The King's Stable was built between 1678 and 1682 for two purposes: a stable for the king's saddle horses and a training center for young people from the nobility destined to be officers in the royal army.
L'Académie du spectacle équestre (The Academy of Equestrian Arts). I haven't ridden a horse since I was a child and never had any formal training so I can only describe what they do from my very uninformed perspective. The show we went to was called La Voie de l’écuyer (The Way of the Squire) and it was a bit of everything - theater, ballet, a tournament, a mock battle, a dance - beautifully choreographed and accompanied by very good classical music (Baroque, I think) and words from the past.
The show began with a quotation that I did not recognize, "La tradition est la deformation d'un message du passé." (Tradition is a deformed message from the past.) and the call was to return to the origin of things to learn their real meaning and context. The first scene was composed of three young women with longbows and they moved slowly enough so that you could see every step, every gesture before they fired at the target. It was impressive and those bows were almost as tall as the women who were wielding them. This was followed by the entry of one of the most beautiful horses I'd ever seen with his rider who ran him through his paces around the arena. Such amazing fluidity of movement and gaits that I didn't know horses had in them. It was very much like watching a ballet - many of the movements seemed unnatural but oh so graceful and precise. Beautiful to watch.
|From the l’Académie du spectacle équestre website|
The rest of the show was just as good. If you have children, you must bring them. If you don't have children, go anyway. The place was packed so reserve here ahead of time. You can visit the stables after the show to ask questions and admire the horses. We learned that the really elegant white ones are Lusitaniens. There were also Criollos and Quarter Horses. A last word - both the stables and the arena were really cold. This doesn't seem to bother the horses one bit but if you're a furless human like me, a warm coat, a hat and gloves would be a good idea.
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