CRC's Motto is "Harmony in Horsemanship". We believe people seek guidelines to help them on their journey with horses. Many of our friends have told us how Our Charter has helped inspire and keep them committed to the classical ideals in their daily routine. For this reason, we would like to see this displayed in every Dressage Training yard in the World!
- Remember that the horse is a living member of God's creation; let us respect this fact in all that we do with our horses.
- We should understand that discipline is not force; it is something which we all need if we are to live useful, constructive lives. Just as our children thrive through fair, disciplined guidelines, so do horses.
- We ourselves need discipline if we are to be able, sensitive riders. This involves discipline of the mind as well as the body. We owe it to our horses to be as balanced, centered and disciplined as possible when we ride.
- Abuse to horses is not always intentional; it can happen as a result of uninformed thinking and uninformed riding. We should be prepared to go on learning all our lives, as there is never enough time in anyone's life to learn all there is to know.
- We should strive to think positively and look for the best in everything around us. We owe it to our horses to be in a positive frame of mind when we ride. If ever we feel angry, frustrated, pent-up, or even very tired, we would do better to go for a hack, rather than to try to train or school.
- Punishment should only be administered if a horse actually threatens us in some way. A horse that has reared or bitten should be immediately punished; he should not be punished when he refuses to do something because he is fearful, unfit or simply does not understand.
- Remember that the only way we can tell him he has done something correctly is to reward him. Touching the neck, praising in a low, kind voice, means a lot to horses. This can be done several times in a training session and will reap its own reward. It has nothing to do with sentimentality. All the great masters from time immemorial dealt in rewards in order to train better.
- The training path of every horse should be done step by step - systematically and logically. We should never have to undo anything we teach our horses. Training slowly in this way builds muscles, mobilises joints and gives the horse time to develop physically and mentally. It also builds trust.
- The proof of the classically trained horse is that he will grow more beautiful. The rider too will become centered in every sense of the word.
- Classical riding is more than an art; it is a philosophy, a way of life.
* Drawings courtesy of Maggie Raynor taken from "The Balanced Horse"