Strada delle Ginestre 12 - Barberino Val d' Elsa (FI)
Tel: +39 055 8059218
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Monday 01 June 2015 in Events
At Il Paretaio we think that it is very useful to ride a horse with long reines and little or no contact. We use this to warm up and to cool down. It is also very important to build trust and to obtain relaxation.
Allowing the horse to carry his neck in a lenghtened and lower position will furthermore naturally stimulate the release of endorphins, the relaxant hormones, into the horse's system.
It is very important that the reins are considered a mean of connection and not of control. Ifyou cannot ride the horse without keeping him on tight reins then the reins are used in the wrong way that is to say for control.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Tuesday 19 May 2015 in Events
It is very rewarding to see the results of correct riding (classical riding) also in show jumping.
My husband and I at Il Paretaio are very proud of having trained our son Pietro who loves showjumping and had a brilliant career as junior rider partcipating and winning many competitions at national level and two at international level. We like the fact that with our slow training and with the total respect of the horse we often obtain great results. We never feel pressed and we give the horse the time to mature and to express himself when it is the right moment. Not all the horses are ready at 4 or 5 years to jump the 4 or 5 years classes and we think that, sometimes, waiting is a good step. We believe in "slow equitation" and we are happy to pass our philosophy of riding and training to the future riders ere at Il Paretaio.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Saturday 18 April 2015 in Events
Our big, complex brains think up big, complex problems, while other people can be just as exhausting. when such a feeling hits, there's nothing to beat the best listener of all: an animal pal. Not only are animals marvellously non judgemental, their company reminds us of simple pleasures - there's nothing like a good meal and a belly rub.
In the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula, Bedouin tribes developed traditions to survive their stark environement. One was animal husbandry, and the bond between Bedouin and horse was particularly strong. The Arabian horse was revered, and equestrianism was conisidered one of the most important parts of furusiyya, the warrior's arts, and the horse was celebrated in poetry and song.
Not everyone can own an Arabian stallion, but you could give a dumped cat or dog a loving home. Even some time spent watching the birds flitting among the trees or a spider spinning its web can lift you out of your mental maze and tune your ears to nature's gentle call.
fm "calm" Secrets to serenity from the cultures of the world - lonely planet
Posted by Christina Hammer on Wednesday 08 April 2015 in Guestbook
Every time I visit Il Paretaio I am able to focus on a special topic of my riding skills by performing exercises always with lightness. You experience the nicest feelings with your horse when you have a connection that makes you dancing with your horse. This can only happen when you are riding a sensitive horse and you have trainers who not only teach you technics but also how to communicate with the horse and put no pressure on you or the horse. It is always great to return home as a more complete rider.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Sunday 29 March 2015 in Events
La cession à la jambe
Elle s'inscrit dans le débuts du travail de deux pistes et cintribue à délier et a redresser le cheval. Cet exercise augmente la liberté des èpaules, perfectionne la cadence et l'équilibre.
Le cheval, presque droit, se déplace sur une oblique parallèlement à sa piste initiale - les épaules précedént légèrement les hanches. Il regarde dans le sense opposé au mouvement, un léger pli à l'extérieur est autorisé.
Les membres extérieurs chevauchent les membres intérieurs.
Les aides de la cession à la jambe gauche vers la droite
Sur un cheval droit et tendu entre ses deux rènes:
1- La main gauche amène les épaules vers la droite ou reste en place. Elle donne ou corrige le pli.
2- La main droite au contact contrçle et empèche le cheval de tomber sur lépaule droite.
3- La jambe gauche reculée pousse la masse vers la droite par action discontinue.
4- La jambe droite est maintenue dure à la sangle.
5- Le regard et le poids du corps vers la droite.
Rechercher sur une vitesse stable un déplacement parallèle et régulier.
Associer le mouvement en avant à l'ampltude latérale.
