Look: Lipizzan leaps delight crowd at Tempel Farms in Old Mill Creek
Demonstrating both the stately elegance of dressage and showcasing their powerful leaping ability, Lipizzan stallions wowed a couple of dozen people during a training session Saturday morning in Old Mill Creek.
Tucked away in northern Lake County in what feels like a suburb of a suburb of a suburb, Tempel Farms is home to 78 Lipizzans, including spring mares and foals. About 30 are in training now.
The Lipizzan is an endangered breed numbering fewer than 8,500 worldwide.
"The fact that you can see them here from foals all they way up until they're finished with training at the highest levels is unique because we breed, raise and train our own horses," said Ted Goad, deputy director of the farm. "This is one of the only (privately owned) farms in the world that does everything itself and then opens up to the public to demonstrate the horses' abilities and talents."
During the training session, the audience saw the gamut of training exercises the Lipizzans go through five days a week, from the slow deliberate trot of the dressage to the capriole, where the horse jumps from a raised position of the forehand straight up into the air, kicks out with the hind legs, and lands more or less on all four legs at the same time.
Sitting ringside on a shaded bench with a cool breeze blowing through the trees, friends Cindy Class and Sylvia Heidlauf, both of Wildwood, felt the outside world and stress of a global pandemic melt away.
"It was very nice. It was serene and relaxing and the horses were wonderful," Class said. "And they did a beautiful job on the social distancing,"
Because of the limitations with the COVID-19 pandemic, the farm hasn't been able to hold its usual performances, but in July it began opening up training sessions to the public twice a week. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children. Sessions last about an hour, including a walk through the stables and grounds.
Open training sessions are scheduled for Aug. 12 and 15 and then resume in September. Several mini performances with limited seating are also scheduled that will include catering and a toast.
For details, go to www.tempelfarms.com.