Today, in our “Curiosities of the Month” section we will talk about the Spanish Riding School in Vienna strong>, a real equine university.
Founded during the Austrian Empire in 1572, it is the oldest of its kind. The reference to Spain derives from Andalusian stallions, among the founders of the prestigious Lipizzaner breed strong>, the only one that has always been admitted to the school. Lipizzans are animals with an exceptional memory and even if very hot, they are docile and easy to train, ideal for learning how to make even the most acrobatic figures with extreme grace. Once from an ancient imperial breeding in Lipica, near Trieste, today the Lipizzan foals are bred and selected in a stable in Piber, Styria.
Crossing the threshold of the school at about 4 years, young white stallions are instructed according to ancient techniques used to train war horses, handed down orally for over 400 years. To complete the studies and graduate “professor” usually are necessary from 4 to 6 years of training and the horse must overcome all 3 levels of teaching provided: first riding, school campaign and high school.
Among capriole, courbette and levate, these majestic white stallions perform in truly surprising figures under the eyes of the public in the arena of the Winter Riding School in Vienna’s Hofburg.
As in the most prestigious university campuses, each horse of the school receives individual assistance and ad hoc nutrition, as well as a daily wellness program that includes swimming pool, solarium and infrared and ultraviolet light therapy.
In short, even the horses must study!