Binding Heritage: In Memoriam Egon von Neindorff
On November 1st, 2013, Egon von Neindorff, the founder of the Riding Institute in Karlsruhe and for more than 50 years the advocate and "keeper of the Grail" of classical, nature-oriented riding, would have turned 90 – a reason for numerous friends of the Institute to meet on-site in the unique atmosphere of the Institute to commemorate their master.
Elisabeth Tippel, executive of the Egon-von-Neindorff foundation, welcomed many "old" and "new" Karlsruher. Among others, Ingrid Oehlert, who was for many years the right hand of Egon von Neindorff, member of the board Dr. Gebhardt, the retired Marbacher stable master, with Werner Braun a "man of the first hour", and the famous equine painter Renate Blank had travelled to Karlsruhe. Elisabeth Tippel reminded the audience of the many wonderful, exhausting, enlightening and sometimes also depressing, but above all formative hours that all guests experienced over years under the demanding eyes of the charismatic "Reitmeister" in this outstanding Riding Hall.
A difficult heritage had to be accepted and perpetuated after his death – and a lot happened in the previous ten years, not only in regard to constructional aspects. No question, further renovations will again be in line with significant financial challenges. A harmonious cooperation is characterizing the day-to-day operations, and new projects have been started among others with the cooperation between the foundation and the Werner-von-Siemens school.
The programme in the riding hall granted an insight into the daily work at the Institute: landlord Axel Schmidt presented a dressage freestyle ridden with one hand. Afterwards different horses were presented, and a Haflinger with his wonderful piaffe - well set, with energy and in perfect tact - became the darling of the audience. The brief appearance of Prof. Ulrich Schnitzer and Valerie, his now 30-years-old mare, woke memories of the past, he had been part of the festive evening events for many, many years with his work on the long reins. The Lipizzaner-quadrille with its precisely ridden figures brought the programme to an adequate conclusion.
Ingrid Oehlert spoke the closing words; she thanked the foundation and the riders for their dedication. A lot of the "alumni" felt transported back to their own, active times at the sound of the music .... The 1st of November had always been celebrated, mostly people met on Sundays after music riding in the stable – and often there were a lot more guests than expected.
Egon von Neindorff did inspire many people with his personality, his riding philosophy and as a role model. He was never concerned with the drilling of lessons, he was looking for the harmonious unity with the horse, he wanted to understand the horse. For him, only the rules of nature applied – and this surely is his most important legacy. Ingrid Oehlert reminded the audience again of two omnipresent statements from Egon von Neindorff: <<Better less, but well done>> and <<Never against the nature>>. With a wry smile she said that even the linden tree that had been planted behind his grave stone at his funeral had grown bolt upright ....
During lunch afterwards there was plenty of time for meeting each other, and the visitors took full advantage of this time. A lot of memories were exchanged, news told from "alumni" who now live far away from Karlsruhe, and photos were handed around.
Text: Karin Schweiger
„MUSICAL MORGNING EXERCISE" ON May 1st, 2013
A very special performance brought numerous guests to the Egon-von-Neindorff foundation on 1st of May. On the initiative of one of our riders, a cooperation with the music academie DIAPASON was formed, allowing us to enrich the traditional morning exercise of the Riding Institute with delightful music. The difference between music and riding isn't very large said Mr. Armin Dietrich in his opening speech. If the eye and the ear shall be pleased, each craft has to become an art, a dialog between two partners with the goal to achieve perfect harmony. Dietrich acknowledged that musicians and riders have different partners: the instrument and the horse. But to achieve such a goal both need on their way - metaphorically spoken - the same equipment: besides the love to the animal or music especially empathy, patience and discipline.
On that morning in the historical festive riding hall, the guests had the opportunity to watch how far the young musicians and the riders have come on their way.
The young students of string directed by Sophie Ebel began with the beautiful canon in D-Dur by Johann Pachelbel. It was pure pleasure to watch and listen to the perfectly attuned young musicians!
Then four young baroque horses entered the riding hall and presented themselves in a relaxed and content state under their riders in all three basic gaits. As the riding institute traditionally is open to all breeds, afterwards three warmbloods were presented that are already further advanced in their training. This was followed by the work on the long reins: Three stallions were in the hall: the PRE Murillo, the Lipizzaner Maestoso Santa and to the delight of the children the tiny Shetland stallion Tiger.
Now the soloist of the morning performed: the exceptionally gifted young Sarah Kuppinger, playing the praeludium and the allegro for violin and chamber orchestra by Fritz Kreisler „in the style of G. Pugnani". The audience was delighted by the exceptionally powerful and nevertheless delicate interpretation of this virtuosic composition.
