In medieval times war horses were to knights much as our tanks and jeeps are to our soldiers today. They (the horses) were the lifeline of existence in the midst of a brutal and bloody battle. An undisciplined horse could easily get a warrior killed. Can you imagine if a knight was on his horse and when two swords clanged together the horse bolted? Those sweet docile creatures you pass while they graze in the field can become flight risks when they come upon a horse eating field mouse or a horse eating plastic bag. There fears are very real to them as horses have no defense but RUN! So in order for knights to have sound horses they needed equine military training. A war horse's training consisted of many things to develop the horses strength, balance, agility, attentiveness and willingness to work with its rider. So where am I going with all this? I'm getting to the Lipizzan horses.
|By Conversano Isabella - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18175628|
During the Renaissance period the Hapsburg family control Austria and Spain. There was a need for fast. light horses to use in the military and riding school. The Lipizzan breed was the genuine horse of royalty and was bred by the Hapsburg monarchy by using the Arab, Barb, and Iberian stock. The Lipizzan were used during peace times as well as war. Selective breeding over a span of four hundred years makes the Lipizzan horse one of Europe's oldest breed of horses.
|By Machoxx, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4530613|
So what makes these Lipizzan horses worthy of a blog post? Seeing them in action. Today we don't need to train horses to take into battle, but what the Lipizzan horse can do is a form of art and is nothing short of beautiful. It's like watching a 1500 pound animal doing ballet.
|CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=127638|
The Lipizzan is trained to preform Haute ecole dressage, airs above the ground. If you aren't familiar with horse dressage it is the highest form of horse training. The rider and the horse are expected to do certain moves all from memory. The two must be in sync for it to be the beautiful ballet of horse dances. The basic idea of dressage itself goes way back to a Greek historian and military leader by the name of Xenophon in 400 BC.
|By NJR ZA - Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3603360|
War can be hard on not only people but breeds of horses. The Lipizzan horse was saved from extinction by moving them from harms way. The first war time relocation of the Lipizzan was in 1797 from Lipica. They were returned in 1807 only to be moved three more times just two years later. Then again in 1915 World War I the horses were moved. In 1942 World War II threatened these beautiful horses. Patton a horseman himself saw the animals preform and was quite impressed. He offered protection for the Lipizzan horses. Disney made a film about the Lipizzan horses and Patton in 1963 called Miracle of the White Stallions.
Some quick but interesting information about the Lipizzans, all their lineage can be traced back to eight stallions! Their skin is black, eyes are dark and are born black but as adults their hair becomes white while their skin remains black.
|By Keith Roper - Mare & Foal 3Uploaded by sporti, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27193415|
I'm giving away a copy of choice of one of Shattered Memories or my medieval, Sword of Forgiveness. Tell me if you've ever heard about the Lipizzan horses or if you've ever seen them or the movie? Or tell me about your horse. :o) Don't forget to leave your email address. Share on FB or Twitter for an extra entry.
After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father's estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn't enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
Royce Warwick returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin's wise and kind nature begins to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim. Purchase here.
NOW AVAILABLE IN AUDIO HERE !
Debbie Lynne has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, She and her husband enjoy camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses. Visit Debbie Lynne at www.debbielynnecostello.com, www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/debbielynnecostello , https://plus.google.com/+DebbieLynneCostello/posts, and https://twitter.com/DebiLynCostello
Thank you Wiki for the great pictures!