Local Heart, Global Soul

March 23, 2020

Changing Tack…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Hague City Riding School: “De ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadrijschool” is a wonderful discovery right in the heart of the city centre. Beautiful horses, an indoor training arena and stables in this location was a new discovery (to me) that I only discovered due to the booklet and information put out for the annual ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ weekend (Open day for National Historic Places sites). Naturally there needs to be a tack room, and while passing the stables I happened upon it. The door was open so I took a few photographs…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 22, 2020

Horses In The Café…

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I am delighting in the pictorial and sculptural artworks in the café in the ‘ ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool’ (The Hague City Riding School).

The theme naturally enough is “anything and everything to do with horses’, Let’s enjoy…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 21, 2020

New (to me), History And Art … Perfect!

The Netherlands has a national, annual event called ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open day for National Historic Places sites) where many buildings around the Netherlands that are usually closed to the public are open for one or two days of that weekend for visitors.
The café in the ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool (The Hague City Riding School) is filled with beautiful portraits and sculptures of horses.
A new (to me), historic, place that has Art, the trifecta of the prefect day out!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This window in the café looks out on the rear of the Edith Stein College (entrance on the other side of the building: Louis Couperusplein 33, 2514 HP Den Haag).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2020

Arena Horses, … And Horses!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The gallery windows above the training arena of the “De ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadrijschool” (The Hague City Riding School)
give me a comfortable spot from where to look into how horses are trained here.

It’s not just the horses and their riders on show.

There are also decorative panels on the walls, naturally enough, often being of a horse-y theme.

The Stork on the back wall is an exception but is there because it is the official symbol of The Hague.

Just to clarify why I call the city “The Hague”, yet the official name of the riding school is “ ‘s-Gravenhaag” “, it’s because The Hague actually has not two, but three names! A generalised explanation would be that ” ‘s-Gravenhage”  is the official Formal name of the city, ‘Den Haag’ is the less formal name of the city and ‘The Hague’ is the English language name for the city. The horses and riders are undergoing lessons from a lady standing near our end of the arena. Therefore aside from the Stork, I can enjoy both the horses the animals and the horses the artwork!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 19, 2020

Who’s Training Who?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What makes the cafe in the “‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool “(The Hague City Riding School) unique, is that it is located upstairs and has large glass windows along one wall enabling visitors to watch the going-on’s in the arena below.

I’m not sure who is being trained here, the horses or the riders.

There is a lady standing at our end of the area giving out instructions.

Watching one rider after another closely, I see postures change, they straighten their backs, rearrange the reins etc, I assume to the instructions that the lady is giving them.

Maybe it’s because the riders are doing things right, or because the horses already know the ropes, but the horses seem extremely well behaved.

It’s relaxing to sit and rest, watching the riders on these beautiful beasts. I spent a while here, taking it all in.

Its discoveries like this that really make me appreciate the organisation that goes into Dutch ‘Nationale Monumentendag‘ (Open days for National Historic Places sites).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 18, 2020

A Cool Café Upstairs…

My ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) in 2019 has led me to the” ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool” (The Hague City Riding School).

After a tour of the stables below, I go upstairs to the café for a well earned rest. It’s small but cosy, but perfect for a cup of tea, cold drink and a snack. It was also a very warm day and without a lot of direct sunlight the café was lovely and cool. Of course the main feature of the café is that is boasts something very special…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 17, 2020

Bird In The Hand? No,… In A Horse Stall.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch national event called ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for National Historic Places sites) provides the occasion for the general public to visit many (generally) non-public places.

Nationale Monumentendag’ means that these sites are open for one or two days a year of this special weekend for visitors.

It’s also an opportunity for various institutions to advertise themselves to the public, enabling people like me to discover places like the ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool (The Hague City Riding School) Stadsrijschool (City Riding School).

I have to confess that I have lived in the Hague for over twenty-five years now, but didn’t know the riding school existed until I saw it listed in the ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ guide book.

This is therefore how I found myself at the riding school on Saturday 14th September 2019.

The horse stalls are fairly large, and on the walls are large metal (I think wrought iron (?) maybe) baskets into which enables the horse to eat at a more convenient height.

What was instantly noticeable was that there were birds in most of the stalls, clearly taking advantage of the warm, safe, dry spot that came with the added bonus of being able to scavenge for dropped horse feed. When I was little, on the farm, I remember our neighbours mixing hot water into some sort of mash for their horses but since I was a kid, I never asked what was in it. It was probably bran mash, and I vaguely recall that it was a once a week task to make this thick mix, then have our group of kids (their kids and my sister and I) lug the buckets to the horses.

The birds here seem to be very much at home. I don’t see any nests, but they have plenty of perches by way of these metal hay baskets. I’m not sure if the horses mind these uninvited house guests, I like to think that they enjoy each other’s company.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 16, 2020

Residents In The Stalls…

Following yesterday’s post from the ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool (The Hague City Riding School) Stadsrijschool (City Riding School), I have been busy photographing the horse stalls. Now it’s time to meet the residents of these stalls. Horses are always bigger close up than you first imagine, these guy’s and gals are beautiful beasts indeed…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 15, 2020

Horse Stalls…

The first section of the ‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool (The Hague City Riding School) Stadsrijschool (City Riding School) are a series of stalls for the horses. The day was at the end of summer 2019, very warm, the stalls were of different ages and styles, each with their own distinct atmosphere, especially with sunlight streaming into the more dimly lit stable area. Sadly my photographs failed to achieve the desired effect (probably because I didn’t take the time to use a tripod or use manual DSLR settings). What’s missing are the dust particles in the sunlight, the haziness’s between the sunlight and the shadows etc.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 14, 2020

One Scratch, Nick, Bump And Dent At A Time…

Having discovered the “‘s-Gravenhaagsche Stadsrijschool” (The Hague City Riding School) during my 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for Historic Places sites), I leave the courtyard and go inside. What I find first is a stable area. I’m drawn to some show jumping rails, laid out neatly in a rack this open storage area.

I love that the rails have a used, beaten, battered,worn look. They have endured countless horses’ hooves making contact; rails falling and hitting the ground, the process giving them more and more character, one scratch, nick, bump and dent at a time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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