• Breeds,  Equestrian History,  People,  Training,  Travel

    The Spanish Riding School: A Rider’s Look Inside Europe’s Oldest Classical Academy

    For over 450 years, the Spanish Riding School has been a centre for cultivating classical riding from within the baroque walls of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. Once at the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, the School began in the 16th century, and continues today with dressage performances all around the world with its riders and their famous white Lipizzaner stallions. As the oldest and perhaps most well-known of the four classical riding academies in Europe (the others…

  • Breeds,  People,  Training

    João Pedro Rodrigues: Breeding Some of Portugal’s Best

    Just across the river from Lisbon, located amidst the pine forests, grasslands, and cork trees of the Ribatejo region, João Pedro Rodrigues breeds and trains some of Portugal’s top Lusitanos at his stud farm, Coudelaria João Pedro Rodrigues. Also the Headmaster of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, as a breeder João Pedro has won the most championship titles of any Portuguese breeder at the National Feira of Golegã, and bred the most Lusitanos competing at grand prix level as…

  • People

    Christina Wunderlich: Passing on Classical Riding with Vertikal

    Working dedicatedly to share her passion and spread the knowledge of classical dressage, Christina Wunderlich is a sought-after trainer and teacher, and the head rider at Oliveira Stables, the now well-known classical stable located in the epicentre of the modern dressage world in southern Germany. With a highly approachable, direct manner and a tireless sense of humour, Christina specializes in training students and horses in what is called Vertikal, a system of classical riding passed on by the teachings of…

  • Biomechanics,  Training

    Straightening the Crooked Horse: What’s your Horse’s Asymmetry?

    As with people, horses often tend to be slightly asymmetric. However, many riders don’t realize that challenges they face in their riding can often develop from issues with the horse’s straightness, stemming from this asymmetry. Issues such as the horse pushing in or out in one direction, being heavy on one rein, having trouble picking up one canter lead, or struggling to maintain rhythm in one direction, are just a few examples of the symptoms that can appear due to…

  • Leadership with Horses | Alexander and Bucephalus, drawn by Victor Adam
    Leadership,  Training

    Leading Horses From the Inside Out

    Many people have different ideas about what our relationship with horses should look like. While some horse people still advocate for “being the boss” and establishing dominance, others have shifted away from this idea, and aim to act more as a friend rather than a boss, building trust through soft and sensitive requests. There are interesting merits and limitations to both of these approaches. But what most people miss is that while there are many methods of training and working…

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