I try to take in as many new experiences as I can. In the words of that great poet, Marshall Mathers, “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow,” so why not apply that philosophy to your daily life on some level. From June until September of each year in Wadsworth, Illinois, you can visit Tempel Farm. Every weekend during this time period, Tempel Farms takes you on a journey through history and tells the story of the Lipizzan horse.
Lipizzans are survivors. These highly sought after horses have traveled lands near and far, enduring the wars of men. The breed was saved by General Patton during World War II and made its debut in America in 1958. They were originally trained for the enjoyment of Kings and
Queens. Starting out as feisty brown foals that will eventually lighten with age until they are white mares. As they develop, they will learn movement on straight lines, changing of direction, and change of tempo. They will also master walk, trot, and canter for shows and competition.
Sitting in the bleachers, I observed young families and couples of all ages soaking up the festivities. Tempel Farm allows for outside food, so it is a great opportunity to picnic on the lawn as you watch the show and enjoy a glass of wine. This type of horsemanship is still performed in our modern Olympic times, with horses competing in activities from leaps to traveling in different formations. Riders perform in traditionally vibrant coats and vest, while tipping their hat to the crowd when entering or leaving the performance area.
After the show, guests are allowed to tour the stables and indoor training facility. During winter months, the horses regularly exercise in a large domed open space which is heated. Traveling through the stalls, guests can get up close and personal with many of the horses while staff members answer questions and assist with the general public’s interaction with the horses.
Tempel Farm works on so many levels as a romantic afternoon date or just a new cultural experience. The show is just long enough to remain interesting and offers a lesson in history of a time long ago. I look forward to going back for the 2014 season!