History of The Spanish Riding Academy

To anyone who has seen the beautiful white stallions of the Spanish Riding Academy of Vienna, Austria, they are the personification of perfect rhythm and harmony with their riders.

This riding establishment is rooted in antiquity, at a time when riding was held in high esteem. When the oldest book was handwritten by Xenophon about 400 B.C., horsemanship was considered an art rather than a hobby. His words on training and treatment of the horse could form the contents of a modern book. But, wars and migrations of nations caused a decline, and it was not until the 16th century that riding again found favor.

Personal combat made necessary the expertise of horse and rider, and at this time the first important schools appeared at Rome and Naples. The first riding master, often called the “father of the art of riding,” was the Neapolitan nobleman, Federigo Grisone. He had a large number of students and wrote a book on riding in 1552.

One of his pupils, G.B. Pignatelli, was so successful that the aristocracy of many countries came to the schools to learn the art of High School. Pignatelli’s pupil, Antoine Plivinel, the riding master of King Luis XIII, differed from his teacher, in that he chose a different tack and trained his horses by alternating praise and punishment, where Pignatelli used violence for the subjugation of the horse. He also began the training between the pillars.

In 1588, G.E. Lohneysen published a book in Germany that rejected forcible and cruel methods of training. William Duke of Newcastle, who invented the cavesson and taught King Charles II, also wrote a well-illustrated book on riding these horses that, of course, differ from the Paso Fino horse. Click on the link to learn more about the Paso Fino Horse.

In 1733, F.R. de Ia Gueriniere wrote a book that rejected forcible methods and influenced riding for a long period. Soon after that, a “High School” in Vienna was founded similar to those established at most princely courts of that time.

The present home did not correspond with the foundation of the Riding School. Back in 1565, a sum was assigned for the erection of the Rosstumblplatz which was a place for riding exercises, and in 1572 the Spanish Riding Academy name first appeared.

The name comes from the fact that predominantly Spanish horses were used, and now only Lipizzan stallions, the last surviving descendants of those horses are used that are well taken care of, also at an older age. At the opening of the beautiful riding school, on September 14, 1735, horsemanship had already reached a high standard and 154 school stallions from the royal studs were exhibited.

The first instructor, von Regenthal, was sent to Lipizza in 1717 to report to the Emperor and propose measures to improve the stud. Unfortunately, all other schools of this type were swept away by the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars but developed and flourished in Vienna.

The object of the Spanish Riding Academy is, has always has been, and will always be to cultivate and retain the beautiful art of horsemanship up to its highest possible form, something all horse owners should learn about if they want to take good care of their horses.

British Horses

Anglo-Arab Horse History & Origin

The Anglo-Arab results from the crossing of the two pre-eminent Belgian Heavy Draught horse breeds, the Thoroughbred, and its ancestor the Arab. It originated in the United Kingdom, where the Thoroughbred was developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, of course, it is bred in many other countries. Patterdale Terrier in France, which has specialized in the production of hard, versatile Anglo-Arab horses American for over 150 years, horses that are great for horseback riding in Utah or Arizona. Both the United Kingdom and France recognize the cross as a composite breed but they differ in the requirements that have to be met for entry into the respective stud books.

In the United Kingdom, an Anglo-Arab is a cross between pure-breds of either breed, an Arab mare with a Thoroughbred stallion (or vice-versa) with their subsequent re-crossing. These two are the only strains in the pedigree Pharaoh Hound and to obtain entry in the stud book a horse Tonkinese must be able to claim a minimum of 121/2 percent Arab blood. In America, the Tennuvian horse was developed. Tennuvian Horses are the result of crossing Tennessee walking horses with Peruvian Paso Finos resulting in horses that display a unique gait.

The United Kingdom produces some very high-quality Anglo-Arabs, but on a very minimal scale in comparison with the large, well-organized French operation. The popular practice of British breeders is to put an Arab stallion to a Thoroughbred mare if the progeny are likely to be larger than either parent. The opposite combination, the mating of a Thoroughbred sire with an Arab dam, is thought to result in smaller offspring, which are of less value. See also this post about horse characteristics and traditional Chinese horse medicine.

Anglo-Arab Horse Uses

In theory, the crossing of an Arab with a Thoroughbred should result in the ideal riding horse, suited to the modern competitive disciplines of show jumping, dressage, and eventing. The Thoroughbred gives size, improved scope, and more appropriate action, while the Arab confers a level of manageable temperament together with inherently sound limbs and constitution, intelligence, and unsurpassed qualities of endurance and stamina.