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Where to Go on a Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe (Part 4)

Lombardy & Tuscany, Italy

It isn’t hard to see why Italy, the nation of romance, history, and culture is such a famous horse riding destination. The country features every kind of riding terrain one could possibly wish for, from beaches and rustic path through countryside to lakeshores as well as alpine trekking.

If you’re looking forward to spending a holiday or a horse riding weekend in Italy, you can’t miss Lombardy which is home to the Stelvio National Park, the biggest protected territory in the Alps, as well as another 25 regional parks. All of which makes the area a paradise for nature lovers.

Most popular horse riding tours in Lombardy are designed around the gorgeous lakes, hills and valleys at the foothills of the beautiful Alps.

Parco dell’Alto Garda Bresciano also known as Upper Garda Park has plenty of short tracks of all difficulty levels, featuring stunning views of the lake and the mighty peaks of the Bergamasque Alps. Ride the horse through beautiful valleys, vineyards, and picturesque villages to witness a breathtaking alpine backdrop will make a lifetime memory.
The province of Como offers numerous trekking itineraries. In which, riders can ride along the lakes shores for a few hours or an entire day. The picturesque Valle d’Intelvi bridges Lakes Como and Lugano offers trails on both sides of the valley, appropriate for all levels.

However, please be aware that according to Italian law, children under 14 are not allowed to ride horse on their own on public roads.

Hilly Tuscany has trails for all levels and tastes. The many stables in the region has everything one wishes to explore in the region of unspoiled natural beauty on horseback, either for a few hours or a couple of days.

Hop in the horse and take a visit to castles, vineyards, valleys and a countryside while exploring the region’s rich history, delicious food, and finest wines. You can mix these with visits to the great art towns of Florence and Siena, or the popular vineyards in the Chianti region.

The hobby of horse riding is skyrocketing in China

The Chinese super-rich not only spend billions to collect cars, luxury brands, travel around the world, but also play polo – a type of sport belonging to the luxury goods in the world.

Polo or custard (as the Chinese call it) is considered a noble sport originating from Persia. In this subject, the player has to ride the horse while cleverly hitting the ball into the opponent’s goal to win. Each modern polo match lasts about 2 hours.

The Indians modernized the sport and opened the first polo club in 1833 in Assam. Meanwhile, the British are believed to have spread popular polo to many countries around the world. Britain’s first Calcutta Polo Club was founded in 1862 by Lieutenant Joseph Sherer and Captain Robert Stewart. In the US, the first polo match was held at Dickle Riding Academy on Fifth Avenue.

This discipline is not too strange in China. In Chinese history, the Tang emperor (617 – 908AD) had chosen the best mares to organize an entertaining match with the aristocracy in the royal capital of Chang’an.

Since then, it has rarely been a player until a recent decade, polo has gradually changed and evolved into a sport that is particularly interested in the very rich and the rich. In China, polo is an elite sport that shows elegance, class and status that is only suitable for the luxurious lifestyle of the super rich.

Tianjin Goldin Polo Club, owned by Goldin Properties Holdings, is the most valuable polo club in the country and the favorite entertainment destination for the wealthy in China. since its inception. Membership of this club has a minimum price of 380,000 yuan (over 1.2 billion).

In addition to the large racecourse area, the venue also has 4,000 stables, an international academy of horse riding training, a domed stadium and a luxurious hotel system including 12 restaurants, a wine cellar serving only The most expensive wine in the world. It is also the venue for many global Polo tournaments.

The polo events organized in the form of tickets for guests are an opportunity to expand social relations but in reality, participants have everything in hand, money and position.

Despite the high costs, Polo is gaining a foothold, as China is getting richer, more and more Chinese are willing to spend large sums of money to play sports, especially for their children.

There are clubs around the country and to sponsor a team, you have to be extremely rich. Because players need to be equipped with good horses, large polo field, all kinds of high-end equipment and professional coaches. Therefore, the target market of this sport is mostly billionaires, wealthy businessmen and their children.

The appeal of the sport lies in the social aspect for those who like to ride horses and speed enthusiasts. It is really not just about the art of sports but also the style of the upper lifestyle.

The US horse racing industry faces a big challenge (Part 2)

So why did 21 horses die in such a short time?

Rick Arthur, director of the equestrian health care agency of the state of California, pointed to a number of factors: heavy rainfall, exhausted horse numbers and impatience of coaches and race officials. when making the most of the remaining horses.

