How is Classical Riding Different from any Other Riding

At Arrow Equestrian we promote "Classical Riding" but what does that actually mean? All that glitters is definitely not "classical" and there are quite a few "glittery" teachers and riders out there! So perhaps we should look at another classical art such as music. If we talk about a classical pianist, we assume that he or she has spent many years with an experienced teacher going through a system of training that has evolved over the centuries. We would expect the training to have included a large amount of theory and history as well as practical exercises. We would also assume that he or she was a highly proficient performer and able to play any piece of music, classical or otherwise. In addition it would be quite normal for this pianist to play with an orchestra under the direction of a conductor or to attend masterclasses in order to further his or her skills and it would be assumed that daily practice was a necessity. Other piano players who have not been trained in this way may be highly skilled or gifted but would not necessarily have the same depth and breadth of knowledge that we would expect from a classically trained pianist. The talented winner of a competition would not necessarily be the best teacher or have the knowledge and experience to help others.

We should set the same criteria for classical horsemanship and as teachers at Arrow Equestrian, we not only strive to teach with absolute integrity but we also live what we teach. As riding teachers, we have served a lengthy apprenticeship with Erik Herbermann, probably the greatest contemporary exponent of classical horsemanship, and a task master of the first order, and we have put in many, many hours of study and practice to become accomplished riders. We have also explored various teaching techniques so we are better equipped to communicate our knowledge to others. However, Classical horsemanship is a never ending journey of exploration and discovery. The more you know, the more you realise there is to know, but this must not daunt you. On the contrary, each successive door that opens provides a new realm to explore and this is both exciting and empowering. We aim to keep opening doors for ourselves and for others. (Sue Nevill-Parker)

Return to Top     Next Article