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8 Days Natural Western Horse Riding Holiday in Tuscany, Italy

Skill-deepening Horse Riding Holiday Italy

Do you want to deepen and develop your riding while enjoying Tuscany? Come and join this natural Western riding holiday with Il Cornacchino. In this horse riding holiday you can deepen and develop your communication between horse and you as the rider. You will also develop your feeling with the horse. You will leave Tuscany with a new experience and more deepened riding skills!

Key information

  • Tack Type: Western tack

Highlights

  • Advanced horse riding course
  • Deepen and develop body communication with the horse
  • Experienced instructor and professional teaching methodology
  • Meals on full board basis
  • Wonderful location
  • 7 nights' lodging

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Italian, English
The maximum participants in the group is 7

Airport transfer available:
Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport

Airport transfer available:
Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport

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Accommodation

Il Cornacchino is a wonderful place nestled in a natural kingdom, full of fascination and emotion that will reawaken your senses. Il Cornacchino invites you to share this amazing place and love for horses. Il Cornacchino is an organic farm and it is composed of six buildings, horse stables, and several outbuildings, all surrounded by 110 hectares of terrain (57 of the farm ownership and about 55 managed as rental property). The principal agricultural activity is horse breeding and training.

The facilities include 13 guest rooms, camping area of 5,000 square meters, three dining halls, which can also be used for conventions and meetings, cafe room, two public spaces for relaxing that can be used for meetings, public space with fireplace that contains an internet point for guest use, and bathroom with facilities for the physically challenged. The additional buildings, united by a garden and outdoor staircase, form a quaint village completely immersed in nature.

Casa di Quinto

This was the first building that Il Cornacchino restructured in 1987. It is an old rural building built in rock with an external staircase. The dining hall and kitchen are on the ground floor, while the second floor contains five guest rooms.

Casa della Miniera

It is a rock building with two floors that look out on the garden below. Restructured in 1993, it houses seven guest rooms.

l'Officina

It was built in 1884 and contains beautiful archways in original rock. This building was restructured in 1999. It looks out on the garden and inside, you will find the bar, the office, the lounge with fireplace, a large room for music and games, the projection room, the internet point, restrooms, a public telephone, and Ezio's home.

Casa della Fonte

The house takes its name from the mountain spring pool in its garden. Besides being the summer home of Giulio and Letizia, it is also the latest building to be restructured.

Podere Nuovo

Podere Nuovo is located 400 meters from the community in the middle of the valley and is surrounded by horse pastures. Built in rock with the original stables on the ground floor, its upstairs space was the first original structure of the farm. Partially restructured in 1995, its ground floor continues its role as the main stables, with an added space for the saddle and work rooms, while the upper floor is the home of Fabio and Rossana. All of the horse activities are centered in and around the New House, and it is here that we meet every morning for the rides and other activities.

Riding facilities

The facilities were finished in 1999 and are located in the valley between the New House and the rest of the community. The riding ring is currently sized 20x30 meters. It has a drained foundation in sand and bedding. Adjacent to the ring are two round pens designed to accommodate horse training and vaulting activities and a huge natural arena, 100x60 meters with trail difficulties in the valley.

The camping site

The site lies in its own oasis of acacia trees. Although it is just a few steps from the rest of the farm, its location, nestled in this green space, guarantees the utmost tranquility and quiet. During the summer, Il Cornacchino mounts gigantic tepee tents which they use for the children's camps. In other periods, the tepees provide a romantic spot for the other guests.

The villa

It was built in 1881 as the residence of the director of the original Cornacchino Mining Company. It is the first building to welcome guests that come to the valley. A two-story structure that remains in its original state, its stately presence and gardens are beautifully striking.

Il Cornacchino Tuscany Horse Riding Holiday Program

Advanced course

The course proposes an approaching method to the western riding developing body awareness facilitating communication with the horse. The use of the pelvis, the proper use of the legs, timing and so on: all these skills will help not to burden the horse’s mouth and to interact with the horse, making him participating and willing.

When you understand the meaning for the horse, you will have more balance, posture, necessary and particularly effective skills in riding. You can develop with the horse a more trustful and respectful relationship.

