Sunday, January 23, 2011

This Is "Church" For Me Today **Updated With Fun Facts*

From the time I was a child, I was fascinated by the Lipizzaner horses, as I was with most horses. But there was just something about them, as I poured through the history books reading about them. I never dreamed I would be able to see them in person. But I have had that opportunity a couple of times now, and will have it again this afternoon. Watching these horses, and their riders/trainers, is truly poetry in motion. And it continues to be a childhood dream fulfilled.

Here is some of what I will see today:

It is a remarkable connection the rider has with the horse. The two are paired up, and remain so as long as that horse is used in these shows. They develop a true bond, and become one.

And in case you need to see more of these amazing horses, I am happy to oblige you:

The thing about actually being there is hearing the horses breathe, hearing the creaking of their tack, admiring the skill of both the rider and the gorgeous Andalusian horse, as they both, working together, change leads, and "dance" across the arena. The Lipizzan horse is simply breathtaking...

Yes, this is "church" for me, being able to see these magnificent creatures doing what they are meant to do, and to be able to do so in person. Wow.

And while I am talking about seeing horses, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Zenyatta, and her owners, as she won Horse Of The Year for 2010. Did she ever deserve it - what an incredible horse she is. Just listen to the poem written about her by Priscilla Clark, who runs Tranquility Farms, a home for retired thoroughbreds (racers and breeders), and read by one of Zenyatta's owners:

Indeed, Zenyatta is the Horse of the Year, the Decade, and likely to be remembered as one of the all-time greats. At least she is in my book...

I hope that you, too, are able to have whatever is "church" for you today, from actually going to a place of worship, or to take a walk outside, be with friends and or family, whatever touches your heart and nourishes your soul. As for me, I am off to see these horses...

UPDATE: The Lipizzan horse does not start training until he is four years old. His first years are spent simply being, playing, growing, and doing horse things. Training starts then, not teaching him tricks, but teaching him to do what horses naturally do, but on command with the rider. The stallion trains for only 45 minutes a day. That's it - just 45 minutes. And the stallion will train for anywhere from 6 - 9 years before it is ready to show in public.

And speaking of a show, the big Friesian, Elvis, stole the show when he came out dancing to Big Band music. The Lipizzaners perform to classical music, so this was quite the departure. This big, beautiful horse with wavy long mane and tail, had a few steps in his repertoire, and really excited the crowd. He was something else.

The Lipizzaners were as beautiful as ever. Their coats brushed to such a sheen, they looked soft as velvet. Just gorgeous, gorgeous animals to behold. What a day!

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