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TranSiciliana to ETNA 2800 meters program for site

TranSiciliana to ETNA 2800 meters.

“Madonie, Nebrodi and Etna Parks, the different and unexpected faces of SICILY”.

General information on the riding trip.

TranSiciliana to Etna is an around 6 hours a day of riding for six days. If weather conditions allow, Itinerary will reach around 2.800 meters of altitude on Etna volcano and will cross on horseback the 2002 eruption area.

It is a very scenic mountain trek with astonishing views that, with good visibility, goes from the Eolian islands to Etna volcano almost all along the second part of itinerary. Only this tour on horseback allow to visit in few days all these different natural environments too long and too complicated to be visited hiking or mountain biking and forbidden by cars. To optimize the itinerary, we sleep one night in a Forestry Service Refuge on east Nebrodi Park close to Lake Tre Arie. Better accommodations are really too far away.

The 96% of the ride is on trails, 4 % is on asphalt. The short pieces on asphalt normally are close to reach accommodations and/or to leave them.

The trip crosses 3 wide natural Parks: Madonie (the Dolomites of Sicily), Nebrodi and Etna (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST). Then 2 Nature reserves: Sambuchetti Campanito (The little Canada of Sicily) and Lake Gurrida. During each day of the trip the landscape change very much giving to riders the true, unexpected, various, real faces of Sicily. The island is not bare, arid, without water as people have wrongly in mind. Instead Sicily is overall green, covered by thick and ancient woods of very many different species of hard wood trees; there are creeks, rivers, lakes, a great number of water springs. In the area where the land is cultivated, out of the Parks, there is the typical and unique Sicilian country side with fields of hey, cereals, olives, almonds that surround some villages full of history and traditions. Geology and Botany change a lot between the areas offering the different faces of Sicilian nature with interesting endemic plants, wildlife and geology. So riders pass from the white, sharp, Madonie mountains to the typical Sicilian countryside between them and Nebrodi Mountains; then to the “Canadian” forests of Sambuchetti Campanito Reserve just before to enter the thick forested Nebrodi park and his four lakes that are visited along the trail; till reaching the valley between them and Etna crossing the Gurrida Lake reserve and finally going up on the side of Etna volcano looking at lava flows of different age, various woods, grassy opens, craters, grottoes and lava fields.

Etna volcano was declared in 2013 Patrimony of the Humanity by the UNESCO and is a unique place to ride.

We now reach altitude of 2800 meters on Etna crossing on horseback even the craters of 2002 eruption at 2500 meters.

TranSiciliana to Etna Customer Riding Experience:

Riders must be able to ride at walk, trot, canters and gallops without problems also for long stretches. Riders must be able to ride for 6 hours a day without to be too tired. The days of rides are with different levels of work to do. There are longest and shortest days as lighter and heaviest, quicker and slower. It is for intermediate and advanced riders with a very good degree of fitness on the saddle.

Program Day by Day.

Program can vary depending weather conditions, trail situations, orders by Park / Reserves Directors, hotels occupancy.

Day 1. Sunday. From CATANIA Airport to CASTELBUONO (MASSERIA ROCCA di GONATO (***) (www.masseriaroccadigonato.it )

After arrival of planes, riders are moved to MASSERIA ROCCA di GONATO Country House in around 2,5 hours by minibus. If there are some riders coming in the morning and some in the afternoon, depending time of arrivals, will be done a short tour in CATANIA historical centre and a light lunch with Sicilian traditional fast food (cost NOT included in the package).

Gourmet Dinner and night at MASSERIA ROCCA di GONATO.

Swimming pool available in summer. SPA and Massages Service available on request in advance all year round.

Horses hosted in the pasture in front of the country house.

