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Terre di Siena on horseback

Riding in fifth gear

Very close to San Gimignano in the splendid atmosphere of Val d’Elsa it is possible to live a unique experience: Icelandic horse-riding tourism. Johanna Bergman is responsible for the equestrian activities at the Voltrona farm, agritourism and producer of wine, olive oil and horse feeds. The breeding of Icelandic horses was born from Johanna’s idea of importing the first two specimens from her native country, Sweden.

Why Icelandic horses?
Simply because they probably represent the best breed to be used for equestrian tourism. The Icelandic horses are suitable for learners and children and respond very well even to the most demanding and experienced riders. They are indeed very versatile and good-natured horses.

Other than the above qualities it seems that the “Icelandic horses have an extra gear”. Is it true or is it just an expression?
It is true. Indeed from a technical point of view the Icelandic breed can be described as having five gears. Other than walk, trot and gallop the Icelandic horse has two more gaits: the tolt and the quick amble. The tolt is a four-beat gait extremely loosened and without jolts which allows the rider to maintain a more stable position. The quick amble, on the contrary, is a faster and springier pace with the legs moving in lateral pairs in a two-beat rhythm.

What kind of excursions are available from Voltrona?
Several itineraries are  made available in the area of San Gimignano. Levels and durations depending on the individual rider’s skills. A very beautiful loop-itinerary around the farm of Voltrona offers stunning views over San Gimignano and the Val d’Elsa unfolding through a slice of countryside that well represents all aspects and characteristics of Terre di Siena: white country roads, cypresses, olive groves, vineyards and woodlands.

How many horses are available at the farm?
There are 12 horses of which 10 are used for the excursions. They are not kept in boxes, they live free within an area of land of 8 hectares and share a single stable. We have chosen this kind of accommodation to encourage the bonding between them. This great freedom of movement favors the natural development of a balanced hierarchy within the herd. Their names are: Pila, Tindra, Askja, Gimli, Geysir, Artilli, Brenna, Blesi, Hneta, Twystin, Djaukni and Sortli. Some of their names are Icelandic and evoke the wide open spaces of the fiery and icy island. With them we ride through Terre di Siena with the same free spirit of their native country.


Info and contacts:
Fattoria Voltrona, 
Loc. San Donato, 
San Gimignano (SI)
tel. 0577 943152
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
web: www.voltrona.com


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