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Nevzorov Haute Ecole Introduction

 The same text in French - kindly translated by Frédéric Mathieu (pdf, 54 Kb)

Since the late Renaissance the highest level of horse and man relationship was called Haute Ecole.

In his book “The Horse Crucified and Risen” (“Horse Encyclopedia”) Alexander Nevzorov gave, probably, the most correct definition of this school:

"HAUTE ECOLE – figuratively speaking, defines the highest level of working with a horse. Every epoch had its own standards. In the 17th century it was performance of some very complicated elements on horses, that were in perfect collection.

It was achieved through pain by force, i.e. by using spurs and bridles. In any case it was the height of perfection for that period; no one worked with horses better than the masters of HAUTE ECOLE at that moment.

In the 20th and 21st centuries the height of perfection in working with horses means performance of the same elements, invented in the 17th century, however without any instruments of constraint.

Moreover, teaching of the most difficult elements and gaits must be fulfilled without any abridging of a horse. No bridles, no bits, no halters of any types are allowed to be used in training. Any punishment is strictly forbidden. And in the 21st century HAUTE ECOLE continues to signify the highest level of complexity and mastery”.

The man and horse relationship was different in different periods. At the dawn of its creation, in the 16th century Hute Ecole was unbelievably cruel to horses, but in the 17th century some masters began to apply methods that were quite gentle for that time. In their time Pluvinel and De Nestier carried out a revolution in man and horse relationship, they were against cruelty and punishment. They understood that it was impossible to achieve graceful performance and to gain horse’s trust with cruelty.

In the 19th century Hute Ecole practically disappeared. However the knowledge of Hute Ecole had been preserved and was passed on from generation to generation as a special value for the chosen ones, for people who demonstrated a particular talent in working with horses.

There is no sense to mention here all the old masters’ names and the names of today’s School secret keepers. You will find them in the book “Horse Encyclopedia” by A.Nevzorov.

Nowadays in the beginning of the 21st century Hute Ecole underwent a very thorough change. The New Hute Ecole was created and only great for their beauty and complexity elements remained for the old school.

The relationship between man and horse reached another level - the level of love, respect and understanding of horse.

It’s absolutely unimportant whether people reach this mutual understanding through courbettes and caprioles or through passage behind the wheelchair.

The first inspirer of the modern Haute Ecole was the ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu, that in the 3rd century BC said that people should not bridle horse as the bit causes only suffering and pain.

Today’s changes and the fact that some people (though only a few) began to realize that one cannot reach good relations with a horse by hurting it we owe to several masters of the world.

Alexander Nevzorov brought Hute Ecole to the new, humane level. He managed to do what was considered impossible several years ago. He teaches horses to perform the most difficult elements of Hute Ecole, not only without any constraint, punishment, bridles and bits, that is looked upon as a norm in modern Haute Ecole, but he makes all this on a horse that is in a perfect collection. In other words he managed to unravel the secret of horse’s natural collection and balance. Nevzorov teaches horses to collect (without it all elements are senseless and harmful for a horse) on the ground, at liberty without any artificial aids like bits and even a halter.

There are other wonderful people that completely rejected violence, refused to use bridles and thus got on the path of the modern school - Nevzorov Haute Ecole.

It’s an interesting fact that we all, being scattered around all over the world: Americans, Frenchmen, Russians, Czechs, Poles, Germans, by our own, without anyone’s help, through our own ways arrived at the same conclusion! The horse must not suffer! The bit is a torture instrument and we should not use it, and at the same time a horse needs to be collected to be in a balance. The collection is not a goal itself, it is necessary for balanced, strong, clear and graceful performance of Haute Ecole elements. And Haute Ecole elements, in its turn, are necessary for understanding of a horse’s soul.

I did not mention the Natural Horsemanship, this is probably nor fair. Saying Natural Horsemanship I mean the teaching of Parelli and his followers that left him, and all similar teachings, that are based on attempts to understand horse’s psychology. «Natural Horsemanship» must be treated with great respect. Due to its democratic approach it represents a perfect system that helps millions of horsemen to solve their problems.
But HN followers do not demand many of their horses.

Here I would like to distance Nevzorov Haute Ecole from Natural Horsemanship and to explain the difference between this two schools. We do not divide relations with horses into Natural Horsemanship and something else. A.Nevzorov was completely right saying: “No gentle relations exist. There are pathologic ones and normal ones” .

The major difference between New Hute Ecole and Natural Horsemanship is in the fact that HN followers do everything to relax a horse, to reduce its natural spirits, to suppress its character,to make it convenientand we do everything to inspire, to enkindle a horse, to awake its interest and to reveal its full natural potential. We chose the most mettlesome, “hottest”, spirited and restive horses for training. Thoroughbreds after races and stud-horses are the best horses for Nevzorov Hute Ecole. That is why our methods and knowledge are not open to general use.

We would like to warn you against Parelli's methods. All the work in saddle and with bits in Ntural Horsemanship is like any usual work, as the bit is used again as an instrument for causing pain in the mouth. The rope halter is as well not so “simple” as it seems. It may have quite a painful effect on horse’s nose. Moreover, Ntural Horsemanship horses do not work in a collection without the bit, and that is extremely harmful and painful for the horse.

Monti Roberts is a completely different story. Alexander Nevzorov again gave him a quite correct description in his book “The Horse Crucified and Risen” (“Horse Encyclopedia”):

"There is someone called Monty Roberts, but he simply serves the horse-devouring mechanism of racing. Being a part of this structure, that by its nature is hostile to horses, he simply cannot be called a teacher or a master. He is on the other, the torturers’ side of the barricade. Horses’ psychoses and tragedies for Monty are like shooting in a saloon for an undertaker. Using some primitive techniques he “repairs” a little bit horse’s injured mind, and, rubbing his hands, watches how jockeys will break it again”.


Day after day New Haute Ecole gathers more and more followers all over the world. We are perfectly sure: Nevzorov Haute Ecole is a future of horsemanship.

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