Day 2. Monday. From CASTELBUONO to GANGI (VILLA RAINO’ (***). (www.villaraino.it)

From MASSERIA ROCCA di GONATO will be follow a trail in the mountains in front of the lodge. Then around 2 km of asphalt, that cannot be avoided, to reach the pass of Portella Mandarini. Then will be follow a very ancient trail (most of this trail was designed by the Romans after they build Petralia Soprana village (Petra Lileum), the second part of trail is with cobblestones to remember when the romans build this trail as a road (all original roman's stones of that ancient road disappeared). Picnic lunch is made in a Forestry service wooden area meeting the minibus. In afternoon will be follow a long and ancient shepherd trail along the last hills of Madonie to reach a water pool to water horses. After the crossing of a huge pasture, along trails designed by the cattle, need then to follow asphalt for 1 km, then a trail on hills with fields on the side of a road till reaching Villa Rainò country house, close to the village of Gangi.

Gourmet Dinner and night at Villa Rainò. Swimming pool available in summer. Horses are hosted in the pasture in front of the country house.

Hours on saddle 6.

Total asphalt 3 km.

Day 3. Tuesday. From GANGI to CERAMI (LA PERLA di PANCALLO Country House (***). (www.laperladipancallo.it)

Will be followed the dry bed of a river (water only in winter) to reach the short asphalt road that head up to the trail that crosses a wind turbine park. The large and long trail along the edge of the mountain where lie the wind turbine park will be done mostly at canter/gallop. Then will be followed the long dirty road that cross the Natural Reserve of Sambuchetti – Campanito, an oasis of woods that give shade almost all along the way. Picnic lunch is served before to exit from the Reserve. Then we will go down into the most typical Sicilian country side to reach La Perla di Pancallo country house and riding centre. Immediately after the Reserve will be followed one of the last pieces of “Regie trazzere” (King’s roads) build by the Spanish in the XVIII century. They were dirty roads large 33 meters, used to move travellers, cattle, sheep and goat during their movements between summer and winter pastures. Most of these roads were reduced in size or disappeared because land owners destroyed them to enlarge their properties acquiring the land of the “trazzere”. In these years there are works to enlarge the road that lie at exit of Nature reserve, so in the immediate vicinities there are “works in progress” and need to be careful in that area.

Gourmet Dinner and night at La Perla di Pancallo. Swimming pool available in summer.

Horses are hosted in the paddocks of the riding centre of the place.

Hours on the saddle 6.

Asphalt: 2 km.

Day 4. Wednesday. From CERAMI to SANFRATELLO (Hotel Rifugio del Parco). www.

In the beginning of the day we will go up again to reach the mountain divide of NEBRODI Mountains. There is some little asphalt leaving La Perla di Pancallo, then only trails. Today the lunch is a saddlebag picnic in a very scenic location. Then will be cross a valley, a river and then up to the mountain divide. Then is a day almost all into woods of old beeches. Some parts of the way up to the mountains are without trail, horses will be going up on the open side of mountains. The Main Trail will follow the divide in thick shaded woods and wide opens. Then again in the woods till to reach the pass of FEMMINA MORTA (the Dead Female) where is the end of the day. During night, horses will stay close to the pass in an electric fenced corral made by us with one of the guides sleeping with them in a tent. Riders will be transferred by minibus (less than 10 minutes) to the hotel.

Dinner and night at Rifugio del Parco. Horses are hosted in the electric fenced corral made by us in the wood close to the main trail.

Hours on the saddle: 6

Asphalt: 0,5 km.

Day 5. Thursday. From SAN FRATELLO to TRE ARIE REFUGE.

