A trip to the country (the boonies!)

A trip to the country (the boonies!)

Monday, April 11th, 2022

One of Laura’s daughters who lives in Torino is a real horse person. She has two, I think that she competes in dressage and gives lessons in horsey stuff. Given that background she is considering moving to the Bologna area and of course she would have to have a place for her horses. She found a place on-line and after having talked to the owner (actually there are two partners that own the place) she asked Laura to take a look at it and give an opinion. Oh, no. That means that we have to move the car! Parking on the street in the center of Bologna is not easy, part of the reason that we rarely use the car and we had a prime sparking space. We take a trip of some sort every two months to keep the battery charged. Well, this time 2 months turned out to be too long. The battery wasn’t completely dead but definitely would not start the car. So Laura called a nearby mechanic who came had used jumper cables to get it started and then she drove it to his shop for further charging as well as adding air to one of the tires. So 2 days after our first attempt we went wandering through the countryside. I always hate going outside of the city since I inevitably get lost since intersections are well marked and even with Google maps I always miss a turn or make a wrong one. This time was no exception.

We had planned to eat lunch at a little trattoria that seemed at least OK not far from where we were to turn onto a tiny gravel road that led to the horse place. Well, after mistakes on the way we settled for eating a “good enough” lunch at the little town of Budrie. The road is about 1 1/2 cars wide with a ditch on each side. Meeting another car was tricky but since it’s a dead end there weren’t many cars and I guess if you live on a road like that you know not to have an SUV. Anyway we found the place and met the owner (I’ll refer to him as the guy) who was most involved with the sale. Unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to take photos so you don’t get to see all of the geese, chickens, ducks and guinea hens roaming around. Nor you get to see the 8 horses in residence including a shetland pony – cute and just the right size for Laura. There were also kennels for dogs with 2 of the kennels having 2 dogs each in residence. I do have photos from the real estate add for the property.

Beyond the line of trees you can see the road – did I mention that it was tiny? In front of that line of trees and to the right is a house (as shown below), fully equipped about 100 square meters and to it’s right a large open space which is a space for people to practice riding and doing whatever they want to do and feel capable of doing with a horse. Also note the oval building. More details to follow.

Below is the entrance to the place. You pass through a sturdy gate that opens when you turn a key. Directly ahead you see the stables.

On the other side of the fence to the right is a shallow pond. There were a bunch of ducks enjoying the water and looking for stuff to eat.

A clearer view of the house.

Here’s more detail of the oval building. Something (since I’m not a horsey kind of guy) that I had never imagined. It’s an motorized exercise area for the horse. There are dividers between spaces for each horse and they are connected to a rail system that moves continuously so that the horses are required to walk. To avoid that they are always turning in one direction during their exercise time it reverses so they will need to turn in the other direction. It make sense to keep them balanced.

Below are the stables. Room for 11 horses and on the right you can note a shower area for the horses and also for riding gear.

The round structures were for showing off horses of maybe some kind of horsey competitions. I was unclear since the discussion was all in Italian.

All in all it was an interesting outing. When we were leaving we saw a car that had gone slightly off the narrow road and was at almost a 45 degree angle because of the ditch close to the road. I said ” Something’s wrong with this picture” and then saw a man crawling out of the passenger side door. He was an older guy, I’d say at least 80 but was unharmed. Laura walked back to the horse place to ask the guy there for help while I found a place to turn around and also returned and found a place off the road where I could park the car. The guy called someone who could come and tow the car out of the ditch so we were assured that all would be taken care of and drove back to Bologna where we found a parking space about 1/2 a kilometer away (600 yards).

Laura asked me what I thought of the place. I thought it seemed a really good place for horses but it’s in the middle of nowhere (even though only about 14 miles from our building in Bologna) and would be REALLY a lot of work. In fact the guy said as much. A lot of grass and weeds to mow, trees to prune, fences to maintain and horses to care for. A really big commitment.

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