The aim of the course is to have a correct control and help from the horse in the countryside and to face and overcome the everyday difficulties. It provides in riding and equipped with various difficulties and exercises to prepare for trail, western riding and pleasure.

Didactic method

The course provides an introduction to the horse, to understand the horse better and to have a respectful relationship: how he lives, how he sees and how he relates to.

The course will be composed of different settings (riding school, trail area, countryside, and equipped field for balance) to experiment the teacher’s and horse’s indications to the riders.

The changing nature of contexts is useful to supply the best occasions to verify the teachings and the proposed didactic method.

Objective

The aim of the course is to deepen and to develop the body communication between horse and you, developing in the your the sensibility and the feeling with the horse.

You will leave this experience with new tools to move towards autonomy and to make new positive experiences with and for their own horses. At the end of the course a certificate of participation will be issued.

Riding experience

This riding holiday is open to those who have already acquired the basics of Western riding and are able to do walk, trot, and gallop in arena.

The horses

Il Cornacchino's horses live in complete accord with their natural needs. Cornacchino hosts more than 60 horses who live in small groups outdoor on 100 acres of pasture land completely according to their natural needs of socialization and movement. The experience of many years, the large number of horses at work and security of the western riding allow, even to those who are beginners, to begin a journey, starting from the first lessons in a horsemanship and going through walks and the trek's tasting, to the real trek, the final destination for nature lovers and horses, everyone with one‘s own times and needs. The guide, after a briefing with the participants, assigns the horses, that will be confirmed after having seen riding the participants. Horses can be changed at the discretion of the guide or instructor at any time.

Horse training

Il Cornacchino is specialized in western riding for the country. The horse training is personally overseen by Fabio with his method called "natural western". The initial training consists of teaching the horses to trust humans and subsequently to carry out all the necessary movements in the countryside: walk, jog, trot, canter, gallop, back, side passes, gallop changes, transitions, jumping, and water crossing. The horses carry out much of their training in the countryside, learning while having fun and at the same time increasing their level of experience.

Western riding

Il Cornacchino considers western riding to be the most comfortable and convenient for traveling. With a well-trained and responsible horse, the western saddle allows you to enjoy yourself in the countryside and to overcome difficult passageways with the utmost security. Riding with a western saddle requires a minimum physical effort. The horse's gaits are more comfortable and as a result, the rider doesn't feel exhausted at the end of the day, but satisfied and happy. The weight of the rider is distributed over a surface larger than that of the English saddle and the center of mass is lower, making it easier both for the horse and the rider.

Instructors

Fabio Tascone
Fabio has been working with horses and equestrian vacations since 1980. He speaks Italian and English. He is a certified FITEEC-ANTE guide, environmental equestrian, DWA, and farrier. He provides oversees horse care, lessons, training, horse-shoeing, promotion, and general management of the establishment.

Location

The Cornacchino is nestled in a secluded valley in the natural park of Monte Penna. The pasture is surrounded by vast forests of chestnut, oak, beech, and pine trees where you can meet roe, wild boar, porcupines, badgers, and sometimes even deer. On the surrounding hills, there are grazing sheep, Chianina cows, and a herd of wild horses. You can see, on clear days, the sea and the Isola del Giglio, the Apennine Mountains, Bolsena Lake, and sometimes the Montecristo island.

The Cornacchino farm lies three kilometers from the town of Castell'Azzara and partially inside the Monte Penna Natural Reserve, at an altitude of 825 meters above sea level. Situated at the intersection of the provinces of Grosseto, Siena, and Viterbo, the farm is in a strategic zone in respect to natural, archeological, thermal, and landscape interests.

Castell'Azzara and the Natural Reserve of Monte Penna

In the heart of the reserve, the town dominates a vast horizon. At its feet, stands Villa Sforzesca by the architect del Fontana. In the deep valley of the Fiora river, on the other side of the mountain, rises the Rocca Silvana, a powerful and complex medieval war machine which Il Cornacchino recommends that you visit.

