Vienna, by equestrians known as the city of classical dressage, the hometown of the Spanish Riding School. During my last stay in Vienna, I had the chance to attend a training course at the Heldenberg trainingcenter. (which you can find here) Last weekend, Vienna was the place to be for the top class showjumpers during the Global Champions Tour. But there was more…I can even say, something very special and unique took place during the Vienna Masters: a Working Equitation competition.Equestrian Lifestyle Working Equitation

Working equitation has its origins in Portugal and is a combination of dressage riding, an obstacle parcours such as bridges and gates, and a speed trail parcours. (photo EQWO)

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The discipline becomes more and more popular and this competition during the Vienna Masters was a huge promotion! The riders represented 4 countries: Portugal, France, Germany and Austria.

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The Rathausplatz in Vienna was transformed to an epic showground, where world class showjumping and working equitation went hand in hand.

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More info on Working Equitation:

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The world-famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna is celebrating their very special 450th anniversary on Friday 26th of June. Due to this historic event a unique anniversary gala of the Lipizzaner horses will be hosted live from the Heldenplatz in Vienna.

Follow the show live via Servus TV at 6.55 PM CET. (click)

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For this special event, the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre is also attending the gala and will do a duo show. (Photo credit by Gabriele Boiselle)

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In 2013, the Spanish Riding School in Vienna was opening his doors to professional trainers. The idea was to open the school for foreign riders to share their century old knowledge of classical dressage.Equestrian LifestyleThe perfect opportunity for me (as a trainer/rider) to find out what’s really going on behind the scenes and to learn more about their training methods.The training course took place at the equestrian center Heldenberg, about 50 km outside of Vienna.aA brand new and modern training center with all facilities, in the middle of nowhere, where every horse feels like a king. The perfect place to improve your training in a professional environment.cEvery horse has his own paddock to enjoy the sunshine.dThe outdoor area is in perfect condition to train high school dressage.e

Equestrian Lifestyle Blog Spanish Riding School A little sneak peek into the stables: spacious boxes with a lot of light.fThe beautiful indoor areagUnfortunately, it was not allowed to take pictures during the training sessions.hOur group of trainers came from all over the world, which leads to very inspiring discussions. The course – an sich– was very interesting and chief rider Andreas Hausberger was answering all our questions. We also had the chance to attend the daily training sessions with the schoolhorses and permanent riders. For those who wonder, no rollkur or no low-deep-round methods were shown. After a week of training, I took some time to visit the famous indoor arena in the center city of Vienna.SAM_576020130919_1706219A few times a year the horses are switched stables, the ones who live in the center of Vienna are moving to Heldenberg and those who are stabled in Heldenberg come to Vienna. In the center of Vienna, there is no place for grazing or running and bocking around in the field. But what a privilege the Lipizzaner stallions have in Vienna: world’s largest oval horse walker. With its 132 m, the walker can fit 20 horses in it. 20130919_160316

A guided tour leads you through the stables, the tack room and the indoor area.5A sample of the different marks6You can have a drink in the café or buy some goodies at the souvenir shop.20130919_15182510I enjoyed my stay in Vienna and can recommand it to everyone!

For the professional trainers/riders who are interested in the traditional way of dressage training, check out the training center in Heldenberg. I would like to thank Andreas Hausberger and the other trainers for all the information and interesting training week.

More info:

Video Horsewalker Kraft