Antoine de Pluvinel

Pluvinel (1555-1620) was sent, as a young child, to Italy to get instruction from Pignatelli. Brought back to France in 1572 by Sourdis, the first equerry of Charles IX, he was appointed first equerry of the Duke of Anjou, who became Henri III and showered honours on him, as did Henri IV, who kept him in his position and with all his advantages.

When La Broue’s essay was published, Antoine de Pluvinel set up an academy in Paris, at a place which became nowadays the Pyramides square in Paris. It was intended for the French aristocratic youths so they would not have to travel to Italy where they sometimes encountered death and often lost their fortune and their health. Apart from riding, dancing and weapons, mathematics, literature, poetry, painting and music were also taught.

Making the horse enjoy whatever it is doing till it does it of its own free will.

To the teenage Louis XIII, Pluvinel taught the best equestrian principles. He died in 1620 without having published his work. A first incomplete edition, Le Maneige royal (1623), was followed by a second increased edition, thanks to his friend and disciple, Menou de Charnizay, entitled Instruction du Roy en l’Exercice de Monter à Cheval (1625), written as interviews.

Menou daringly writes: “Making the horse enjoy whatever it is doing till it does it of its own free will. "

Pluvinel is said to have invented the “single pillar” and the “double pillar”. Used for breaking in, the sole pillar around which the lead rope was rolled, replaced the man on foot. It was used for teaching the round voltes on which the horse could move its quarters out or in. Later tied on the double pillar, the horse learns to stand on its haunches, then to perform school jumps.

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Ancient collection