In the city centre of Vienna you can find the Spanish riding school, the oldest existing riding school of the world. They practice equestrian for about 450 years now! I am really into horses – I am an animal scientist, you know :) - so I decided to visit the show ‘A tribute to Vienna’. This show presents the highlights of the ballet of the beautiful white stallions (they only train stallions at the Spanish riding school) alternating with musical performances by the Vienna Boys’ Choir. The Vienna Boys’ Choir originates from the late Middle Ages, they were part of the courtyard of the emperor Maximiliaan I. So, a lot of tradition together this evening.
When we entered the riding hall, we were like ‘WOW’. The baroque interior was so amazing, with chandeliers, balconies and a huge portrait of the emperor Charles VI. After a while, the stallions entered riding hall and showed the piaffe, passage and the so-called ‘Schools above the Ground’; the levade, the courbette and the capriole (I bet you don’t know what I am talking about, but if you are interested you can find it on Wikipedia). For a short video of the capriole, you can visit my Instagram account (@mmrjln). An eight-year-long training of the horses is required to make them able to do all these exercises, and after this the movements are continuously refined. Only a few horses are talented and sensitive enough to master the art of the ‘Schools above the Ground’. It was so impressive to see the intense teamwork between equestrian and stallion! The performance of the Vienna Boys’ Choir was impressive too, with their pure voices they entertained the audience.
If you want to visit the show of the Lipizzaner horses, they are coming to the Netherlands (Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam) on the 29th and 30th of November. I highly recommend it!