If we look back to famous greats such as Xenophon (4th century BC), Frederico Grisone (founder of the first equestrian academy in 1532), Antoine de Pluvinel (1555-1620). Francois Robichon de la Guérinière (1688- 1751) or Gustav Steinbrecht (1808- 1885), we discover the basic ideas of equestrianism. Whereas in the time of Pluvinel, riding in arms was of great importance, in the time of Gueriniere, riding for art was practiced as the princes withdrew from the battlefields. By the time of Steinbrecht, the use of firearms in ranged combat now gave rise to the pursuit of large, forward-moving horses, which are comparable to our warmbloods today. Previously in close combat, smaller, more agile horses were needed, which had the ability to carry and bend more in the hindquarters.
Nowadays, we can still observe the one-handed rein control in equestrian use, e.g. with the vaqueros, the cowboys or gauchos, but similar to the combat riding in those days, the other hand is used for the lance, the lasso or the like.
Utility riding achieves its goals through simpler aids, in contrast to academic art of riding. Since nowadays we do not have to face any opponent on horseback or on the ground in the riding arena, we can devote ourselves more to the art again. In the academic art of riding, psychological and physiological riding comes to life. One has complex aids at one's disposal, through which one learns to guide one's horse in every phase of its movement and can thus gymnastically and mentally promote it.
„Few activities are as character-building as training horses“