Horsing Around in Johannesburg

Lippizaner Rearing


We went to see the Lippizaner show in Kyalami, Johannesburg.  Lippizaners are beautiful and usually (but not always) white-coated stallions first bred in the 1500’s for military purposes.  The horses are highly trainable and are the modern day rockstars of the dressage world.

Knowing very little about horses though, I went along expecting to see people riding rearing horses (as per the logo on the tickets).  I was anticipating War Horse on steroids, flaming hoops and circus tricks.

Lippizaner Tickets

I was expecting War Horse on steroids.

Clearly I knew NOTHING….


The show was set to music and there was some fancy equine footwork.  The most advanced horses also displayed rearing and backwards kicks (but without riders).

There is clearly a lot of skill and dedication involved in rearing and training these horses, but it’s absolutely not a circus show.  There is a formality to the performance that, no doubt, harks back to its military origins.

Lippizaner running

Much like Marmite*, you will probably love the show or….not love it.  One of our children quite enjoyed it, the other was unequivocally bored.

Lippizaner Kick

If you love horses and understand dressage, you will undoubtably want to experience the Lippizaner show, it you’re not quite so invested all things horsey, it’s possible that you will find it a little dull.

For those of you who are in heaven when you are around horses, click HERE to learn more about the Jozi Lippizaner Horses and to find out when and where you can see them performing.

*Marmite is a food spread, a yeast by-product first sold in Britain in 1902.  Incredibly salty, it has a powerful and distinctive taste.  Marmite’s most recent marketing campaign “Love it or hate it” reflects that it is not for everybody.

6 thoughts on “Horsing Around in Johannesburg

  1. Patricia says:

    Have always dreamt of going to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna to see their magnificent performance. Watched the video 100s of times growing up. Now we’re on our way to Slovenia to the original birthplace of the Lippizaners.


    • Expatorama says:

      Swing by Johannesburg one Sunday my horse-loving-friend (a tall order, as I’m fully aware we currently live oceans apart) and I’ll take you. The Jo’burg Lippizaners are direct descendants of a number of Lippizaner horses that were rescued from war-torn Europe in 1944. Enjoy Slovenia. xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.