Here we are in the manége. It’s still and quiet and cool in here. Despite the blustery snowy weather outside in the northern French town, you can hear a horse breathing, and muffled hoofbeats, as a single gray stallion trots by. The rider sits very erect, his pelvis seemingly glued to the saddle, tilted very forward, while shoulders are well back in nearly military position. The rider’s torso absorbs the movement of his hips so that his hands are steady.
As we watch, the rider turns his chest somewhat toward the center of the school, as he slides his inside leg backward on the horse’s ribcage. He gently lifts the outside rein just a little, sponging the rein in time with the movement of the horses legs. The horse begins to travel on a slight diagonal, such that his inside hind leg comes up and forward under his body, tracking into line with the outside foreleg. The horse’s tempo slows, he appears to crouch slightly for two strides and the rider releases, and sends him forward, saying “ahh!” This is epaule en dedans or shoulders in. Look for it on youTube. And spend the rest of your life trying to understand it!