Lipizzan horse breeding traditions


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Inscribed in 2022 (17.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Slovene Ethnographic Museum and Ethnocinema Production, 2020

Lipizzan horse breeding traditions were initially used to breed horses for the Habsburg imperial court in Vienna, but today the Lipizzan horse plays a special role in the everyday cultural and social life of communities in rural areas. They are included in events, celebrations and festivities such as horse blessings, carnival processions and parades. The horses also play a key role in therapeutic riding and sustainable tourism. The people who work at the state stud farms represent the main bearers of the element, along with therapists, craftspeople, groups of equestrian sports, military traditionalists, local communities and farm visitors. The values, knowledge, skills and practices are transmitted through hands-on experience, seminars and training sessions, as well as during festive and sporting events. The practice is also part of the curricula of certain local primary schools and of all agricultural and vocational schools and agricultural and veterinary universities. Lipizzan horse breeding has united communities for over 450 years, generating a strong sense of shared identity, including through its specialized vocabulary and the close emotional connection between breeders and horses.