When we were in Vienna, my mom and I had a strong desire to see a performance from their world famous Spanish Riding School. A) It's famous, B) the horses lift their legs up in such an awkward position - a must see in real life, and C) it all takes place inside an old and beautiful building, which had to equal success. Unfortunately fate was not on our side. We visited Austria a week too soon, because the riding school was on vacation and the first performance of the season would be given a mere 7 days after we left.
So, you can imagine my surprise as I was looking in my "to do in Amsterdam" guide on Saturday (since I actually had a few free hours to go exploring) and I found that there's a Spanish Riding School in my city too. It was inspired by the riding school in Venice, it started in 1882, had a picture of a horse lifting it's leg in an awkwardly high position, and was inside a beautiful building. Again, all those qualities had to equal success.
I decided to give them a call to see if they, by any chance, had a performance that day. Once more, fate was not on my side, since the next performance won't be for another two weeks. That being said, hope was not lost, because I was told that students are always practicing and visitors are welcome throughout the day to watch.
After hanging up the phone, I jumped on my bike to experience true Spanish Horse Riding.
Instead, I got to watch a bunch of kids riding horses in a circle. Granted, they were riding in a beautiful old building, but there was not a single moment when any of the horses lifted up their legs in the extremely awkward way-- which is what made Spanish Horse Riding famous in the first place.
Guess I was out of luck this time. Who knows, maybe I'll find myself back in Vienna someday and see the real deal. Sometimes you just need to let fate run its course, instead of trying to take the reins.