This is the day of Lakes. One after the other will be seen the Maulazzo, Biviere, Cartolari, and Tre Arie natural lakes. The trail goes on the mountain divide with landscapes on Eolian islands and Etna volcano. Along the trail is very easy to meet “Sanfratellano’s horses” and “Little black pigs of Nebrodi”, both roaming free in the mountain pastures. Lunch will be a saddle bags picnic because impossible for the minibus to meet the group. After long trots and canters, at end of day will be reach the Tre Arie Refuge of the Forestry Service (Azienda Foreste Demaniali). The refuge has kitchen, 3 bathrooms, hot shower, 1 dining room, 2 sleeping rooms. All rooms have a big fireplace. Riders will sleep in 2 rooms in comfortable camp beds with air mattresses, linen, pillow and sleeping bag. Hot shower can be done one by one only before dinner, not in the morning. We will provide a wide towel to each rider. A gourmet pizza is cooked in the wood oven of the refuge and riders can choose between different toppings for their “gourmet pizza in the middle of wilderness!” The night in the refuge is an extraordinary experience of full immersion in nature. Who wants can help and, waiting dinner, is possible to play cards and to chat around the fire place drinking a glass of red wine. In the morning wakeup call will arrive earlier than other days, at 7, 00, with noise made by forestry service people arriving to work. A normal breakfast is served inside the dining room.

Dinner and night at Tre Arie Refuge. Horses are hosted in the paddock of the Refuge

Hour on the saddle: 6

Asphalt: 0, 3 km.

Day 6. Friday. From TRE ARIE REFUGE to MALETTO (night at FUCINA del VULCANO Hotel (***) www.fucinadivulcano.it )

Today is a shorter day, only 4 hours of riding, to give rest to riders and horses before the last day on Etna that will be the longest. When all is packed in the minibus, we will start along a scenic trail that goes down to the valley between Etna and Nebrodi, where it spreads the Lake Gurrida Nature Reserve. From the top of a hill, the landscape of this valley with Etna is impressive. Lake Gurrida it is a seasonal swamp area created seasonally by the waters of Flascio river that flows down in spring and are blocked by very ancient lava fields (between the first to build up the volcano). The reserve will be opened for us by personnel of the Forestry Service (there are gates to stop cars and people without permission). Reserve lie in an area formed by astonishing ancient primary eruptions that formed the northern limit of Etna. Here there are huge lava banks and a lava field full of “volcanic bubbles” (the guide Franco will explain this astonishing volcanic phenomenon). Out of the reserve’s gate will be used an ancient trail on lava that will allow to cross “Circumetnea railway” to go then up the volcano for around 2 hours to reach the Refuge La Nave (1300 meters) where horses are left for the night with one of guides. Picnic lunch is served at arrival in the Refuge Serra la Nave. Riders will be moved by minibus to Fucina del Vulcano Hotel in 15 minutes. Dinner and night in Fucina del Vulcano. Horses are hosted in the electric fence corral build by us around the Refuge La Nave.

Hours of riding: 4

Asphalt: 0, 3 km.

Day 7. Saturday. From MALETTO to 2850 meters on Etna and to Piano Provenzana (night at RAGABO Hotel (**). www.ragabo.it )

From the Refuge La Nave, we will reach soon the large trail that surround Etna volcano at the quote of around 1.650 meters (was a very ancient road of loggers enlarged to allow firemen to reach highest part of Etna’s woods in case of fires). Along the trail can be seen various stages of colonization of lava by the vegetation and most of the endemic plants that are able to conquest again the soil. There are many old lava fields and lateral craters. After Mount Spagnolo crater (totally covered by woods) the trail cut the 1981 lava fields and the lateral craters that made a 3 months long eruption that almost hit the town of Randazzo, visible in the valley. At the very “last minute” the lava went on the right of the town stopping close to Alcantara River. Cutting at canter and trot woods of pines, oaks, birches the wide trail arrives at a junction. If weather and visibility condition allows, will be follow the trail on the right going up to reach Mount Timpa Rossa and the craters of the eruption of 2002 (between 2.000 and 2.500 meters of altitude). Picnic will be made at Timpa Rossa refuge at 1800 meters with good sandwiches because are not allowed cars into the A area of Etna volcano. Then, if visibility and weather conditions allows, will be cross the craters and the lava flows of 2002 along a very narrow trail then we will go up to the higher craters of this eruption which are at 2500 meters of altitude. The trail on the border of these craters is impressive! Then, if weather permit, we will follow the wide trail that goes on top of Etna. We will reach the Volcanology Observatory at 2850 meters to look at landscapes from that height. Then we will go back down to reach Piano Provenzana at 1900 where the trip will end up. Riders will be moved by minibus (7 minutes) to Hotel Ragabo, a nice mountain chalet.

