THE HIGH ART OF SINGING ASSOCIATED WITH THE ART OF HAUTE ÉCOLE: With this program the Institute von Neindorff wants to establish a new series of cultural events. At the launch event the ensemble Vox Pulchra sang.
New series: ,,The Beauty of Horses/The Magic of Music" at the Riding Institute von Neindorf Foundation
A balmy evening in the Riding Institute situated wonderfully quiet in the north-western part of Karlsruhe: Today it's not only about the presentation of the "Haute École" of riding as the deceased master and founder of the Institute, Egon von Neindorff, taught it, but about the association of the art of riding and a concert. The idea of "The Beauty of Horses/The Magic of Music" came from Ursel Hoss, chairman of the Association, and Nuria Cunillera, director of the Ladies Chorus Vox Pulchra, immediately said "Yes" to her invitation.
In five blocks of songs the Chorus of the "pristine voices" presented short songs from folklore over Romanticism all the way to contemporary sacred music, vocally challenging and with an interesting spatial effect at the medieval Catalan "Stella splendens": Three singers are already on the stands of the bright listed Riding Hall, the others answer from the anteroom. For architectoral reasons the horse is in the center of the event, after all the seats are oriented towards the hall and not towarts the chorus. Like that the concert and the riding presentation remain independent from one another, but they are joint by the elements of excellent work.
During the riding training the rhythm is especially important, the feeling for the movements of the horse. The rhythm is naturally also known in music, where as in the work with the horse control, mastery, but also feeling, finesse and letting go are important. The orders for the horse are coming from the rider, and in the chorus from the director. Without question both is artful, but each in its own way and depending on personal taste.
In the five presentations of the art of riding with concentrated breeding horses in small groups the classical music is played via speakers, after all it belongs to the daily work and often the horses are moving in the rhythm of the music. The experienced amateur riders have the elegant animals well under control, whether from the ground or from the horseback.
In the one-handed free program of the professional rider Axel Schmidt the seat is even smoother, the control of the horse even more astonishing. Nevertheless especially the stallions have their own minds. It doesn't matter, there's always approval from the rider - and from the audience that's coming from both worlds: the world of music and the world of horses.
Excerpt from the BNN article from Anneke Brüning, Monday, July 18, 2011
Photo: Renate Höfferlin
Egon von Neindorff - A Life for the Horses
Born 1923 in Döblin, Saxony; besides his father his teachers were riders such as Felix Bürkner, Otto Lörke, Ludwig Zeiner and Richard Wätjen; after the war he struggled to get to western Germany together with his horses; 1946 he founded a small riding school in Lörrach and organized first riding tournaments; 1949 he moved to Karlsruhe; 1951 he founded the "Association for the Promotion of the High Art of Riding" together with the retired General Paul Lettow, retired Colonel Kurt Hübel and Gerhart Hohensee, which was suspended after his death; 1984 he was rewarded the German Rider Cross in silver; 1985 he was granted the Federal Cross of Merit; 1993 he received the Badge of Honor of the Württembergische Federation of Riding and Driving Clubs and of the German Riding and Driving Club; 1994 he was rewarded with the title "Riding Master" by the FN. For Egon von Neindorff, riding was to be refined to an art. The way that led there were for him the rules of classical riding, based on the natural movements and the appropriate handling of the horse. He passed away in 2004.
Classical music, flowers at the side fence, a historical riding hall built from red sandstone, flooded with light, with an open timber framing, and tranquility, a lot of tranquility. That's the framework in which a normal morning lesson on trained horses takes place at the Riding Institute Egon von Neindorff in Karlsruhe.
A riding lesson that starts with a lot of relaxing training at a walking pace, like leg yield, turn on the forehand, and where after short exercises the long, down-bent neck is claimed, stretching into soft hands. The importance of walk in the daily work - praised by many - here it is exercised, and by the way one sees chewing horses standing still, particularly horses that stop. Calm, composed, relaxed.
