Page:Notes on equitation and horse training.djvu/18

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In 1814 the Restoration suppressed the school at St. Germain and founded a new one at Saumur. The latter was abolished in 1822, following General Berton's conspiracy, and the decree of 1823 established a school of application for cavalry at Versailles.

The Riding School of the Pages, under the direction of O'Hégarty, formed a branch of the Versailles school. But this new organization lasted only a year and on November 11, 1824, the cavalry school was definitely established at Saumur.

Contemporary equitation.—We now come to contemporary equitation, for a long time divided into two schools; a new school, that of Baucher, and the d'Aure school, which continued the methods taught at Versailles.

Baucher.—Little is known of Baucher's antecedents. At the age of 15 he set out for Italy with one of his uncles, who was an instructor in riding schools. He returned to France a few years later and located in Paris. First he gave lessons in a small riding academy in the Rue Montmartre; then he went into a circus in order to popularize his methods. The minister of war had his system tested in the army on two different occasions; one trial was at Saumur. The Baucher system, however, was never officially adopted in the cavalry.

Baucher's methods were entirely different from those taught at the Versailles school. Much more complicated than the Count d'Aure's method, it marked in a way a return to the suppling of the early riding masters. The formula that Baucher often repeated was this: "Destroy the instinctive forces and replace them by transmitted forces." To carry out this programme it was necessary to begin with a series of supplings: "Flexions of the jaw; flexions of the neck, lateral flexions and mobilizing the hind quarters about the shoulders; swinging the fore quarters about the haunches; combination of the play of both extremities or backing."