It is no coincidence that man and horse in the past formed such a successful pairing that has been a major factor in the shaping of human history. Throughout their evolution, horses have acquired many physical and psychological characteristics which man has used to his advantage, while using artificial selection to make some of them more pronounced, or to develop them even further in the desired direction. This is how this wonderful horse, the Lipizzan horse, was bred for the haute école.
The Lipizzan horse, one of the oldest cultural horse breeds in Europe and the world, has been developed at the Lipica Stud Farm since its foundation in 1580. Today, the Lipizzan horse is known mainly as a white horse. However, the horses we call white are actually mostly grey. Lipizzan horses are born dark, but they soon turn grey because of a mutated gene.
It is a medium-sized warm-blooded horse of the Baroque type. It has a medium-sized noble head with large dark and lively eyes, medium-sized ears and flared, full nostrils. The neck is high set and arched. It has broad withers, a long and flat back, and a muscular and well-rounded croup. The chest is deep and wide, and expresses its strength. The mane and tail have dense and thick hair that is as thin as silk. The walk of a Lipizzan horse is high, supple, energetic and elegant.
By nature, the Lipizzan horse is intelligent, proud and dignified, but at the same time, modest and resilient, making it highly suitable for haute-école riding. The Lipizzan horse has a lively temperament and is easy to teach, which makes it suitable for performing classical dressage elements, and also for all types of equestrian activities under saddle and in harness. The breed has good fertility and longevity, and makes good use of feed.