Castello di Tassarolo azienda vitivinicola

Working heavy horses

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courses and events

Henry and Titouan in a kitchengarden Henry and Titouan in the vineyard Henry logging with pairs Henry and Titouan collaborate with the Novi Ligure Steiner school Cavalavor: Henry's Heavy Horses
Respect for the Earth, respect for Life.

The Earth, font of life and mother of an infinite variety of plants. Soft, full of air which permits the earth to host micro-organisms and insects, that drinks to the full the living waters that fall from the sky. From a living earth are developed plants full of vitality, with fruits that bring benefit to mankind.

If the earth is compacted, like cement, the water runs over and does not penetrate, the ground cannot breath, the insects leave and the plants suffer.

Tractors, track vehicles, diggers and most equipment, like harvesters are enemies of the earth, they damage the ground by crushing and compacting to the point of sterility and passiveness.

Heavy horses are a positive response to this problem. Horses on the farm are lighter and leave a living footprint over the living ground, similar to a river that flows over its bed. Animals have a very close and direct relationship to the plant world, and how the animal has the need for plant life so does the plant world need the presence of animals. As the last link in the chain mankind is dependent on both the animal and plant world.

To see a heavy horse working together with the ploughman, in the vines, the forests or on the land is an experience that resounds something within us, it's like it could be, should be and always will be. Horses on a biodynamic farm complete one of the many cycles of life and are not mistreated or abused but work together with us, side by side, mutually complicit. Much can be learned by the horseman and horse as they listen in the silence of work, in the midst of nature.

Cavalavor was born as an idea by Henry to develop the fundamental principles of biodynamic farming method: to give healthy forces to the plants through curing the earth.

Henry, the first to develop working heavy horses in the vineyards in the North of Italy, is collaborating with other experts in the field, in designing and developing draught equipment for biodynamic farming methods in the vineyards.

Certainly his love and respect for animals have helped him in this re-discovery of working heavy horses, not a returning to the past or a contrast to modern technology but an anticipation, a visionary bridge between the past and the future.

The majority of "Henry's Heavy Horses" are 'Comtois', which today, are the prominent breed of working horses in France, a country with a long tradition of working horses in agriculture. Brown with blond mane and leg hair, calm, rustic and strong with an ideal temperament for the various fields of work, including saddle and carriages.

Henry and other horsemen of Cavalavor hold courses for single or group formation. Theory and practice are developed within the vineyards, forest and fields. The group are presently developing a nationally recognized certificate for the various fields of work suitable for heavy horses and are working on promoting heavy horse works in Piedmont. Henry, as representative of Cavalavor, is in touch with international associations and participates at meetings in Europe for the development of horse traction.