Things are full steam ahead here at Castellare this month. We have had plenty of interesting rides, fun guests, and even a few VIPS to keep us busy. The weather looks like it has finally started to pick up for good, and this week the forecast promises sun every day (this comes after a rotten Sunday and Monday, and fairly average morning today).
Yesterday we managed to perfectly time a three and a half hour ride to up to Barbialla farm and then home through the pretty meadows behind Alberi. Normally this would be a four hour full day ride, but since the weather was not on our side we took three very fit horses, and did a full morning with lunch on our return. We left the minute the morning storm passed and returned just as it started to rain again. Great luck on our side! In between we were lucky to experience some wonderful sunny weather, so much so that the riders with me were down to singlet tops and had to stop to apply sunblock.
Today the morning was a little cool and overcast, and our morning ride through the forest of Camporena was a tad damp. The horses were little troopers as always, and in the open areas there was some lovely stretches to let the horses surge ahead into canter. Many of our canters are winding and sometimes a little challenging (since the rider needs to watch for low branches, and keep the best path for the horse). Fun for clients, since there is a mix of excitement and challenge.
I like to always warn our riders that there is a fair bit of walk on our rides , since the trails can be quite mountainous in sections – but in between there is always ample opportunity for a change of pace; and some of the canters are very long, requiring a good level of fitness to really enjoy them.
Today on our return from San Vivaldo we spotted a buck fallow deer, and a sweet baby fawn (sitting in the middle of a bunch of pink wildflowers..just like something out of a postcard). At Castelfalfi we tied the horses up to a couple of olive trees, and enjoyed a fresh homemade gelato from the cafe on the grass.
The horses charged home after this break (where they managed a snack on the lush grass too), and were rewarded with a nice shower and a relaxing evening in the turnout field.