Max Ritter von Weyrother (1783–1833) was Chief Rider of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna from 1813, and Director from 1814 to 1833. His grandfather, Adam Weyrother, a previous Chief Rider at the school, may have known Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere in Paris. Adam Weyrother traveled to Paris frequently. Maximilian's father and brother, Gottlieb were also Chief Riders at the school. Under Max Ritter von Weyrother, the Spanish Riding School became a mecca of the riders of Central Europe in the 19th century. Louis Seeger, teacher of Gustav Steinbrecht [Gymnaisum of the Horse] and E.F. Seidler were his best-known students.
Weyrother coined the term "thinking rider." He said:
"Every rider must be perfectly clear, at what stage of the dressage the horse is, which he is working, as well as the purpose which he wishes to pursue from lesson to lesson and finally achieve. For the sake of this purpose, clear information must be given at any time in a few words. In a word, the rider does not have to ride alone, but also thinks, for only a thinking rider will reach the goal which he is set on with the greatest possible care of the horse in a comparatively short time."
Andreas Hausberger, Spanish Riding School, Vienna writes:
"I was delighted to learn that the writings of Max von Weyrother had been translated into English. This is a seminal work for us at the Spanish Riding School and one of the cornerstones of our theory and practice. As you will read in the introduction, Weyrother made a major contribution to classical horsemanship and the foundation of modern dressage. Now this work is available to a much wider audience as well as to the pupils at the Spanish Riding School."
Daniel Pevsner FBHS - pupil, the Spanish Riding School of Vienna said:
"In Fragments, Weyrother faithfully follows de la Guérinière’s precepts and expands on them in various ways. Aside from technique and science, Weyrother also offers a moral and philosophical view of horse training. Schooling methods are variable and numerous but they only work for the one he describes as a “reflective rider,” one who works humanely and respects the horse’s physiological and psychological needs. This is a message that is as fresh and relevant today as it was in the early nineteenth century."
"As a rider, I find myself returning to this book every so often, rediscovering the relevance of von Weyrother’s words and discovering new insights as my riding develops. I hope other readers enjoy it as much as I do."
H. J. Fane, translator