Horse riding in Romania's pristine, stunning landscapes has been described by many tourists as an unforgettable experience
At a time when physical
distancing is recommended in order to support the efforts aimed at fighting the
Covid-19 pandemic, nature travel programmes have become very popular with
people everywhere. An active holiday in nature among horses can make one relax
and forget all the unpleasant events that have affected us all lately.
According to Gheorghe Dima, director of the
Direction for the Horse Breeding, Exploitation and Development with the
National Forest Administration, Romania boasts an outstanding horse-breeding
Dima:" Horse breeding dates back to immemorial
times in Romania, which has many stud farms 100 years old. The oldest in this
country, the one in Radauti is 225 years old. Our direction took over the
administration of these stud farms in 2002: there are 16 units, 12 stud farms
and 4 depots located in 14 Romanian counties covering almost the entire
territory: from the east, on the Black Sea coast where we have the Mangalia
stud farm, famous for its Arab horses to Radauti, in northern Bukovina. From
Timisoara in western Romania, which breeds Nonius and Ardennes horses to
Slatina in the south or to Sambata in central Romania specialized in breeding
Lippizaners. We are proud to say that we have 13 breeds, some of which very
rare in the world nowadays."
All these horse breeding grounds and stud farms
have been very appreciated by visitors who described a visit to one of these
facilities as a special experience. Here is Gheorghe Dima again.
Dima: "We've been imposed
a series of restrictions due to the pandemic but we still have a lot to offer
to visitors from farm tours to horse rides in the company of our authorized
instructors or to rides in horse-driven carriages and coaches. We stage horse
riding courses for advanced and beginners alike. We can also provide horses for
photography or film sessions outside or on the premises of our stud farm as
well as the proper training ground or other horse-racing facilities like tracks
and obstacles. We can also organise horse-riding shows and presentations. As
you can see we have a lot to offer to visitors and one can easily find a list
with our tourist offer posted on the webpage of the National Forest
Administration Romsilva. The site also provides information about every stud
farm, its location, contact and the services it provides. Some of these have
been visited by thousands of tourists in the summer season."
Many stud farms are located in special places
in the middle of nature reserves. In the following minutes Gheorghe Dima,
director of the Direction for the Horse Breeding, Exploitation and Development
with the National Forest Administration will share some of the plans aimed at further
developing Romania's equestrian tourism.
Dima: "We intend to carry on
the development of Romania's equestrian tourism by adding new routes that
tourists can visit on horseback. We are considering one-day routes or even
longer ones. We and our colleagues from several nature reserves and national
parks are still doing a survey in a bid to identify the proper routes for our
tourists. At the same time, we are looking for trained personnel that can serve
as instructors for our tourists. Another plan is to stage a series of trotting
races on the hippodrome in Mangalia as of Mayday and hopefully we'll be keeping
these events running for the entire summer season, until late September. A
series of horse shows are to be organised at the stud farms in Sambata, in
central Romania in August. These events are going to take place in the
picturesque landscape in the mountains.
Although most of these stud farms are located
in the countryside, there are some in cities as well. Here is Mădălina Henteș, head
of the Horse Breeding Center in Romsilva, based in Târgu Mureș, western Romania.
Hentes: "We are offering a
large series of horse riding courses to children and adults alike. We also have
courses for beginners or advanced riders. Some of these courses have been
attended by young people from France. Every year we are also looking for new
opportunities to enrich our offer. One of these is horse-riding camps for
children including a series of team building activities and many educational
games. This year we'd like to stage a tent camp in the middle of nature. Our
training programmes have been tailored for every student and they learn here how
to mount and dismount a horse, safety measures, which is the right horse riding
position etc. This sporting activity is for everyone in good health and there
are people in their eighties still enjoying it."
A 30-minute horse-riding lesson for a person costs
around 12 euros, a photo session on the premises stands at around 72 euros
while the camp fee for children is somewhere around 38 euros a day. Here is
again Mădălina Henteș.
Hentes" "We are providing
the right equipment for tourists who want to get involved in these activities
as some are trying it for the first time and aren't willing to invest in it. We
extend an invitation to all tourists to visit our center where we are staging
many events like birthday parties and team building for companies."