I cannot help thinking that the Germans are more devoted to riding than any other Continental nation. I have not hunted in Germany, as I was there only during the summer; but I sold a good hunter to a German Count who was a fine horseman and a Master of Foxhounds. He told me that a large number of ladies hunted with his pack. I was particularly struck with the immense size and beauty of the riding schools in Berlin. In the Berliner Tattersall there are three large riding schools, and I seldom went there without seeing some ladies on horseback. In the largest riding school there is a gallery, a refreshment room, reading room, several dressing rooms, a bandstand, and seating accommodation for hundreds of people. The proprietor told me that in the winter months when the weather is too bad for outside riding, ladies ride in the schools, and various entertainments are given. I saw a large number of ladies riding in the Tiergarten, although it was out of the season, and I expected to find the ride as empty as Rotten Row in the winter months. As I went there before eight in the morning, our German cousins must be early risers. On the last occasion we visited the Tiergarten, we were on our way home from Russia, and, having a couple of hours to wait for our train, we strolled into the delightful wooded ride. It was about half-past seven on a cold March morning, and almost the first people I saw there were the Kaiser and the Kaiserin, so I no longer marvelled at German ladies’ taste for early rising.
From The Horsewoman, by Mrs Hayes (1893). The Berlin “Tattersall” or indoor school (named after the original riding hall set up by the famous British horse auctioneer, Tattersall’s in London) was sited at the west end of what is now the Zoologischergarten, where the S-bahn tracks run.
That excerpt makes me want to both read the rest of that book and visit Germany for its riding schools. I wonder how much has changed.
I’m hoping to have something really fascinating about horsey Berlin in the nineteenth century in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!
I got to visit Germany a couple years ago and loved the horsey culture! The history goes so far back it is amazing but in some places like on the carriage ride we did it felt like we were stepping back in time.
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