Horses have always figured both in mythology and in history: on horseback in the province of Novara

Detail of the chapel of the 3 Kings painted by Bernozzo Gozzoli, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence.

From the horses of San Marco in Venice to the famous fourteenth-century frescoes by Simone Martini (Guidoriccio da Fogliano) or the sensational Cappella dei Magiby Benozzo Gozzoli (1459), not forgetting the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Knight), the Palio di Siena and even in the film ‘The Incredible Army of Brancaleone’.

Looking around, it is not difficult to understand how the horse has always been a constant in the life of man. Even more interesting is the nature of the bond that unites them.

The historian and politician Xenophon (430/425 – 355 BC) was the first to explore the complex relationship between man and horse: his Peri Hippikes was written with such sensitivity that it is still considered a key text today. The horse emerges as a faithful companion, to be educated like a child, based on mutual respect. Principles taken up by Leon Battista Alberti in his De equo animante, where the ideas of vitality and beauty triumph. But what relevance can treatises written thousands of years and centuries ago have today? Everything starts from the elegant figure of an animal as extraordinary as the horse: “a horse cannot lie”, and here we find ourselves catapulted into a reality where our impulses act as stimuli and the horse’s actions are always influenced by us.

Copyright Agricamelot, Massino Visconti

Getting to know oneself thanks to horses

In addition to being very graceful and at the same time powerful animals, horses teach us to be aware of ourselves, to exercise balance, motor coordination and the use of our muscles.

Riding a majestic steed one feels powerful – but no less humble – and our self-esteem increases: these few words contain some of the themes related toHippopedagogy®, a very interesting educational project between children and horses – or re-education for adults – which aims to make us more aware of our actions, knowing full well that horses listen to us and follow our movements. A very delicate balance, certainly fascinating, which contains expressions of awareness linked to emotions and affections, in which the horse becomes an educational and socialization tool.

This project has come to life in a riding school in Borgomanero and in one in Massino Visconti, where play is the starting point for a world of fun and self-knowledge. Let’s not forget that the horse has its own strong sensitivity that allows it to distinguish a bullying demeanour from the disarming attitudes of a child or the awkwardness of a disabled person: in this way it is able to process orders correctly.

HIPPOPEDAGOGY

The Faisà Hippopedagogical Academy is an educational project for children and horses that has comes to life in two riding schools in Borgomanero and Massino Visconti.

Breathtaking scenery and unexpected encounters

In Borgomanero, on the gentle hills of San Michele, time seems to have stopped. Riding through pleasant chestnut woods, a maze of paths passes through farmhouses and vineyards and unexpected and striking views open up, revealing hidden corners.

From Massino Visconti, in breathtaking scenery, the rides, suitable for everyone, pass through centuries-old woods on the hills overlooking Lake Maggiore, between Arona and Stresa: panoramic routes with views of lakes and mountains.

Copyright Agricamelot, Massino Visconti

The whole Novara area is very rich in riding schools offering all kinds of activities: from green weeks to internships with horses accompanied by English language lessons, western riding centres, educational activities, show jumping and dressage fields, as well as experiences at high altitude, on the paths of the Walser or in the presence of the magnificent Monte Rosa. From Cameri to Prato Sesia, Varallo Pombia to Oleggio, Suno and Meina, Galliate and Briona, the possibilities of savouring the sense of freedom and adventure are endless.

The area is also rich in historical and artistic exemplars that make it unique, and combining a visit to these treasures makes the experience even more enriching. Take, for example, the Church of Sant’Alessandro al Cimitero in Briona, with splendid fourteenth-century frescoes, the Basilica of San Giuliano in Gozzano, the fabulous Antica Pieve di San Michele in Oleggio, a masterpiece with three naves with an apse frescoed in the Romanesque period, or the Abbey of San Silvano in Romagnano Sesia, with noteworthy frescoes in the Cantina dei Santi. Furthermore, in the vicinity of Suno, there is an interesting astronomical observatory.

Copyright Agricamelot, Massino Visconti

See the world from another perspective

A horse ride is much more than a simple excursion, as it often leads to new experiences. In the midst of nature, animals are not disturbed, nor are they afraid of horses’ hooves: in the woods or on the uplands, it therefore becomes possible to see and hear sounds that would not normally be seen on foot or by bicycle.

An atout that alone should entice anyone to try an exciting experience, not limited merely to walks, but enriched by practices related to the management of the horse: from grooming the animal to learning all about a horse’s harness and equipment, from practicing its paces to learning about breeding. A journey into the sensorial world of the horse, a sociable and gregarious animal that combines the ideals of beauty, power and agility.

HORSE RIDES

Throughout the province of Novara there are countless riding schools that offer the opportunity to visit Natural Parks on horseback, as well as rides along the Sesia and Ticino rivers.

Riding through Nature

In a territory as rich and varied as that of the Province of Novara, you will find scenarios ranging from hills decorated with vineyards, lakes that reflect snow-capped mountains, and plains with their striking flooded rice fields.

Horseback riding therefore becomes a unique and enriching experience, riding through nature reserves such as that of the Lagoni di Mercurago in Dormelletto or the Monte Fenera , the spectacular Mottarone, a panoramic terrace overlooking seven lakes, the Special Nature Reserve of Sacro Monte above Orta San Giulio or Monte Mesma, as well as excursions along the courses of the fascinating Sesia and Ticino rivers.

An equestrian tourism that includes every aspect of horse management and that can be expanded to include gastronomic and wine tours – the region excels for the centuries old production of excellent DOC wine, and its delicious traditional dishes. A particular fashion of enjoying some of the qualities that make the district of Novara such an original and important destination.



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