The Lipizzaner performance this evening lasted about 1 ½ hours and started with five of the younger stallions who are beginning to show in front of an audience. They ranged from 4-6 years and are considered ‘youngsters’. One, in particular, was acting a little bratty! Once he got going he got one of the others misbehaving, you know how kids can get. It was actually fun too watch though as it made me feel a bit better about my riding skills to see some of these professional horsemen struggle a bit when a horse just wants to do his own thing!
There was plenty of dressage and then an interesting segment where one horse and rider come out to the arena but the rider never actually mounted the horse. The entire performance was conducted with the rider bridling the horse while walking behind him, very closely behind him. That takes a lot of trust, on both sides!
There was a segment where several horses did the mid-air kicks (what I will now think of as a horse version of the Russian Jump) where all legs are off the ground and kicking. That took quite a bit of coordination and it also takes two riders, neither mounted, to show the horse to its full potential in this feat. Also in this segment, several horses performed the skill of rearing up and hopping several times on their hind legs.
The show ends with eight horses performing a perfectly synchronized drill demonstrating all of the classic dressage moves. Even here, one stallion got a little cheeky at the end of the routine!
It was lovely to watch. The final drill was my favorite part. All in all, though, to me the most fascinating part of the show was how close the horses would get to one another and not be bothered by it, sometimes even performing in opposite directions to one another. That takes a lot of time for a horse to overcome.