Antoine de la Baume Pluvinel was born in 1552 in Crest in the Dauphiné. In 1571/72 he learnt horseriding in Neaples at the school of Giovanni Pignatelli. Contrary to his teacher who worked with pressure and curb bits, Pluvinel considered the horse as a sensitive and intelligent creature which had to be treated with respect, praise and patience to prevent injuries of both animal or rider. By this attitude Pluvinel revolutionized the opinion on horseriding at that time. As a riding instructor of the later King of France Louis XIII Pluvinel founded the French riding school „Academie d’Equitation“ in Paris in 1594. At this school aspirants were taught not only horseriding but also aristocratic manners, dancing and dress codes.
The ULB copy of the book belongs to the „Freiherrlich von Closen-Günderrodische Fideikommiß-Bibliothek“, a former private collection which came into the library in the 19th century. Presently, the collection is newly catalogued as a whole so that the precios book could be discovered. The generous gift of 1000,- € allowed to repair the damaged book cover and to conserve numerous torn pages and other flaws in the paper.
Recently, a digital reproduction of the outstanding illustrations and astonishingly modern texts has been made accessible online:
Dressage of a horse with pillars introduced by Pluvinel (the author is seen to the left in the foreground).