Our history

Sadio and Donatella have transformed their passion for animals and nature into a professional activity, creating their equestrian center with the organic farm in an unspoiled Chianti valley, reserved for you and horses.

The professionalism deriving from about thirty years of experience in the equestrian sector, with internships in Italy and abroad and numerous patents, make Donatella a highly qualified teacher sensitive to the needs of the students.

We have fulfilled a dreamWe wish to begin with this sentence, to counteract the current abundance of pessimism that surrounds us all these days. We created a farm and a riding centre where our horses have 16 hectares of paddocks in which to eat, to work and to play. When they can longer work, this is also their retirement home.
Podere Santa Margherita ,this piece of paradise, 40 acres of farmland and paddocks, is a place where horses are respected, lovingly cared for, and never used or abused. Animals are loved not used.

The horse farm and Equestrian center , was set up with a great deal of help from friends and relatives who literally hammered nails, dug the earth, and did a lot of heavy lifting together with us, and together we created The Equestrian Center of Berardenga or Chiantiriding.

Donatella Zambon holds a degree in French language and literature. While she was studying for her degree and writing her thesis, she was already training horses and foals. After working for some time as a high school teacher, she decided to devote herself entirely to her passion: horses. She was granted the highest qualifications by the International Equestrian Federation both in Italy and abroad. She is now a hospitality manager in Castelnuovo Berardenga, Chianti and organizes riding holidays all over the world.   Her interests include environmental protection, bird-watching, learning about wild flowers, traveling the world on foot or on horseback, history, and the practice of Sivananda yoga, for which she received her TTC qualification in 2018.

Donatella personally supervises the synergic garden and the happy hens which produce eggs for the Equestrian Centre’s entire community. Her husband Sadio works as a commercial agent all over Italy but for several moths a year makes a precious contribution to the riding center as an instructor and guide.  With his diverse talents Sadio can be found either riding a horse or shoeing one; teaching riding in the arena, leading a tour on horseback  or working in the kitchen to prepare lunch for the family and for our riders.

As we now prepare to welcome visitors and guests once again for the 2021 season, we are renewing our commitment to share with you the glorious riding trails in the area of Tuscany between Siena and Florence.  On these trails, some of them very  ancient, we will guide our visitors on horseback through the myriad living treasures of Etruscan and medieval history: fortified hilltop villages, abbeys, and imposing castles which unexpectedly appear as we ride through the vineyards, forests, and groves nestled deep in the Tuscan hills.

In addition to the majestic fortresses created in Tuscany over the last thousand years [or so] the local population also created the magical Poderi Toscani, (case coloniche),the dwelling places of the poorer farmers who laboured hard to collaborate with the land and buil their homes out of whatever was at their disposal. These simple yet enchanting homesteads are an internationally renowned example of the breathtaking beauty and harmony that human beings can achieve within their local environment, regardless of whether they have education, power, or wealth.

Our guests are often particularly moved and transformed by the experience of exploring this historic region on horseback – which is of course the ancient and original means of transportation and communication – and immersing themselves in a bygone world within a landscape long immortalized with brush and canvas by the world’s greatest painters.

In the words of Marsilio Ficino, the great Florentine humanist and philosopher,

" Wise men must surround themselves with beautiful things"