A 16th century "dressage test"

From Grisone's Gli Ordini di Calvalcare (1550), translated by Blundeville (1560)

Howe to ryde a horse to the best shew before a Prynce, where is the beste handinge for a Prynce to see

Some do think it good for those that would see, to stande ryghte before the stoppying place, and some woulde have theym to stande on the right hande of the Ryder, even wyth the stoppyinge place, and some, on the same hand not even with the stoppying place, but lower down toward the middle Carere, destant from the stoppinge place the lengthe of a maneging couse. Of all which, iii handinges, that right before the stoppinge place, in my judgment is worst for two causes: first for that the roume perchappes may be ??? to receave anye number of menne: Second it is perillouse. For if the horse bee headstronge and shoulde chaunce to breake the bridle, the raynes or porthe mowthes of this bridle, he might runne headlonge upon the lookers on. And therefore I woulde not withe a Prynce or noble man to take viewe of a horse in that place, unlesse it were from a house out of a wyndow or from some skaffolde. But rather to stand on the one side towarde the middle Carere, a distaunt from the stoppinge place, the lengthe of a Manegynge Course, so shall he stande wytheoute daunger, and see the begynning, the myddle, and endyng, and it should be so much the better, if he stande on the righte hand of the Rider, for so the Rider at bothe endes of the maneging pathe, in maneginge his horse, shall tourne his face alwayes towardes the Prince, and not his backe. The place of standinge thenne beyng thus appoynted, and the Prynce there readye to beholde what youre horse can doe.

Ride first faire and softlye toward the Prince, and dooe youre reverence: that done, depart wyth a good round trotte towarde the farthest ende of the Carere pathe, bearynge youre rodde with the pointe upwarde, towardes your right shoulder, accordinge as I have taught you heretofore, and beynge come to the ende, lette the poynte of youre rodde fall toward the leafte shoulder of youre horse, and make hym to tourne an haulfe tourne on the ryghte hande, and thenne to stay a lyttle whyle, that be done, passe hym forewarde, ??? three or foure steppes faire and softlye, and immedyately after, putte spurres unto him, geving hyime a lively, swifte, and lustye Carere, and passe before the Prince unto the place of stoppe, whereas after that he hath stopte even upon his buttocks, then at the first, seconde, or thirde bounde of his advauncinge, according to that kynde of manege that you wyll use, or that the horse can doe moste redylye, and can best endure: you shall turne him on the right hande, and so goe back agayne in the selfe same pathe, the lenghte of a manegynge course, and there stop him, and turne him on the leafte hande: and so observiynge always one tyme and measure, manege hym to and fro, as ofte together as you shall thynke meete, but lette the laste stoppe be at the ende where the Prince standeth, who shall bee then harde by you, on youre lefte hande. Or if you will, when you passe the Carere, you may stoppe him somewhat shorte of the Prince. And after he hath advaunced, put hym forwarde, the length of a maneginge course, and there according to the manege that you woulde have hym to make, turne him on the right hande, and so come backe again in the selfe same pathe, unto the place where you didde stoppe him before, at the ende of his Carere, and there stop hym, and turne him on the leafte hande, and so geve him to and fro, iiii, maneginge courses. And if the horse be verye stronge, you maye give him VI. And by this meanes the first and last turn shall be on the right hand, and the last stoppe also before the Prince.

You may also stop your horse when you first run him even right against the Prince, or else ii or iii yardes beyonde him, and so without puttinge him anie further forwarde, in his advauncinge, to turn him on the right hand, and then to folow on with that kinde of manege, that he canne moste redelye make, not passynge the number of twoo or fewwer Courses at the moste, stopping sudenlye uppon the last tourne whyche muste be on the right hande, where he stopte firste: so shall the Prince be on youre leafte hande. And after that you have stopt your horse, in whych soever these places it may be, make hym to double on eche hande once or twise together, and immediatlye after, or elles before, intertaigne him with the Capriole and Corvetti. But he shoulde do the Capriole wythe a livelyer courage, if he were put unto it, before he passes carere and manege, beying both done, you maye make him do double againe as before. But manegynge and doublinge after a Carere, belongeth to a horse of greate force. Which in dede shoulde represent in all his doyinges the verye order of fight observed in the fielde, whiche is but lyttle used nowe a dayes, bycause of the generall weakeness of oure horeses: therefore I will teache you an other order of ridinge youre horse, to these in such sorete, as he shall seme to have more strengthe, than he hath in dede. Which is don only by observing clean contrary order to it. First, for wheras you did first make him to passe a carere, now you shall first manege him, not givinge hym above VI or VIII courses if you will have theym to be swifte or of like tyme, unlesse the horse bee the stronger, for then you may geve him ten or twelve courses, and bringe any or these foresaid numbers, you shall be always driven to make the laste stoppe where you first beganne.

And having advaunced, give him either VI double turnes, that is on the right hand, II or if you wil but III turns in al, whereof the first and last must be on the right hand. And if he can do the Capriole wel, you may cause him to do it immediately upon the same: nevertheles it were more case for him to do it before the double. That done, go to thend of the Carere path, and give him a lively Carere, stopping him a litle before you come at the Prince, who shall stande then on your right hand, and after that he hath advanced, let him double as before. For it is always more ease for a horse to double in thend of a manege or a carere, then at any other time you may also after he hath run, stopt and advanced, let him breth awhile in the self same place, and then geve him what kinde of manege you shal think good,wherin good diveretio must be used to consider the quality, strength and condition of the horse, to thintente that order, time and measure may be kept accordingly.

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