The spectacular horse show in Vienna’s Spanish Riding School is a must-see. It’s one rare performance which will prompt you to give a standing ovation.
The horses at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna are no ordinary ones. They are very disciplined and are trained well to do certain movements which they showcase in public performances.
The legendary Lipizzaner stallions are among the famous horses in the riding school and their amazing performances have been captured on video for the film entitled Nature: The Legendary White Stallions. The film is aired over PBS and looks into the history of how the horses were discovered and trained for war.
Unknown to many, it is only at the Spanish Riding School where the skills of these stallions are honed today as they work in harmony with their riders. Harmony must be present to achieve perfect and synchronized movements associated with classical dressage developed by Greek historian and military leader Xenophon in 400 B.C.E. To master the movements, the rider and horse must work together for years at Viena’s riding school.
Legend has it that the choreographed movements of the horses were originally meant for war. And only the strongest and most athletic of them were chosen.
Originally, the maneuvers and jumps of these horses were of their part military training. The movements were aimed to develop their strength, agility, balance, concentration and focus as they get commands from the riders. Through the years, the choreographed movements were made into an art form featuring grace and precision similar to ballet.
The Lipizzaner stallions also go on tour around the world and they’re presented in shows similar to that of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Some 23 million people worldwide have, so far, seen their performances.