About Us

Horse Riding Holidays in Tuscany with La Fiaba

La Fiaba is a registered not for profit association that began as an idea to create a safe haven for ex-career horses  of which there are many in Italy. The most popular horse sports in Italy, aside from western riding, are trot racing, ‘Palio’ (like the famous ‘Palio of Siena’) and show jumping. Unfortunately when many of these magnificent horses reach the end of their competitive career their future becomes uncertain. We wanted to be able to offer a home to as many of these horses as possible and we fund this by offering trail rides and horse riding holidays for tourists; the horses themselves are often these very ex-career horses that nobody wanted.

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We also wanted to do something to help local, disadvantaged children. While parts of Italy are very rich, families living in rural areas can often be living below the poverty line. We wanted to provide an activity that these children would enjoy and get passionate about and hopefully keep them focused well into adolescence. We provide low cost summer camps, English lessons and riding lessons for local children from low income and single parent families.

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This is all possible thanks to your continued support.

The story of how your human hosts came to be living this incredible dream really is a fairy tale, and one that is to be savoured over a mouthwatering meal and few glasses of wine! All we will tell you for now is that you are in good hands when you entrust your dream horse riding holiday to us….

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Sharon is originally from England and has been working with horses and teaching people of all ages and abilities to ride for about 10 years. She has worked throughout europe and studied Equine Science at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire. She also achieved her BHS and NVQ horse care qualifications in riding schools in England. She has a passion for horses, nature and the welfare of all creatures great and small and will expertly match you to your trusty steed for the rides out….

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Your chef and knowledge source for the week is Lorenzo and with 20 years in hospitality there really is no one better to serve you than this wonderful gent from Rome. Lorenzo’s passion is for creating traditional, simple dishes, and flavouring each mouthful with a generous serving of good humour! He is also a fountain of knowledge and whatever you want to know about Italy; he’s your man….

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Farm cats Nigel, Katy and Myrtle spend their days honing their mousing skills and being just generally adorable. Firm favourites with all our guests, we have now taken to examining all bags on the way off the yard to ensure nobody is being cat-napped!

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Fiona and Elizabeth are our two adorable dogs, and they are an absolute joy to behold. If you have ever seen a tiny terrier get the better of a beefy boxer, you will know what we mean! These two couldn’t be more different in looks, but they are both absolute sweethearts who just want to give kisses and cuddles to all our guests!

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Of course, the stars of the show are our horses; without whom there would be no La Fiaba! Our horses are easy going and enjoy their job. All of our horses have their own unique personality and because of this they deserve their own unique webpage. To read about the individuals in our herd, click on their photo below….

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Blackwater Bess is a big girl with a heart of gold. She spent her youth hunting in Ireland, then went on to be a mum for a few years. She is certainly enjoying her new life in Tuscany and is one of the sweetest mares we have had the pleasure to meet. She always has a happy face (except when being harassed by Tommy!) and despite her age is a forward going ride and she really enjoys her work. She is a super confidence giver and will take great care of you on the trail.As she is an older lady now, she spends most of her time being cuddled by children and given treats by the grown ups! She does still occasionally take a young or inexperienced rider out on the trail or she is a fab introduction to bareback riding!

Breed: Irish Draught x
Height: 16.2hh
Age: 27
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Beginner Riders & above
Previous Job: Yummy mummy!
Favourite Things: Lots of fuss and cuddles
Doesn’t Like: Being harassed by Tommy!

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After a long showjumping career where he was successfully competing up to 1.40m, Galante has come to La Fiaba for a change of pace and scenery! He has settled into his new career very well and we are sure he will become a firm favourite with our experienced riders both on the trail and in the school.While Galante is a great trail horse, his forte is most defintely in the arena and for riders wishing to improve their flatwork and jumping he is a great schoolmaster, if you can reach the saddle! Galante is very tall and stands over 174cm! Don’t be afraid though as this gentle giant doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and will take good care of you!

