The Spanish Riding School
Seven other riders in file follow the leader. Soberly uniformed in the cinnamon livery of a bygone era, they exhibit the same impassive, taut control of themselves and their mounts. Beneath the many-faceted chandeliers - Christmas trees of dripping ice - they parade the length of the gold-and-ivory hall until, approaching the lofty portrait of Charles VI, they doff their two-cornered hats in wide-sweeping salute.
The deliberate, majestic gesture wrings a spurt of applause from the audience packing the double balconies. For the spectators instinctively recognize in this homage more than a formal tribute to an imperial patron of the Spanish Riding School. They sense here a willing acknowledgment by today's riders that they are the trustees of a fragile but precious tradition of horsemanship that has been passed along, by word and example, from one generation to another through the centuries.
A trip to the Spanish Riding School
Die Spanische Hofreitschule zu Wien
(Foto right up: Stallions Vienna Hofburg)
Lipizzaner: Originally andalusian horse,
trained in Lipizza / Slovenia for military
purpose, now located in Piber / Styria-Austria
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