One might think that Lipizzan horse is an odd choice of breed to a really typical Dressage-oriented person who thinks that darker the horse - Better! I wasn't searching for Lipizzan horse. Neither was I searching for a young horse. And least of all I didn't want to find a mare that would steal my heart. As it happened when I was going through adds of horses my eyes stopped on this one add that had a picture on it. I really liked what I saw. This horse had that certain something that catches your eye. You could see that the trot is nice on the photo and I recognized the scenery behind the horse so this horse that wasn't anything I was looking for was really close by.
This was the photo on the add.
Thank You so much Sirpa Degerth Kaldi for letting me show this photo and for selling me the perfect horse!
There I found myself thinking "It will do no harm to go and check out this 4 year old dark Lipizzan mare even though I'm looking for old schoolmaster gelding or stallion." Priceless logic I would say. That is how Maestoso Madam aka Masu first time made an impact on my life. She was born in Hungary 2002 and was introduced first time to a saddle and a rider in Spring 2006. During the summer she moved from Hungary to Finland. Early days of autumn this first glance on her majestic beauty happened. To be correct, she wasn't that majestic in 2006. Lipizzan horses develop so slowly that she was bit of an ugly duckling when she was four. But you really could see the frames and enormous potential that this small and beautiful mare had.
I have tried to think back really hard did I ever ride a Lipizzan horse prior to Masu. I might have had, keeping it in mind that I have been around horses for way over 30 years now. I certainly knew about Spanish Riding school in Vienna had only Lipizzan horses, majestic white dancers. When I think life before Masu and try to remember something about Lipizzan horses I always remember the time when we were traveling around Europe when I was about 10 years old and we visited Vienna. I wanted so badly to go and see the white horses of Spanish Riding school but when we arrived to the gate it was closed. It was time before internet so it was hard to find out about opening times before you were actually on the spot. So I was close but didn't get to see anything except the gate. I hope I will one fine day be able to go through the gate and see the show or even the morning practice.
One of my dream is to travel to Hungary and maybe visit Masu's sire and dam. I think I saw somewhere in Hungarian Lipizzan related Facebook pages that the sire Maestoso Toplica XXI-3 is still alive. I was so happy when I saw his photo. There was really familiar features on him and he resembles Masu a lot or in this case, Masu being the offspring, other way around. And I suppose the dam Pluto XIX-3 might be still somewhere in Hungary but to confirm that I would have to do some serious Sherlock Holmes type of investigation. It is quite hard to find information about Hungarian horses when you don't speak or read the language. What is really interesting about Masu's dam is that the Hungarian Lipizzan Breeding Stallion 2016 Maestoso Mefiszto is from Pluto XIX-3 also. Sired by 4503 Maestoso Márkó.
Maestoso Madam, summer 2009. Photographer: Kirsi Tiainen
Masu's color causes some amount of grey hairs to me every now and then. On her Hungarian passport the color is sötét gesztenyepej which means dark chestnut. She is registered as a black in Finland. Colors of horses are like extremely hard science and I really don't know all the different specific colors in English but in Finnish we have a color for horses that translates word for word a wildfire black. That means sort of black that changes color when sun "burns" it. Masu changes color all the time. New hair is always black and then it changes slowly and she ends up looking really brown. So I usually make a short cut with this color question and say she is dark. It's easier and won't lead to debate on the matter.
In last years I have been riding almost exclusively Masu. Some other horses seldom but not Lipizzan horses except one exception. I remember several years ago I needed to ride a course with quite small jumps and because I do appreciate staying alive I didn't do it with Masu. She is quite lethal when it comes to jumping. My friend Leyla borrowed her old Lipizzan dressage gelding Neapolitano IX-13 aka Leksa. He was such a kind soul and had the funniest way of jumping but you could trust him to jump every time and that was the most important thing. I will never forget him.
Neapolitano IX-13 aka Leksa and me.
So to answer the question why Lipizzan horse I would have to answer that it was apparently written in the stars. It's not about the breed, it's all about THE horse. But I have to admit I'm intrigued to meet more Lipizzan horses in the future and try if they are as perfect to ride as Maestoso Madam is. She almost reads my mind and sometimes I think she really actually does know what I'm thinking, she is that sensitive to the aids. She always gives me the feeling that her ability and skills are endless. I just have to figure out how to ask things from her. She gives me back the ability to dance and run beautifully. Sometimes even fly. If all the Lipizzan horses are like this I would have to answer the question why Lipizzan horse like this: It is simply the best!