Before the start of the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions training, Gabriella Herrmann took dozens of sugar cubes and put them in a Cool Whip container.
“This is the secret right here,” Herrmann said, gesturing to the small cubes.
Herrmann is the owner of Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions in Myakka City.
Sugar cubes are part of the horses’ training, and she needed plenty to treat the horses after they performed in front of an audience of about 100 people during a training session Feb. 11.
Herrmann said she was surprised to see so many people because attendance has been low since the farm opened in December.
“We’re coming into season now, so hopefully, things will pick up,” she said. “It’s a day-by-day thing.”
The pandemic has hit the farm hard in 2020, and the coming months are uncertain for the family. Herrmann said she’s not sure if they’ll be going on tour this summer because some areas where they would typically go for events are opening up while others are shutting down.
She will host a public equestrian training session every Thursday and Friday afternoon and Saturday morning through April.
During the training session, Herrmann shares fun facts about the Lipizzan horses, such as how they are born black or brown, and it takes seven to 10 years for their coats to become their trademark white color.
Herrmann said the horses can sense when it’s a performance day.
“The horses love it,” she said. “They’re performers. When you walk through [the barn], you’ll see how they come right away to the gates. We’ll put rails up, so people can get close, and they know as soon as those rails go up, they know it is audience day.”
Besides the training sessions, the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions will host a benefit for the Myakka City School House at 4 p.m. March 7. Admission is a $20 donation for adults, and children 12 years old and younger are free.