A week or two ago, in the same week two people asked to learn more about my life and equestrian journey. I had to admit that I don’t usually talk about my personal life (other than animal stories), but my point of view does come through the subjects that I’ve written about over the past 20 plus years. These kind peoples’ questions started me thinking, though…how did it come to pass that I became an equestrian journalist, author of a training manual best-selling in its Amazon category for nearly 10 years, blogger and publisher? Looking back, my experiences all unfolded and just took on a life of their own. I was looking for something better, something I couldn’t describe other than I did find that over time, I knew it when I saw it.
[“Morning Exercise in the Hofreitschule” by Julius von Blaas, 1890]
In early March of this year 2023, news went around the world that Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School, Andreas Hausberger, had been relieved of his position after 40 years of service within the school. Persons not familiar with the politics of Vienna and the school itself had a difficult time understanding the issues at hand, let alone why this could have happened to an admired and trusted member of the school, who on top of it all, was the last rider left from the last generation trained under the original classical protocols and methods. Who now would carry the torch for the true, centuries-old traditions?
[Regretfully, photographic copyright for image not available. Please advise.]
In his wisdom, American General George S. Patton, who commanded the Third United States Army in France and Germany after the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944, gave permission for the U.S. Army to liberate the 300 head of Lipizzan breeding stock that had been hijacked to Germany by the Nazi Army, to be rescued and driven in herds and also in trucks to Bavaria, to safety.
[copyright Kip Mistral 2023. “Dame de la Brigade des Abeses” by Jean Berain, Illustrator, 1685.]
I spent the pandemic in 18th century France.
For month after month I sift through faded, handwritten registers of births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, and a 2,000 page historical almanac of the time. The purpose is to research the lives of several of the King of France’s royal ecuyers, about whom little is really known. (But that will be changing soon.)
“You should have seen this noble old man with silver hair wearing his classic manège hat, sixty-five years old! This venerable Count of Abzac gave these lessons with a clearness, a precision, an air of court, which filled the spectators with admiration. Mounted on a horse “Isabelle” [in Europe refers to pale palomino of different shades] with white mane and tail, academically seated, he was the type of the rider-gentleman and recalled the engravings of the old squires at the same time as he was the noblest impression of perfection that can be achieved, even at an advanced age in academic riding!”
Comte de Noë, d’Abzac’s former pupil under the Restoration. View Post