Dinner and night at Ragabo Hotel. Horses are transferred at lower altitude (2 hours by truck) to pass the night and then moved back to our base camp in Madonie next early morning.

Hours on horseback: from 5 to 7 depending weather conditions

Asphalt: 0 km

Day 8. Sunday. Transfer from RAGABO Hotel to airport.

Transfer to Catania airport departs depending departure of first flight. Before to start will be given a normal breakfast (even very early). Who has a late plane can visit Catania downtown or can ask for a private transfer by car. The cost is 100€ (see also Transfer policy down).

End of services.

8 days, 7 nights, 6 days on horseback

Departures assured with 4.

Maximum number of riders: 10

Price: ask for a quote. The price depends by the number of riders of your group.

Cancellation Policy.

+ 30 days before arrival: full refund

30 to 21 days before: 30% fees

20 to 8 days before: 50% fees

7 to 2 days before: 75% fees

1 day before: 90% fees

no-show: 100% fees

Airports for arrival / depart.

The airport for arrival and departure is ONLY Catania. Meeting point is the BAR SFIZIO ON THE LEFT OF ARRIVAL EXIT.

Transfer policy:

Arrivals. Riders can arrive in the morning and afternoon but they need to be out with bags at arrival no later than 17,30 because the transfer to Masseria Rocca di Gonato is almost 2,5 hours long and need to arrive at dinner time. We suggest to riders to try to arrive between 9 and 15 to do not have a too long “transfer day”, especially because planes may have delays and if the arrival time is later and there is a delay the “transfer day” will be really long. If a delay in afternoon flight will cause a too late transfer (let say effective arrival out with bags after 19), for the riders in delay it will be arranged a private transfer. It will cost 150€.

If the times of arrivals will allow, we will do with riders a guided short visit of Catania historical centre with a Sicilian fast food lunch (price not included in the package). If not possible to go downtown, we will wait planes in a comfortable BAR not far from airport.

Departures: All riders will be transferred from Ragabo hotel to Catania airport in one trip depending time of FIRST departure flight. A full breakfast will be served at whatever early hour of the day before transfer (thanks to availability of Ragabo personnel). If riders have a very later flight they can visit Catania on their own. Unfortunately, there are not Bag storage at airport and railway station. We will give them indications about what to visit and where to have a good lunch. From Catania railway station starts the buses that go to Airport (every 30 minutes). Cost is 1,5 €. Time of run: from the bus stop in front of railway station time of the run is 1 hour. From bus stop at 50 meters from Railway station is 30 minutes. We will explain to riders where this last bus stop is (very easy to reach). If riders want to have a private transfer by car from Ragabo at the hour of the day they want this can be easily arranged. The cost is 100€.

Lost Bags. Luckily it happen very rarely but it can happen and it happened. We suggest always to travel wearing the most important riding items as pants, shoes and to keep the helmet as carry on into hand bag. Like this damages will be a lot less in case of bags lost.

If a rider loose bags, FIRST THING to do is to phone to us to advice of delay in coming out at arrivals.

Franco: + 39 340 6883596

Paolo: +39 3478125470

Then need to give our phone number at lost and found agent asking him to phone us immediately to make agreements about where and when to give bags when found

We will try to help as much possible riders to receive back their lost and found bag before the end of the trip but all depend ONLY by the lost and found office of airport which, almost all the time, do not answer at their phone number.