Le cheval s'entable, se tord, les hanches sont paresseuses, il perd son activité.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Tuesday 17 March 2015 in Events
Nel lavoro quotidiano soprattutto con i giovani cavalli spesso si utilizza la pista per equilibrare e rettificare il movimento in avanti. Questo può essere anche giusto ma comporta una serie di problemi. Il primo è di carattere psicologico. Più a lungo il cavallo segue la pista più perde la concentrazione e l’attenzione agli aiuti del cavaliere. In secondo luogo quando si segue la pista il cavaliere tende sempre ad utilizzare maggiormente la gamba interna in quanto all’esterno il cavallo è “contenuto” dalla parete. Quindi il cavallo si muove si su una linea dritta ma con gli aiuti del cavaliere asimmetrici. Infine questi aiuti asimmetrici creano problemi nel momento in cui si affrontano gli angoli. Una delle soluzioni che adottiamo è quello di lavorare su una linea parallela alla pista. L’efficacia dell’esercizio è subito evidente. Il cavallo non potrà più appoggiarsi alla recinzione ma, mantenendo il più possibile la stessa distanza dalla parete, avrà comunque un riferimento per procedere su una linea dritta. Inoltre proprio per mantenere la direzione il cavaliere dovrà equilibrare i suoi aiuti. L’uso delle gambe sarà simmetrico e il cavallo si sentirà più inquadrato. Anche da un punto di vista psicologico, questo esercizio richiederà al cavallo una continua concentrazione sul lavoro.
Posted by on Wednesday 25 February 2015 in Guestbook
ll Paretaio is a gem for travelers, horse enthusiasts and seasoned riders alike.
I am co-owner of Knoll Farm located in New York, where I train horses and teach riders. I have competed at Grand Prix dressage and also competed at advanced levels in show jumping CDI, international competition, hunter/jumpers and equitation.
I trained in dressage with the previous owner and founder of Knoll Farm, Ann Gribbons, who has recently been inducted into the USDF Hall of Fame for her outstanding accomplishments and contributions to dressage, she was also the Chef d'Equipe, National Coach and Technical advisor for the US Dressage team for the 2012 Olympics.
When I visited Il Paretaio, I was impressed with the skill of the instructors and the quality of the horses. In addition, I enjoyed the warm hospitality and outstanding cuisine. It's a must go for riders looking to improve their riding skills while savoring the beauty of Tuscany. This is a place for advanced riders and for the novice. Four of my students are regulars at Il Paretaio, and always come back with improved riding skills!
If you are a horse person, it's a must go!
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Monday 09 February 2015 in Events
A horse who lets you handle his feet shows a good level of acceptance of people and it is a good gauge of where he is in his relationship with people. When you first handle a horse's feet, remember all you are looking for is to be able to cue the foot off the ground. So start with your hand up high on the horse's body and slide it down the outside of the leg (not the inside like so many people are taught) until the foot comes off the ground. When it does, don't try and hold on to it, simply allow the horse to put it down again, and repeat on the next leg and so on. Repeat this a few times on each leg until the horse is happy for you to go to each foot and cue it off the ground.
At first a young horse may snatch the foot away and that's fine. Resist the urge to grab it, and instead repeat the process. After a few exposures, the horse should be relaxed and hold is foot in the air for you. Once he realises you mean hinm no harm, he'll let you hold on to it and eventually position it to work on it. Take your time with this and make it easy on him.
Make sure that you are calm yourself before you start. Horses are very good at picking up on tension, so if you're not relaxed, wait until you are, or leave it to the experts.
Tags: Handle a horse's feet
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Saturday 24 January 2015 in Events
Classical training pays off for double winner Emily Bull and Royal Red II
Fm an interview by Horse and Hound magazine Emily Bull who won 2 dreassage classes (prelim restricted and novice) last Wednesday riding her 8 years old ex eventer Royal Red II, says: "We have just returned from Italy where we have been training at classical dressage centre Il Paretaio since June, and with the progress he has made we'll be hoping to step up to elementary this year.At Il Paretaio they have revolutionised my riding and approach to training horses"
Posted by Annie on Sunday 18 January 2015 in Guestbook
Je suis allée dans plusieurs centres équestres pour monter des chevaux différents, et n\'ai jamais trouvé un lieu qui m\'ait apporté autant tant au niveau équestre qu\'amical. Le site est magnifique, les cavaliers viennent de tous les coins du monde, la nourriture test typiquement toscane, ..tout est formidable. Sur le plan équestre, j\'ai fait des progrès notables grâce à l\'exigence gentille des instructeurs, et à la variété des chevaux tous différents mais vraiment intéressants. J\'y suis allée plusieurs fois, et y retournerai encore et encore ! Merci à tous pour tout cela. Annie
Posted by Cecelia Marcus on Saturday 17 January 2015 in Guestbook
