I guess I fell in love with the Royal Lipizzan Stallions when the Disney movie, Airs Above the Ground, came out. Remember that movie about how General Patton and the United States Army saved the magical horses during World War II? No? Maybe you had to be a young horse crazy girl to have seen it.
So I knew in order to ride a horse like that, I would have to take lessons. English riding lessons. Ginger Pool, my instructor, became my first mentor and idol. Her old lessons horses looked like lipizzans to me. I learned how to post the trot, canter on the correct lead, trot over cavelettis. In my mind, I would one day be a rider at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Then I found out they didn’t take women. Not to worry.
My grandmother took me to see them when they began to tour the United States. That might have been 30 years ago. I fell in love all over again and it became a special outing while she was alive.
I felt her with me today when I got to sit on the arena floor of the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas and take 483 photos of the white stallions floating across the floor. Some with female riders. You go girls!
Then came the mighty Fresian. What a big, happy show off he was, dancing to the 1940’s big band songs. I know, not very formal but just as spectacular as his little gray buddies.
These horses are all living in the United States and tour almost year ’round. Their bloodlines are all from an original six. They have the brands to prove it.
I loved watching the parents, grandparents AND children clapping, with giant grins and joy-filled expressions on their faces.
They have an exciting history and lovely tradition.