About Food. We like to affirm that our trip is also a gourmet culinary experience on horseback. All dinners, menus and restaurants were studied and choose to give to riders a real top Sicilian food experience. All recipes are made with “Zero kilometres” products coming just from the area. So are used only very fresh local vegetables, meats, cheese, wines, and breads. Even mineral water mostly comes from the Madonie Mountains and Etna volcano. All dinners have 4 courses: entry, pasta dish, main meat course, dessert and /or fruit. Local red wine and mineral water (or spring water) is included. Breakfast: continental breakfast, juice, croissant and cakes (where available). Those who prefer a savoury breakfast with boiled egg or cold cuts and cheese have just to advise in advance.

Picnic Lunch. All picnic lunches are cold with local fresh bread, local cut meats, cheeses, typical Sicilian products like olives, dried tomatoes, mushrooms and greens with olive oil, fresh tomatoes and salad, fruit. Menu change almost every day. When the minibus cannot reach riders at lunch times will be provided a saddle bag picnic lunch to be eaten along the trails. Our minibus transport a big gazebo to protect riders during picnics if need shade or if it is raining.

Beverages

.

Drinks included at picnic lunches: water, local red wine and Diet or Zero Coke.

Drinks for saddle bag lunches: water

Drinks included at dinner: mineral or spring water, local red wine.

Other drinks: If customers will like to find at picnic lunch /dinner cold beer or other special beverages this will be provided paying their costs. The Customers will ask what they like and at end of trip they will pay the bill.

If they would like to drink beer or other beverages in the country house before or after dinner they can order them on the number of room or their name and pay directly to the hosts before leaving.

Special food needs.

Those with particular food requirements (vegetarian, allergies, various) must advise at booking to have individually personalised food.

Picnic Lunches with meeting with minibus (day 1, 2, 5).

  • Picnic lunch menu is every day different.
  • Products used are locals and typical of the area.
  • Picnic lunch is served on tables with chairs, rigid plates, glasses, forks and knives (NO PLASTIC TO DUMP IS USED)
  • At picnic we provide a wide gazebo to give to riders shade or protect from rain.
  • At picnic lunch we offer at least 1-hour siesta (weather permitting) and at least one blanket for rider to be spread on ground.

Saddlebag picnic lunches.

When in not possible to meet minibus (day 3,4,6) rider will have in his saddle nag for lunch sandwiches (or other kind portable meal) and one fruit.

Daily Time table (indicative)

Breakfast: from 8

Ready at the horses: 9, 00 /9,30

Departure: 9, 30 / 10,00

Picnic lunches: between 12, 30 and 13, 30 depending different places. Stop can vary from 1 hour to 2 hours siesta time included

Dinners: 19, 30 / 20,00

Single rooms management.

Because some accommodations are small in number of rooms, to make manageable and easier the management of single room requests, for ALL trips the single room’s request are managed as follow:

  • The customers will pay 25 € single room supplement DIRECTLY TO US at end of trip depending the real number of nights with a single room available in that precise trip.
  • This because may be in some accommodations the single room will be not possible to have it. In that case the people have to share room with one other rider.

Guides.

With groups till 6 will be along the trail one riding guide only. Plus 6 riders will be 2 guides.

One more guide will drive minibus all along the trip. He is also a rider, helping to groom and saddling and a spare guide in case of any need (even guides can be sick, have incidents or any kind of problem and can need to be substituted).

Photography.

The guide Franco Barbagallo (www.francobarbagallo.com) was for 30 years a top globetrotting photographer. When he is guiding a trip as interpretive guide or third guide and/or interpreter, he will be more than happy to take photos with camera of riders for souvenirs during the trip, to give advices and tips to make better souvenir pictures.

Interpretation along the trip.

Franco Barbagallo wrote as a nature journalist many books and guides about Nature parks and reserves of Sicily. Along the way and at dinners will be given lots of news about history, flora, fauna, geology, traditions, food and local products. All questions will be welcomed.

