...my treasures do not sparkle they clink,
they shine in the sun and neigh in the night...



CAMILLA, Italia - April 2017

My IHP experience was actually quite unexpected: one evening as I surfed the internet I discovered that in Tuscany there was a rescue centre for mistreated equines. I read the stories these animals had to tell, and what that centre was doing for them, and the moment I realised I too had the chance to spend time as a volunteer there, the decision was made to go for two weeks. I set off not knowing much about horses, and at first thought that might be a barrier to contribution very much there, but as soon as I arrived, and thanks to the staff and other volunteers already present, I found out that horses are not difficult creatures at all, and that above all one has to be just spontaneous. It is enough to love and understand them, and it’s downhill all the way after that! Many of them have traumatic experiences behind them, and a few have been damaged beyond repair by those, but I have witnessed with my own eyes that at IHP they do finally have the chance to turn the page, to live peacefully, where their needs are respected, and they are cared for.
On a personal level, I especially took to the older horses, partly because I worked in close contact with them in particular, but also because they are the most concrete example of the rehabilitation work carried out at the centre. For me, they are adorable because in spite of their age and numerous ailments, they still have enormous character – especially at feeding times ha ha ha….. In addition to the ‘seniors’ I did have my other favourites (well, who doesn’t?), but all in all I have to say that in my two weeks there I grew fond of every one of the 69 horses. Each one of them is given the chance to be an individual in their own right, so there aren’t just horses at IHP, there are Libero, Ringo, Gina, Costanza, Arturo, Principe, Richard, Stella......each one is different, each has their own character and needs.
I so wish there were more places like IHP, where these animals could be guaranteed a life of dignity, without submission and violence. I saw here too people who give their all to realise this ambition, and can only really admire them for the extraordinary work they do EVERY SINGLE DAY.