A DVD produced byThomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German and English.

Philippe Karl, former Ecuyer of the famous Cadre Noir in Saumur in France, is renowned for his razor-sharp analyses and outspoken criticism of modern dressage.

In this filmed theory lecture, the French riding master examines one of the key elements of horse training: collection. Starting from the official concept of collection, he analyses the exact locomotion of the horse in the light of latest scientific findings and points out widespread mistakes and fallacies. He explains the different forms of collection using the example of passage and piaffe and describes the consequences arising for the entire training of the horse.

Philippe Karl's line of reasoning, which he illustrates in his lecture with numerous photos and drawings, shows collection - one of the cornerstones of horse training - in a wholly new light.

A DVD produced byThomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, French and English.

Part 2: One year later – progressing to High School dressage

Let the philosophy of Légèreté inspire you! Follow the progression of High Noon in the second part of this educational and informative film documentary and watch him as he continues his partnership and training with the renowned French riding master, Philippe Karl.

One year after the recording of the first episode, we take a look at a cross-section of the Hanoverian’s entire training programme – from loosening on the lunge and under the saddle up to High School dressage work, such as school walk, piaffe, passage and tempi changes.

Enjoy highlights of High Noon’s first venture into the public limelight, as he takes centre stage at the HansePferd exhibition in Hamburg in April 2014.

A DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, French, Czech and English.

A French riding master and his Hanoverian Part 1: 20 months of trusting collaboration.

Be inspired by the riding philosophy of Légèreté. Get close up to the action in Part 1 of this highly instructive documentary film where the young Hanoverian gelding “High Noon” goes through his first two years of basic training with the renowned French riding master.
Philippe Karl trains him on the lunge, in hand and under saddle with respect, esteem and expertise. Enjoy their trusting work together, from the basics, to the first steps of piaffe.

Read the letter written by Werner Schade, a director of the Hanoverian Breeding Association, to Philippe Karl, in praise of this DVD here.

A schooling series of two DVDs produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German and English.

The two films provide an excellent opportunity to watch Philippe Karl working with his students – licensed instructors and instructors-in-training of his School of Légèreté. He teaches riders on horses that we see every day: the charming heavy horse, the impish Haflinger, the lively Lusitano and the elegant competition horse. In his lessons, he systematically focuses on the specific level of schooling of each horse-and-rider pair.

Part 1: basic work

  • Flexions in-hand
  • Warm-up, putting the horse in hand and development of neck extension in walk, trot and canter
  • Training on two tracks in walk and trot

Part 2: advanced work

  • Combined lateral movements in walk and trot
  • Lateral movements in canter
  • Preparation of flying changes
  • Development of Spanish walk, piaffe and passage
  • Summary of a complete training session

Thanks to the wide variety of sequences presented with all types of horse-and-rider combinations, the School of Légèreté becomes accessible to everyone, providing riders with problem-solving approaches they can use every day. The final aim of the schooling is an all-purpose horse that is light to the rider’s aids at all times.

DVD produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, and Dressur-Studien, available in German and English

German riding principles or légèreté, sport or art!
In June 2007, the French riding master Philippe Karl (School of Légèreté) met Christoph Hess, head of the instruction department of the German Equestrian Federation. They discussed their respective viewpoints openly and without mincing matters, in an animated debate followed by practical demonstrations on different horses and riders in the arena.
Pferdia TV's camera was there to give an impartial account of this meeting, which was initiated by Claudia Sanders, editor of the magazine Dressur-Studien. Everybody thus gets the chance to form his own opinion about: what is classical?

In his latest book, Philippe Karl, one of the most outspoken critics of the modern dressage world, reveals some disturbing facts about the physical, anatomical and mental effects on the horse resulting from the official dressage guidelines as issued by the German Equestrian Federation (FN).

By comparing these with philosophies of masters of classical riding such as La Guérinière and Baucher, he shows possible solutions to the challenging situation of modern competitive dressage. This book explores key problems of modern dressage: physical aspects, straightness, balance, exercises. It describes the effects of modern dressage, breeding and business, and suggests a classical alternative: the philosophy of Légèreté (lightness).