Now back to the horses: they presented themselves in the so-called work at hand with some exquisitely well set piaffes of the Marbacher gelding Landsmann, with difficult dressage excercises under their riders and at last with the „Airs above the Ground", where especially the Spanish grey gelding Cancano, trained by the director of the institute, Axel Schmidt, impressed the audience with his Courbettes.
The final of the the music program were excerpts of the „Simple Symphony" by Benjamin Britten. The listeners thanked the musicians with vivid applause and only let the young violinists leave the stage after an encore.
Text: Ursel Hoss
5 Questions to ... Julie Taylor from epona.tv
Julie, you are visiting Karlsruhe for 2 days to film at the Riding Institute Egon von Neindorff Foundation; why?
Epona.tv wants to film and show not only bad but also good riding - and that can bee seen here.
Don't the people prefer to see the spectacular pictures, catchword Patrick Kittel ...?
Epona.tv. does only show a percentage 5 % of these drastic pictures! And concerning the spectacular, e.g. the exalted trot movements: interestingly, these become more and more ugly if shown in slow motion, whereas a horse ridden regularly stays also beautiful if shown in slow motion!
And the other 95 %, what do you film there?
We show everything that's horse-friendly, e.g. films about good keeping, hoov care, the right saddles, and so on. We also like to present the newest scientific evidence about horses.
And good riding naturally. It isn't difficult to catch good moments in dressage riding. But it is difficult to continuously demonstrate good riding. That's why we are here.
Since when have you been a „horse woman"?
I have always been one! I grew up on a stud farm. My father was breeding trotters. He himself was a successful trotting race driver; he was a champion 13 times. I've been placed on a horse for the first time when I was a baby! I got my own pony early and I rode it without saddle. Later I started jumping and rode a Trakehner gelding up to class L. Today I have 3 horses, all of them Danish warmblood.
And how did you get the idea to start epona.tv?
I first wrote for the Danish horse magazine „Magasinet Hest".
After some time, Luise Thomsen and myself found out that only a video really shows things realistically. So we did film videos for the magazine.
And then we had the idea to found our own TV company: epona.tv was founded in 2007.
Julie, thank you very much for this interview!
Ursel Hoss, 17.04.2012
The Annual Report for 2011 is now available
An overview about the activities at the Riding Institute in the last year - in German only - is presented by our new annual report - you can download it here:
Annual Report 2011_web.pdf
New Horse at the Riding Institute - Moses
Shortly before she passed away, Ille Fribolin's attention was drawn to the impressive Kladruber with the ambitious name „Generale Animosa II - 6". Though physically weak, her horse sense was as strong and sensible as ever, and she decided spontanuously to buy this outstanding horse and to donate it to the Foundation.
After her death in April 2011, her faithful friend Conny Gloser executed this last will in the sense of Ille Fribolin's wishes and „Moses" - how he's now fondly called - moved to the Institute in Mai 2011 into the newly renovated part of the stables. Since then, this formidable gelding is an impressive sight under his rider Axel Schmidt.
The Riding Institute in June
Our Haflinger horses obviously enjoy their morning Quadrille training.
Fotos: Prof. U. Schnitzer
Morning Exercises on May 1, 2011
The impressive number of 15 horses and the same number of riders have been performing at the morning exercises on May 1, 2011 in the decorated Riding Hall.
First in line were the young horses, that partly have been presented for the first time in front of an audience.
On the „Long Reins" there was a small Shetland stallion, a Lusitano and a Württemberger Warmblood.
„Dressage Lessons" was the next topic of the event programme. We admired the variety of breeds that are present at the Riding Institute: a Kladruby gelding, two Spanish stallions and a Lipizzan. The riders presented their horses in all 3 gaits and showed some excellent piaffes, side strakes, traversals and flying changes.
„Work in Hand" was the next topic: This work was shown in several variations, it requires a particularly trustful cooperation with the horse.
To collect the horses and make them lower their hindquarters, the work was started with piaffes. In the „Airs above the Ground" some well set Levades and two Courbettes were shown.
The about 100 guests were quite impressed.
We were especially delighted by the comment of one specific guest who said: „With each performance you are approaching the level of early times further!"
Text: U. Hoss
Christmas Riding 2010
The bleachers of the festively decorated riding hall were packed at the traditional Christmas Riding on the 2nd Advent Sunday - in spite of the cold.
The program had been arranged by Sabrina Hasselberg and the riding instructors of the Institute.
The children of the vaulting groups, two formations, a Pas de Deux and a Quadrille on the long reins demonstrated the parents and grandparents the progress of the riding abilities.
