochal prejudices which have tainted it. Such new assessments will be especially enlightening if they adduce the new insights from modern science and may well open important avenues for equestrianism.

    Readers of other native languages who are reasonably competent in reading German are, however, encouraged to study this text, too. The reason ist simple: those - to give but a few examples -  who have read Baucher in English, have obviously had before them either the Hart or the Swire translations (1852/1879 and 1854/1919, respectively, the latter based on the 10th edition) or that by Nelson (1991, which, although based on the 12th edition, has been shown by as highly considered an authority as Jean-Claude Racinet to be seriously amiss in its understanding of the Master's later development). Readers of Russian can rely on an 1850 and Italian readers on an 1863 translation. Spanish readers are the only ones to have a translation of the 13th edition (Garcés de Marcilla, 1872), however it contains certain culture-specific details which may lead to misunderstandings. Even among French readers only very few have actually been able to study the mature Baucher: all the new reprints of the Méthode  since the 19th century have been based either on the 12th edition (different from the 13th!) or on the 14th ("reorganized" by his son Henri Baucher and Faverot de Kerbrech). Who, one must wonder, has to date been able to speak cogently about the French Master, with the real material at hand?

    Baucher was a "difficult" man and although, by all accounts, an extraordinary teacher, a writer of notoriously obscure texts. The present translation is therefore complemented by an explanatory chapter by the Translator.








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