I won\'t deny it! /I am addicted to Il Paretaio, which is why I have visited twice a year for the last 12 years. I have learned so much from Cristina and Gianni about the Classical approach to dressage which stresses gentle communication with their very special horses, rather than strong-arming them into submission. In October, after 12 years, Cristina finally deemed me a calm enough rider to ride Squibb, a delightful, highly-schooled Arab mix. I already had a relationship with him, having helped out in the barn on various occasions and having given him hugs and carrots over the years. I cannot describe the thrill of riding such an animal, whom I felt cared about me and gave me so much generous leeway, rather than balking at my sometimes inept use of the aids. I have been able to apply so many, many of Cristina and Gianni\'s equitation principles to my riding at home, and always impress my trainer with my newly-gained improved riding skills when I return to New York. I have, with their help, been able to overcome longstanding anxiety on a horse stemming from a jumping accident and am now a pretty confident rider! I eagerly look forward to my next visit on April 25 of this year. The beautiful landscape surrounding Il Paretaio has inspired me, a painter, to paint many watercolors trying to capture the ineffable, ever-changing vistas which vary greatly depending on the light and weather conditions. I feel like a member of the family each time I return to Il Paretaio and am warmly welcomed by Cristina, Gianni, son and instructor Pietro, daughter Giorgia, Elide (Cristina\'s mother) and the terrific members of the staff. The peace, quiet and warmth I feel at Il Paretaio is a wonderful antidote to my hectic, stressful, New York existence!
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Friday 16 January 2015 in Events
Horse riding tips: the importance of transitions to develop paces
One of the best ways to develop paces is with good transitions between and within paces.
For example, trot to walk, walk to canter, working to medium trot, as well as "on and back" exercises such as medium canter then more collection for a few strides, then back to medium canter. If you do well this work on transitions you will really see the difference to the horse's paces. Transitions are the basic of good training and the building blocks to develop lightness, balance, expression as you ask the horse to push in the upward transitions and to get his hindlegs under him in the downward transitions. This is very important to help to lift the shoulders and to improve the carrying power in the hindquarters.
Posted by Jaruwan Taylor on Sunday 04 January 2015 in Guestbook
Where do I begin?:-) I learned about Il Paretaio through Trip Advisor. So many happy returning riders! During my first visit to Italy, I wanted to ride in Tuscany. So I signed up for a weeklong visit in late November of 2014. My visit was amazing! I made fast friends with two lovely women from Nova Scotia. After enlightening morning lessons, I tagged along with them on driving adventures to San Gimignano, Siena, and Volterra. Other afternoons were spent learning something new in a lesson or on a lunge line. I never heard of Merens ponies until I came here. I had the good fortune of having one horse exclusively - the lovely Ivoir. He was the best teacher, in addition to my instructors, Emily and Natalie. All of the horses are extremely well cared for and many are super affectionate. Bette loves to cuddle and she enjoys massages. I heard Shiraz was a grump, but we got along. She even posed for me! I could go on and on about the horses, but I just say - pay them a visit! You certainly will not regret your time here! I haven\'t even mentioned the food! The dinners are unbelievable - so much yummy goodness. There are several courses. My warning to you - pace yourself because you will be stuffed by the end of the evening! Cristina\'s 86 year old mother made handmade lasagna for us one evening. She used the same pasta machine her father used in the 1900s I believe. As a foodie, I am forever spoiled by the food here! I\'ve been traveling all over Italy; and I\'ve been to Madrid, Paris, and Bruges. Hands down - Il Paretaio has the BEST food. Lunch and breakfast aren\'t bad either. And the desserts are so yummy! Well I missed Il Paretaio so much that I came back on January 1st, 2015 - exactly one month from leaving after my first visit! Everyone here is awesome. The positive energy at this magical place is something else. I can\'t describe the feeling really. Good people, wonderful instruction, loved horses, fantastic food and so forth! I\'m already planning a reunion in the fall with one of the Nova Scotia women.;-)
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Tuesday 30 December 2014 in Events
Very often we use this exercise to help riders to focus on direction. Sometimes riders struggle to mantain consistent-sized circles . To help the riders to ride a perfect circle I position myself either inside or outside the circle (just half a meter away) asking them to use me as their point of reference passing in front or behind me as if I were a cone.The incentive to avoid trampling me encourages the riders to be exacting in the geometry of their circle.
