On top of my “Must Do” list for Vienna is seeing the Lipizzaners. Unfortunately in August and September there are only performances on the weekend, and guess who is here during the week? us! but not to be deterred we join the Lipizzaners for their morning exercise class.
Our ticket is for a two hour session 10am – 12 noon. We arrive half an hour early as we are warned tour groups are given preference and we want to be assured of a good position, and seat! When the gates open we file in and head up the circular stairs, and up and up. We wonder where we are going, but then the doors open and the magnificent chandelier lit arena is before us. There is a single row of seats around the arena, we head to the far end as I think that will afford us the best view. I take a few warm up photos of the magnificent arena. Every one has their cameras and phones ready for the performance. Then comes the announcement no one expected. “No photography or filming allowed”. There are a lot of devastated faces around the arena. Later some do defy it, but they are spoken to. I decide to be good for the sake of all future Aussies visiting. I’m just pleased I grabbed a couple of shots pre-announcement.
This is just a relaxing exercise session for the beautiful horses and their riders. There are none of the wonderful jumps that you see in a proper show. These jumps are not practised on a daily basis. Saying that, we are treated to some very fancy foot work. Later a rider dismounts and coaxes some gentle rearing out of his horses with the promise of a sugar cube.
One point I hadn’t appreciated. The performing Lipizzaners are all stallions, because the jumps and rearing are all part of the performance the boys put on to impress the girls in nature. Another point of interest, the horses might all be stallions but I spotted one female rider.
Tips for Morning Exercise with the Lipizzaners
Morning Exercise with Music is held Tuesdays to Fridays at Spanish Riding School between 10am – 12 noon.
The cost for adults is 15 Euros (10.50 for Seniors, 7.50 for children).
You can buy your ticket ahead of time to save queuing. But do get there at least half an hour before the performance to secure a good position and seat for the performance.