Visit to World’s Largest Lipizzaner Stud farm in Lipica (Slovenia)

Leading mare shows the way!

During our holiday to Slovenia we went to the worlds largest Lipizzaner studfarm in Lipica. An amazing experience seeing so many white (and black) horses and great classical riders! A uniform collection of horses which is built up from 6 stallions and 16 mare lines. 
This document below shows a list of all mare lines, it almost got lost during the war but luckily it was traced back.

16 mare lines

Pluto, Conversano, Neapolitano, Favory, Maestoso, and Siglavy are the names from the sires. Now every horse they breed is named by the sire they from which they originate, then the mare line and then a number.
So for example, their name will be: Siglavy Slavina III.
Siglavy = stallion, Slavina = Mare and the number makes a unique name.

Hengstenlijn Lipizzaner
6 Stallion lines

Siglavi was one of these stallions, an Arabian horse and the one with a beautiful head (the only one actually, see drawing). He’s an example of a great horse with a balanced skeleton like described in my other article ‘Het Evenwichtsmodel’.

Lipizzaner, also spelled Lippizaner, also called Lipizzan horse are named like this because they originate from a place called Lipizza (Italian language), this is where the stud farm is located which we visited.

We also went to the museum there where some history was explained. A list was displayed from the different stallions and a list of mares.  Very interestingly, all mares born at the stud are used for breeding, no pre selection is done. 

For the stallions there is a selection made to start training, then there’s another selection round to get in the end the best ones for the highest levels of dressage. They will learn the most difficult exercises like: Courbette, Levade and Capriole.

In the morning we bought an extra ticket to watch during a training sessions. In the first half an hour we saw a very experienced rider with a young horse. He knew exactly what to ask from the horse and how to correct him if an exercise didn’t exactly goes according plan. I was stunned by his seat and his position on the horse.  

The other horses and riders which came in the second half of the training, got some tips and tricks from the experienced trainer. We saw a variety of very nice horses and ages, there was also an impressive black stallion and his brown son which was much younger. Two oldies were also trained that day, 18 and 23 years old! Still going strong, because we heard that Lippizaner horses can get around 30-35 years old. That’s quite a difference compared to our modern warmblood horses.  

Probably their exterior, skelet and well thought trainings are part of reaching this age as well. They start with training at the age of 4, only at ground level. When they’ve learned the first steps of collection they will start riding them and follow the way to the top.  

After the training we got a tour on the impressive property of the Lipica stud farm. We saw a lot of stables, mare/foal pastures and stables, showing arenas, special linden trees, musea, shops and much more! We also got to meet some of the best stallions, you could go for a ride on a carriage and we saw the farrier at work.

Everyday around 18:00h the mares and foals, who spend the whole day roaming free in the 312 acres of pastures, are brought to the stables. In the morning they go out again. Of course we waited until the end of the day to see the horses brought into the stables.
They walk over a very nice idillic path so it was a great opportunity to take some pictures of the amazing action (NOT :D).
They actually came in very quietly. I guess it’s normal since they walk the path twice a day, but still we were hoping to see some amazing galloping.  

Anyhow, we had a great and interesting day at the Lipica Stud Farm.
If you visit Slovenia, I would definitely go there!

Foal in dooropening

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