Sylvia Loch
Eden Hall
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Classical Riding - Sylvia Loch - The Road Travelled

Master Nuno Oliveira of Portugal

Mestre Nuno Oliveira of Portugal was one of the most striking figures on horseback I ever saw in my life. I got to know him a little over several years but I would never dream of calling myself one of his students. He reserved that title for only four or five people who worked at his school, day after day, over many unbroken years. Nevertheless, he trusted me enough to be the first person to write his official biography. Only months before his tragic and sudden death, my publishers had flown me out at his invitation to work on this plan. Never dreaming that time would prove so short, we enjoyed long and illuminating conversations concerning technique but since we never completed those talks, I abandoned the book. It would have been wrong to do otherwise. Fortunately, his own books remain, a joy and an inspiration. He wrote 5 in all, the last 3 in Australia, where he died.


Brigadier Kurt Albrecht
Director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna

Brigadier Kurt Albrecht, Director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna has been a much valued and supportive friend. I first met him as I researched my third book, Dressage the Art of Classical Riding in which was generous enough to write the Foreword. We soon discovered that we shared the same ethos concerning the correct classical seat as he too had written extensively to explain the three point contact in his own book Principles of Dressage, a literary gem. Unfortunately, although this had been published in German in l981, the English translation came out too late to help me as the furore grew over the same concept described in The Classical Seat. (1985). If only people could have seen for themselves that it was not a Sylvia Loch idea, that it had all been said before - not just in antiquity, but by a highly qualified, modern Great Master, steeped in the classical ways - they might have paused before attacking. Kurt must have thought the Brits a very strange lot to have questioned something so fundamental, but he was much too polite to say.


Arthur Kottas Chief Rider and Colonel Alois Podhajsky

Time spent at Vienna led to three further lasting friendships. First with Chief Rider Arthur Kottas who became my instructor through the good offices of TTT in England. Second, with Johann Riegler and his wife, to whom I sent two of my working pupils.

Colonel Alois Podhajsky by kind permission of Eva PodhajskyThird, I became close to Colonel Alois Podhajsky's widow, Eva Podhajsky, an elegant and erudite woman, who too had been captivated by a man old enough to be her father. Eva's apartment at the Hofburg was filled by memorabilia and as expected, her collection of horse books was legendary. Not only did she extend generous hospitality in Vienna, but when she came to England, she stayed with my husband and me at our house in Suffolk, watching and encouraging for hours as I schooled and taught with my Lusitanos. It was more than an honour when she later endorsed my work by writing the Foreword to The Classical Rider. She took enormous trouble over this, insisting on reading every word and it is very sad that she is no longer with us.

Photo: Colonel Alois Podhajsky
by kind permission of Eva Podhajsky
The Road Travelled Part Two

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