Sylvia Loch
Eden Hall
Fax: ++44(0)1890-830667

Sylvia Loch - A Personal Point of View
The Classical Riding Club

So how come I'm bold enough to make all these statements about certain trainers? I'm not naturally tetchy, but I do get weary of people taking the public for a ride. And I can't bear to see horses having to suffer as a result. But first, let's get the balance right. There are many trainers whom I openly admire, commend both in writing and verbally, and support through The Classical Riding Club. It would be accurate to say, I actually started the Club to help the public know where to find them. One look at the bibliographies of my books will also open your eyes as to those other classical trainers and authors who work or have worked on truly classical lines. The principles and ethos will remain the same even if the backgrounds may differ. Let me tell you a little more about mine.......


My Background - A Leap Of Faith

I became involved in Classical Dressage over 30 years ago, but first let's start at the beginning because without the beginning, it's doubtful I would ever have been drawn to it in the first place.

Like so many horse-mad kids in Britain at the time, I started riding long before my tenth birthday and was hunting at home in Scotland by the age of twelve. To me hunting was not about killing foxes but a chance to ride with the wind, in company with fast moving horses and their riders and to keep up with the chase. It was also a proof that I could ride! The country we covered in a day was challenging, exciting and amazingly beautiful. It was at that time that my appreciation of Nature grew and flourished. I believe the greatest gift I inherited from those wild, reckless days on my pony was a feel for balance.

Classical dressage began under the guidance of my late, cavalry instructor husband (29 years my senior) Henry Loch, a British peer of the realm with his own small school of High School horses in the foothills of the Algarve. Henry could rebalance a horse in an instant. With the quietest of seats and invisible aids, he knew just how and where to aid, so that a horse heavy in hand could be transformed to a ballet dancer. He had learned these pre-war secrets from the Spanish Riding School, time spent at Saumur in France and from various specialist riders - including circus and bullfighters - along the way. It was this re-balancing technique and the secret of the classical seat that was his greatest legacy to me over the years that followed.

So entranced were our pupils who came from all over the world that they persuaded us to take our ever-growing stable of horses back to England which we did in l979. As Lord and Lady Loch you might have thought it would be easy to be accepted into the British horse world when we returned from l0 years spent in Portugal but although we continued to attract serious students who really wanted to know the truth - among them such notables as Lucinda Green and Christine Stuckelburger - it was clearly not the right moment. Sadly, we had arrived at a time when dressage was moving in different directions and the idea of Classical Dressage was going through a period of rejection - as it had so many times before - if you ever get round to reading its history.

The Power Of The Pen
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Eden Hall, Kelso, Roxburghshire TD5 7QD, Scotland, UK.
Fax: ++44(0)1890-830667

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