The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


An attractive element within the equestrian sport is carousel riding, in which a team of an even number of riders ride patterns on music, under the direction of a commander. For riding in the Vondel Carousel the lady uses a side-saddle, with both legs to the left side of the horse. A gentleman rides on the right side next to her. The ladies’ costumes differ from the men’s’. Vondel Carousel riding is done in the building of the Dutch Riding School, near the Vondel Park in Amsterdam. The carousel patterns are ridden in a smooth flow. During the so-called proof, consisting of several manoeuvres that last ten to fifteen minutes, the horses must simultaneously walk, trot and gallop. The riders (men) and amazons (women) ride in varying patterns either next to each other or at a distance, either mixed or the ladies opposite the gentlemen. The weekly trainings guarantee that amazons and riders are form a whole with the horses. Everyone who rides in the Vondel Carousel must master the classical riding art to make the group performance a success.



The carousel group in side-saddle, the Vondel Carousel, consists of a small group of women who passionately keep riding the carousel in side-saddle in the Dutch Riding School alive. The Stichting Levend Paardenmuseum de Hollandsche Manege (The Living Horses Museum the Dutch Riding School Foundation) was established to promote the cultural-historical aspects of the Dutch Riding School and the classical riding art that is practised there, including the Vondel Carousel. Carousel riding is further supported by the United Dutch Carousel Clubs and the Federation of Dutch Equestrian Sports Centres.



In the Middle Ages a kind of carousel riding already existed at knights’ tournaments. Later on this was practised by soldiers. A commander can use it to prove how well the mounted troops hear and execute his commands. Individual riders can show how well they control their horses. In 1858 the Dutch Carousel Society was established at the Dutch Riding School, residing at the Leidsegracht in Amsterdam. At first only gentlemen took part in carousel riding. March 1864 was the first time that a Quadrille was ridden by ‘Four Gentlemen and Four Ladies’. As the building of the Dutch Riding School had to make way for city expansion, a new location was opened near the Vondel Park, in 1882. In the season 1883-1884 a ladies carousel was introduced. In 1932, during a performance on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the School, ladies took part in three out of eight elements. After a large-scale renovation of the Riding School in 1986, carousel riding, including riding in side-saddle, was re-established. Throughout the Netherlands the number of carousel groups, juniors as well as seniors, has increased. The Vondel Carousel, riding at the Dutch Riding School, is the only group left that rides with ladies in a side-saddle and gentlemen at their right side.



Stichting Levend Paardenmuseum
Vondelstraat 140
1054 GT