In the saddle of thousand horses

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My Father, Officer/equestrian rider

Rudolf Georg Binding

An excerpt of an old Newspaper article written by this German Poet, about the “most noble animal of God’s Creation.” Binding was a family friend and the photo is of my father who was a cavalry officer in the first world war.

“Here, on the back of thousand horses, I learned patience which no one else could have taught me. Here I learned the never-to-give-up, the never-to-slack attitude. Here I learned to concentrate, to be fair, never to become angry. Here I learned all my consideration, my appreciation of any natural reaction. Here I learned to love every elementary, untamed. At last, here I learned all which rewarded me, and all which punished me. Here I lost all vanity and self-importance. Here ruled a will, you do not ignore, not to circumvent. Here was sovereignty of superior power and my leading with tenderness Here I gained control over myself, the discipline within my body and soul. The noblest creature on Earth took me in its silent school, where it was no longer just a riding horse, not a bearer of a load, no longer master of its will, but itself the school of a perfect harmony, of an accord, a dissolution into a dance. Only the noblest horse, a thoroughbred, is able to accomplish this art… I did not love the old-fashioned knight riding; nor did I have a competition spirit, nor did I care for a slow trot on a trail. I loved the élan of a flight on the arched back of a racing body. But also the long stretched canter, as well the swinging two step trot. IT no longer was just riding, it was no longer just a sport. The physically part dissolved into the spiritual ecstasy of a young soul. Here I found myself: with an inferior life, trained by a superior Being.”

Rudolf Georg Binding (13 August 1867 – 4 August 1938) was a German poet, born in Basel, Switzerland and died in Starnberg near Munich. He studied medicine and law before joining the Hussars. On the outbreak of the First World War, Binding, who was forty-six years old, became commander of a squadron of dragoons. Except for a four-month period in Galicia in 1916, Binding spent the whole of the war on the Western Front. Binding’s diary and letters, A Fatalist at War, was published in 1927. His collected war poems, stories and recollections were not published until after his death in 1938. Binding was never a member of the National Socialist Party and publicly dissociated himself from one of its actions; but his relationship to it was not unambiguous, for he saw it at times as an aspect of national revival.