Compendium of Primary Directives for the Imperial Riding School by Johann Christoph von Regenthal
From works of chivalry by G. B. Tomassini
"...Austrian horsemanship developed independently and had the Imperial Riding School, which we know today as the Spanish School, as its primary foundation. Poscharnigg underlines that in the Austrian equestrian tradition, the oral transmission of the equestrian knowledge prevails over the written. This undoubtedly makes the work of historians more difficult and has led to several misunderstandings and to the emergence of some clichés. For example, that the doctrine of the Spanish Riding School is essentially based on the teachings of La Guérinière. In fact, Poscharnigg shows that the main features of Austrian horsemanship (the extreme attention to the perfection of the seat, the accuracy of the aids, the kindness of the training) were already contained in the “compendium” in which Johann Christoph von Regenthal summed up his primary directives for the Imperial Riding School, where he was Chief Rider from 1709 to 1730. Regenthal was considered one of the greatest riders and horse trainers of his time, but his text was never printed and has been handed down to us only in a manuscript. After being neglected for almost three centuries, this work of great historical and technical interest was rediscovered and finally published in 1996 (and I really hope that it will be translated and published also in English soon). Poscharnigg’s book has the merit to provide us a very interesting, reasoned summary of this work, as well as of the other books written by the most important Austrian horsemen....."