Training - Lipizzaners

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Basic Training

At the age of three, dark grey Lipizzaner stallions are brought from the stud farm, to Kyalami, to begin their formal training. These youngsters are used to galloping in the pastures, but soon they adapt to their new and exciting environment. The stallion’s rider-to-be begins by introducing the young horse to saddle and bridle, and eventually starts his work on the lunge. Here the young horse learns to obey commands and develops trust for his trainer. The muscles in his back develop as he learns the correct way to carry himself.

Once he has spent about three months on the lunge, the rider will gradually introduce her weight onto the stallion’s back, and begin his training under saddle. At all times praise and little admonishment keeps the stallion’s trust and a relationship develops between him and his trainer. In the early days of his training the young stallion is taught to move freely forward, accepting the contact from the bit and moving away from the rider’s leg. As his training progresses, he learns the more collected paces, and the lateral work, until eventually, after about seven years, he becomes a fully-fledged Quadrille horse.

Work-in-hand begins when the young stallion is four years old, and this starts with developing the horse’s obedience to the whip and acceptance of the side-reins. Eventually the horse learns the piaffe and from the piaffe it is decided what, if any, of the
Airs-Above-The-Ground this stallion will eventually perform. All the stallions learn the piaffe, and this helps when training this movement under saddle.

The Lipizzaner horse has for centuries been used for High School riding and is ideally suited to this work. With his strong, compact body, floating paces and eagerness to please, he excels at all the movements of the High School.

Training takes many years and is indeed never complete. There is always more for the stallion to learn, and as the Lipizzaner is long-lived, it is not unusual to still see a stallion performing at the age of twenty-five. His work is not only to perform, but to teach young riders the movement of Classical Dressage. There is nothing more valuable than a fully trained stallion for teaching the young rider.

Airs Above Ground

Levade - Maestoso Erdem

In this movement the horse’s forehand is elevated on deeply bent hind legs, the hocks lowered to 20 – 30cm above the ground, the lower the Levade, the more difficult it is to execute

Pesade- Favory Erdem I
The pesade is an exercise in which the horse has an angle of 45 degrees or more. It was used to allow the rider a clearer view of the battlefield.
In pesade, the horse raises itself, while in the levade the horse bends through its haunches and "sits down".

Courbette - Conversano Oda

To perform the Courbette, the horse raises himself on his haunches and executes one or more forward leaps at the command of his handler. If the stallion loses his balance slightly, he will take a couple of walking steps forwards. He will then continue with his forward leaps

Capriole - Conversano Arva

The Capriole was used during wartime to decapitate foot soldiers on the battlefield, but is today performed to show the horse’s strength and co-ordination.During the training process the horse would be required to do piaffe, he would then be asked to raise himself on his hindlegs and then to kick out. Only after these are established (which could take up to two years) is the horse capable of co-ordinating all three elements in one movement.Then the stallion jumps with all four feet in the air and at the top of his leap, he kicks out with his hind legs.

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