Famed dancing stallions of Vienna's Spanish Riding school put on diet

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2009 file picture a Lipizzaner horse of the Spanish Riding School perfoms during a rehearsal for a fundraising gala for the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. Austria's famed dancing stallions are being put on a diet. The Spanish Riding School's Lippizaners are an ancient breed that has traditionally had more rounded forms than many others. But school head Elisabeth Guertler said Thursday Feb. 13, 2014 some have piled on the pounds over winter, so "our horses must become skinnier." Part of the problem appears to be too many winter snacks from stable attendants. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak,File)

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VIENNA (AP) — It seems that winter flab is not just a human problem: Austria's famed dancing stallions are being put on a diet.

The Spanish Riding School's Lippizaners are an ancient breed that has traditionally had more rounded forms than many others. But school head Elisabeth Guertler said Thursday some have piled on the pounds over winter, so "our horses must become skinnier."

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Part of the problem appears to be too many winter snacks from stable attendants. The school says the white stallions' fodder is now being evaluated by a nutritionist, and the horses will be weighed twice a year. The average weight of a Lipizzaner is 1,150 pounds (520 kilograms).

The horses are trained to perform intricate routines in harmony with music and are one of Vienna's main tourist attractions.

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