Sunday, April 26, 2020

The horses of Europe: Neuschwanstein Castle

Clearly, I am jonesing for a horse fix

I was hoping to swing the barn for a few minutes tomorrow after the statewide Stay at Home order expired. However, local government has since stepped in and extended the order for most of the Denver Metro area - including Arapahoe County - until May 8. I think that was the right decision, and I will abide by it. I hate it, but I will continue staying home.

In the meantime, I will fill the horse shaped void with my models and my memories. Today, I am going back to Europe again, to spend some time with Sammy and Nora and the other horses at Neuschwanstein Castle.

On January 13, Carol and I got up early and drove two and a half hours across Germany to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.
The castle is located high on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau. As we got out of the car, I looked up that hill and sighed. I loved Europe, but so many hills, so many stairs. I grumbled something to that effect, and Carol laughed. 

"This time," she said "I have a plan."

Moments later...
that plan...
totted right past us!
It turns out that the walk to the castle is so steep, there's a whole fleet of horse drawn carriages dedicated to taking tourists up the hill. We bought our ticket and headed over to the carriage line.
I took pictures of each of the pairs assembled there.
Some of the pictures were character shots,
but most focused on the tack.
The tack was fabulous!
I just love these colorful nosebands.
Definitely going to make this someday.
I also loved the surcingle construction: One big buckle on each side. So simple, so elegant.
And the quarter sheets each horse wore?
Love those, too!
I could have stayed there all day taking pictures, but Carol called me up to the front of the line. 
"Climb aboard," she said. "We're about to go."

"I'm not sure I'm ready to go yet," I told her.

"If we go in this one," she explained patiently, as if I was a kid. "We can sit next to the driver."

Okay then.
Our horses were named Sammy and Nora.
I loved having a clear view of them as they pulled us up the mountain.
Clop, clop, clop, ting! Clop, clop, clop, ting!
When we reached the top, everyone else disembarked and headed to the castle.
Not me.
 I took a minute - or ten - to linger with Sammy and Nora.
Thanks for the lift. I really appreciated. 
And thank you, Carol, for putting up with me and my horsey needs. I owe you a Disney trip when all of this is over.


  1. These horses are adorable! Did you happen to ask their breed(s)? If there were “grail” places to visit, Neuschwanstein Castle is one of mine and seeing this makes me want to go even more!

    1. I did not. There was a language gap, and I didn't think it was worth the effort. Of all the castles I went to, Neuschwanstein was the best. I hope you make it there someday!

    2. I think they could be Süddeutsches Kaltblut (south german draft). I once was on a riding holiday in southern bavaria where they breeded them.

  2. Okay, all these horsey details have added this castle to my destination wish list. Looks like it is a great experience!!

  3. Love the video clip - clip clop jingle jangle clip clop! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Come live in the Netherlands! We hardly have elevation and we do have lots and lots of horses ^^
    Also, Charlotte has made a noseband much like that but blue. I'll find a photo.

  5. Why do I suspect those nose bands will be recreated in 1:9 scale?