Bundesgestüt Piber, located 2 1/2 hours from Vienna in Köflach, Austria, is where the famous Lipizzanner horses are bred and raised. The stud is open to visitors every day of the year and there are guided tours (check the website for details, especially during the winter season). There is also the option of a self-led audio guide tour that details the history of the Lipizzanner breed, what life is like for the horses at Piber, and how they are selected for training at the Spanische Hofreitschule.
Beyond the history of the horses, there are also several displays where visitors can learn more about all things equine: a small indoor museum showcases carriages and farm equipment powered by horses, a display in the stables shows various equipment used by the grooms, and the farrier’s shed demonstrates the horse shoeing (a hit with my kids).
Of course, the highlight of the visit is seeing the horses themselves.
Visitors are able to enter the stables to see the horses, and also peek into the windows of a nearby barn where the young horses begin the selection process for further training. While we were visiting, the mother horses and their offspring were corralled into a separate barn where the visitors could greet the horses and watch them interact with each other.
There is an adventure learning trail tailored to younger children to help them get more from their visit, and there are a couple playgrounds on the stud’s grounds. During the summer season there is a café that serves reasonably-priced meals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Visit their website, or
- “Like” Spanische Hofreitschule on Facebook for news about the horses and their activities.