The powerfully eloquent St. Nicholas, who appeared with
Shetty "Tiger", had brought a small present for each
one of the many children. Afterwards the audience
was drawn to the "Remise", to warm up with hot wine
and the ample supply of donated cookies and cakes.
Thanks a lot to all the helpful Christmas Angels at the
Text: Ursel Hoss
Photos: U. Schnitzer
RECEPTION OF A DELEGATION FROM KRASNODAR
The Riding Institute Egon von Neindorff Foundation was pleased to receive a small delegation of guests from Krasnodar on October 29, 2010, on the request of the city of Karlsruhe. There was no vodka offered at the reception, but black forest kirsch! Axel Schmidt, the manager of the Riding Institut, welcomed the guests together with the chairman Elisabeth Tippel. He introduced the founder of the Riding Institut, Egon von Neindorff, who passed away in 2004, and emphasized that the Foundation is continuing the Institute in his spirit.
Professor Schnitzer invited the delegation then to a guided tour through the stables. Afterwards, the guests were asked to watch the riding instructors and riders of the Institute presenting some of the horses, also in advanced dressage lessons, in the grand riding hall.
Our guests were very interested in the presented horse breeds and the here celebrated classical art of riding. At the end, they cordially thanked for the reception - that was also a pleasure for the Riding Institute's team!
Text: Ursel Hoss
PM REGIONAL CONFERENCE AT THE RIDING INSTITUTE VON-NEINDORFF-FOUNDATION
„Quintessence of classical Dressage Training"
The beautifully decorated historical Riding Hall was filled to capacity on October 16, 2010.
Mrs. Dr. Ubbens, the speaker of the regional group Baden-Württemberg, welcomed the participants. She expressed her pleasure that the Foundation had been able to continue the work at the Riding Institute in the spirit of Egon von Neindorff, and especially welcomed the speaker Mr. Prof. Schnitzer. She thanked Mrs Frau Ursel Hoss, the chairman of the Association and initiator of the conference. Axel Schmidt, who manages the Riding Institute since January 1, 2010, emphasized, how pleased he was about the high interest of the present 200 „Personal Members" of the FN.
The introductory presentation was held by Mr. Prof. Schnitzer, illustrated by numerous fotos and drawings. He pointed out that his intention was to remind the riders how the training of horses should look like, if it is supposed to comply with the physique and psyche of horses. Vehemently he objected to methodes that are used today, called „Rollkur", „Hyperflexion" and the likes. They do not allow the horse to develop its natural balance, to frequently relax and to develop the muscles gradually.
Afterwards. Horses and riders of the Institute demonstrated what had been presented in theory, moderated with insight by Mr. Armin Dietrich, one of the riding instructors of the Institute.
In an impressively harmonious manner they showed that phases of collection have to alternate with phases of relaxation by „forward-downward", where the horse takes up a pose like a „fox on the track".
Also, after challenging lessons like canter half-pass, pirouette and levade the horses immediately stretched their necks trustfully downward.
The participants of the conference then had the opportunity to visit the stables and the memorial room that had been set up in remembrance of the grande master Egon von Neindorff.
Text: Ursel Hoss
Christin Motta at the Riding Institute
Again we were able to welcome Christin Motta as "guest teacher" at the Riding Institute . The Swiss instructor and judge has been connected with the Institute for many years. On the 5th and 6th of June she was available for private lessons. On both of these fully booked days, she was inspiring the participants with her unmatched ways to respond to the individual riders and horses.
Text and Photos: U. Schnitzer
Outdoor Facilities: Initiative of the Riders to renew the Footing Layers of the Paddocks and Riding Arena
New footing layers have been applied on the large outside riding arena, the lunging circle and on the paddocks. Thanks to a donation by the family Degler, 80 cubic meters of special conifer chips have been purchased. To prepare the paddocks, a group of riders has been working one whole day on the 24th of April 2010.
Another working day with shovels and wheelbarrows was necessary to spread the two 40 cbm heaps of material onto the different areas.
The Foundation thanks family Degler and the volunteers!
Back breaking work was necessary to remove the old All available wheelbarrows were in use when the chips
paddock surface and to prepare the subsoils were spread on riding arena and paddocks on May 8th, 2010
Good atmosphere also during the barbecue lunch break
Photos and Text: Prof. U. Schnitzer
Extension of the Stable - Ille Fribolin returns to the Riding Institute
When Egon von Neindorff moved into the former Telegraph Casern in the year 1949, only a small section of the 130 m long building was available to him. The biggest part was occupied by handicraft enterprises. Over the decades the stable was expanded step by step. Now that the last workshop, a carpenter, closed his business, the stable has been reclaimed for the horses in its original extent.
