Though he began his equestrian
career as a three-day eventer for the Swiss Olympic team, Captain Otto Schwarz
discovered a love for equestrian travel while serving as a cavalryman during the
Second World War. In the course of a life devoted to equestrian adventure,
Captain Schwarz rode nearly 50,000 kilometres on five continents, thereby making
him the most travelled Long Rider of the 20th century. The photographs above
depict Captain Schwarz preparing for the Olympics, enjoying life at home with
his wife, Marlene, playing the accordion for cowboys he met on his ride across
the United States, and mounted atop his famous Swiss cavalry saddle on the way to Santiago de Compostella
(Click on any image to enlarge it.)
Obituary of Otto Schwarz, the most influential Long Rider of the late twentieth century.
Otto Schwarz began his equestrian career in the late 1930s as a three-day eventer for the Swiss Olympic team.
But before he could represent his country in the next Olympics, the Second World War intruded, forcing Otto to hang up his dressage saddle and swing into a Swiss cavalry saddle instead.
Promoted to Captain, the young horseman spent the war patrolling the French/Swiss border on horseback.
It was during this time of peril that the former ring rider developed an intense love of equestrian travel.
After the war Otto took his military saddle, which was created in 1916 and had now seen action in both World Wars, and set off on a life dedicated to equestrian travel and exploration.
Over the course of his life, the cavalryman turned Long Rider rode 50,000 kilometres on five continents, thereby covering more miles than any other equestrian traveller in the 20th century.
Among his many equestrian journeys were expeditions through Japan, Iceland, Latin America, along the length of Hadrian's Wall in Scotland and along the old Oregon Trail in the USA..
Yet Otto's best-known equestrian journeys involved his travels across Europe to the famous cathedral of Santiago de Compostella, located in northern Spain.
In later life Otto taught that it was the spiritual pilgrimage, as much as the physical journey, that appealed to the wandering souls of Long Riders like himself.
Before his death, Captain Schwarz authored a book, "Reisen mit dem Pferd", which contained all of the esoteric equestrian wisdom, as well as the practical travel knowledge, he had gathered during his life in the saddle.
This work, originally available only in Otto's native German, is being translated into English by The Long Riders' Guild, of which Otto was a proud Member.
Otto's wisdom now forms the basis of the forthcoming "Horse Travel Handbook" being prepared by The Long Riders' Guild Press.
Though Captain Schwarz has ridden on, his memory remains and his cavalry saddle is about to set off on another adventure.
Before his death, Otto bequeathed the saddle to CuChullaine O'Reilly.
For more information about Captain Otto Schwarz, please contact The Long Riders' Guild.