Cross Country Riding – The Purpose of Military Equitation

Here’s an interesting video from The United States Army Cavalry School concerning jumping and cross country riding:

Jumping in the controlled environment of the riding ring is one thing, doing it in a cross country environment over uneven and varying ground is another. Certain techniques used in the riding ring will also get you hurt in the field. One of the elements of military riding that is overlooked in modern forward riding is using the various exercises used for developing balance and confidence in the rider and the horse which are peculiar to military equitation in the early 20th Century after the advent of Caprilli’s Natural System of Equitation.

At this point, something about the history of military equitation leading to Caprilli’s Natural System of Forward Riding must be noted. Watch the video by Bernie Traurig about The American Hunter-Jumper Forward Riding System. Traurig presents a nice historical vignette in brief concerning the application of modern forward riding and all its variations which were based upon Caprilli’s system of forward riding.

One of the main things I try to instill into my students is the development of confidence in the rider, the horse and between horse and rider. This can only be accomplished by exposing both rider and horse to the conditions in the field that cannot be obtained on the flat in a controlled environment.

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