With four additional spacious boxes the Institute now has more than 53 boxed stalls available. In the period of military service, 120 horses had to share the same space, at that time in tie-stalls.
In mid-February, Mrs. Ille Fribolin moved into the refurbished stable section that she had generously financed in advance. Mrs. Fribolin had to give up her own business in Ettlingen, as its space was supposed to supplement the industrial zone.
February 2010: Mrs. Fribolin with the grey mare
Belle Cante in the new stable section that had
served different workshops in the post-war period
Photo: Prof. U. Schnitzer
The more senior friends of the Riding Institute still remember her participation at the festive evening events. She considerably contributed to the training and presentation of the horses from the mid-fifties to the eighties. For many years she headed the quadrille. Unforgotten are her free sections with the Lipizzaner mares Isolana and Musica. We are pleased about the return of Ille Fribolin to her former equestrian homeland.
Ille Fribolin and Egon von Neindorff in the mid-seventies
with the Lipizzaner stallion Pluto Slavina
Photo: Prof. U. Schnitzer
Text: Prof. U. Schnitzer, 15.Mai 2010
5 QUESTIONS TO ... LIV TOLSAGER
Intern from Denmark at the Riding Institute - January to April 2010
1.) Mrs. Tolsager, how did you initially find out about Egon von Neindorff and the Riding Institute?
That was about 13 years ago. I read an article by Prof. Schnitzer in a Danish Magazine and I was deeply impressed and inspired! I was looking for really good teachers that take classical riding and schooling seriously.
2.) And that's how you came to Egon von Neindorff?
Von Neindorff has been a celebrity among riders and it had been my dream to meet him personally. I came to Karlsruhe in 2003, and therefore I had the great luck to experience Neindorff still in his lifetime. For one month I rode the whole day, e.g. on Monteaura and Paulchen. Neindorff was pleased with my posture and he advanced my very much. I was very taken by his disciplined and competely uncompromising way to practice riding.
3.) And now you did return in 2010. Why?
I have been permanently looking for a place where it's not only talked about classical riding but where it is implemented and lived day by day. I have looked around on many warm-up arenas in northern Europe and in many stables, and often I have been disappointed: there are only very few places, where riding is taken seriously. Karlsruhe is such a place, a revelation if one is on a quest!
4.) The Riding Institute ist managed now since 1.01.10 by Axel Schmidt ...
He is a wonderful rider and teacher. He never pulls the reins, he never fights with the horse. The horses are always supple, always before the vertical, even during difficult sections. He is very strict and he doesn't compromise, just like Egon von Neindorff, but he's also relaxed and has a good sense of humor: I have learned a lot from him. Riding here isn't „spectacular" as it is in many other places, but it is straightforward and good riding.
5.) Today you're participating for the first time at the „Morning Exercises", and afterwards you will leave us!
Yes, I will present Landsmann and also our own horse today, the Trakehner mare Mazarin.
And yes, I have to go back home. But I felt so comfortable in Karlsruhe, everybody is so nice here; I will surely return!
Interview: Ursel Hoss, 2.05.2010
New Courses - that's what the Participants say:
For the first time the teachers of the Riding Institute offered courses that were all fully booked. Here is some feedback by the participants:
„I enjoyed the calm and composed atmosphere during the lessons, the respectful handling of both rider and horse."
„The ambience of the Riding Institute is unique. you can feel it already when turning into the courtyard: the old stables, the numerous trees and especially: this wonderful riding hall!"
„Riding here means really working: on yourself, on the posture, on a steady hand, on the subtle communication with the horse. Unfortunately, it becomes also clear that learning does never end!"
„The Riding Institute is one of very few riding stables, where classical dressage is taken completely serious and where it is also realized. The horses are always before the vertical, the horses have supple backs. Absolutely no violence is tolerated."
„Probably there are only few riding stables with so many different schooling horses - from Haflinger to noble Lipizzaner horses." (Comment: currently 22).
New equestrian Management of the Institute
On Januar 1st 2010, riding teacher Axel Schmidt (Master of Horsemanship, focus riding, breeding and care, agricultural engineer) assumed the management of the Riding Institute.
In close cooperation with riding teacher Arnim Dietrich (Master of Horsemanship, focus riding) the lessons and training program could therefore be enhanced significantly. Private and group lessons are now offered daily. Horses for training will be accepted on a larger scale.
Continuously new Lessons offered by the Institute
From Monday to Sunday both riding instructors are holding private and group lessons.
The fixed schedule for the group lessons can be found directly in the navigation menu:
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Please visit our overview of upcoming events and courses regularly, it will be updated frequently.
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Private lessons can be arranged on appointment in the given time frame.
We are looking forward to your numerous attendances and will be happy to accept your bookings.