Just incredible!! The "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallions World Tour
was showing at the Estes Park fair grounds on the 7th of July, and in a
Lipizzaners were traditionally used as war horses and today they are
shown using many of the same maneuvers in a very high level of Dressage.
Dressage is a kind of training that teaches the horse and the rider
to be in harmony.
The low levels of Dressage begin with simple walks, trots and canters
performed in various patterns. Higher levels include movements like
- The extended trot. This is a trot in which the horse takes
very long strides.
- The half pass. This can be performed at any gait, the horse
moves on a diagonal.
- Turn on the haunches. At a walk, the horse keeps his hind legs
in one spot and spins around with his forelegs.
- Turn on the forehand. At a walk, the horse keeps his fore legs
in one spot and spins around with his hind legs.
- Change of leads or the flying change.
The canter is a three beat gait in which two,
diagonal feet fall at the same time. In lower levels of dressage, horses
are to change the lead when they change the direction of the circle they
are cantering in. In higher levels, horses are taught to do a flying lead
change at every other stride or every stride. This looks remarkably like
the horse is skipping.
All of these movements were performed in beautiful patterns at the show.
The highest level of dressage is called haute e'coule which includes
these maneuvers. The last four maneuvers listed are The Airs Above the Ground
which can be performed with or without a rider.
These maneuvers are simply stunning to watch, especially when two, four
or six horses are performing the ballet all at once.
- Piaffe. This is a trot with no forward motion, basically a
trot in place.
- Canter pirouette. The horse canters with his hind legs in one
spot and his forelegs making a circle all the way around.
- Passage. This is a very high stepping trot.
- Levade. The horse rears, and then holds that position for several
seconds before coming back down.
- Courbette. The horse rears and hops for several steps on his
- Croupade. The horse jumps up and keeps his legs tucked under
- Capriole. The horse jumps up and at the top of the jump, kicks
out his hind legs.