Heavy rains make it difficult to maintain the track, especially when leveling the ground to avoid puddles of water from seeping into the surface of the track. Imagine just how fragile racing horses with ankles just as slim as a bottle of Coke must move constantly on a poor-quality track.

The traditional California race track was closed on February 26 and 27 after the Breeders Dirt Cup Mile 2017 champion – Midway Naval Battle, was seriously injured during training. A race safety expert from the University of Kentucky – Mick Peterson, was brought to the scene to look for anomalies to explain the sudden increase in deaths.

Although could not find anything out of the ordinary. However, shortly after opening the door again, the racing horse Eskenforadrink became the 20th death, injured in a race and then freed by death.

Statistically, at least, coaches in California seem to be more demanding of their horses. Santa Anita’s horse racing currently has an average of 3.02 exercises per start, compared to 0.88 for the horses at Gulfstream Park in Florida and 0.42 at the Aqueduct in New York, according to Equibase horse racing news site.

Health expert Rick Arthur believes that the rules and vigilance of the authorities can be followed during the morning training hours, when 9 of the deaths occur at this time. When a horse is about to enter a race, it will be tested by a veterinarian for medical conditions and drug testing.

Ngành công nghiệp đua ngựa của Mỹ đối mặt thách thức lớn - ảnh 1

When Santa Anita officials try to figure out why their race is so dangerous, they will also have to deal with public opinion. Animal rights activists have conducted protests outside the racetrack, even animal rights advocacy organization PETA has called on California Governor Gavin Newsom to close the racetrack and ask lawyers in Los Angeles. Angeles launched an investigation into the use of drugs to conceal horse racing injuries.

Where to Go on a Horse Riding Weekend Getaway in Europe (Part 1)

When you don’t have much time left for long vacation, it doesn’t mean the fun should stop. In fact, an extended weekend, or even a regular weekend, is enough for a great adventure.

There are many benefits that horse riding weekend brings. Beginner riders can experience what a horse riding holiday is like without spending to many days in the saddle. For experienced riders, it can be a wonderful getaway to refresh your riding skills before joining a longer trip.

Europe has a long history of horsemanship and an abundance of destination for horse riding including natural parks and stables. There are countless number of riding trails that take approximately a couple of hours to several days to finish. And most of the long trails can be divided into smaller sections.

In this article, we take a look at the best destinations for a horse riding weekend in Europe

Andalusia, Spain
For a short yet intensive adventure in Southern part of Spain, try a horse riding weekend getaway in Andalusia – the place in which horsemanship are not only tradition but still part of everyday life.

Home of the Andalusian horse breed and an incredible landscape of many types, this is the premier destination in Spain, featuring coastal and mountain trails for all riding levels, as well as ancient Roman and Moorish tracks that are suitable for many types of transportation as well as walkers.

Jerez de la Frontera, the birthplace of the Spanish thoroughbred, is one of the best places on earth to study how to ride and improve your skills. You can start with short rides in the countryside or take lessons first. Jerez is also a great base camp for the advanced rider to enjoy beach riding in Cadiz.

If you have two or three days to spend, you must try to ride the strong Andalusian horses around the region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highest in mainland Spain. Seeing some of the most impressive scenery in the country, featuring lush valleys, pine forests, clear water rivers and alpine meadows. Riding through unspoiled wilderness, visiting remote areas that can only be reached on horseback.

On the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the culturally rich Alpujarra region has many spectacular horse riding trails of all difficulty levels and old paths that lead through traditional villages, beautiful farmlands, gorges and green olive groves.

Top Affordable Horse Riding Holidays (Part 2)

6 Days trip of Horse Riding in Essaouira, Diabat
Having dreamt of a Moroccan adventure? Why not turn that dream a reality by joining a horse riding holiday in Morocco?

Ranch de Diabat offers a holiday which allow you to explore the various landscape of Essaouira – Including the vast sand dunes, the deserted beaches and the peaceful fishing villages.
On this trip, walking along trails and across rivers for a minimum of 5 hours a day. In the evenings, you will enjoy traditional Moroccan meals at the bivouac as you feel the warmth of the campfire before laying on the hay in a Berber tent.
On the final day, you will be able to experience the coastline and the city of Souiri where you will have spare time to shopping or having a traditional massage before finishing the night with a lovely dinner at a beautiful hotel in Essouira.

Price: Starts at US$666 per person for All year round
Skill level: Appropriate for Intermediate & Advanced riders

4 Days Midweek Horse Riding Getaway in Queensland
Thinking about going on a quick horse riding trip during the middle of the week? Worry not. If you currently in Australia, this is the perfect excursion for you!

