History, culture and traditions of classical horsemanship






The authors

photo by Jason Malouin 2012

“I! … the filthiest of all pronouns” Carlo Emilio Gadda

To be honest, I do not really like to talk about myself. Given the choice, I would say almost nothing. More than thirty-five years of riding has taught me that, when it comes to chatting, we all seem able to do everything. But then there are the knees and the heart that matter. So when someone starts to say “I”, I instinctively take the defensive.  In spite of this, I suppose that it would be helpful for the readers of this site to have some idea of the writer and in what capacity the words come from. So I will try not to make it too long. My name is Giovanni Battista Tomassini and I work as a journalist for RAI, the Italian public television. I’m editor in chief of the Arts, Culture and Entertainment Editorial Staff of Tg3, the national news on Rai Channel 3. Previously, I worked for twenty years as journalist in the field of politics. I’ve been also a freelance translator and I worked in a publishing house. Since the university, I still continued to deal with literature and history. In addition to articles and essays in several journals, I have published some books: Il racconto nel racconto (Rome, 1991), I treni delle meraviglie (Verona, 2001 and Rome, 2002) and edited the translation and the Italian edition of the Voyage dans les steppes d’Astrakhan et du Caucase by Jan Potocki (Milan 1996 and 1998). In recent years I devoted myself to the study of treatises about horsemanship, in particular the Italian tradition of these kind of works, from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. My research has now become a book published in Italy (Le opere della cavalleria, Cavour Libri, 2013) and in the United States (The Italian Tradition of Equestrian Art, Xenophon Press, 2014).

In this blog I collaborate with one of the most deeply passionate horse lovers I have ever met. Sue Chiverton has practiced various equestrian disciplines, though none for competition. She approached classical dressage with Debra and Dominique Barbier in northern California. After moving to New Mexico, she has expanded her equestrian horizons to the vaquero traditions. These experiences have convinced her that a strong classical background, based on a variety of exercises that allow a proper gymnastication of the horse, is of great benefit to any equestrian discipline. She enjoys a quiet life in a rural area of New Mexico, where she lives with her husband, two large dogs, two cats and a diverse herd of three horses. Her curiosity and passion led her to travel through the U.S. and in Europe to participate in several clinics with various instructors. We met in Portugal, where we both have enhanced our classical experience at Morgado Lusitano, near Lisbon. On the basis of our common passion for riding, good food and good conversation, between us was born a sincere friendship and the idea of this website.

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