Friday, October 1, 2010

Spanish Riding School saddle

The Breyer dioramas aren't the only interesting things on display at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.  Hobbyist Shannon de Waal took these wonderful pictures of a Spanish Riding School saddle and has graciously given me permission to publish them here.
Some twenty years ago I tried to make a Spanish Riding School set for my Breyer Pluto.  I had a terrible time finding good clear reference shots.  Oh, what I would have done for pictures like these!
I think I might still have that Pluto boxed away somewhere.  
Maybe I should dig him up and give it another go?
Thanks again to Shannon de Waal for allowing me to share her photos!


  1. If you can't find yours, I can lend you mine :)

  2. You should do that, or do a french Versailles saddle set: I've been wanting one for years to go with my CM "cheveau du soleil" from L'Académie du Spectacle Equestre. :)

  3. Dang, it cut off... /462/kataclop/ pics/544073710_small.jpg (but get rid of the spaces). I have more pics if you ever want :) It has a pointed seat and cool cutout...

  4. Now I want a real horse sized one... such neat and comfy looking saddles.

  5. I have had a mild obsession with the SRS and Lippizans for a very long time (thank you, Marguerite and Wesley). How neat to see a saddle up close! I remember they're made out of deerskin. Why do you suppose their shape and style is so different from other dressage saddles? Or, conversely, why aren't other dressage saddles more like these?

  6. I see a lot of similarities between this and Spanish and Portuguese saddles. Obviously the color and design elements are different, but the shape of the seat is nearly the same.

    When I was fourteen my best friend spent a half year in Europe with her parents. She attended a performance at the Spanish Riding School while she was there. I was SO jealous! A year or two later, I got to see the SRS Lipizzans while they were on their US tour.

  7. Well, get ready for more jealousy because guess what - I saw them in Vienna, too. :-) When I was in 9th grade my parents put me on a plane and I went to stay w/ a family friend who was living in Germany. I spent a month and she took vacation time and toured me around Bavaria and Austria. Naturally, I could think of nothing else but the Lips and trying to find out if Borina was a real horse. Vienna is an absolutely beautiful city, and I loved everything about it, but the day I got to go to the SRS was magical. I could only afford a standing-room ticket, but luckily someone who had purchased one right at the edge of the balcony didn't show up, and the other spectators were kind enough to let the horse-crazy teenager with stars in her eyes have it. :-) I knew nothing about dressage but was transfixed.

    Of course afterwards I went to the stables, and was crushed to find they'd tied all the horses with their heads to the back of the stalls. Luckily one clever fellow had gotten his lead rope undone and I managed to pet him before being shooed away. I found a plaque on the wall with "Maestoso Borina" on it (with a lot of other names), so it was one happy girl that left that day!

  8. What an awesome story! And yeah, I'm totally jealous!


  9. While I worked for an airline, I flew to Europe (into Paris), hoping to go to Portugal to see Lusitanos. The flight was oversold, so I went to Austria, planning to go to the Spanish Riding School.

    The tour books tell you they have daily schooling, which is less expensive than the performances. I woke very early (schooling was supposed to be at 0800, I think?), walked the several miles to the School, looked at the performance schedule that was posted for that QUARTER, and of the 3 days in those three months they weren't schooling or performing, that day was on of the no-shows =(

    I went through the museum thingy, decided to fly back to Paris (since I had to leave the next day, anyway), got in around noon, took the bus into downtown, and saw the sights.

    I may never make it back over to see the horse perform... kind of sad, but still a funny story.

  10. You know, I LOVE it when old posts suddenly become active again!

    Bif--your story is both sad and funny. That's totally something that would happen to me. I'm sorry you didn't get to see the horses schooling!

  11. Who will sell me one of these for my 17hh warmblood shaped Friesian?