German & English: Cadmos Verlag
French: Editions Belin

A schooling series of four DVDs produced by Thomas Vogel, Pferdia TV, available in German, English, Italian and French.

Philippe Karl's philosophy of Légèreté was inspired by riding masters such as La Guérinière, Baucher, Beudant, or L'Hotte. It is founded on the absolute respect of the horse. His personal “training scale of Légèreté” shows a logical and practical way of schooling horses systematically and without force or constraining instruments (side reins, running reins etc.). In combination with a thorough knowledge of anatomy, motion, balance and psychology, it enables the rider to get the best from any horse.
The video series “Classical Dressage” opens new horizons within the actual dressage world and demonstrates how misjudged and misunderstood the most brilliant ancient masters are today.

Part 1, The School of Aids: It is fundamental that the aids are taught clearly before the horse begins to do any gymnastic work. Complete flexibility of the neck is essential for the neck extension and flexion of the poll. An introduction to training on two tracks completes the first part of this schooling series.

  • Lungeing
  • Basics
  • Light in hand
  • Aids
  • Under the rider
  • Lateral Work

Part 2, The School of Gymnastics: In the second part of this schooling series, Philippe Karl presents additional gymnastic exercises, which continue to further the horse's training. He introduces the double bridle as an important aid for advanced exercises. Through combined lateral work, shoulder-in, counter shoulder-in, travers and renvers, the balance, suppleness and mobility of the horses are trained and established, resulting in a straight horse. Jumping at the lunge and under the rider is part of the basic training of a horse, as well as flying changes in the canter, which every horse can learn if prepared and trained correctly.

  • Canter
  • Riding with a double bridle
  • Combined lateral work
  • Show jumping
  • Flying changes

Part 3, The School of Dance: “Collection makes the horse look like a classical dancer” – that is Philippe Karl's aim. In this third step of the training, Philippe uses the gymnastic exercises shown on the previous videos to improve collection. Only a supple and collected horse can manage a pirouette in walk or canter. Passage, pirouette and piaffe are the crowning exercises of collection. The Spanish Walk is not only an exercise to prepare the passage, but also a useful movement to improve the mobility of the shoulders and help further the complicity of horse and rider.

  • Pirouettes
  • Piaffe
  • Spanish walk
  • Passage

Part 4, Training progress one year later:
Sampaio (6-year-old Oldenburger stallion ridden for two years) and Quiela (7-year-old Lusitano stallion ridden for three years), already participated in the first three parts of this “Classical Dressage” series. One year later, they both show the progress they have made.

French riding master Philippe Karl writes about training horses from a very personal perspective, documenting the training and development of the Lusitano stallion, Odin, according to traditional French classical principles, from young horse all the way up to high school. Through this case study, he teaches readers the requirements of balance, including collection and conformation; the philosophy of Academic Equitation, including the language of the aids – seat, hands, legs; exercises for lateral flexibility, including work on one and two tracks. He also covers work at the canter – counter-canter, flying lead changes, tempi changes; collection – piaffe, passage, pesade; and canter pirouettes – preparation and development.

French: Editions Crépin-Leblond, republished by Editions Belin in 2008
German: BLV München, republished by Cadmos Verlag in 2009
Italian: Équilibri di TSB, Roma
English: Cadmos Verlag 

DVD produced by the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation, currently available in German only.

Philippe Karl, Ecuyer at the prestigious Cadre Noir in Saumur, France, demonstrates how to school a horse on long reins, from the basic training of the young horse to show jumping and High School.

In this book, Philippe Karl demonstrates how to train a horse on long reins and how it is possible to attain as high a standard of schooling from the ground as that reached under saddle. Philippe Karl was an Ecuyer at the Cadre Noir in Saumur for 13 years. The picture series for this book were taken at this French elite riding institution. They document the progressive training of the horse on long reins in dressage and jumping.

French: Editions Belin
German: BLV München, republished by Cadmos Verlag in 2010
English: Trafalgar Square Publishing