Lipizzaner Horse Breed

From: Horse Breeds

Lipizzaner Horse

Lipizzaner Horse
This beautiful horse has immense strength, beauty and elegance and its talents are shown very clearly by the Spanish Riding School of Vienna who show off these talented horses movements and airs above the ground to great success.

The breed originates in the village of Lipica in Slovenia Austria

Height is from 15 to 15.3 HH

Colour is predominantly grey, many of  the foals turn grey with age and only occasionally remain dark in colour.


In 1580 the two sons  of Emperor Ferdinand 1st  were given the task of producing the finest horses possible for the Austrian court. Archduke Charles the 2nd  set up a stud near to Trieste in a village called Lipizza, and his brother Maximillian 2nd  set up a stud at Kladrub in Austria.  It was from the stud at Lipizza  that the breed Lipizzaner developed and indeed took its name.

The stud at Kladrub produced a heavier breed of horse that was used more for carriage than riding, the two studs would exchange stallions between them and, using  Spanish mares and stallions that were then crossed with Karst  and Arab  mares  helped to produce the wonderful Lipizzaner horse that we know today.

It is because of these Spanish stallions and mares that the title Spanish Riding school of Vienna comes from.  These lovely horses had to flee from there home in Lipizza for safety reasons and  eventually ended up settling at the stud at Piber where they still supply the Spanish riding school with horses of the best quality.

It was in 1735 that Charles 6th  first established the Spanish Riding School in the imperial palace in Vienna which is still very much in use today.  Alois Podhajsky  who was born in 1898 - 1973 is a well known director of the Spanish Riding school and it was thanks to him that the breed  and training traditions of the Lipizzaner horses survived World War Two.

During the war  Podhajsky moved the horses  from Vienna to St Martins in Austria which was away from the threat of bombing and raids, but  when St Martins was taken over by the control of the American army and the horses were again under threat,  it was only thanks  to a friendship between General George S Patton who knew Podhajsky before the war that ensured the safety of these horses, by putting them under American protection.  The Lipizzaner horses safely returned to Vienna in 1955.

Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School is known for its training of Classical Dressage which was refined during the Baroque period and this is why these lovely horses are also called Baroque horses. It takes many years of training to produce  these horses talents and it is only the stallions who are used for the displays and can show off their own individual talents for the Airs above ground such movements include  the Levade , Courbette, Capriole and the Croupade, as well as other  Classical movements such as Piaffe, Passage, Pirouette. and  Flying changes.

Lipizzaner's can be used for dressage, show jumping and  driving an excellent all round riding horse who has active and lively paces with great presence.

Lipizzan Association of North America
The association offers information on breeding, buying, news and events with the aim of helping to maintain and preserve this wonderful breed of horse.