Fieracavalli has always paid close attention to ethical and social projects that focus on the relationship between people and horses, by now part of the event’s DNA, especially in recent years. Activities during the trade fair are only a showcase for everyday work made possible thanks to collaboration with ASD Horse Valley. Based in Corte Molon – an oasis of nature, relaxation and excitement just outside the city of Verona – the association organises horse assisted therapy as the beating heart of these projects.
It is precisely to synergistic work with ASD Horse Valley that the event today supports 8 social initiatives involve the entire area around Verona. The social and work reintegration project for inmates of Montorio Prison is joined by pet therapy for young people with partial or total loss of sight – in collaboration with the Italian Union for the Blind and AGSM – and action supporting adolescents with mental health issues at Villa Santa Giuliana Hospital. Support is also provided for women and adolescents who have suffered emotional trauma related to violence, thanks to input by the Angels in Run Association and the Verona section of UISP. In addition, two other initiatives envisage horses in educational projects for schools: “Nonni & Nipoti” (Grandparents and Grandchildren – promoted by Colle for Famiglia Opera Don Calabria, Verona City Council and Università Cattolica – which strengthens the bond between generations through horses; and “Giving a voice to children – from doing to saying” – in collaboration with psychotherapist Ketty Motta and Roberta Benassuti – to help make middle school children more aware of their emotions and learn to accept them without judging passing judgements.
The Riding The Blue project devotes considerable attention to research by studying and promoting the benefits of horse therapy using the I.E.M.S. method in children with autism spectrum disorder. The goal is to obtain recognitions of horse therapy by the National Health Service as an effective practice in promoting the development of people with autism. All this is also thanks to the support of Dr. Leonardo Zoccante and the vital collaboration of ASD Horse Valley, the Integrated University Hospital of Verona and the Scaliger Local Health and Social Unit n. 9 in Verona.
Finally, there is also room for slow tourism: from the urban horse trail in the River Adige Nord Park, from the dam at Chievo to Mount Ongarine, the territory around Verona is promoted by developing new bridleways year after year.