Tag Archives: Italy

Check this out if you would like to get away for a few days and spend them with horses…

It’s my great pleasure to invite anyone who feels like spending several days doing nothing but the horses to the second Aspire GetAway to La Fiaba in Tuscany, Italy…

If you would like to wake up and start your day from bringing horses from the field, feed them and groom them; if you would like to follow this up with half a day over challenging Tuscan countryside, rider technique focused lessons, sessions on your body awareness and feel as a rider as well as use video feedback to help you progress – you might just love to check it out 🙂

Click HERE or the image below for full details:

September Aspire getaway Poster

New for 2014 – Introducing Aspire Equestrian Getaways: Tuscany ’14

AspireGateaway Cover

It’s been my goal for Aspire Equestrian to organise short training getaways that bring together hard work on own riding skills in lesson environment and the pure joy of being around horses in most natural way – looking after them and riding out in beautiful countryside.

Here is the first one of, hopefully, many such breaks! There are 6 places available in total. 3 are already taken, 3 are still up for grabs. If we have a lot of interest and there is a possibility to have a bigger group, I will look into it but for now, we are starting small :)


Total hours: approx. 14+ hours in the saddle + 4 hours In-hand training + 4 hours of off-horse training + horse care time as per your wishes

1) Daily Aspire Training Sessions with myself (working on horse’s straightness, suppleness and correct biomechanics as well as on own use of body as a rider. Adjusted to levels of the riders and horses. Use of video feedback for awareness training).

2) 3 x Challenging HALF-A-DAY Trail Rides over varied Tuscan countryside. Plenty of hills and tracks to explore. Both fast and slower options available. Well mannered horses. Fit and fun. For fitness and for joy of life 🙂

3) Each rider to receive 2 private lessons with myself during the stay. Focus on your seat, effectiveness, improvement of given horse on given day.

4) Opportunity to fully look after the allocated horse throughout the stay, muck in and out, feed, groom, make friends and prepare the horse for training and trail rides (with supervision). This was important to me so I was looking for a place where riders could get involved fully. 

Mark your diaries: 12-17 June 2014 (Thu-Tue).

Please click the poster image below to enlarge it and read the print easily. If you feel like you would love to join us, email Wiola at aspire @ outlook . com for update on availability, costs and booking conditions. Beginner riders with aspirations to become sympathetic and effective riders also welcome.

POSTER AspireGateaway Tuscany 2014
All updates on this Getaway will be posted on the ASPIRE 2014 GETAWAY: TUSCANY page at https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/aspire-2014-getaway-tuscany/ (please see main menu at the top of the blog page)

My Experiences with Horse Meat…

Since Princess Anne spoke at the annual conference of the charity World Horse Welfare suggesting changes to how Britain thinks about horse meat, the equestrian world has seen some ongoing debate on the subject.

To watch the speech, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24954892


Horsemeat shop in Italy

In my childhood and early teens I spent many months in Italy and that’s when I first encountered shops entirely dedicated to horse meat. In fact, I still remember the very first time I got enlightened one actually eats horses on a shop-able scale because I cheerfully and obliviously entered one thinking it was a tack shop

The front window had horses painted on it in a way you could not see inside and a life size horse statue stood proudly at the door. I was beside myself with excitement (as you are when your great pleasure in life focuses on spending few hours in the morning browsing equestrian magazines and all things horsey) and was somewhat shocked when instead of shelves full of books, tack, grooming equipment, lotion, potions and air full of thick, eye watering scent of leather I was looking at red and pink, bloody and raw smelling room.

It was an odd experience of a kind when you look at something that appears incredibly heavy yet is amusingly light to lift. Visually, it was just in a reverse…

Many years later in Poland I bought a horse from a dealer who aside of dealing in show-jumping horses also bought and prepared horses for meat. All of them were sold to Italy. It was 1995 and to my knowledge it was a very profitable business. The horses were all cold bloods of different breeds, all huge and fat and shiny with long curly manes and big gentle eyes.

Before I bought my horse from that yard I had him on trial for a couple of months. This meant I had to ride him each time from dealer’s stables to the training centre where my trainer was and so I spent thirty or so minutes at the yard a day for those couple of months. One meat horse I remember to this day came down the ramp onto the yard with a bicycle chain for headcollar with few men holding onto him and not being able to control him. It was a sad picture and one that comes to my mind every time I read or hear how opening up for market of horse meat is going to improve equine welfare…

Having said that, all horses meant for meat were kept in exactly the same way as all other horses for sale. It’s not to say that was any particularly excellent way. They each had a separate stable and a lot (and I mean A LOT) of forage and feeds. They were being fattened up I suppose to weigh as much as possible since the price was dependent on weight. Continue reading My Experiences with Horse Meat…