Two Spirits wanting what two bodies can (Bent Branderup)
In our fast moving and digitized world many riders aim for a gentle and well-thought-out education for horse and rider, without the pressure of competing. The Academic Art of Riding is based on the knowledge of the old masters, like Xenophon, Pluvinel, Guérinière and Steinbrecht, just to name the most outstanding ones. Dedicating his life to the Academic Art of Riding, Bent Branderup studies the old masters over and over again, as well as he constantly questions his own and his students‘ work. 17 single steps cover the academic ladder that schools body and mind of horse and rider.
Which heritage the old masters handed down to us riders? When did they agree on something and what did they criticize? Do our current studies of psychology, bio-mechanics and pedagogics match the old master`s knowledge and recommendations? The Knighthood of the Academic Art of Riding is a community of passionate horse people who share fundamental ideals and have at their disposal a certain level of proved skills. The main tasks of the international academy are research and education, always aware of ethical aspects that concern the human-equine relationship.
The 230 members consider themselves as belonging to a brain pool whose members advance through constant exchange.
15 to 20 of them will pass their knowledge to the readers of the „Academic Art of riding“ – they are well known experts of communication, body language, bitless art of riding, rehabilitation, psychology. From the first step – Horsemanship to the Schools above the ground – they share their knowledge, always keeping the focus on two spirits wanting what two bodies can. To become one – just to spend a beautiful time together with our horses.
This series of books about the Academic Art of Riding features articles about the different steps in the AAR, written by Bent Branderup and various Selected Branderup® Trainers.
Riding in Volume 4
…You cannot call what we have practiced parallel to working on this book riding yet, but we have mastered the first steps. All thanks to an excellent basis established through ground work. It is for a reason that the cultivation of a good relationship and ground work are the first rungs of the 17 tiered ladder of the Academic Art of Riding.
And it is also for the reason that the saying goes, “Two spirits who want to do what two bodies can.” First and foremost, my young horse and I have a very good relationship. This makes a lot of things easier because we have agreed on what we both want. I am allowed to make various suggestions to my horse, and I always get a positive response. I have never received a negative answer from him, but I have also listened to his ideas. For example, we have established a daily “scratching ritual” together and take breaks during which my horse can move freely next to me in the riding ring. I always try to focus my attention on him – and if that doesn’t work, he can demand my concentration again.
Therefore, it was really easy to develop a common language in ground work. And the time factor didn’t matter at all. We were not in a hurry. Time is an important factor in training – you will read about that in the contributions by my colleagues.
Time combined with the voluntariness and motivation are the most important ingredients before we actually arrive at the basics of the art of riding. Bent Branderup and his licensed trainers reveal what the training used to look like and what it looks like now. This book talks about how the work on each step without fear in humans and horses, i.e. which physiological prerequisites paly a role in the training of a horse, which tools are available and which decisions have to be made by inexperienced and experienced trainers.