We strive to become the best educator for our horses we can become and support each other to realise this goal. As research is a constant process we try to keep up with the latest scientific results and evaluate the art according to the time we live in, without losing our roots and tradition based on the 5 old masters: Xenophon, Pluvinel, Newcastle, Guérinière and Steinbrecht. Our goal is no longer the education of the horse for narrow combat, but rather l’art pour l’art. We would like to spent time well together with our horses.
“The dressage is for the horse, not the horse for the dressage.”
Guérinière (1688-1757) tells us about: “descente de main et descentes des jambs”.
Pluvinel (1555-1620) says: “My main goal is to ride the horse only from the seat.”
It was an important milestone for us as we found out how this was possible.
Xenophon who lived in the 4th century BC writes: “Ride the hindlegs of the horse forward in under its chest and give him a halt so that he bends the joints of his hind quarters and lifts his chest. Then he gets gaits as he would choose himself when he feels proud and beautiful. When he does so, you must give with your hand.”
Steinbrecht (1808-1885) says “Ride the horse forward and straighten it up.”
Newcastle (1592-1676) judges: “Only a stupid man believes that he can teach a boy to read and write by beating him.”
Bent Branderup says: “Two minds must want to do what two bodies can do. The art of riding is an enormous journey for the body and an even bigger journey for the mind. You could see it as the yoga of the occident.”
The Knighthood has the goal to further develop the equestrian culture that values both the horses welfare on the one hand and the Art of Riding as a part of the human cultural heritage on the other. Therefore the members of the Knighthood strive to
- reconstruct old, partly lost knowledge;
- evaluate the old knowledge in the light of modern research;
- adapt the methods used in handling and educating horses to match modern ethical standards;
- be good teachers for the next generation of horse people;
- work together within the Knighthood as a brain pool in order to support each other and to raise the level of skills and knowledge.
Our ethical and educational standards
Originally the Knighthood Order was a “guild” for those who were educating horses and noblemen for and in the art of riding on a professional basis. Egon von Neindorff one of the last members of the Knighthood Order as it has existed in the past. When Bent Branderup took over the idea from Egon von Neindorff it was not possible to keep the Knighthood alive on the original level of education the members had to prove. In 1997 they decided together to take a new start under the lead of Bent Branderup. The level a rider had to prove in order to become a member at that time was lowered according to the standards that could be met by some of their students, with the intention to raise it again gradually. Today the level of a squire proves fundamental skills and theoretical knowledge about all aids in groundwork, lungeing and riding and therefore gives access to membership. The Knighthood is a community of passionate horse people who share its fundamental ideals and have proven the basic level of skills. It is an international academy with the main tasks of research, exchange and education, always aware of the ethical aspects concerning the human-equine relationship.
Any member of the knighthood is therefore expected to stick to high ethical standards.
- In relation to the horse.
Building up a relationship is the beginning. First then the education can start with groundwork and lungeing. A regular education does not start before the horse is 3 ½ years old. The horse may be ridden earliest when it is 4 ½ years old. Regular ridden work can’t be done before the horse is 5 or 6 years old. The horse shall have the chance to grow up healthy.
- Towards other members of the Knighthood.
The Knighthood is there to discuss and to evaluate experiences and results of research. Members of the Knighthood are expected to stick to the standards of academic dispute and to actively support a good climate for exchange and learning.
- Towards the public.
Members of the Knighthood are committed not to bring the Knighthood or the Academic Art of Riding into discredit. They stand up for the interest of the horse and lead fair discussions.