Moravita – Classical Breeding & Training Centre

Published in Horses and People Magazine

Classical Tradition & Ancient European Bloodlines

By Mariette van den Berg, B. (Hons), MSc (Equine Nutrition)
Photos by Nikki de Kerf (

Since 2008 Moravita has been my home for training horses according the classical principles. Ton & Aletta Duivenvoorden have an incredible passion and love for horses, breeding and classical training. Their extensive knowledge and personal approach makes Moravita a successful business that operates throughout the world with clients in Europe, United States and Australia. In this article they will tell us more about their Classical Breeding & Training Centre.


The Classical Breeding & Training Centre Moravita is located in Coevorden, a small city in north-eastern Netherlands near the border of Germany. Moravita was founded by Ton & Aletta Duivenvoorden in 2006.

The name Moravita was not randomly chosen. Moravita is named after a Lipizzaner filly that was bred by Ton & Aletta in 2005. Thoughtful breeding of an excellent moving Lipizzaner mare named Morava and the Dutch Champion Lipizzaner stallion Siglavy Allegra M, both bred by Ton, resulted in an excellent filly and new bloodline. There are traditional naming patterns for both Lipizzaner mares and stallions. The names of Lipizzaner mares are taken from the maternal line in the pedigree. The names from the sixth and eighth generation are reviewed and out of those two generations a name is chosen. The bloodlines of the mare Morava go all the way back to Romania.  The name Moravita, named after an area in Romania, was selected for the filly. When Ton & Aletta rebuilt their dairy farm and founded the Classical Breeding & Training Centre the name of the filly was chosen as a homage to 25 years of Lipizzaner breeding.


Ton Duivenvoorden is very passionate about classical training. Ton can be called an autodidact, he instinctively taught himself about how you should treat horses, how horses treat each other and how you should train horses so that the horse has a long, healthy and happy life.  Ton combines classical horsemanship techniques and today’s equine science in his classical training and riding. Ton says “ The art of training or handling horses is not to be the dominator, but to be equals in the play. This develops a two-way challenge and encourages mutual respect while working towards a higher level of training.”  Ton trained with various classical masters such as Brent Branderup, Arthur Kottas (chiefrider of the Vienna Riding school), Pedro Almeida (Portuguese master of dressage art) and others. At Moravita he trains approximately 10 to 15 horses a day. Besides riding, lungeing and groundwork training, Ton coaches various riders from recreational up to Grand Prix level.

Since 1987 Aletta Duivenvoorden has been working full time in the equine industry. In Germany she completed her Bereiter training at the German riding school in Warendorf and worked with Heike Kemmer, Johann Hinnemann and other known riders and trainers. Aletta also worked in the United States and Japan as manager, trainer and mental coach in various equestrian disciplines. In 1996 and 2000 she supported the equestrian team of the United States at the Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney.  Aletta trained various horses from green up to Grand Prix. She is also a certified Centered Riding coach, specialized in harmonising the communication between rider and horse by giving special attention to the posture, seat and balance of the rider. At Moravita Aletta is responsible for managing the business and training of staff and students. In between she finds time to train a couple of their beautiful horses.

Personal development never stops and both Ton and Aletta are guided and trained by various trainers and classical masters to maintain and develop their knowledge and riding and coaching skills.

What is classical?

One of the first questions people ask is; what is classical? Aletta explains that you can refer to very known classical masters such as Xenonphon, Gustav Steinbrecht and others. But for Moravita classical means respect.  On the moment that we decide that we are going to sit on a horse’s back we are changing the centre of gravity. It is therefore important that you start training your horse so that he is able to carry you while staying healthy and happy.  What you also would like to train are those movements that horses show in the wild when they are playful and excited. Piaf, passage and flying changes are all movements asked in the higher level dressage tests but are also expressed by horses in the wild. The aim is to train your horse to its ability, that it is physically possible for your horse to do all those movements when asked. The horse has to develop muscles, balance and coordination so that when you asked your horse it is able to show these movements without tension. You should aim to be  a harmonious team, that only by your seat or on your breath you can let your horse move.