Situated in Lockyer Valley, Queensland, the friendly people at Fordsdale Horseback Adventures will welcome you with open arms like no other.
Lucky for you, situated just a short trip from Brisbane, Queensland is one of Australia’s top horse riding places which means that there are plenty of amazing trails for you to explore during your trip!
There are two options to choose from – The first is appropriate for beginners which includes riding lessons in the farm’s round yard in the morning and afternoons, before short trail rides. The other option is perfect for intermediate and advanced riders where they can enjoy longer trail rides with or without riding lessons

The US horse racing industry faces a big challenge (Part 1)

Nowadays, we can see that the US horse racing industry is facing with a very big challenge.

The horse is directly contributing about the US $50 billion to the US economy and creating nearly 1 million jobs in 2017 alone, according to American Horse Council.

As the North American Triple Crown season (including the three Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont – ND races) approaches, the focus of attention should be on the championship candidates of the Kentucky Derby. Instead, the Santa Anita racetrack had to suspend activities due to a mass death of horses, prompting people to question the safety of the track.

A foal named Lets Light the Way was recently found dead after breaking a sesame bone in his ankle joint. Since December 26 last year, a total of 21 horse racing events have been killed when participating in competitions or training in Santa. Earlier in 2017, there were 20 deaths within 122 days of racing, according to Jockey Club’s horse racing distribution company.

This is the second time in 8 days that the famous racetrack under the San Gabriel Mountains has been closed. Since the 2008 Kentucky Derby, when the young horse Eight Belles was killed after finishing second, the entertainment industry officials have been concerned that a similar incident could have caused the sport to become lost.

In a series of incidents in 2012, 24 racing horses died each week at racetracks across the United States, many of whom suffered from drug shock or lack of regulatory protection. This has driven regulations that help protect racing horses across the country and minimize the number of deaths.

For example, in 2017, the race rate of death was only about 1.61/1,000, compared to 2/1000 in 2009. In California, the number of dead horses has decreased by 60% in the last 13 years, with most of the decline in the past few years, according to the California Equestrian Council.

Top Affordable Horse Riding Holidays (Part 1)

This is the resource for planning your horse riding holidays with recommendation of the top destinations to take your riding skills to new heights. 

While horse riding is often considered as an activity that comes with an expensive price tag, this is not necessarily true. 

Horse riding can actually be expensive but there are lots of options available across the world that allow you to have an unforgettable and high quality horse riding trip without breaking your budget.

There are many surprising budget horse riding vacations for you and your loved ones

Horse Riding in Paradise Valley and South Desert of the High Atlas Mountains, Morocco can cost around US$150/day for group of 15 people including accommodation and meals.

Horse Riding Trip in Andalusia

If you’re a horse riding lover, you probably already dream about Andalusia which is one of the world’s top horse riding place where you will be able to explore the best of the Spain region has to offer within a weeklong horse riding excursion.

Team of experienced riders and tour guides of Horse Riding Andalusia, will offer you the opportunity to ride and bond with different types of horse breeds whichever horse you like, they are sure footed, cared and well-trained.

Each day, you will be offered at least 4 hours of riding – where you can enjoy breathtaking trails in the nature reserve situated just a mile away from any accommodation you decide to stay at. During your ride, you will encounter various local wildlife including mountain goats, deers, giraffes, eagles, and wild boars. It’s a vacation ideal for wildlife and natural fan. 

Soak in the Spanish hot sun and fresh air while experience Andalusian countryside life where things are simple, rustic but always enchanting. This group and family friendly horse riding excursion also includes a guided tour from the city of Granada. It will surely leave you wanting so much more!

Price: Starts at $69/Day for all level of skill

Availability: All year round

Painting cowhide like a zebra is a great way to protect the environment

What is cow hair paint like zebra? Why is the way to protect the environment?

According to a recent study published in PLOS ONE, scientists have proposed a strange project: zebra-like cow paint, whose purpose is to protect the environment.

All explanations are based on the hypothesis, the most common of which is that the stripes are responsible for scattering heat, helping zebras to regulate their body temperature in hot African weather. However, this hypothesis has been proved to be incorrect by the experiment.

After the above test, two more theories were considered to be quite relevant regarding this zebra coat. First, the zebra fur is a very special method of camouflage, which will create a visual illusion when they run and make the pursuers feel dizzy.

The second hypothesis involves distracting blood-sucking bugs: the reflected light in the black and white hair area is different, so the insects will have a geolocation noise and they will avoid the fur.