A group of mounds on the southeast foothills of Amiata makes up the reserve. The main ones are Poggio della Vecchia (1086 meters) and Mount Civitella (107 meters). This protected area makes the northern border with the Pigelleto Reserve of the county of Piancastagnaio (Siena). The protected territory is over 1000 hectares. From a geological standpoint it is an area rich with caves (populated by bats) that, although near the volcanic mountain of Mount Amiata, it is completely different.

In the watersheds, there are woods of ash, beech, oak, and chestnut. For a naturalistic interest, there’s the Font wood on the Poggio Vecchia, made up of various species of maple trees. The reserve is almost completely woodsy, with the exception of small areas that surround small farmhouses. Near Selvena, you can find chestnut trees of extraordinary sizes. In the reserve, there are bird populations of falcons and owls. The wildlife also includes mammals such as the fox, the porcupine, the wild boar, the roe deer, the deer, the weasel, the skunk, and the marten.

Nearby places

  • Abbadia San Salvatore, 24 kilometers
  • Arcidosso, 21 kilometers
  • Bolsena, 46 kilometers
  • Capodimonte, 48 kilometers
  • Castel del Piano, 24 kilometers
  • Castiglione d'Orcia, 37 kilometers
  • Gradoli, 34 kilometers
  • Manciano, 45 kilometers
  • Montemerano, 38 kilometers
  • Piancastagnaio, 20 kilometers
  • Pitigliano, 27 kilometers
  • Radicofani, 29 kilometers
  • Roccalbegna, 25 kilometers
  • Rocchette di Fazio, 20 kilometers
  • Santa Fiora, 19 kilometers
  • Saturnia, 33 kilometers
  • Seggiano, 32 kilometers
  • Semproniano, 18 kilometers
  • Sorano, 18 kilometers
  • Sovana, 22 kilometers
  • Triana, 20 kilometers
  • Vivo d'Orcia, 25 kilometers

Features

General

  • Bar
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant
  • Special menu request
  • Pet friendly

Services

  • Free bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Internet access
  • Meeting room
  • Parking lot
  • Room cleaning
  • Wireless internet

Food

The restaurant

Il Cornacchino's restaurant perfectly represents their philosophy of life: good, natural, and for everyone. They are an organic farm born in respect of the environment and for love of the region or land. Their philosophy tells the chefs to use vegetables directly from the farm's garden and high-quality Tuscan products produced in the region. Special menus for vegetarians, vegans, celiac, and different intolerances are available.

For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the tables are prepared for guests, people stopping in, and for Cornacchino’s staff. Each has lunch together with the guests, sharing experiences, and memories of the day. The natural ingredients combined with the passion for traditional cooking, the chefs bring to the table a healthy and delicious meal.

Typical Tuscan kitchen

The flavors of rural traditions of Tuscany, Umbria, and Latsio are melded with the personal tastes of the cooks. There is not a fix or daily menu. Every day you eat based on seasonal availability or following the guests' tastes. This is where passions integrate with the chefs' cuisine. The menu is composed of a series of hors d'oeuvre, two first courses, one second course, and three side dishes, friut, and dessert. Thus, it's easy to fulfill special wishes of all the guests, vegetarians or not. The only ingredients are enthusiasm and the loving care of the cooks in every dish. Wine is genuine, always present in flasks. It is included in the price and it comes from Montepulciano’s vines.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Lactose Free
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Advanced and didactic method courses
  • Horse and instructor
  • Meals on full board basis
  • 7 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Airport transfers

How to get there

Driving directions from Cassia

  • Follow Cassia Road SS 2.
  • At kilometer 146.5, exit for Castell'Azzara.
  • From Castell'Azzara, follow the road signs "Cornacchino" (around 3 kilometers).

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) which is located 170 kilometers from Cornacchino.

Alternatively, you can also arrive at Ciampino-G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) located 200 kilometers from Cornacchino. The collective transfer is on Saturday from / to Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Cornacchino or Ciampino-G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) with the cost of EUR 130 per person one way and EUR 250 for round trip.

Arrival by train

The nearby train station is Chiusi-Chianciano (along the route Firenze-Roma). Transfers of groups will be organized on Saturdays with the cost of EUR 35. Alternative transfer is possible on request with the cost of EUR 70. You can also use the taxi from the station which will cost around EUR 80.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 21 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on departure.
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