Cart 0
Xenophon Press

Equestrian Art: The Collected Early Writings (1951-1956) by Master Nuno Oliveira

Sale price $45.00 Regular price $1,150.00
Now available in hard and softcover
Softcover will begin shipping in mid-June 2023
Hardcovers are in stock.
Orders of the Volume 1 and Volume 2 savings bundle will be shipped out once the Early Works copies arrive. 
Everyone will be emailed a tracking number on the day your book is shipped.

Thank you for your patience and support during this extensive process.

Please consider purchasing copies for dear friends or encouraging others to purchase copies.

Hardcover, Collector's Edition.

From 1951 to 1956, Nuno Oliveira wrote about sixty articles concerning horses and riding in two Portuguese magazines, "Diana" from 1951 to 1954, then "Vida Rural" until the end of 1956.
At the time, Nuno Oliveira was in his thirties, yet he was already an accomplished rider, with vast experience. Trained in haute école by his relative, the former écuyer of the Portuguese Royal House, Joaquim Gonçalves de Miranda, he decided at an early age to devote himself to the equestrian art and soon acquired a great reputation in Portugal.

The articles he wrote in the 1950s, are succinct, most around 1000 words long, never start from a lofty view of horse riding. Most of these early writings are models of that great equestrian intelligence which was one of the hallmarks of his personality. Until now, they were neither collected in a single volume nor fully translated into English.

Some of the articles were included in two books, one in Portuguese in 1955, entitled Breves notas sobre uma arte apaixonante (a equitação), and the other in France in 1965 called Réflexions sur l’art équestre, a partial translation by René Bacharach. Neither of these previous books included all 60 articles.
The Portuguese book did not include some of the early articles, and obviously not those that were written later, from the end of 1955 and in 1956. Even though, many of these are of great interest.
As for the French book, it did not contain all of the material either, even if it made extensive use of all the articles up to the end of 1956. But it omitted a certain number of texts , and largely reorganized those that were retained, sometimes distorting the meaning.
Jean Magnan de Bornier, a student of Nuno Oliveira's, took on the project of offering French readers an integrated version of these texts, giving them the opportunity to appreciate these writings which are still current and incredibly, have been dormant for sixty years.

Xenophon Press has worked carefully with Nuno Oliveira's daughter, Pureza Oliveira and with key bilingual students to complete the English translation from the original Portuguese texts.

The articles address a wide variety of topics including, for example, diagonal and lateral effects, the fine tuning of aids, the horse's memory, etc. These articles are true gems of equestrian literature, testifying to the immense capacity for synthesis that Oliveira demonstrated with regard to the theoretical debates of the discipline.

We present here for the first time ever, a complete and new English translation of these 60 articles, embellished with photographs of the same years.

Together with the companion volume to this book, Equestrian Art: The Collected Later Works by Master Nuno Oliveira (Collector's Edition), we now present, for the first time in English, in a set of two volumes, the complete written works of one of the greatest equestrian masters of the twentieth century.

Master Nuno Oliveira is considered to be one of the leading figures (if not the leading figure) in the Equestrian Art of the 20th century. He was not only an expert in the discipline and its history but also an outstanding teacher and mentor, an instructor with unusual intelligence and a highly developed equestrian feeling, an unrivaled artist in the saddle.
His great genius consisted of the comprehensive synthesis of the two emerging but up until then, contrary schools of the Old French riding masters as represented by the teachings of Francois Robichon de la Guérinière (of the 18th century) and Francois Baucher (of the 19th century). What made Oliveira stand out was his unwavering, unprejudiced pragmatism, which let him find the best method from all of the schools for working on a specific goal with a specific horse at a specific moment.
He believed that every single horse had to be trained to the highest degree of perfection and shine within the scope of its individual possibilities. He rose above any doctrinal dispute and focused on the task at hand. A rider should not only ride but also observe, study, read and think carefully. He/she should act rationally and calmly, never act brutally or with force; he should have love of the horse and develop great equestrian feeling, the greatest of all equestrian virtues.
To achieve this, he taught with the messages of Etienne Beudant and Faverot de Kerbrech: "Ask often, be satisfied with a little, and reward often."

ISBN: 9781948717274

From the table of contents, the complete list of articles:

Preface by Luís Valença         
1 Relaxation                  
2 Equestrian Digressions                
3 The Ramemer                       
4 How to Solve Some Training Difficulties   
5 Impulsion in the High School Horse       
6 Teaching Methods                    
7 Brief Notes on the History of Equitation    
8 Breaking-in the Young Horse            
9 The Rider’s Position                    
10 Questions on Canter                
11 Working the Horse In-hand            
12 Horses that I Will Never Forget            
13 Flying Changes                    
14 The Reading of Riding Treatises            
15 Funeral Feet: Two Conflicting Opinions    
16 Equestrian Tact                     
17 Passage and Piaffe: 2 Photographs, 50 Years Apart            
18 Piaffe                            
19 The Shoulder-in and the Half-pass        
20 Artificial Airs and the Circus            
21 The Spanish Walk                    
22 The Brilliance of the Horse and the Correctness of the Rider        
23 Is it Worth it? Yes, Always!            
24 Spanish Trot                        
25 Accordance and Discordance of the Aids    
26 The Right Horse                    
27 School Airs at the Canter                
28 Gymnastics for the Rider                
29 The Perfect Rassembler                
30 The School Levade                    
31 Baucher and the Flexions of the Jaw, their Advantages and their Disadvantages        
32 Horses that Don’t Obey                
33 How to Have Obedient and Attentive Horses            
34 The Neck of the Horse: Its Placement    
35 The Elevation of the Limbs        
36 Again on the Subject of Passage and Piaffe   
37 The Supple and Well-Trained Horse    
38 Lightness, Mobility, and the Spanish Walk    
39 The Horse’s Memory            
40 Some Equestrian Episodes Described in Several Riding Books            
41 Counter-Canter                
42 The Legs of the Rider            
43 Equitation, a Truly Subtle and Profound Art   
44 The Flexibility of the Spinal Column    
45 Three Lessons                
46 Good Horses, Bad Horses            
47 The School Trot                
48 Halts - Immobility                
49 Diagonal Effects and Lateral Effects    
50 Some Considerations on the Finesse of the Rider        
51 Work on Two Tracks            
52 The Combined Effect            
53 The Old School - Baucher’s Method - The Modern School            
54 Haunches-in at the Canter        
55 Digressions on the Mobility and Lightening of the Horse        
56 Riders Who Hold Their Horses and Riders Who Let Them Free Horses that Have Difficulties to Place Themselves            
57 Superior Equitation, High School Equitation            
58 Teaching Equitation            
59 French School! German School! General Actions and Partial Actions    
60 Taming Horses and Training Horses    
Epilogue: Introduction to Haute École    

ISBN:  9781948717335

Share this Product

More from this collection