Come on--lets get those front hoofs up. This is the start of a Ballotade. This is when the stallion rises on his hind legs and strikes out several time with his forelegs. Originally a war maneuver, the Ballotade was used to protect the elite riders from the onslaught of enemy foot soliders.The courage of the stallion was his riders last and most important defense.
Enlarge this photo to see the brand of the Hapsburgs.Lipizzans have been in the Herrmann family since the reign of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand II who gifted the great white stallions to the Knight von Schoevel to lead his finest officers into battle. Direct descendants of von Schoevel, Colonel Herrmann's family has trained and ridden Lipizzans for six generations, a period spanning nearly three hundred years.
In front of the stable area there is this statue of a Lipizzan horse. Lipizzans are one of the oldest breed of horses in the world, dating back to 1564.They can be traced back to Spain where the cavalry horses were crossed with Arabians. The Archduke Charles of the Austrian Imperial Court established a breeding program in the town of Lipizza and it produced the greatest war horses in the world. Bred for the exclusive use of the Hapsburg royal family and the military aristocracy, they became the proud ancestors of the Lipizzan that we see here today.