The Lipizzaners

If you love horses, and you’re going to Vienna, then seeing the Lipizzaners is a must. They live in downtown Vienna!! They have their own stables and exhibition hall as an extension of the royal residence buildings right in the heart of the old city. These are no ordinary, or even Kentucky special, horses. These are world famous horses, bred by the Hapsburgs since the 16th century. The name is actually Hungarian, so they are horses from this region, but the school is called the Spanish Riding School. School is actually not in session when we were there in July. The veteran horses were having a vacation in pastures outside town, but the young horses who were just learning were still in town, and we got to see them in action. This horse is unique in that it begins dark colored and then turns white, and not from being old either. My wife and girls have loved, owned, and been involved with horses, and so taking Ann to see the Lipizzaners was top priority for our stay in Vienna……and here they are in all their glory…
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But I am getting ahead of myself. Our friend Christa had a secret plan…. which was for us to take a horse and buggy for a ride through town to the Lipizzaner show, and so we did. Here’s Ann with our carriage…
lip2Of course we had seen them around, but had no idea about this surprise….
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Had we been in Vienna during the Fall we would have seen this….lip5lip6

What we got to see was the training exercises in various forms, with and without riders, with and without carriages and so on. Christa had gone out of her way to do this right…. we were sitting in the royal box and got the royal salute!!

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Here is the performance hall from ground level, notice the dirt…lip9

And here are the exercises we saw…
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We also got to go see the stables where the young horses were kept…
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And all of this is just under the archway to the right here, which is next to the royal quarters..
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