Historical dressage literature

In this database you can find historical literature on dressage and the training of horses, up until about 1900. Links to free digital versions are provided. For a limited number of books there are no scans available, these will be added in the future when avaible. The database is set up in chronological order (based on first publication), and not all editions have scans available. If you want to help to add to the database, please send an email to info@barthartogsveld.nl if you notice broken links or found a scan for a book not on the list yet.

Historical dressage literature pluvinel terre a terre
Baron Eisenberg canter pirouette


This database does not include fighting manuals, that are the most important source from the Middle Ages. These are available through this link. you can find more literature about other horse-related topics here.

This database has a focus on riding culture from predominantly the European continent. On this page you can find a list of historical texts in Arabic.

You can find out more about Bart here.

Functionality and translations

To go to the online version of a text, please click on the year under the column ‘Full text’. The database can be sorted by any column (e.g. author, year of publication) and has search functionality. For example, if you are looking for a specific author, enter e.g. ‘Pluvinel’ in the search box and hit enter. If you are looking for original publications from the 18th century, click the down arrow and only select ‘First known publication’ and enter ’18’ in the search box. Of course, the same can be done for languages, translations, book titles, and more.

There are modern translations available of some of the more popular texts (such as Grisone, Pluvinel, Guérinière), but the majority were never translated. Since these translations were published recently, they are protected under copyright and not available digitally.

de la Gueriniere renvers