Day After Filled With Fun: Lipizzaner Stallions and Solomon’s Castle

2/15/14 Saturday at Wauchula, FL (Peace River-TT)

Thanks to John’s research we found out that the Lipizzaner show is at 10 am on Saturday (3 pm on Thursday and Friday), so we switched into high gear even packing our lunch, leaving by 9 am. On our way we saw lots of ranches: cattle and orange. Nice to know there is still a lot of farming in Florida. We’d been warned that a bridge was out near the Lipizzaner arena so we took a longer way there. On that path we came upon a sheriff blocking the road. He explained that he was stopping cars while the horses were down the road. Ah that explains why we saw people on the roadside. John asked if this was the best way to get to the Lipizzaners. The sheriff said sure, but we could have taken Wauchula Road. John noted that we would have run into construction issues. The sheriff said that the bridge was finished now. Well, rather than wait for the horse parade and continue on a longer way, we turned around and came via Wauchula Rd, getting there 15 minutes before the show. Thus we got to enjoy the stallions before we sat down. Hint: there are bleachers but you can bring your chair and sit near the fence, so we did.

Lip 1 lip 1a lip 2

European training using double harness: standing high so the general can see the battlefield, then to be in the ring with another stallion.

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Standing high, then all four above the ground – to then kick out and scare the enemy (before weapons).   In the second rearing image you can see that the back feet are also off the ground.  They watch the young stallions to see what they have a talent for and naturally love to do, then train for those abilities: lifting knees high,then train for dancing; kicking out, then train for this feat.

lip 6 lip 7 lip 8 a lip 8

The ladies (mares) get to perform. Notice that the middle one is brown. She’s a true Lipizzaner but a “throwback” where, even though her brothers all started out dark then turned white when they matured out (7-8 years). The first mare in this image is darker because she’s not completely matured out. This, in fact, was her first time in this performance.

lip 9

Goodby. These Herman Lipizzaners are owned by the Herman family (from Austria) and ridden by all women, because the men aren’t that interested! They’ve also elected to “go modern” and instead of branding these horses (Lipizzaners carry about 5 separate brands) they are now given a chip that contains that information as well as their current medical file.

lip 10

The show finished around lunch time so John spotted a nice picnic area on our way from there to Solomon’s Castle. Solomon’s Castle charges $9.35/person + tax so we elected to stroll the grounds and not take their tour. This man loved to make things out of recycled items.

Solomon 1 solomon 2 a Solomon 2 solomon 3 solomon 4 a solomon 4 solomon 5

Some cool things we also saw there:

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You know what else was cool? We ran into Lily and Ian! The same couple we ran into at Bok Tower. Wonder if that means something?

Back at home we just watched our tapes of the Olympics.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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