by Charles de Kunffy
“When I rode, the world cares, fears and hardships fell away. I found myself in a state of great emotional happiness and intellectual well-being,” writes Charles de Kunffy of the island of tranquility he found practicing the ancient art of classical horsemanship during the bad times in his early life. This was during the years when his genteel world was crumbling around him after World War II, with the brutal Soviet occupation of his beloved Hungary.
This is a fascinating autobiography of his early life by famed Hungarian horseman and nobleman Charles de Kunffy. He was born into an aristocratic horse tradition, and trained with classical riders of the Hungarian National Riding Academy and the Spanish Riding Schools of Budapest and Vienna. He recounts his early life of elegance and culture, a way of life which was eventually destroyed by World War II, the Soviet occupation, the Hungarian Revolution and the second Soviet repression. He describes how his mind and spirit survived the dehumanizing tyranny.
Tragic at times, funny at others, this true-life tale of his life contains fascinating stories of great mentors, professor horses, remarkable equestrian characters, and the passing of a gentle, refined, horse-centered era.