History Of The Lipizzaner Horse

The Lipizzaner horse originates from Slovenia and the breed was developed by the Habsburg Monarchy. Habsburg Emperor Maximillian II set up a stud in Austria and his brother Archduke Charles II established a stud in Lipizza from which the breed derives its name. An Imperial herd of horses was formed on the Lipizza Estate in 1580 from 9 stallions imported from Spain and 24 Karst Mares.

The horses of Lipizza were bred to be noble and elegant to be used for ceremonial duties and the Imperial 'Hofreitschule' in Vienna became known as the Spanish Riding School because the stallions of Lipizza were descended from Spanish lines. The Spanish Riding School cultivated classical dressage and only the best school stallions were used for breeding. In the early 19th century grey horses were in favour and so the Lipizza herd were carefully selected for breeding to ensure grey / white horses were produced.

During periods of war the valuable horses of Lipizza were evacuated to neighbouring countries and whilst some returned, others remained and studs of Lipizzaner horses then set up elsewhere. All of the stud books in Lipizza up until 1700 were destroyed in war but today's Lipizzaner horses can all be traced back to 1700.

Height Of The Lipizzaner Horse

The Lipizzaner horse stands 15 to 16 hh.

Colour Of The Lipizzaner Horse

Lipizzaner horses are most often grey and are born black or brown and then grey and whiten with age. Rarely brown and black horses also occur.

Breed Characteristics Of The Lipizzaner Horse

The Lipizzaner horse has a narrow head with a slightly convex profile and large, expressive eyes. It has an arched neck, deep and muscular chest, long and sloping shoulder, well-defined back, muscular loins and well muscled legs.

Temperament Of The Lipizzaner Horse

The Lipizzaner horse is generous, friendly, calm and willing.

Uses Of The Lipizzaner Horse

The Lipizzaner horse is used for classical riding and high school work, and also as a general riding horse.