On January 2nd, 2013, my boyfriend fulfilled one of my dreams by taking me to a performance of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. I was so excited to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform live – and they really didn’t disappoint.

The performance consisted of several different sections, from young stallions starting training to long-reining to the most advanced, experienced stallions performing the most difficult movements of classical dressage. So here’s my top 7 reasons why you should go see a performance live yourself.

The Spanish Riding School

Image by Spanische Hofreitschule

7 reasons to see the incredible Spanish Riding School Lipizzaners

  1. These little, powerful stallions take your breath away. Literally. And give you goosebumps. There’s nothing like seeing capriole (jump in the air with a kick when at highest point) or the courbette live (raises forehand and jumps forward on hindlegs 3-4 times).
  2. They do all the advanced movements on the long-rein (including the jumps in the air). Talk about some serious long-reining skills. It’s an art in itself! Thoroughly impressed.
  3. They do all the advanced movements with a stirrupless rider. I had to hold my breath! These riders really had amazing seats and didn’t disturb the horse in the movement at all.
  4. One part of the performance is one rider and his long-term partner horse doing all the Grand Prix movements on the long-rein. That includes half-passes in trot and canter, piaffe, passage, piruettes and tempi changes. The one-time changes were amazing – he did them on a circle too – from simple long-reining aids… Incredible!
  5. The commentator who explained the different sections of the performance before they came out explained the basics of riding really well. It reminded me to be patient, remember the horse is different everyday and that you can’t expect flawless every time you sit on them.
  6. The riders’ style: astonishing posture, subtle aids and immediate praise. You could see the relationships between the horses and their riders were magical.
  7. For the ladies out there: there were quite a few cute, young riders to please the eye too 😀
Spanish Riding School

Image by Spanische Hofreitschule

Have you ever been to the Spanish Riding School? What was your favourite part?

Or if you’re thinking about going one day, what are you most looking forward to?

Comment below with your thoughts! And if you liked this post, please like it, share it, tweet it – and spread some horse love 🙂