by Barbara Ellin Fox
Modern jumping in America owes its success to the Military; to the United States Cavalry to be specific. From 1923-1933 the US Army sent 15 or 16 horsemen to study the principals of Caprilli’s forward riding at the Italian Cavalry Schools. Generally the men spent one year at the school, although a few attended for 2 years. Harry D. Chamberlin not only attended Tor Di Quinto, the advanced Italian Cavalry School, he also graduated from the French Cavalry School at Saumur.
With the help of other cavalrymen and a wide selection of horses, Harry Chamberlin developed a relationship between the French Cavalry School principals and the Italian Cavalry School (Caprilli) principals resulting in a method of riding that best suited the equestrian activities in America. The method has been called the Fort Riley Seat, the Chamberlin Seat, or the Military Seat. It has also been referred to as Balanced Seat.
The Cavalry School at Fort Riley began in 1919 and continued until shortly after WWII, when the Cavalry was “dismounted”. It wasn’t until 1929 that a Board of Officers was formed to revise the previous, “Manual of Equitation” and incorporate a seat that was more suitable for cross country, hunting, steeplechase and show jumping. Up until1929 the static, deep seat was taught with very little influence from Caprilli’s forward methods. … Continue Reading