Lipizzan Horses are a unique and beautiful breed of horses. Famous for their performances in equine ballet and dressage, their charming movements have captivated horse lovers for years. Their high-flying battle moves are featured in many performances and are sure to win over any audience. Mystical and unique, they have been called “Pegasus” horses without wings.
Though Lipizzaner foals are born dark grey or black, as they age, they turn a beautiful royal white. At full size, they have a muscular body, making them very robust and strong. A typical Lipizzan horse has a long back and an arched neck. Lipizzans are beautiful, and their looks match their personality. Intelligent and kind, they are easy to train and very willing.
These horses are a unique and royal breed, but they are in danger. With less than 12,000 Lipizzans left worldwide, and less than 1,200 in the United States, the breed is threatened with extinction. A group of long-time Lipizzan breeders saw the need to protect and save these wonderful creatures. The Lipizzan Rescue Foundation was started to help save this wonderful breed from going extinct.
LRF is nationally based, without a permanent facility, with representatives throughout the country, and they are the only Lipizzan rescue in the United States. Through word of mouth in the Lipizzan community and online at their website, they find foster homes and forever homes for these special horses. LRF has foster homes around the country and currently has 8 Lipizzans in foster care in AZ, WI and SD.
In a recent interview with Lyn Schaeffer, one of the founders of Lipizzan Rescue Foundation, she said that their greatest success at LRF is that they have been able to find permanent homes for all the Lipizzan horses who have come to them for help. This is quite an accomplishment, and certainly life-saving for many horses who were in danger before being rescued.
One horse LRF rescued was Rhett, a 7-year-old Lipizzan and Andalusian cross. He came to LRF in August 2013.The first years of Rhett’s life were dark and sad, lacking any positive human interaction. When he arrived at LRF, he was doing poorly, both mentally, physically, and emotionally. He distrusted people, and was hurt and afraid. However, through baby steps and a lot of love, Karen Jones, a trainer and LRF Adoptor, started retraining and teaching Rhett to trust humans.
Rhett has made incredible progress with extensive ground work and finally the ridden trot, and has learned to trust and love his friend Karen. Her love and dedication has made Rhett’s journey a successful one, and through her continued work with him, Rhett has a bright future ahead – all thanks to Karen and LRF.
Right now, LRF works closely with other horse rescues around the country to place and protect Lipizzan horses. Their biggest challenge is finding quality permanent homes for these magnificent horses. Lyn said that “our goal is to have our own location to provide centralized rehabilitation and retraining as well as permanent retirement.” This would allow them to help even more horses and make sure they are happy in their forever home.
To learn more about this wonderful organization, check out their information below.
Lipizzan Rescue Foundation
Las Vegas, NV