Breed: Selle Francais
Height: 17.2h
Age: 20
Sex: Gelding
Suitable for:Intermediate Riders
Previous Job: Showjumper
Favourite Things: A good groom!
Doesn’t Like: Being fed last!

dariff from la fiaba horse riding in tuscany

Dariff is a winning racehorse, a real champion! Before he came to us, he had an incredibly successful career as a trot racer pulling a racing cart like Francy, in fact, he won over 75,000 euros! This is no small achievement and Dariff is the horse who earned the most money before arriving at La Fiaba! This hasn’t gone to his head though, after his racing career he was used to give pony rides to small children with a leader. Dariff is a lot of fun to ride, he now trots like a normal horse but, if asked, he can trot as fast as the other ponies can canter! He is currently learning that he can canter very nicely and he really enjoys being out and about on the trails with the other horses.

Breed: Standardbred
Height: 15hh
Age: 14
Sex: Gelding
Suitable for: Beginner riders and above
Previous Job: Racehorse
Favourite Things: Bossing other horses about
Doesn’t Like: Horseflies

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Pancho is a horse with a huge personality! He is a definite favourite with all of our guests, and it is easy to see why. Not only is he handsome, but he is a fun horse who is forward going without being silly or hot headed. He used to be a show jumper so he has a really nice, rocking horse canter, that you will want to sit to all day long. If you want to improve your arena riding, Pancho is great. He will teach you the correct way to use your legs, seat and hands. He is also a nice jumping school master of course! In the stable her can be a bit of a grump, unless you have food in which case he is your best friend! We think Pancho is a really cool dude.

Breed:  Belgian Warmblood
Height: 16.2hh
Age: 22
Sex: Gelding
Suitable for: Beginner riders and above
Previous Job: Show-jumper
Favourite Things: Food, food and food.
Doesn’t Like: Being far from his food.

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Our resident nanny and practically perfect in everyway; Wilma is an absolute superstar! Wilma is the type of horse that anybody can enjoy; if you are a beginner she will look after you and for more experienced riders she is even a registered showjumper with F.I.S.E! Not your typical bolshy Haflinger, Wilma has manners to burn in and out the stable, which is incredible considering her story. We rescued Wilma from a terrible state of existence; she was left knee deep in mud and nobody really knew how long she had been there; years was all they could say. She also had open wounds on her back the size of melons where a rug that was too small had been left on for months and not removed even once. Needless to say she was undernourished and her feet needed urgent attention, as well as the wounds, caused by ignorance and neglect. As a testament to her wonderful personality Wilma never lost trust in people; in fact she loves being made a fuss of (and especially being given treats!). She is such a pretty pony with such a loving and forgiving nature that she is adored by everyone who meets her! When we rescued Wilma we never imagined that she would ever be ridden again, so if you are privileged enough to ride her, please don’t forget that she is particularly fond of carrots and apples.

Breed: Haflinger
Height: 14.2hh
Age: 20
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Everybody
Previous Job: Riding School Nanny
Favourite Things: Treats & being nosey!
Doesn’t Like: Rugs

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Marostica is the daughter of the famous racehorse Dr Devious who won the Epsom Derby in 1992. Unlike her father though, Marostica prefers to take things easy. Marostica started off life in a racing yard, but she is far too laid back and so she never made it to the track. In fact, even when she is going out to play in the fields she strolls along at the back! Marostica can be ridden with either english or western tack and is an incredibly versatile little horse all round. She is happy on the trails, in the school and jumping. Although she is still quite young, Marostica has a sensible attitude much older than her years and is on a one mare mission to get rid of the idea that chestnut mares are crazy.

Breed: Thoroughbred
Height: 15hh
Age: 6
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Experienced riders
Previous Job: Racehorse
Favourite Things: Chilling out
Doesn’t like: Baths!

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‘Mata Hari’ is a beautiful grey Arab horse with a heart of gold. She looks at you with her big, beautiful eyes and you are in love! When you ride Hari you will immediately feel that she will take care of you and she wants to keep you safe. She is not the fastest horse, she has no hurry and she like to take her time. She likes her rider to be chilled out, just like her. If you are lucky enough to ride Hari on the trail be prepared for an introduction to ‘Slow Travel in Tuscany’! You can really take time to enjoy your surroundings and you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. If you are a good rider and you make a canter with Hari you will love her long, smooth gait, so typical of the Arabian horse.

