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Gymnasium of the Horse


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Steinbrecht was born in 1808 in Ampfurth, a village near Oschersleben in the Boerde district of Saxony, which at that time was a province of Prussia. He studied veterinary medicine in Berlin before spending eight years at the manege at Moabit under the celebrated dressage trainer Louis Seeger. It was there that he met his wife, Seeger's niece. From 1834 to 1842 he directed a private manege in Magdeburg, and then returned to Berlin to work again with Seeger. In 1849 Steinbrecht took over as director of Seeger's manege and began work on a book on horsemanship. In 1859 he acquired his own manege in Dessau, but returned once again to Berlin in 1865, where he continued to train horses almost until his death. His book was expanded and edited by Paul Plinzner and published posthumously as Das Gymnasium des Pferdes, "The Gymnasium of the Horse" in 1886. The date of publication is often incorrectly given as 1885 in bibliographies such as that of Huth. A second edition was published in 1892, and a third in 1901. Xenophon Press published the first ever English edition in 1995. William Clark "Bill" Steinkraus (born October 12, 1925) is an American show jumping champion. Steinkraus participated in five Olympic Games. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, held in Mexico City, he won a gold medal in individual jumping with the horse, Snowbound. He obtained two silver medals in Team Jumping, first in 1960 on his mount, Ksar d'Espirt, and 1972 on Main Spring. Steinkraus also won a bronze medal in Team Jumping at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland on Hollandia. He was also slated to ride on the 1964 Olympic Team until his horse, Sinjon, was injured.


"Today, The Gymnasium of the Horse stands as a cornerstone of equestrian literature, a work of truly remarkable coherence, comprehensiveness, and depth of understanding ..." - William Steinkraus

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