We recently met with Mr. Ferruccio Badi, Chairman of the Varese Horse Consortium gifting us this pleasant and interesting interview:
Jack Davidson Walmsley
Mr. Badi, you are the Chairman at Varese Horse Consortium, along with your partners, you share the same goal of exciting people through equestrian sports;
Are you all ready to welcome tourists back?
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to tell you all how important this recovery is for us. Our associates within the associated structures have equipped themselve to host the short-haul tourists, that is, the weekenders or the daytrippers to be more precise. Our aim is to promote city breaks and getaways, escaping to the countryside thanks to our beautiful horses and their adorable newborn foals within our large spaces, offering our guests the chance to also enjoy our landscapes and it’s wilderness in maximum safety. Access is only granted by filling out a form and being checked for fever & flu like sympthoms, however, the experience of just one visit quickly becomes very special and memorable. Once on horseback,the gloves and mask can be removed and therefore the degree of freedom perceived becomes unique. We do accept that slowly slowly rules and regulations will become less strict and more relaxed, nonetheless, reservations still remain mandatory even for single visits.
Children love contact with animals and horses are definitely among the most loved. What activities do you propose to families and from what age are children allowed to participate?
Our centers boast of programs for very young children where both the sensory experience and the pony riding are enhanced, allowing kids to approach the horse from the age of 4. For older children, usually from the age of 8, lessons are aimed to improve the activity with the horse becoming important to the psycho-physical development of both classical and western styles, ranging from show jumping, dressage, mountain trail and reining.
The province of Varese offers fascinating landscapes with breathtaking views of lakes, mountains and forests. Is it possible to explore them all on horseback?
Many of our consortium members offer beautiful horseback rides, within the Casorate moorland, around our lakes from Maggiore to Varese and Corgeno; trips to Parks such as Ticino and Campo dei Fiori, passing from the thick woods amongst splendid sheep-tracks, to the waterfalls of our valleys and the white rocks of Malgesso. Nature on horseback, experienced with tranquillity and serenity, becomes a friend flowing beneath us.
To practice the activities you described, do you need special requirements? Do you need to be an experienced rider or is there the possibility of practicing on several levels? For those who already have riding experience, do you offer guides who travel alone or in small groups?
Horse riding is a sport that requires minimum but necessary preparation, it is not trivial to manage a horse in a varied environment: we advise everyone to try horseback riding but not without a minimum of experience. For beginners and novices, the Varese Horse Consortium, offers internationally qualified instructors for both children and adults, preparing them to enjoy the excitement of riding safely and with knowledge; Many, once appropriately trained can get out of the stables and venture with their guides into our beautiful nature, whilst others are simply satisfied by getting to know their horse, trying to understand it, and by overcoming obstacles or doing exercises.We also have tourists from abroad who come specially to ride with our highly qualified instructors who participate in international competitive activities, to improve their riding. We also offer lessons or group lessons.For those who want the walk and already have experience, there is the possibility to be accompanied in groups through our valleys and we also have some centers that offer a carriage service to go out on a romantic walk.
Speaking of equipment, how can our readers be organised, whether they already have everything they need or not?
With the current COVID-19 issue, for at least one year, you will have to show up at our facilities already geared up whilst you will be provided everything you need for the horse; for the Traditional style we suggst riding pants with ankle boots or special boots possibly in leather with the possibility of being able to take off any clothes in case of heat, but after the first meeting your instructor will give you the appropriate advice. For western riding a pair of jeans are fine, while boots are best with straight heels.
Mr. Chairman, you really are offering us a wide range of opportunities, and I thank you for all this important information. We have talked so far about wonderful excursions to enjoy even during the day, but in case you want to stay several days there is the possibility to move from one facility to another and stay overnight?
Our consortium includes incredible hotels, both for location and services offered and farmhouses equipped for hospitality and catering. Therefore planning a romantic weekend on the farm or a holiday for your family where, in addition to ‘horseback riding you can use our agreements with golf courses or sailing schools, creates a synergy that only our territory can offer. I think that in this period of media bombardment about what you can do and what not the horse plays a balancing and reassuring role allowing us to take care of ourselves in a different way than usual.
Thank you for your availability and the time you have dedicated to our readers, providing them with useful ideas and information. How can you find out more about the places you told us about to come and visit them?
I invite everyone to visit www.cavallivarese.com : which is a good way to discover our facilities and offers. The Sumirago office, which you can contact, will route your reservations and advise you on the activities you would like to plan for your holiday. For special needs such as transfers or excursions we also have a collaboration with a tour operator always available. Experience nature in safety with our horses at the Varese Horse Consortium.
Jack Davidson Walmsley