PBS’ latest entry in its Nature series, Legendary White Stallions is an impressive addition to this highly respected series. This entry in the series focuses on the famed dancing Lipizzaner horses. It goes into depth describing the horses’ roots as tools of warfare to their current role as entertainers known and respected the world over. There is a lot for fans of these horses to enjoy from this new documentary other than that piece of history. Watching the respect with which the horses are treated throughout their training is incredible. Those charged with preparing the horses for show treat them like royalty. From brushing and feeding them, to simply training them, the utmost respect and gentility is used. The horses are even kept together in large groups, so as to maintain a sense of confidence and security among the horses. Whether one is a horse lover or just an animal lover in general, seeing such show of respect for these stunning animals will impress and move any viewer.
The program is anything but brief in its history of how the Lipizzaner came to be used for show instead of warfare. It explains how the Berbers used the horses in their campaign to take over regions of Spain in their battles with the Europeans. From there, audiences see how that horse would eventually become the Spanish horse and what is now the modern Lipizzaner. The brief history on Spanish history is a bit of a digression here, but is necessary in understanding the full history of where this majestic horse came from. It helps to comprehend the cultural influence of the horses, too.
The rich history of the Lipizzaner and the respect that its handlers and riders have for it make this episode of Nature just as enjoyable as the show’s other episodes. There is one other factor that makes this episode so enjoyable, especially for those with Blu-ray players and HDTVs. That factor is the cinematography of the program. The camera work throughout the show is outstanding. This is especially the case when watching the horses run wild through the massive acreage of the Spanish riding school. Even in watching the horses undergo training, viewers get quite the experience thanks to expert camera work. The angles and shutter speed used throughout the training segment make for quite the show. On a side note, it should be noted that there is a scene in the program showing a horse impregnating a female horse as part of the breeding process. So parents might want to consider whether or not they want their children seeing this scene in question. Other than that, the camera work is one more impressive aspect of what is one more impressive documentary from one of PBS’ best programs. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available June 4th. They can be ordered online via the PBS’ store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=19729756&cp=&sr=1&kw=legendary+white+stallions&origkw=Legendary+White+Stallions&parentPage=search#Details.
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