Balassa’s soft hardware method

Constantin Balassa (1795-1862) was an Austrian cavalry captain of the Sixth regiment of the Hussars. Since 1825, he dedicated himself to working with horses and published a pamphlet in 1828 on ironwork methods without the need to force the horse. He explains that his process is based on the psychology of the horse, with the alternative and judicious use of punishments and caresses. For him, “ there are no spoiled horses by nature .” He regretfully states that “ there are horses that are given to people who need to be trained themselves and who lack the ability and knowledge to treat horses well and to make themselves understood .” This method earned him a great reputation, so much so that his book was quickly translated into French, Italian, English, Hungarian, Swedish, Danish, Russian and Polish, among others. The Emperor Francis I of Austria recognized his skills and rewarded him greatly. The first edition in French dates from the year of the original edition. The subtitle is eloquent: “method to shoe vicious horses in less than an hour and to correct forever their defects; System based on the principles of horse physiology.”

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