Knigge in the Stable
If one talks for example to the oldest student of 86 years at the institute, it becomes clear pretty quickly that it's not only about riding, but about a different attitude und often forgotten manners: "On the horse you never object, and if you dismount, then in the proper way".
This reminds you of the fact that the FN meanwhile has published a "Hippo-Knigge" providing tips for a polite cooperation, and this helps to understand that this atmosphere of treating each other is an aspect, that regrettably isn't exercised anymore and therefore contributes a lot to the noteworthiness. Also the arrogance towards the riders of rented horses he mentioned is well known in the daily routine of the riding clubs.
That this is different here is also stressed by the counter-arguments addressing the accusation, which one needs to contradict over and over again: "We're not that aloof". This underestimated openness begins - completely in the tradition of Egon von Neindorff - with horses of all breeds that can be found at the Institute, and continues with riding students of all levels. Only: Learning, getting involved is what they need to want. And he has another suitable citation available: "Most riders want to be corrupted by praise, and not corrected by criticism!". Insofar, the riding students here might be a bit elitist, they want to and have to allow what many riders don't want to hear any more today: Criticism of the own riding abilities and a continuous wish for improvement.
The framework is and will stay special in every aspect: The Institute is located in the former landmarked „Tele¬graph Casern", meanwhile so to say a green island in the middle of the city of Karlsruhe, directly alongside a church in a residential area. The complex, built in the years 1906/07 was never destroyed in the two world wars and has served the same purpose from the beginning - accommodating horses. Until 1918 according to the regulations the Tele¬graph unit of the Prussian army was located here with their horses, followed by the mounted unit of the German Armed Forces from 1936 to 1945. After the Second World War, the state became owner of the ensemble, which was obtained by Egon von Neindorff in 1949.
In the beginning, up to 130 horses have been stabled in terms of tethered housing at the facility, that later has been merged into an L-shaped complex by adding a connecting passage between the stable and the riding hall. This has been possible in the 128 m long and 11.5 m broad stable only because of an adequate building height and an appropriate mechanical ventilation system. For the time being, Egon von Neindorff was only able to use a part of the building as it was partly also occupied by a trade workshop. With 70 horses well utilized, the business that had been started as riding and competition stable developed in the course of time into the "Riding Institute", and is still continued today under this name.
The Institute today
1990 the city of Karlsruhe became the owner of the area, that was taken over on the basis of lease by the ,,Egon-von¬Neindorff-Foundation" after its founding in 1991. In the late ‘90s the riding hall was redeveloped and by and by 50 boxes were built in the stable. Meanwhile 10 paddocks, an outside riding arena and an additional training hall offer even more possibilities. About 40 horses are stabled there; some boxes are kept free for seminars and events. Because „here the whole world gets together":
There are students from Italy Australia and Japan, but only few from the classical tournaments.
After Egon von Neindorff passed away of in 2004, the riding institute was lead since 2005 by Dr. Stefan Wachtarz as an operation of the foundation; responsible for the training of the riders and horses are the masters of horsemanship Armin Dietrich and since early 2009 Axel Schmidt as equestrian manager of the Institute. He will also take over the management of the whole Institute starting January 1st, 2010. Furthermore, the intense cooperation of the foundation with the state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Karlsruhe can be considered as exceptional, and is supported by the work of the Association for the Promotion and Preservation of the Classical Way of Riding according to Egon von Neindorff.
In the near future the complete building will be available for the Riding Institute, allowing also the conversion of additional open spaces into more paddocks. Even if after the personnel changes the motto is to begin and revive the shell instead of dwelling on dreams of the future, some wishes do exist. One hopes to establish the Riding Institute as a cultural institution of the city of Karlsruhe, and to further promote the transfer of equestrian culture in the spirit of the founder (in technical terms). And naturally nobody would object if more young people found their way to this inner-city island.
Daniela Frühauf (Reiterjournal)