Each rider before departure of trip will receive these very detailed day by day program with lots of news and the Map of the trip.

Communications.

The official language of the trip is English. Franco speaks very good and fluent English and also a relatively good French and he try to use it in case of French riders that are not speaking English. Paolo speaks a very Basic English. To help guides to have a better communication and avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations is VERY important that communications are on both ways: from guides to riders and from riders to guides. So if explanations and news are not fully understood or clear or not completely listen, or riders have any question or need more clarifications and details, we ask to all our riders to ask, to tell, to talk. To be active and not passive in communications. This especially in situation that need to change program, trail, sleeping or lunch places or whatever it can happen during a horse trek in the nature. If there is any kind of problem about horses, food, accommodations, whatever other aspect of the trip need that riders make it VERY CLEAR, IMMEDIATELLY AND ALWAYS, talking right away with guides.

Mother language English speaking riders have always to remember that they are not travelling with mother language guides and riders. So it will be kind to use simple talking, better speaking slowly, avoiding slang or idiomatic forms impossible to be known and understood by not mother language speaking people and guides.

Speed of the trip.

Outfitters that do not want to exploit horses but want to give to riders fun, normally use along the way 40/50% at walk, 30/40 % at trot, 20/30% at canter/gallop, even if terrain will allow more canter/gallop. There are some trips in deserts, plain areas with more speed BUT horses normally are exploited and “changed quickly” at end of season. We do not exploit our horses, we invest a lot of time and efforts in their training to became PRO trekking horses and we want that they stay with us for all their carer so we follow the above normal speed rule about speed.

TranSiciliana to Etna is a mountain trip reaching 2.850 meters of altitude but, as a mountain trip, can be considered a fast trip. Every day there are trots and canters. The fastest day are 4,5,6. All our riders were happy about speed. Sometimes, we must cancel some canters for the weather and trail conditions but, in normal conditions, this is a fast mountain trip.

Daily Hours of riding.

The most frequent questions during a trip are: “how long to arrive”, “how long is the ride”. Riders need to have always in mind that the hours of riding depend by very many components that can change even drastically at any trip and any day: weather conditions, state of the trails, how many stops are done for pictures, for explanations, for toilette stops, how many and how long stretches of trot and gallop can be done depending kind of riders, their fitness, state of the ground found that day. For all that reasons, may be that same ground can be covered in very different times depending daily situations.

So for guides it is not so easy to answer giving precise times. The times on horseback depend also by delays caused by horses injures, shoe lost, tired riders not able to ride at designated speed, unexpected surprises along the trails and any other unexpected occurs. Is very important to understand this: The hours of riding indicated in the program are just to give an idea thinking at an average situation in normal conditions. Answers about how long need to arrive cannot be also precise but can give just a rough indication.

ALL ABOUT HORSES & RIDERS.

Personal Equipment:

Helmets.

We decided to have Helmet MANDATORY ON THE RIDE. SAFETY FIRST! A really stupid fall that can happen even to the best rider can transform the trip miserable.

We strongly ask carrying personal helmets. Helmet is a personal item for size, hygiene and model. IF someone do not have and do not want to buy we can rent them at 25 € per person per trip (payment here before departure). IMPORTANT: Who wants to rent a helmet has to advice in advance at booking time and give us size in centimetres.

We will be crossing mountain areas at heights of up to 2.800 meters. It is mandatory for all participants to have the following personal equipment:

- Serious, Good and Complete rain gear consisting of a long waterproof coat or waterproof over pants and coat, rubber over shoes, water proof gloves. Waterproof helmet.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. IN THE MOUNTAINS IT CAN RAIN with sun at low levels.

- Dress in layers. Temperature during the day can be anything from hot to really cold depending on the conditions, wind, rain. Clothing requirements vary from a shirt all the way up to a wind jacket with pile.

