Our eighteen horses are kept in the stables immediately behind the house or in the surrounding fields. They belong to various breeds, as in Jenny’s long experience it is the temperament of the horse, not the breed, that matters. There are three Arabs, one Anglo-Arab, one Appaloosa and several Sicilians. The others are, well, just horses, chosen because they are comfortable, willing, surefooted, easy to handle and, above all, safe for all levels of ability.
Arabis is, as her name suggests, an Arab like her father Silver, but as she was ‘born out of wedlock’ has no pedigree. She is not particularly friendly, but people like riding her as she has smooth gaits and a very soft mouth.
Byron, or rather Lord Byron, is an aristocrat, being another Arab; he is small but has perfect conformation. Lively in the school, he is a bit lazy on rides out, but has the advantage of being bombproof, a rare thing for a purebred Arab.
Ruby, our only roan horse, is big and strong and can carry the heavier riders (we have a limit, however, of 87 kilos). She is an excellent trekking horse, though she does seem to treat rides out as an opportunity to snack…
Silver, an Arab, is one of our veterans and is still the horse that Jenny prefers to use when she leads rides: by now he knows the routes as well as she does. He is sweet-tempered, wise and often quite lively. Here you can see him at the Straw Theatre while Jenny recounts his story.
Tobia is yet another veteran, actually by now he’s become an institution! In spite of his crotchety nature, he has taught hundreds of beginners to trot and canter without fear. Some of them have grown up and now bring their children to ride the horse they themselves learnt on. The boy in the photo was only eight years old.
With his friendly eyes and shaggy mane Nerone inspires confidence in even the most fearful riders, in fact he is totally reliable both in the school and on rides out. In winter his coat grows long and he looks like a furry toy!
Years ago Pasquita, Jenny’s friend, gave her a toy animal (see photo). Recently she bought Packit, a tall Appaloosan mare, of the same unusual colour (buckskin) as the toy animal! Pasquita keeps the horse at Rendola for Jenny’s use. Packit is rather big for most of our young riders, but she is very popular with adults on our treks in the Chianti region.
“The horses were in good shape, the tack was very good and the horses’ feet were uniformly in superb condition.”
– Pamela Peele
“I have never seen horses so well taken care of.”
– Melissa Wildeman