Xenophon and The Art of Horsemanship ...
Xenophon - The Art of Horsmanship ...
A brief summary of Xenophon - The Art of Horsmanship.
The first work written on what is considered to be classical dressage was Xenophons' On Horsemanship
Written in 360 BC, the work of the Athenian cavalryman Xenophon is the oldest known text on horse riding still in existence.
It is the first work known to emphasise training techniques that take account of the horses psyche as well as his physical condition.
The written work is divided into eleven chapters, and deals with the purchase, care and training of horses. It also deals, to some extent, with the construction of stables and the equipment needed for certain aspects of horsemanship.
The following is a brief summary and commentary on the various chapters of - On the Art of Horsemanship - and are based on an examination of two translations by Stefan Welebny's and EC Marchant. Each translation features its own individual strengths and weaknesses. However, the summary does serve to show just how little things have changed and that, what was relevant for the welfare, care and training of a horse in 360 BC is still relevant in 2007 AD.
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A readers review of Xenophons - The Art of Horsemanship
A fascinating book for anyone interested in riding through the ages. Xenophon talks of handling and riding horses for the purpose of using them in warfare and includes such strange references as "how to mount using your javelin". Whilst the reality of war shows through in his methods, they are still often less harsh and more considerate to the horse than many modern ones, thus proving the expediency of a sympathetic approach to horsemanship: he was a warrior, but still believed that force was useless in dealing with horses.
In some cases he uses descriptions that you would see in books today: his careful description of how to put a bridle on a horse is almost word for word what we are taught 2,500 years later!
Many modern teachers could learn a lot from the empathy that he explains, as being vital to achieving success with horses.