Giovanni Battista Tomassini
The Italian Tradition of Equestrian Art: A survey of the treatises on chivalry from the Renaissance and the centuries following.
PRICE: $ 39,95
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This book is the result of research I have done, over the last years, dedicated to the history of horsemanship and, in particular, the tradition of Italian equestrian treatises. If the topics covered in this blog intrigue you, this is a book for you. With forewords by Arthur Kottas-Heldenberg (First Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School, now retired) and João Pedro Rodrigues (Mestre Picador Chefe of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art).
At the mid point of the sixteenth century, a Neapolitan gentleman, Federico Grisone, published, for the first time, a printed book about the art of training the horse “for the use of war” and on the secrets to “emend his defects”. The work was a huge and immediate success and was soon emulated by other authors. The new literary genre of equestrian treatises was thus born and it’s tradition, with ups and downs, became alive and remains vital up to this day. It is no coincidence that this first work was printed in Italy because, between the fifteenth and sixteenth century, it was in that country that a new culture of the court, in which horse riding had a key role, was developed. During this time, Italian riders were sought out by the members of European courts and the scions of the European aristocracy ventured to Italy to perfect their skill in the art of riding with renowned masters. Following the thread of equestrian treatises, this book traces the history of Italian and European equitation, recounting the rich cultural implications, the evolution of the techniques, and the many connections with the great events of European history. It is a story full of characters surrounded by an aura of legendary skill, of disputes between opposing schools, and of memorable deeds. It is a story that goes from the sixteenth century until the early twentieth century, when again an Italian, Federico Caprilli, revolutionized the riding world, creating the jumping technique still in use today.
You can order the book following this link to Xenophon Press website
It is also now available for immediate shipping worldwide and e-book