A dream come true
"Anche Noi a Cavallo" is a non profit organization founded in 1987 by a group of people having a common dream: create riding facilities for disabled people.
In Italy therapeutical riding was not wellknown in the 1980's, so initially our main job was to promote this alternative therapy. In the meantime money was collected to start building the riding facilities and in June 1990 the construction was completed.
Initially, there were about 30 people attending "Anche Noi a Cavallo", but now we are offering equestrian activities to more than 80 people (attending once or more a week) including children, teenagers and adults with various disabilities: motor, cognitive and mental disadvantages. Activity is organized either individually or in small groups.
Moreover we collaborate with various voluntary organizations and student organizations for student-exchange programmes. All different activities are taken care off by professionally qualified people (a psychiatrist, a physiotherapist, a vaulting instructor, a psychologist, a psychomotricist, a veterinarian and some riding therapists).
Since its foundation in 1987 "Anche noi a cavallo" has been continuously moving ahead and developing.
Ambition requires a big effort from all the participating parties of the organization: the board of directors, the operating team, the volunteers and last but not least the donators! But when we see the joy of a challenged rider on horseback, all efforts are definitely worthwhile!
Anche noi a cavallo is an independent organization. At the end of the 80's, thanks to private donations and regional economical support we were able to buy a piece of land and build a covered riding hall.
Since the official opening in 1990 challenged riders ride full time at all levels.
Every time again parents and care-givers are surprised to see how positively riding influences these people. The movement of the horse physically and psychologically relaxes the rider and improve the general condition. Moreover people are in a socially active surrounding which increases their self esteem.
The riding session is definitely considered a highlight of the week and some of our riders have been riding without interruption for 20 years! This is one of the most important confirmations of the value of our activities!
The mission of our association is: to offer physically, mentally and complex challenged people the opportunity to ride in a responsible way and to enjoy the positive effects; to promote the integration of disabled and non disabled people as well as the collaboration with other institutions and organizations (in particular from the Province of Pordenone) who operate in the field of various therapies, recreational activities and sports for disadvantaged people.
Members of the association are the riders and participants of the various activities as well as the donators.
We try to find the correct balance between idealism and realism through a concrete and practical approach and keeping the costs as low as possible.
"Anche noi a cavallo" is a small organization with highly involved board and staff members as well as volunteers. The therapeutical action of riding is the most important aspect of our activity, but pleasure and a good atmosphere are also important. Safety and responsible riding are of course our highest priority!
There are high costs related to our activity and one of our main aims is to keep reasonable fees considering all the work that a singular riding session requires. These sessions, in addition to our specially educated instructors, requires a horse leader, trained specifically for this particular job, and the other staff members: a medical doctor, a vet and a full-time coordinator who manage the everyday work.
- Board of Directors: responsible for the policy and financial management. The Board consists of 5 members: the president, the vice president and three members. The Board of Directors does not receive any reimbursement for its activity. The board members are voted by the assembly and serve a 4 year term. (All meetings of the Board of Directors are attended by the "revisori dei conti"). The Board meets on request of at least two of its members.
- Team: composed of instructors, psychologist, vet, physiotherapist and other professionals who manage the riding sessions and other activities.
- Volunteers: apart from the European volunteer through the Erasmus+ programme who spend between 6 and 12 months helping during the riding sessions, the training of the horses and other activities, Anche noi a cavallo has a group of local volunteers who regularly participate in the various activities. New volunteers receive a basic training and booklet on our organization as well as a detailed guideline.
- Riders: our riders mostly come from the Province of Pordenone and Veneto and usually live with their parents. They have various challenges varying from light mental disorders to severe complex disorders. Depending on the severity of the disability the horse will be lead by one or even two assistants and the therapist.
- Yearly balance sheet: once a year, before the end of March, the Board of Directors draws up the balance sheet for the financial year and will be approved by the assembly.
- Premises: we have our own premises which are of course accessible to all challenged people. Our horses have been especially selected and trained for therapeutic riding. The premises include a riding hall, a small outdoor riding ring, boxes and paddocks for 7-8 horses, a clubhouse annex office, living area for the European volunteer and a recreational area, everything surrounded by a quiet green garden. In September 2017 the new building will be opened for business, 100 square meters with a kitchen and bathroom.
- Riding sessions: the riding sessions take place from Monday morning till Saturday afternoon.
- Equipment: special equipment is used depending on the needs of the single riders. For example we have a patient hoist, a special saddle, a vaulting girt and pad, colored reins etc.
- Stages and internships: many students from high schools or universities in the region come to Anche noi a cavallo for their internships. They get the necessary backing from the professionals of the équipe. We also offer stage placement for therapeutic riding instructors.
We use our website to communicate with our donators, volunteers and other people who are interested in our activities. www.anchenoiacavallo.org is translated in various languages. Moreover, once a year we publish "Anche noi a cavallo - Magazine" which reports in detail on all events of the past year. You can find this publication on the website under News. Some other social networks are also used to communicate, especially with the younger people! (ie Facebook).
6. Financial situation
The premises are the property of Anche noi a cavallo and it has been possible to achieve all this thanks to the contribution of public bodies and donations of private citizens. The revenues consist in the payment for the riding sessions and other related activities (ie summer day camps and social inclusion work experiences), public contributions and private donations. The major costs consist in the salaries, maintenance of the animals and the management of the premises.
7. The future
Almost 30 years have passed since the foundation of Anche noi a cavallo and we continue to invest all our energy in keeping the actual activities going or developing where necessary and opening up to new initiatives. Among the new initiatives we have introduced Animal Assisted Interventions with dogs and we are improving and enlarging the premises thanks to the intervention of a local company and private donations, that will be inaugurated on September 2017, as part of the celebrating for the 30th anniversary.