Xenophon – The Art of Horsemanship

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.

Xenophon The Art 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 2014 AD.

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