The Spanish Riding School

 

“In the beginning we all start the horses from scratch. Then as you get older you don’t have to sit on a fresh horse anylonger. But you’re responsible for your horses and you make decisions for the training,” tells Radnetter.

 

When they’re on tour it is the mutual understanding between rider and horse that keep the performances smooth.

 

“They’re so well trained and they know us so well that they don’t mind travelling and showing in different arenas.  Sometimes the first performance is a little different because the sounds of the audience are different. The arenas can be very loud and people sit closer so the horses pay more attention to them and that’s a challenge. They’re living animals and every performance is a challenge. If they make mistakes they are minor and people don’t notice them. “

 

“The horses definitely know when they have been doing something right.  When we do the shorthand rein we treat them right after they succeded with the exercise. When we sit on them we pat them and they just know.”

 

Currently, the oldest rider at the academy is 65. As for Herwig Radnetter, he hopes to keep riding for as long as possible.

 

“When you bring a young horse into a performance for the very first time and you find out how the training went…that’s the moment when you have to prove everything that you give. If it was good or not. If it was good it is always a highlight.

Every horse who does a good job and who enjoys it is a highlight. Riding in in front of big crowds are highlights.

My best time of the day is when a horse went well and when he learned something new.”

 

 

Herwig Radnetter

 

A Levade by Herwig Radnetter, photo © Michael Rzepa 

 

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