One wing of Bolsover Castle forms the 'Riding House', one of the largest and finest historical indoor riding schools and stables in this country. Built in the 1630s, it was here that William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, indulged his passion for horses, importing fine, elegant horses from as far away as Turkey and North Africa and training them in the complex art of dressage. He is credited with being 'the father of the modern art of dressage', teaching his horses to perform breathtaking leaps, turns and circles. William was also the royal horsemaster to Charles I and riding master to the future king Charles II.
Displays of dressage are now regularly performed in the restored riding house, with expert horsemen, dressed in period costume (oh, the romance of the cavaliers!), recreating the advanced techniques devised and perfected by William Cavendish. Unfortunately I was too late to get a ticket for any of the performances on the day I visited, so I was unable to go inside, but one of the costumed 'cavaliers' chivalrously agreed to pose for me.