Vienna is famous for the Viennese Waltz – but also for the Spanish Riding School- In fact, there’s this popular place in the capital frequently visited by tourists that promotes the traditional horse riding with much elegance but of Spanish origin. It is here where tourists can view an 80-minute show featuring Lipizzan horse riding.
The Spanish Riding School is situated in a number of buildings on the Square Michaelerplatz and the Square Josefsplatz just near the Hofburg grounds. Within the area are the Winter Riding School in Baroque architecture, the Summer Riding School, the Stallburg in Renaissance architecture and the stables of the stallions.
Established in 1572, this place is named as such owing to the Spanish horses it originally used. Today, however, some of the great stallions there are sourced from Lipicca in Italy or Lipizza in Italian as well as from the Piber Stud in the western part of the Styrian state in Austria. Lipicca, is near the Triest City in Italy and Lipizzan horses are also known to have a Spanish descent.
Horse riders at the Spanish Riding School are distinguished by their brown frock coat uniform with tailcoat, buckskin riding breeches, top boots and bicorne hats while the horses wear saddle cloths in red and gold. The service uniform of the riders actually dates back to the 19th century.
The Spanish Riding School in the Austrian capital of Vienna is the only one of its kind that has been in operation for more than 430 years teaching classical equitation specifically the Renaissance haute ecole. The goal of this training is to establish harmony between the rider and the horse. This is done through the careful study of horse’s natural movements and training it to maintain its elegant form.
Regular performances and one-hour tours around the Spanish Riding School are scheduled. They may be cancelled only when the stallions experience health problems. In addition to the shows, horse riding training is also being conducted regularly for interested people.