I also use this idea of a "human cone" to help riders develop their horse's attentiveness after a fence. For example I can ask someone to stand 50 feet away from a small vertical on the landing side, centered with it. The rider will trot to the fence, jump it and come to a walk before the "human cone". The impetus to not stampede the person will compell the rider to focus on riding the downward transition effectively. After riding this exercise a few times, the horses become more attentive and willing to respond to the riders' aids.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Monday 22 December 2014 in Events
I think that lots of people come back at Il Paretaio because of this special relationship we have with our horses.
When I say "our horses" I mean the horses that are ridden in the lessons and in the ride out by our guests and then retrained in the low season , when we do not have guests ,by ourselves.
What we teach iour riders is s actually how to make the horse do something with pleasure.The idea is that when we ask the horse to do something he must understand how to do it and very often we find riders who come here and they are not really clear or light with the aids. The other important thing is that you have to ask and the way you ask. If the horse is not forced to do something and your idea will become his idea then you will reach a great goal. We think that it is very important to respect our horses thought and feelings and this is very important for us because we believe that evey horse you ride can be your friend. This is, perhaps, the reason why many riders leave Il Paretaio saying that our horses are really "special". They are not special, they are normal horses but it is the way we approach them that makes them so confident in us that you will feel them "special".
Tags: Horses relationship
Posted by Jeremy Francis on Wednesday 10 December 2014 in Guestbook
I am learning so much about horse riding in Tuscany. Classical dressage is taught in such an efficient and gentle manner by Cristina. It is certainly an experience not to be missed, whether you wish to learn to ride or to improve...
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Wednesday 10 December 2014 in Events
Training a horse must be, according to our philosophy at Il Paretaio, a long term project. Very often we have to convince riders that being pressed does not lead them very far. Each time we find a problem in the training we make a step back and we do not feel frustrated or disappointed when this happens. It is normal. It is a normal step of learning. Only acting like this , that is to say, WITH the horse and NOT AGAINST the horse, we think you will create a relation of trust and confidence. Without any trust or confidence a rider will never be able to feel the harmony of a good relationship with his horse. This is what we try to make our riders learn in all our lessons at Il Paretaio and , perhaps, this is why our horses are considered "special".
Tags: Horse training
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Wednesday 10 December 2014 in Events
.First of all accept the idea of a lack of confidence: you are not the only one!
.Try to do things gradually: this will help you to buid up your confidence
.Be very analytical: try to understand why you feel unconfortable
. Find a good instructor and, if possible, ask for a private lesson
. Do not forget to breath
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Tuesday 09 December 2014 in Events
It is thought that mounting on the left was a tradition dating back hundreds of years, when horses were ridden by soldiers carrying long swords , making it easier for them to pull them out quickly with their right hands. Wearing the sword on the left also meant that it wouldn't interfere with the soldier's leg as he threw it over the back of the saddle as he mounted.
It is also thought, however, that a horse's left eye is the "rapid-reaction" eye. So when, for example, a stimulus is presented on the left, that eye will produce a faster flight reaction from the horse than the right eye, with the horse wanting to keep that stimulus in their left line of vision.
There is also another train of thought suggesting that horses usually favour their left side in general, possibly due to the way their mare's womb.
. It's always worth training your horse (and yourself) for mounting from the right side in case you get into a situation where you have to through injury or restricted movement.
. It is worth knowing that because of the nature of the horse's brain and eyesight, you have to train one side of the horse, then the other-so, for example, walk him past a spooky object one until he's happy, then the other way.
Posted by Il Paretaio Staff on Tuesday 02 December 2014 in Events
A horse who is dead to the legs often becomes so through ineffective riding. It usually occurs if the rider "nags" continuously with the legs trying to encourage the horse forward, to the extent that the horse switches off and becomes unresponsive to the leg aids. You have to break the cycle, therefore, with effective aids, so one larger nudge with your leg is better than lots of little ones.
If you find you're using your leg every step to keep your horse forward- which is exhausting and frustrating - that's as much your fault as your horse's. Give an aid once and mean it, otherwise he'll learn to lean on the contact rather than carry his weight in self carriage.
What is extremely important is that, once your horse responds to your effective aids, immediately praise and reward him by keeping your legs still and remembering not to hang on to his mouth as you ask him to go forward. You should be very careful not to do that otherwise you'll be sending him mixed messages that will confuse him.
Tags: A horse dead to the legs