Based on these two theories, scientists in Japan have proposed the idea of ​​painting fur for zebra breeds. Specifically, experts painted a zebra coat for a group of cows, painted black stripes for another group of black cows, and left a group without any repairs. They then observed their fly-chasing behavior (wagging their tails, waving their ears), the number of flies and insects, counting each peanut and recording it.

Results showed that the “zebra” cows had a 50% lower rate of flies attack compared to the black and unpainted groups (the other two groups had no difference). In addition, the number of times they have to perform “chasing flies” of the zebra group is also less than 20%, because they are no longer bothered by bugs.

But what does that have to do with protecting the environment? It turned out to be completely related. The research team believes that this result can experiment on a large scale since current methods of killing flies when using cattle are mainly pesticides.

Zebra paint for cows is not only cheaper but also less toxic, makes them healthier and does not pollute the environment. This is a great alternative for pesticides, improving the quality of life for cows and non-toxic to humans. On top of that, it also eliminates the resistance of pests to insects.

Best Horse Riding Destinations in Italy (Part 3)

Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, fills with a rich horse riding culture dating back as far as the 13th century, the last places in Europe where wild horses still roam free. Until today, there are numerous festivals, exhibitions and tournaments that honor horses and showcase the impressive skills of the local riders. 

Featuring approximately 1850 kilometers of beautiful coastline which make Sardinia an amazing holiday spot for riders who enjoy watersports and chill beach vacations. The clear-water beaches on the south part of the island are perfect for romantic sunset getaway, while the green pastures located over cliffs and crags in the north and east part are ideal venues for gallops.

The trails that are more appropriate for beginner riders exploring the south-west coast through pinewoods close to the sea by golden dunes. On the way, riders might discover small yet beautiful fishing villages and a pat of pink flamingos.

Sardinia cost line

More experienced riders can take spectacular trails ride to the center of the island where the scenery changes from valleys covered with golden wheat growing fields to forests of pine and rugged mountain with canyons, caves and ancient ruins.

Due to the deep-rooted traditions that horse breeding still is an important part of the island’s culture, with the create of diverse horse riding holidays. In this part of the Mediterranean Sea, riders might find horse riding holiday to suit every preference, from pony rides for children and beginner to beach or countryside rides and demanding tours.

How to get there:

The biggest and most modern airport on the island is in Cagliari (CAG), which is also the best option to fly if you plan your holidays are in the southern part of the island. In the north of Sardinia, the best airports for arrival are Olbia (OLB) and well-known budget airlines is Alghero Airport (AHO). The island is also well accessed by domestic flights to all major Italian cities such as Naples, Bologna, Rome, Milan, Turin or Venice. Although Sardinia has well developed public infrastructure and transportation, the most suitable option to reach remote locations is by car.

What to prepare when participating in horseback riding

Horse riding is a difficult technical sport, requiring riders to coordinate the movements and coordinate with the horse to be able to ride the horse in the best way and avoid injury.

Before entering the training ground, students must wear a helmet, shoes, instructions on hand, head and neck boots to avoid injuries that may occur during practice. At the same time, on the saddle, everyone warms their hands, head, neck, shoulders, hips to avoid injuries that may occur during training. The booting takes quite a bit of time. Before practicing, students must perform warm-up movements on horseback: turning arms, shoulders, neck, and at the same time, learners also learn to reflect falling positions to minimize injuries.

After the warm-up exercises, students can control the horse by themselves. Before entering the training ground, students must wear a helmet and shoes. The rider must wear a helmet, athletic shoes on a horse, and be instructed by the trainer on how to use the reins and movements to control the horse to turn left, turn right, stop. Students are allowed to ride a few laps around the yard, the horses are firmly seated in the yard and they will be with the students throughout the lesson to keep the reins and balance. Each student himself entered the barn to choose a horse that he liked and then built the saddle.

To be able to control the horse proficiently, students must practice 2 sessions/week for a minimum of 6 months. With difficult techniques such as riding an obstacle course, it takes students more than a year to be eligible to attend because this technique is very difficult. Every week the students had to change their horses to practice their progress because each horse was a different personality.

At the advanced level, students are taught difficult movements such as hurdles, hurdles. Practitioners sitting on horseback focused to perform very rhythmic and beautiful movements, sometimes bending backwards, sometimes bringing their knees up to the horses’ feet, letting the horses gallop quickly, run around. The movements are done decisively according to the coach’s breathing rhythms.