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November 9-10, 2019

Why Piaffe and Passage help your horse

Piaffe and passage are the two movements that put Art in Equestrian Art and epitomize the successful training of the High School horse. In French they are called "airs," for which the closest English translation is a "look," an "attitude," a "tune," all words that express the allure of piaffe and passage and their cadence.  The transition from passage to piaffe is the easier transition, but the horse's challenge in this is to find the piaffe rhythm.

The ability of a horse to perform a high-quality piaffe is somewhat innate as a result of genetics. However, poor training can easily impair the horse's ability to piaffe. Good training is absolutely necessary to develop every horse's potential to piaffe. There are many methods of teaching piaffe.


Piaffe is one of the classical exercises that is used to improve the strength and balance of the horse. Training the piaffe in hand provides such benefits, but with little stress on the joints and the horse is able to work through his balance issues before the rider adds weight to the program.


Claudio Oliveira

Based in Wellington, Florida, Claudio is a highly recognized and respected rider and clinician in the world of dressage. He specializes in in-hand work to develop the horse's ability to engage the hind-quarters, with a goal to work towards half-steps, piaffe and passage. 

Claudio works with horses, "in hand" and under saddle with the rider, to create an individualized program for each partnership.