Lipizzans were first mentioned in 1786 and are the oldest cultural horse breed in the world. The breed takes its name from a stud farm in Lipica, the Habsburg monarchy’s original horse breeding site. As foals, Lipizzans are dark in colour and only turn white between the ages of 4 and 9. They are elegant, medium-sized and athletic. They are characterised by their toughness and endurance. For over 300 years, care has been taken not to change this horse type through breeding. Lipizzans have always been classic saddle and carriage horses. With their eagerness and docility, Lipizzans are perfect for dressage.
In the stables on the Heldenberg there are 81 boxes with adjoining rooms for accommodating the stallions. In 2010, adjacent to the 20 by 60 metre outdoor quad, a hall of equal size was built including a grandstand, so that the former summer stables became a fully functioning riding centre, which also serves as a training centre. So from 2010, the Heldenberg, alongside the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, has been the training centre for young stallions. Here, horses are trained in the famous Haute Ecole of classical dressage. Stallions are trained in the classical dressage tradition, gently and without pressure. It takes an average of 6 years for a horse to complete their training and become a school stallion.
If a Lipizzan is able to master the School Quadrille, then it is ready to be a part of the Spanish Riding School performance. But even the stallions that have finished their training and have been moved to the performance area are brought onto the Heldenberg two to three times a year, to offer them a change of scenery, a lot of fresh air and natural freedom of movement. Due to the large number of boxes, at least two wings in the extensive stables are empty during the off-peak season.
As a result, international riders can come to the Heldenberg to learn about the Haute Ecole of classical dressage. We offer theory lessons, riding lessons for those with their own horses, seminars for professional riders and dressage judges, seminars with international experts and further training for grooms.
The Heldenberg also serves as a place for the Lipizzans to recover from the exertions of their training and performances. Therefore, the horses can be seen relaxing and running freely in the open air.
Stories about the Lipizzaner horses, the visit to the stables, the Lipizzaner horses in the paddocks in the outdoor area, film and video presentations, Lipizzaner of different generations – everything about the surely most famous horses in the world makes the “The Lipizzaner at the Heldenberg” program an impressive experience not only for horse enthusiasts but for everyone. The Lipizzaner horses can only be visited as part of a guided tour. Here you will find more information about the guided tours.
Carriage exhibition in the Lipizzaner Training Center
The Heldenberg will present another exhibition starting in April 2018 at the Lipizzaner Training Center. Visitors will also have the opportunity to visit a carriage exhibition as part of the guided tour. Exhibits are on display from the 18th and 19th century.
Lipizzaner Gala at the Heldenberg
Every year, “White Ballet” of the Spanish Riding School is presented at the Lipizzaner Gala at the Heldenberg. The tickets for this event are highly sought after and usually sell out quickly, so it’s definitely worthwhile to check here often!