Monte Termine: Haflinger’s day in the bush – barefoot horses
Monte termine, a park between Bologna and Florence covers an area of about 6,300 hectares of nature reserve, where it is easy to sight deer, roe deer, wild boar, foxes, badgers, birds of prey, and sometimes, even wolves.
I am ready for my one-day horse trekking on the hills of Sasso Marconi (BO)
I left Bologna a little bit before. I would have arrived in 40 minutes but I took almost two hours, lost in the woods not mapped even by my ” GPS” navigator!
Here I am, finally in front of these splendid horses, barefoot and blonde Haflinger.
Federico and Silvia welcome me with great cordiality and show me the riding club. I do not see stables but only horses running for the stupendous hills. Federico introduced himself, and he had suddenly started talking about his gladness seeing and living happily and peacefully with horses in this wilderness.
They have a farmhouse with some rooms where lodge people who come from afar. So you can stopover and fully live this beautiful experience. Going for a gallop in the middle of nature would complete your stay.
I introduced myself too; I talk about my experiences on horseback, and above all, about my dream of spending holidays on horseback.
Federico, after having had me do a short trial in the rod, took me to a ride. Once again, I was a bit agitated but at the same time happy. I had never gone to the mountains and woods, so I knew that we would encounter hard difficulties, but in the meantime, it cheered me to know he is an expert and would help me in all my hesitancies.
We climb the mountains; we stop to admire the view in front of our eyes. He explained to me the type of the mountains their names, the paths to rich Tuscany … He is exhaustive in its description, very competent from the cultural and historical point of view.
We began with the first difficulties: narrow thick paths and lower branches to which we must pay close attention to our knees and to our head… Generally speaking, the horse goes anywhere considering the measures of his body and not those of the rider who ride him but barefoot horses are safe, they do not slip, they know where to put their feet, and never have a moment of uncertainty. I really liked to cross these mountains with these horses.
Every now and then, we met the climbs of stone or steep downhill roads and the horse had be carried by hand. We cannot ride. Federico have had to bring two horses because I almost had trouble getting down on my own feet, slipping or falling!
When you have a guide like him, even if you are a beginner, stay calm! You can live the place and what are doing because the feeling of protection and help is what really matters.
I felt a little safer and then we start to trot and then to gallop – of course, where it is passable for me (for Federico is always possible …), and stay in safe.
I’m happy, I smile, laugh, joke, talk, walk, get off the horse, I go back on the horse, without being tired, without complaining (I know that this pleased Federico) … What a wonderful day!
This was the first of many days spent in Monte Termine with Federico and Silvia, with the custom of a coffee as soon as you arrive, a chat, the horses, curry and saddle them, get them ready. Then, when you go out, you discover places of our Apennines really very beautiful and unknown even to me.
You go back to the riding club, let the horses go for their hills together with the others, while Federico and Silvia offer a glass of wine, make you relax, chat and enjoy that really beautiful place; especially in the summertime when in Bologna (in the cities) is too hot, there is always fresh air and people feel good.
I must say that this time I was lucky. I found what I wanted: people, competent guides and instructors, places, confidence, help, and fun in a truly serene atmosphere.
They live close to Bologna and so I visit them often. Do you wish to go together?