Animals=pure joy. That's our succinct sum-up, anyway, and we doubt there are many people out there who would disagree. Seeing a beautiful creature standing, sniffing the air, looking noble, or just doing what comes naturally, is pleasant, but watching them line up, pose, run, jump, stride, all with costumed riders in the mix, can be quite a magnificent sight.
Especially with the Lipizzaner Stallions, which bring to mind a Europe long past, of parades and celebrations and pageantry. The celebrated equine spectacular is currently on its 39th tour, which is impressive, but totally understandable when you see the horses that are at the heart of the show. There are 12 to 14 in any one show, and they jump, move, and perform amazing feats such as a traditional quadrille; the riders, in their festive costumes and bicorne hats, also hugely talented, and work in concert with their stallions. It makes us feel as if we're sitting in some grand, statue-strewn park, circa 1835, outside Vienna, cooling ourselves with a lace-covered fan. We're eating bon bons and blowing kisses to the stallions. Nearby, a fountain burbles.
Okay, we're back in 2009, ready for a spectacular slice of Continental flair and history, with a few neighs thrown in for good measure.