The Lipizzaners and their origin


How did the Lipizzaners get their name? Where do the horses originally come from? Where do they grow up and how do their lives go?

The name, probably the most famous stallions in the world, comes from the village of Lipica in Slovenia . In its vicinity, the former court stud farm with Spanish horses was founded in 1580. This area was known for the breeding of Karst horses since the Greeks.


Since the beginning of the 18th century , Spanish, Italian, Danish and German stallions with Spanish blood were used. When there were no more old Spanish stallions, the crossing with oriental horses took place.

When the Habsburg monarchy disintegrated in 1918, the stud farm was moved to Austria, more precisely to Piber in western Styria . The prevailing conditions were similar to those in Lipica. Similar soil conditions, good grass and mild climate like Lipizzaner. The stud farm in Piber has been successful in breeding stallions for 200 years. Since 1920, they have all come from Piber.


Lipizzaners have a strong, muscular body and a higher set neck than other horses. They correspond to the type of a baroque show and parade horse . They have beautifully formed hooves and good hocks.


There is now the birthplace of the initially dark foals . Only with each change of hair the color becomes lighter. Between the ages of seven and ten they “whiten” , that is, they get the beautiful white coat of the mold. Traditionally, a Lipizzaner must remain dark and is considered a lucky charm . Lipizzaners are considered noble, eager to learn and lively horses, which is why they are so well suited for the high school of horsemanship.


Around 40 foals are born every year at the Lipizzaner Stud Piber and spend the first six months with their mother mare. In summer, the one to three year old young animals have special run on the alpine pasture at about 1,500m above sea level. There they already practice surefootedness, endurance and hardening.


Every year in the fall, a “muster” of the new kittens takes place. They are demonstrated and classified. It is decided whether they are eligible for breeding or are eliminated.

Surplus Lipizzaners are sold to enthusiasts from all over the world. If the young mares own, they are covered for the first time the following year. In the case of the young stallions, a decision is made as to whether they are suitable for the “High School of Horsemanship”. Then they learn the steps like “piaffe”, pirouette or passage.


Only the best are then sent to the training center at Heldenberg in Lower Austria or to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna for training at the age of about 4-7 years. The stallions have a double name (as usual in Spain) . Their pedigree can be traced back to the 18th century. can be traced back. The name is composed of the ancestral line of the father and the name of the mother.


72 stallions are usually stationed in Vienna in the Stallburg for the daily morning work or the shows in the Baroque Winter Riding School . The life of the Lipizzaner is quite interesting. They are constantly on the road with their tours and spend the summer either in Piber or at Heldenberg.


At just under 30 years of age , they then enter their well-deserved retirement and spend it in Piber. Recently, the oldest Lipizzaner died in Styria at the age of 40.

Time Travel Tip: Daily except Monday the morning work of the Lippizzaner takes place from 10 – 12h in the Vienna Stallburg right next to Time Travel. It is worth to be at the arcade around 11h, because the stallions are exchanged and with luck you can see and photograph them up close.


More info:
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