Friday, December 21, 2007

White Horse

Sharing a Picture of Rocchina. She is a 5 year old Lipizzaner.

Lipizzaners are a rare type of horse. They are highly intelligent, gregarious creatures. They prefer the company of people and Lipizzaners to other horses. They are hardy, easy keepers. They require little food and rarely need to wear shoes.

Lipizzaners are small horses. 14.1-15.2 hands is the average. Despite their short stature, they are broad and smooth gaited and can carry large riders with elegance. Rocchina"s gaits feel that of  (14.3 hands)  a large 16+ hand warmblood. The gaits are smooth as well as big. The horse has a natural tendency toward roundness.

Most people associate the Lipizzaner with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Until recently the SRS was the only place a Lipizzaner could be seen. After the Lippizan rescue of WW II, breeding became an issue and the breed came very close to extinction. The SRS controlled breeding and thus the quality of the horses remained solid. But with the realization that concentration of the horses in one location placed them in danger should this area be jeopardized, the decision to allow private ownership of the horses was made and Lipizzaner horses slowly made their way to homes around the world.  While their numbers have increased, the breed still remains on the endangered species list.

Originally there were Lipizzaners of different colors. Today the majority of Lipizzaners are white with an occasional brown or black. They were bred specifically for use by the Hapsburg royal family and the king wanted white horses so the white/grey gene was selected out. All Lipizzaners begin life brown, black or dark grey and become completely white around age 5.

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