I had the privilege of attending a performance of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna yesterday and I must say, it was wunderbar! The brilliant Lipizzaners, the magnificent baroque atmosphere, the talented and dedicated riders all combined to create an unforgettable experience that proves beyond a doubt that newer is not always better.
The principles of classical horsemanship lie at the center of this program. One particular notion, the horse determines the speed of his training, provides an interesting framework for improving educational outcomes in schools and businesses. This is not a new idea in the equestrian art, in fact one of the early masters, Xenophon, made observations supporting this approach way back in 400BC!
The masters of the Renaissance refined the training methods which respect each horse’s personality and individuality and the experienced Chief Riders of the Spanish Riding School carry on the tradition. No two horses are alike and using this valuable principle, no two training programs are alike. The basics are all there, but the rhythms, pace and approach varies from horse to horse.
I can only imagine that we would benefit from applying more of this approach to our so-called modern schools and corporate training programs!