Friday, February 19, 2010

More About the Lipizzan Horses

There is so much to talk about with these horses, that it is hard for me to know where to begin.  Their history is fascinating. Their performance is intriguing. Their beauty is breathtaking. 

I guess I will begin where we began.  To visit these horses and see their free performance of their winter training, you visit the 400 acre ranch.  The ranch is in Myakka City, which feels as if it is in the middle of nowhere.  It's one of those you drive and drive and wonder if this is right locations.  I drove past it before I realized we were there.  Once you are there, they welcome you in and help you park.  You park on what appears to be their lawn and then sit in the stadium area. 
Both times we have visited, it has been a full crowd.  While they perform, they do a great job of explaining the history of the family and the horses.  The horses are the rarest breed in the world.  The family has a history linked to this breed dating back to assisting General Patton's mission to save the horses when they were captured during World War II.
It is a wonderful thing to see the carry on their traditions both for their family's sake and for the horses' sake.
The show is full of demonstrations of the different ways the horses were used in battle.  From their website:
All Airs Above the Ground, originally outlined by Xenophon the Greek, derive from defensive horsemanship created for war and predated-dated the birth of Christ by some 400 years. These spectacular leaps and plunges were originally meant for use by mounted riders to inspire terror in the hearts of foot soldiers.

That this nearly lost art remains alive, is due in very large part, to the commitment of Colonel Herrmann, scion of the Herrmann family, and historically among the world's greatest trainers of this rare breed. In a lively and informative narrative throughout the presentation of his remarkable stallions, the history, evolution and contemporary application of this most sophisticated horse and rider training is recounted. It is repeatedly noted that extreme patience and, most particularly, love are the requisites to such highly schooled animals. Herrmann epitomized the master of classical European equitation.

The horses and riders also perform some beautiful dances together.  Both are amazing to watch.
As incredible as all of this is, while I was sitting there, I found myself wanting to spend hours upon hours just capturing the beauty of the horses.  I took so many shots of them, I think I'm going to sneak them into the next few week's blog posts just to share them all.
Living the life in Florida!


Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

I was thrilled to see that you linked up to Field Trip Friday! Thank you!

I am so jotting this down in our growing list of places that we need to visit in Florida! This is the coolest! I even called my kids over to the computer to look at the pictures and they were really impressed. When they were younger we read a book about these horses, but I couldn't remember the name.


Kim said...

These are beautiful pictures! Looks like a wonderful trip!

little castle said...

Tonya, it was neat to be able to link to your blog. Love the idea!

I do the same thing with the places you've been. Write them down in my notebook of must see places/must do things.

You'll love the horses if you do visit them. They are incredible animals.

jaci said...

I have only seen the Lipizzaners once: 1972, Portland, Oregon. It was possibly one of the nicest things my dad did for me: we were coming to Portland for some convention he had to attend (Soil Conservation stuff) and the Royal Lipizzans were to be in town at the same time. Knowing how much his oldest daughter loved horses, he got tickets. We sat in the nosebleed section. But they were so beautiful, so incredible, so alluring... Did you know that Dean Martin owned Lipizzans?
Love the post, Krystal!