Throughout the centuries horses where used for battle and working the land, nowadays we use horses for leisure. Owning a horse is a great responsibility and you have to take care that you think about as many things as possible to keep your horse a healthy and happy athlete. Your horse should have the space to run outside, be able to be enough horse and have lots of variety when training.   All types of horses from various sport disciplines and training levels can be trained according the classical principles. Classical is not limited to only baroque breeds. Ton & Aletta give two explanations; 1) throughout the centuries it has been proven that training of horses according the classical principles maintains the horse’s function for a long time at high level, even at older age. And 2) that horses perform mentally very well because the mental and physical abilities of the horse are considered, allowing the horse to develop freely without tension.

The horses at Moravita

Since the eighties Ton has been breeding Lipizzaner horses. He made various national and internationally successes with his mares and stallions. In 2004 Ton was introduced to the Danish Fredriksborger horse. Ton is fascinated about preserving old baroque breeds and decided to start breeding Frederiksborgers. In the logo of their Classical Breeding & Training Centre this is represented with the Royal Danish crown above the letter M of Moravita. Many of the Frederiksborgers at Moravita have bloodlines that go all the way back to 16th and 15th century. Ton & Aletta are sole breeders in the Netherlands and largest worldwide of Frederiksborger horses. At the moment they have 4 classified stallions. The Frederiksborger is a rare breed, there are approximately 50 pure blood Frederiksborger horses left in the world. Frederiksborger horses are most often white marked flaxen chestnuts, but there are also bay, palomino, grey, black and buckskin coloured horses.

Moravita has in total 6 certified stallions. Besides the 4 Frederiksborger stallions they have a certified Lipizzaner and Lustitano stallion. Moravita is home to approximately 70 horses of various breeds (Lipizzaners, Frederiksborgers, Lusitanos, Andalusians, warmblood etc). Daily routine consist of training between 30-35 horses a day which is mainly done by Ton, Aletta and the stable rider. They have on average 5-6 other staff members that help with feeding the horses, keeping the accommodation and stables clean and they take care of some lungeing and groundwork training of horses.

Horses for sale & training

For the last 25 years Ton & Aletta have been a reliable address for selling horses around the world. They find it very important that the person that wants to buy a horse connects with the horse. If we feel that the combination is not right the horse won’t leave our property. If you buy a horse of us we give a lifelong guarantee. We will provide our services if something may happen with the horse or because of circumstances you have to sell the horse.  We find it essential that our horses end up at good homes. At Moravita were not only selling baroque horses. We think that a good horse can have all colours and can be of all breeds. It can be that you come to us for a Friesian horse but leave with a Lipizzaner. It’s very important that we know what fits with you and what your ambitions are.

As a private horse owner you can stable your horse at Moravita for a period of time to educate your horse or to prepare for sale. With their personal approach they will try the find the best match also their client’s horse.

Shows & education

Moravita is asked to perform at various national and European events like the Equitana. At these shows and events they present their horses and demonstrate their training methods. They also organise Baroque horse competitions and shows at their Classical Breeding and Training Centre in Coevorden.

Recently Moravita started a private course of 3 days called Classical all-round. In this course people can learn the basic principles of classical training and riding as done at Moravita. It also covers behaviour, communication, nutrition and biodynamics of horse and rider. Ton & Aletta find proper education for horse owners essential. With their clinics, shows and courses they hope to inspire more people.

It’s a unique view at Moravita where you can see Lipizzaner, Frederiksborger, Lustitano, Andalusian and warmblood horses running together in the fields. This is something you see nowhere else in the Netherlands. Ton & Aletta Duivenvoorden are proud to live their dream and spend the day training and enjoying their beautiful horses.

© MB Equine Services 2014

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