Friday, July 13, 2018

Studs, Mares, and Colts, Oh My! At The Lipica Stud Farm

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, unless, of course...it's one of the famous prancing and dancing Lippizaners, graduates of the horsey haute ecole, associated with the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. The Lipica Stud Farm is where it all began, in 1580, and continues, except for occasional World Wars. The Archduke Charles wanted to create a new breed, stronger and smarter, to help his armies fight off the invading Turks. He figured that his Andalusian stallions and the local Karst mares would do the trick, so to speak; and the rest is history. All the Lippizaners come from the same six Spanish stallions, plus hundreds of Karst mares, and their progeny.
It is a very big place, many, many hectares for the horses, well, the stallions,
to roam in 

The maternity barn, where the mares spend virtually their entire lives, getting
impregnated, gestating, giving birth, nursing their foals, rinsing and repeating...

Among the interesting things...all the Lippis are born brown or black; the
light gray to white associated with the breed is actually premature graying;
seriously; only the horse-stylists know for sure


Big place: we did the tour, the show, then the museums and
gift shoppe, and also watched a bit of the buggy competition
going on that afternoon

Street scene




























































Stallion/stud barn


Extensive identifying info on the green and blue cards

Essential barn implements; not pictured: shovels

Feed

Ditto

Until recently and the use of micro-chips, the horses were lightly branded with an
"L" on their left cheeks

Rider wearing Olympics shirt

Breeding experiment with African zebras

Back at the nursery: bottle-feeding a colt whose mom died; apparently, among
horses, it does not take a village

The clearing on the hill above is the Italian border; Lipica is just 10 miles from
Trieste

Ponies, not Lippis, for the kiddie rides

Super interpretive signage throughout; above, a newborn

They don't do it the old-fashioned way anymore at Lipica;
here's a stud, in bondage and leather, going at it with the
semen collection machine

Thus; "Lipica used to be such a happy place," I heard one
of the stallions say...



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