Demonstration of The Spanish Walk with an Andalusian horse.Upon our arrival to visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, the crowd waited for the gates to open. With two Spanish policeman on elegant white Andalusian horses our journey into the world of hoofbeats in the air began. Upon entering the grounds of the school the well manicured gardens, and elegant buildings left us mesmerized by their beauty and grace. The main castle “El Recreo de las Cadenas” was built between 1861 and 1868 for the wine and sherry producer Julian Pemartin Lombarde in the French style by Charles Garnier who designed the Paris Opera house. The main building at the school is the exhibition arena which is known as a “Picadero” and yellow Albero sand is used for painting the trim along a bright white background. Within the exhibition area there is seating for 1,600 people and while photographs can be taken prior to the show, no photos or video may be taken during the show. The exhibition displays the finest riders and horses in the all of Spain. They show remarkable synchronicity and harmony between horse and rider. Dressed in traditional Spaniard costumes from the 18th and 19th century the equestrian pairs dance throughout the show in perfect harmony. The music intertwines with the coordinated movements of such elegance and grace. All of the advanced dressage movements are demonstrated throughout including all of the “Airs above the ground.” Strolling the botanical gardens prior to the equestrian presentation one is able to watch the students working their horses in the outdoor arena. It was all I could do to try to hijack one of the riders and get on and try to ride one of these marvelous beasts.
Training at the outdoor arena
Views of the actual show
Sherry traditionally poured by a Spaniard.