- glovers

- waterproof helmet or plastic cover on the helmet

- waterproof shoes. We suggest NOT wearing any kind of long riding boots. We DO suggest short riding shoes, short or long chaps. No running shoes or sneakers.

- Sun glasses.

- Anti UV solar cream at least factor 20 (30 or 50 for north European people)

- We prefer that any rider bring his own personal water bottle or canteen for hygiene.

- Personal baggage will be moved by car. There are no weights limits at the bags and their number.

Horse shoeing.

Our trails literally “eat” horse shoes. So we are forced to wait till “last minute” to change a horseshoe because unless the foot cannot have time to grow enough to be re shoed. That’s why, we change shoes also during the trip: to be able to use the shoe as much possible to facilitate re grow of horse foot.

Ear plugs.

Sleeping in countryside or nature it may happen to have during night some noises like: wind, rain, storms, lightings, barking dogs (this due we travel in shepherd’s country), snoring of room partner, early shower from other riders in other rooms, toilettes noises from other rooms, riders going to sleep later, noises coming from other guests of accommodation, and so long. Because it is so important to have a good sleep, we suggest to riders that has a light sleep to take with them always ear plugs “just in case”.

Horses & Riders wellbeing.

This is not a light trip for riders and horses. This is a real horse trek that cross the Island from west to east in mountain terrains, on not always easy trails, going up and down often in wilderness or not populated areas, in protected areas where cars are not allowed. Riders must be fit to stay on the saddle at least 6 hours with sometimes long trots and canters. It is not a trip to go to sleep late (may be drinking alcoholics a bit too much before, during and after dinner) and then to weak up late because delays in departures, added at may be some delays along the way for the many unexpected reasons that can happen in a trekking, will mean to arrive later at hotels and have less time to relax, wash and rest.

Horses have a special diet before, during and after the trip to lose as less weight as possible. They eat 3 times a day. They have every day lots of prime hey and around 6 kg of mixed dried high quality food (Purina). We cache hey in hotels before departures, we cache or transport by minibus cereals. Between dates of trips we assure to horses time to rest (9 days) and recovery and a turn over. We have spare horses.

Assistance to riders.

If riders need assistance to mount or dismount for age, size, weight or any other problem we will give them full assistance. Other riders will mount and dismount always on their own following the rule to try to find as much as possible natural mounting blocks along trails and at beginning and end of the day to save backs of horses. Horses do not move and are easily moved to mounting spot so we never use to help a normal rider to mount or dismount if not needed. We ask to all riders that may need assistance to tell us about their eventual problems.

Grooming / Saddling:

Basic grooming and all saddling/unsaddling is made by the guides.

Before departure of the trip will be shown how to prepare the horse to be quickly unsaddled by the guides and how to prepare the horse for picnic stops.

Riders have to clean every day only snaffle bit at end of the day, girth at end of the day, feet of horses in the morning. We groom very well only the areas where tacks will go on. Riders may complete to clean/groom their horse if they like at their wish before departure.

Change of injured horses

If one horse has a problem that will not permit it to continue the trip he will be changed during the night. Unless really extreme cases (never happened before) horses cannot be changed during the day. In four years of activity we had to change horses only 3 times for some health / injure problems and were done always at night.

First aid for riders.

One guide has in the saddle bag a complete first AID kit for all small injuries that can happen during a trek in wilderness (bruises, cuts, bumps after a fall) with: spray for ice, Voltaren, Anti pains, straps, oxygenated water, a spray to cover cuts with an antiseptic layer that isolate the skin from air, haemostatic and antibiotic creams, elastic bandages. In the minibus there are more medicines for other eventual disturbs.

First Aid for horses.

The same first aid kit can be used for horses during the trail for small scratches and cuts that can happen easily during a trip. Plus, there is the classic antiseptic antibiotic blue spray. In the minibus we have horse’s antiseptics, antinflammatory, as creams or shots.

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