We started out as a small group; me, Lisa and Robbie. The plan was to meet Lisa’s old friends on their way from San Francesco. A big day out for all of us!
Since the weather is awesome these days we just had to arrange a long ride. Even Luca joined us, by arriving for lunch by Giovanni.
We used to keep our horses there a while ago, and it’s a great place to meet other riders. The town of Mathi is laying in the middle of all the different equestrian centers in the area.
A bad choice
On the way towards the others we decided to take the mountain trail that combines Balangero to Mathi. I’m one of the few persons that know this trail, and I wanted to show it to my friends. But it’s really slow and rocky, so we came much later than expected to the meeting point…
We even met a closed gate at the end of a long road, and the only way to get out was to call a neighbour. Luckily a nice guy told us the code so we could open it instead of walking all the way back into the wood.
Meeting the others
When we finally met Andrea and the other group we had galloped so much that the horses were all nervous… Soraya seemed like an arab horse while she were dancing and jumping in the middle of the unknown horses. After a while another cowboy came out of the forest. It was Tonino that also wanted to taste Giovanni ‘s lunch!
After cooling down we managed to take a group photo! We were three riders from Team Vaude, Andrea from Cafasse, Tonino from Mathi and the four of us from Lanzo/Coassolo: Lisa, Roberto, Luca and me.
We were actually three Haflinger owners in the end, which is quite unusual. I think the Haflinger is becoming more popular again, since Italy imports less horses from Argentina.
Before everybody wanted Argentine horses for trekking, but today we know more about what’s laying behind this industry. I think Argentine horses are great, but many of them were often treathed roughly in many ways until they ended up as horses for trekking or western riding in their new country.
Now Italians are finally opening their eyes and starting to appreciate their charming little home bred horse, which is a perfect choice for climbing the mountains!
I come from a culture where low, sturdy and strong horses have always been preferred instead of higher, slimmer and less resistant breeds. We tend to think more practical than aesthetically, not only when it comes to clothing, but also about horses!
Giovanni was gladly waiting for us in his kitchen. He is the owner of L’Erica – a well known center for trail riding. He loves good company and food, just as much as we do!
After a fantastic lunch and horse talks, we had to go back home. This time we followed Luca and Moon, which always takes the shortest road by galloping all the way!
After a while he lost his group, since we decided to cross the river in the middle of the forest. This is a movie of from his point of view! (Slowly coming after him…) When you ride a barefoot horse you start to search for the softest roads automatically!