The piaffe is one of the most beautiful movements to watch. It is one of the gymnastically most useful movements, and it is in some ways the gateway to Haute École, similarly to the way in whichthe shoulder-in is the gateway to Campaign School dressage. Training the piaffe is a rite of passage for the aspiring Grand Prix trainer in a similar way that flying changes are a rite of passage from Elementary School to Campaign School. At the same time, you don’t see good piaffes very often because training it is not that trivial. I often think the piaffe is like a delicate flower that can easily be crushed by too much intensity, too much rider activity, or too much force.
Here, I would like to give you a systematic overview over the principal methods that I have found useful in teaching the piaffe.