Join the Team - Lipizzaners

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Joining The Lipizzaner Team

This page has been prepared to answer many of the questions frequently asked about joining the Lipizzaner Team.

The centre has successfully run a student course for over 20 years.  The course provides high quality and comprehensive training for the student, covering a diverse range of skills and techniques in a friendly and educational environment. This course offers intense daily training both practical and theoretical, and direct contact with horses, mentors and trainers.

The course is tailored around the individual needs of the student. Training is also geared to meet the needs of the student rider, whether a novice rider or a skilled and experienced rider who just needs to improve his/her technique in a particular area or acquire more skills in general horsemanship.

SAL is now proudly accredited by CEEPSA (The Council of Equine and Equestrian Professionals of South Africa), and the course now incorporates the theory required to complete some Modules from the Level One EQASA (Equestrian Qualifications Authority of Southern Africa) qualification.

What level of riding do you expect?
We are always seeking experienced riders who have ridden at Medium or Advanced level.

We are also happy to accept riders at lower levels (novice, elementary). Most of the people in this category who have joined the Team have had a number of years dressage experience, albeit at the lower levels, most have their own horse, and most have competed at dressage shows.

Do you have a career structure?
Yes, we do. The South African Lipizzaner School is the only school in the world recognised by and affiliated to the world famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna, and here in South Africa, we follow very closely their traditions of classical training as well as career progression. In the past, Senior Bereiters from the Spanish Riding School have visited South Africa on an annual basis to uphold these traditions. It is hoped that we may be able to continue these visits in the not too distant future.

What is this career structure?
Student: First ten months
Trainee Rider:
After successful completion of the student program, having passed both written and ridden exams, the student may be offered the opportunity to join the team as a Trainee Rider, at the discretion of the directors.
Junior Rider
Senior Rider
Certain criteria have to be met for promotion to the next level

What are the costs involved?
A 10 (ten) month Student Apprenticeship Programme is offered, commencing on 1 February and finishing on 30 November, the fees for which are R35,000. payable in advance and are non-refundable.

After successful assessment, and becoming a Trainee Rider, a minimal monthly salary is paid.

What are the working hours?
Candidates joining the team are required to work 6 days a week as follows:
Tuesday to Friday: 08h00 to 12h30
08h00 to 14h00 or as arranged by the Team Managers
Sundays: 08h00 to 14h00 Sunday Performances.
Mondays: Day off

Student riders are also expected to be available for outside performances.

Do you provide accommodation or assistance with transport?
Yes, there is basic accommodation at the Centre in Kyalami available for rental.

What happens on the Student Apprenticeship Programme?
We are looking not only for riding ability, but for riders to become ‘ambassadors’ for the South African Lipizzaners. Students will generally receive between one and two lunge lessons per week, and one or two group lesson per week. All this is flexible and may depend on a number of factors under the direction of the Team Managers.

During the ten month period, a number of tests and tasks will need to be completed. These tasks will range from exams on protocol, correct tacking up, how to lunge etc, to working in the ticket office, visiting the stud farm, and communicating positively with the general public at performances. Students will receive daily lectures from the riders and will be examined on lecture content. Students will also be expected to complete various assigned projects

Students are exposed to all aspects of training the Lipizzaners from young stallions just under saddle, to the more experienced stallions working on more advanced movements, as well as the ‘Airs above the Ground’. Students should become familiar with the history of the Lipizzaners, and with all the routines and choreography in the regular Sunday performance.

‘You get out of this as much as you are willing to put in. We expect candidates to be proactive, enthusiastic, ask questions and have a passion for learning. Whilst respecting each individual in the team, we expect excellent teamwork and communication between team members at all levels. In everything we do, the welfare of the horse is paramount.’

At the end of the course, students will be assessed on their riding ability and will also be required to complete a written exam covering all aspects of the South African Lipizzaners.

What time of year do you take students to join the Programme?
Once a year in February.

Do you supply any clothing?
Yes, we supply each student with two Lipizzaner branded black T-shirts and a black peak cap and a black sweater for winter. Riders are expected to wear these every day whilst at the Centre or at any time whilst representing the SA Lipizzaners. Additional clothing is available at cost. Students should supply their own breeches (conservative colours) and long boots/gaiters (no chaps). For Sunday performances, candidates are required to have their own white shirts, stock and stock pin, and white breeches – even though not riding in a performance yet, students will be assisting and should be correctly dressed. The Lipizzaner Centre provides jackets and hats for the performance.

What is the procedure for submitting an application to join the Team?
Firstly, you need to be sure that you are able to fulfil the ‘time’ requirements and are able to pay the course fees.

Then you should submit a detailed CV, including specific references to your riding/dressage experience and e-mail this to us. Your CV should include a covering letter, where you should write your reasons for wanting to join the team.

Each application will be considered by all the Directors. Prospective candidates will be invited for an interview, and will also be asked to ride two of the stallions.

All applications will be acknowledged.

If you have further questions please Contact Us

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