EL CABALLO REY - Equestrian Art Academy by Cynthia Lippon
“HORSE IS KING”. A center for equestrian learning in Cave Creek, founded by the Spanish ecuyer, Manuel Trigo, is a place dedicated to pursuing the lightness of the French classical tradition of horsemanship.
Focused horsemen and women with various breeds of horses gather at ECR to study timeless methods of training that benefit their horse’s ultimate lightness, strength, impulsion, and collection…building blocks for success no matter the discipline. There are riding lessons and an exciting array of activities, both classical and those reflecting Manuel’s Spanish heritage.
LEVADE, CABRIOLE, TERRE-A-TERRE, high school movements that are rarely seen today except for places like the Spanish Riding School in Vienna are often discussed at ECR. Foundational work for these high school movements is the basis of Manuel’s training program. On any given day at the academy, one might observe the more experienced horses and riders striving to perform at that level. In addition, lessons and clinics for GARROCHA, REJONEO, WORKING EQUITATION are offered for the serious, but fun-loving horse and rider.
In addition to the training and teaching by Manuel, adjunct instruction in Pilates, Fencing, and Drumming is offered to support the riders at ECR to develop their personal riding skills. Pilates for core strength and rider balance. Fencing for rider centering and balance. Drumming for developing rhythm while unmounted helps riders to coordinate the movements of their hands and feet to create the separation of aids that riding in lightness requires.
ECR is a truly unique and special place where, striving at the highest level of endeavor, nobility and majesty of the horse is nurtured and encouraged to emerge though harmonious partnership with man.
STORY OF AN ECR RIDER
As a young girl, Betsy Tismeer had a dream. Her early exposure to the Lipizzaner’s from the Spanish Riding School came in various ways and planted a seed in her. She wanted “THAT”.
Meanwhile, while catch riding all types of horses in the H/J world, she became a solid rider. A later foray into competitive dressage on a warm blood, further exposed Betsy to the more commonly pursued horse sports.
While living in Spain and South America, she grew to love the tradition of the Spanish horse, especially the artistic aspect, and jumped right in to breeding and riding the Peruvian Paso. Soon she was the owner of her first Andalusian. This, of course, for our intrepid Betsy, lead to her starting the Baroque Riding Club of Arizona where riding in parades to show off these magnificent animals was only part of the fun.
In time, her path lead her and her exceptional black PRE stallion to Manuel Trigo and ECR. Betsy reports that she came only to observe Manuel and his training style for almost a year. She was, at first, a bit concerned that he did not use the modern dressage pyramid as a training guide. He employed the more classical philosophy of putting the horses into collection at an earlier stage of training. It became apparent to her that the focus was the wellbeing and longevity of the horse, while she marveled at how happy the horses in training appeared. As a one of Manuel’s riders, she has learned to be more patient and defer her needs to the horse’s needs. (Spoken like the professional psychologist that she is!) Betsy truly feels blessed to share her horse journey with her husband, Jack, who is also a ECR rider. Through her long association with Manuel, one of the greatest gifts she has received is that she now understands “balance” in the horse and the essential importance of it to the fulfillment of her dream!
Check out www.elcaballorey.com, www.thelightnessfoundation.com and www.trigomanuel.com for more information.
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