horse

horse riding

Obstacle field and horses in Sassari

A friend of mine in Sardinia is specialized in findind hidden addresses, authentical restaurants which aren’t meant only for turists.

Gorgeous music, special guides for excurtions, concerts tickets on the Asinara island.

Once he even found me a cardiologist at the Alghero harbour. A friend of a friend.

Here it still works like that. His advices, addresses, his news about the place are all for free and of the moment. He says all this along with a smile, after he has been telling a joke. He is called EZ3

I was looking for a horse riding instructor, being a second level at least (what a presumption!). Consider that FISE (Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri) levels are 3. Because of some strange memory defect, I cannot remember an obstacle jump course. So I didn’t have a licence either. From a formal point of wiew, I was an absolute beginner with a little experience in obstacle jump. But I was decided to find an exellent obstacle jump instructor in Sardinia.

EZ3 calls a girl he knows.

I don’t think he has ever seen a horse if not in a movie, but after a minute he gives me a FISE instructor phone number and an appointment for the day after, early morning.

The following day I am in the countryside between Sassari and Alghero. I turn in a dirt street and find myself in front of a closed gate.

The sing of the equestrian centre was small and faded.

After a little while, as puctual as a swiss watch, a dark haired gentleman arrives.

His hair is curly and long up to his neck. He introduces himself by his name, friendly but dry.

He is the horse riding instructor I was waiting for. The one who should have brought me on an obstacle jump course. At that time nobody was there yet. The obstacle jump field was huge, it had just been combed. It was surrounded by very high cypresses and it was flanked by large paddocks, the previous stables. Behind rows of vineyards and lemmon and oranges plants there was a small round to make horses turn and another smaller field for the dressage.

One of the nicest equestrian centre I have ever seen. Open air and only a small blue dome above all that.

 

 

horse riding

Horse riding is a life metaphor

Horse riding is more then a sport, it is a life metaphor.

It would help you realize that you won’t go far if you don’t become a whole with your partner, in a real partnership in which the horse holds strenth and the rider holds will.

The horse is so much respected as  the rider’s gestures are not considered orders but aids.

Horse riding teaches you to be firm in expressing your will as your body has to communicate it without hesitation.

You have to think before you ask. The useless amount of words we use in everyday life must be put aside as you have to convey your will firmly.

Half ton of galloping muscles cannot allow indecisions or  afterthoughts. 

The rider cannot be afraid of making mistakes anyhow. The horse  is so much precisely connected to the rider’s mind that he feels any single hesitation. You can think that this described above is the metaphor of leadership.

In horse riding the obsatcole jump requires more discipline as this activity is more risky.

In addition to what has been said above about riding on ground level, the rider has to lead the whole over the hoppers he would meet on his path.

In order to do that, he will have to direct his gaze far beyond the barrier. Towards the orizon.

It often happens that the rider fixes his attention on the obstacole itself instead of looking over the barrier.

This involves the horse to refuse to jump and the consequences can be quite painful.

The horse attention has to be kept constantly alerted. Some voice calls or some touches of riding crop can be needed but,above all, the horse will appreciate some rewards as careresses. Better if you bestow them only after the horse has well behaved.

Horse riding teaches you that you can fall over but you can stand up and climbe up on the saddle again. This helps you in understanding how and when you made a mistake.

This shouldn’t absolutely be experienced as a problem.

But as a natural evolution towards the awereness of one’s limits and possibilities.

I learnt to walk keeping my back straight and my head up as a rider’s attidude must convey a feeling of balance and it cannot be perceived only as a useless burden.

horse riding

D’Inzeo brothers: Italian horse riding history

1250 pages divided in two books, a photo one and another  narrative one to tell the two brothers story.

D’Inzeo, “golden horse riding brothers”

Umberto Martuscelli took four years to describe the story of Raimondo and Piero D’Inzeo. These books tell everything about the Italian obstacole jump competitions between the years 30s and 60s.

It all began as a necessary Italian tribute towards them ,but also emotions, temperaments and two very different personalities are here described.

Martuscelli says during an interwiew that one brother, Raimondo, was cooler, more ironical and intense, but that he could have some fearsome explosions of anger. The other one, Piero, kept a more detached attitude so to seem almost algid.

Martuscelli tells that he had met them for the first time in the 70s and that seing them riding, even if only on test field, was a very exiting emotion, really difficult to describe.They were the symbol of sports and human  value , so necessary during that historical period.

This book dedicated to the D’Inzeo brothers and to Italian horse riding , took three years time of work, research, in order to sort all the photo and narrative materials.

The result is much more then the story of two men who have won so much. During the 50s they had no rivals at all. This book is also full of historical details: on the 8th September 1943 Piero D’Inzeo was training as a cadet in the Army on the Apennines close to Modena.  As the governement Badoglio armistice was announced , all the officiers leading the training ran off , leaving all the cadets to the destiny of being captured and killed by the German army.

Piero, together with some other soldiers , walked back to Rome for more then 400 km, always hiding in the montains, running the risk of being shot by the Germans.

After the two brothers withdraw, Italian horse riding  ran through a critical period , and two opposite positions were formed. The new young riders, as they couldn’t win as much as it was expected from them, didn’t bear being compared to such a cumbersome spors past.

On the other hand brohers D’Inzeo didn’t save critics toward the agonistic and organizative world that followed their withdraw from competitions.

Today that Italian horse riding is asserting  to a very high competion level  again, brothers D’Inzeo are rightly returning to be part of a sports heritage which can only increase today’s Italian champions pride.