Breed: Arab
Height: 16hh
Age: 10
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Beginner riders and above
Previous Job: Riding School
Favourite Things: Yoga
Doesn’t Like: To be rushed!

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Perla is a very special member of the La Fiaba team as she was born here! Her mother, Looby, arrived to us already pregnant and in May 2010 our special surprise foal arrived too! Perla is very sweet and inquisitive and is currently being backed which means you may well see her on our rides out if you join us in 2015!

Breed: Irish Cob
Height: 14.2hh
Age: 4
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: we don’t know yet!
Previous job: none
Favourite things: wither scratches
Doesn’t like: Walking through mud!

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Looby is a wonderful horse for all the family; quiet and gentle enough to trust with the children and big enough to carry mum or dad all day on the horse trails. Looby is a highly intelligent horse and is one of those rare but valuable souls that adapts wonderfully to the rider. She is calm and quiet and takes good care of whoever is in the saddle, making her ideal for novice or nervous riders. However, she is not a plod and is responsive to the aids; so even experienced riders will enjoy riding a quiet, safe, forward going horse out on the trail. An unusual sight in Tuscany; Looby with her beautiful feathers and striking colouring turns heads wherever she goes. She is an absolute pleasure to ride and to be around. Looby is truly a horse to fall in love with.
Breed: Irish Cob
Height: 14.2hh
Age: 10
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Everybody
Previous Job: Brood Mare
Favourite Things: Searching your pockets for mints!
Doesn’t Like: An empty haynet!

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Biondina is a great little horse with a wonderful personality. Her name means ‘Little Blondie’ and she is certainly that! She will fearlessly carry you through any terrain and happily jump anything that gets in the way. A real trail horse that never runs out of steam Biondina is a wonderful companion for light adults and teenagers.We don’t know much about Biondina’s past, but when she arrived she was very underweight and had some trust issues. She has turned completely 360 degrees and now she thinks she owns the place! Biondina follows you around like a puppy and is certainly thriving here in her new home. She is particularly fond of Wilma, it is safe to say they are real BFFs!! (Best Friends Forever!e)
Breed: Arab x Haflinger
Height: 14hh
Age: 9
Sex: Mare
Suitable for: Everybody
Previous Job: Unknown
Favourite Things: Her best friend Wilma
Doesn’t Like: Jumping Poles!

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Tom has done a lot in his 8 years; starting off life on the racetrack (he didn’t make much of a racer unfortunately), he then turned his hoof to point to point and raced with the Weastmeath Foxhounds. He has also dabbled in cross country as well as hunting and has been well schooled in the arena. This young lad must think he is on holiday here, and is more than happy spending his days on the trail with us and chilling with his friends in the paddock in the evenings. Tom is a real handsome boy, with a super personality. Totally laid back yet still a responsive ride, our Tommy is a great for riders who like their horses to have a little spark in them when asked, without the fireworks!

Breed: Thoroughbred
Height: 16.2hh
Age: 8
Sex: Gelding
Suitable for: Experienced riders
Previous Job: Racehorse
Favourite Things: Just watching the world go by….
Doesn’t Like: To win races it seems!

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Francy is another ex racehorse of ours, however she did not race under saddle but under harness. She is a trotter, or standardbred, and in trotting races the horses pull carts (sulkies) at speeds of up to 40 MPH in trot!! Needless to say, Francy is no slow coach!Luckliy for Francy she has been out of racing for a few years now and has learned how to trot and canter like a ‘normal’ horse. These days she will even pop around our small course of natural jumps, so she is learning as fast as she can trot!Francy is a very pretty girl and easy to ride for more experienced riders both on the trail and in the school. A favourite with all of us here at La Fiaba, we are sure you will fall in love with her too. 

Breed: Standardbred
Height: 16hh
Age: 12
Sex: Mare
Suitable for:Intermediate Riders
Previous Job: Racehorse
Favourite Things: Galloping around her field!
Doesn’t Like: Walking through water!

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