Dom Duarte
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Author:  Hanne [ Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Dom Duarte

I really would like to start a discussion on Dom Duarte and his book. I must declare myself a total fan. His book is for me like Wilhelm Müseler's book on riding; every time I get back to it, it holds even more wisdom, for the more I learn, the more I understand the wisdom of the simple truths they contain.

Many experts argue that the translation of Dom Duarte into English, or at least the one I have, is less accurate. As I am not a historian, and really do not care as much what his historically correct, I do not really care. (I know I should not say such things)

For me, the value of the book is in the wisdom that is already there. And if the book is not altered altogether by the translator, there must be a lot of the wisdom that actually comes from the author.

First time you read it, you might think that he writes a lot of obvious things, like "you have to make sure that you don't fall off the horse", but when you look closer, and the more you learn, you see the debth of the wisdom in what he writes.

Anybody else who has any comments on this book?


Author:  bertie [ Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:39 am ]
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I soon will, first one on my "to read list" now!

Author:  Bryan [ Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:31 am ]
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I attempted to read it a year ago but it was too soon. I'm thinking of getting a copy to take with me on my trip to Europe in August as I have done a lot more riding and spent more time with horses now. Still very new but believe I would now get much more out to the book. As I read it on my travels I will post here from time to time on statements that I find interesting, informative or wish to discuss.

Author:  Hanne [ Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:13 am ]
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Okay, good. I am also reading it now, I have actually never read it from beginning to end, but I have read the different parts of it many times. I find that the value is even higher when i read it chronologically, and spend time on each chapter, just like the author advices.

I am looking forward to the discussion! I also hope Luke will join when he gets back from France, as I know he has read it and likes it.


Author:  Bryan [ Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:50 am ]
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I have my copy but may not start reading it till I fly out on the 31st - but at least I have it!!

Author:  Bryan [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:48 am ]
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Book is in my carry on luggage so will start reading it tomorrow night as I fly off to Singapore!

Author:  Hanne [ Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:23 pm ]
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Cool! Looking forward to the discussion. Have a nice flight.


Author:  tinuviel [ Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:24 pm ]
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I have almost finished it now (not qutie finished with the wrestling-part), and I must agree that I like it very much. I am not sure where to start a discussion on it, but I liked the style it is written in (very typical for the time as far as I can see), and I, too, noticed how he uses a lot of spca on things most writers would not thing of mentioning. Like what you can do to not be thrown of.

Author:  Hanne [ Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:12 pm ]
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Silly thing, but now someone has borrowed my copy, at least I can't find it.. I will trace it down and post some of the parts I think is interesting.

But from my memory, I really like the parts on the seat and posture. He espescially mentions that the rider's legs should be held tightly against the horse's sides. This is exactly what we find you have to do to make the horse collect, and what David also does to collect the horse. And the opposite to the bridé seat that is described in other sources from the medieval times.


Author:  tinuviel [ Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:01 am ]
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It is a perfectly good explanation for that, Hanne. You lent the copy to me :wink: I'll bring it tomorrow.

Author:  Luke Binks [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:08 am ]
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Well i came into this discussion really late. Sorry for my absence, work has demanded a lot of my attention over the last few months, and will continue too for the first half of this year but i shal endeavor to make it back here more often than i have.

Dom duarte, Love it! I remember reading it for the first time and not understanding everything i was ready but for some reason knew it was gold! At that time i was still searching for knowledge on riding as i had never found anyone that taught what i thought would be correct cavalry riding.

I knew after readying Duarte that my thoughts on riding weren't an unrealistic expectation on what could be achieved as a rider/knight.

Ever time since i have, like you Hanne learn't more and more. The more i learn about riding the more i seam to understand this book. I need to finish what im ready at the moment and read it again as im sure there are a few point in there that i would like to discuss with you all. Things like the different riding styles for the particular saddle.


Author:  Hanne [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:15 am ]
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Yup, we need to take a closer look on this book. I really would like to treat it as information on how to ride, and not a historical source.

All in all, I like to look at all historical documents in this way. I am not interested in more or less qualified guesses as to how the knights really trained. I am interested in how Dom Duarte as a king, warrior, rider, instructor and human being is able to teach ME, across the centuries.

Of course, I would have to make allowances for differences in culture and manner of writing and descriptions, but I find Dom Duartes text refreshingly easy to understand and surprisingly recognizable when it comes to riding and personal development.

Many experts say this is because the translation is not very good, and that the translator has perhaps included a lot on his own account. This of course I cannot say, since I do not know ancient Portuguese language. I do not even know modern Portuguese, even though I have access to a very good translator there ;) .

Now, what I would like to do, is to discuss the book as such. Not as a historical document, since we cannot possibly know exactly what Dom Duarte originally meant by writing the words, but as an instruction manual. I find it valuable as it is. And I don't care who made it so valuable, Dom Duarte himself, his writer, his wife, his translator or his translator's son. It is valuable in itself, and I would like to discuss that.

I am planning to read the first chapter today, and then discuss it tomorrow. Anyone who want to have a go?

Stay tuned.


Author:  Pelle [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:41 am ]
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I´ll have a go. When you´re done reading. :wink:


Author:  Hanne [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:38 pm ]
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Okay. What I am going to do is this: As I am reading the first chapter, I will note all comments and thoughts that I think might be valuable.

My first thought is that Dom Duarte really would have loved the internet. He must have felt really alone, being so educated and talented. He actually comments on this several times; obviously not that he misses the internet, but equals that he can discuss with often.

Next: He actually comments on the very important fact that you need to have the right resources to become really good. Too few writers mention this. Is it a result of culture, that we never dare mention that you need good horses, good teacher, good facilities, lots of money, and "lands where there are good horsemen" as he puts it? He also writes about the importance of power already. I know that he writes a lot about it later. But why does not anybody else write about power? The power of the body and the power of wealth are equally important, as we obviously will discuss later, as I know he will write more about it.

But in this first chapter, I find it interesting to note that a medieval king also knew the pain of choosing between work and pleasure, and that he actually recommends every busy man to take time to train, because it is beneficial.

I particularly like this quote:

Considering what I read about the human heart, it is similar to the water-mill's stone, always in movement due to the driving water's power, transforming grain into flour. The heart in this manner wishing to to be fulfilled, to receive good care from its owner, must sometimes have moments of unstrained enjoyment, it there is space and time for it, as the heart might otherwise become ill-natured, which is the source for all wickedness.

Other opinions?


Author:  Pelle [ Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:43 pm ]
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I mostly agree with your thoughts. But I have one further idea...
I think it´s interesting to note how he finds it difficult to write the book because of the fact that other people thinks it´s unneccesary! That´s rather interesting, I think.

I can´t really say I´m surprised; we find plenty of that sort of opinions even today. So surprise is out of it. But why would they want to dictate what he does, and closely related; why does he care? Isn´t he King? Shouldn´t he just flatten all opposition and make them shut it?

Well. I think this speaks volumes about the guy who wrote this stuff. I really like Duarte. He´s, to me, obviously an intelligent dude, and added to that he´s an athlete. Unless the whole bloody book is a bunch of shit and lies, but I find that hard enough to believe to disregard the idea. At least for discussions sakes...


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