• Pippo
  • Zazu
  • Zurina
  • Pioggia
  • Barizja
  • Lisa
  • Ghibli
  • Spiky
  • Paquita
  • Other Horses

Pippo - the appaloosa - living at Villa Stabbia

Pippo was the first horse to move in at Villa Stabbia, and still remains the one with the strongest character.

Although still young-ish, he has retired and is a full time pensioner. This being due to the arthritis in his hind legs, which on most days are unnoticeable, though from time to time makes him walk a bit stiff.

Pippo was an extremely well trained western horse, a particularly experienced trekking horse and could be mounted by adults as well as children. His very smooth gait and so easy to control made him suitable for riders of all ages and abilities.

Pippo is very playful and needs constant mental stimulation, hence he has by now a rather large selection of his own toys, which he has taught Zazu to use as well. His absolute favourite is a strong green sack filled with plastic bottles. It makes a wonderful noise and when finally Zazu gets involved in the game – the sack just gets torn to pieces. Great Fun!

Other favourite toys are footballs, sticks, robes, cameras.... more or less anything will do. 



Pippo is the group’s male leader, which means his responsibility is security.

He does not easily tolerate being approached by strangers - a proper introduction is needed. He will then decide if he likes the person or not; and if the person is allowed to touch him. A real character.

Pippo is an appaloosa and was born in 1998. He is bay-coloured with a blanket of white spots over loin and hips and  has a star and 3 white socks. For news of his arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here



Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Zazu - the anglo-arab - living at Villa Stabbia

Although bought after Pippo, Zazu arrived together with him in July 2004 and they quickly formed a strong friendship. 

Zazu comes from the stables around Siena, where they breed Anglo-Arabs for the Palio race, however he did not have the right temperament for it and was trained western (very well trained actually) though used for mainly trail rides. 

So when arriving here he was re-trained for dressage and today he is the most versatile horse. A very experienced and reliable trekking horse, loves jumping, good for western and does dressage as well.

He is not too keen on playing the “push-button” pony for kids, but does it for a while when asked nicely. 

He is by nature very serene, gentle and LOVES a good cuddle.

He is open for anything or anybody new. This can actually be a bit of a problem on treks, since everything has to be checked out - and he has to say hello to every dog, cat, horse, donkey ... person that he meets along the way. However this also means that he is not afraid of anything - at all.


Being so open and accepting everybody new, he is the horse that welcomes every newcomer to the group. Zazu showed Zurina around the place and spent many months by her side when she first arrived, then looked after Pioggia. He was totally open mouthed over the beauty of Barizja and even spent many hours cuddling with Lisa. Ghibli was given a hug and some food was shared with Spiky.

However no other horse has caught his heart as Paquita - he was the only male to be allowed near Paquita by her mum when she was just born and has been the perfect uncle for her ever since.

Zazu is an anglo-arab and was born in 1999. He is dark bay-coloured with only one marking, a white star. For news of his arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here




just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Zurina - the small andalusian - living at Villa Stabbia

A true lady, who demands respect and gets it.

Zurina (Spanish girls name meaning white) was born and trained in Spain and did not arrive here in Italy until February 2006.

Actually the very next day we bought her …. She was just so cute that she immediately stole our hearts.

With the intent to be used for mainly children, but still strong enough to carry an adult, she quickly showed us that the children part would have to wait for a while, as she had just too much energy. On treks she will be in front rushing ahead or right behind the guide-horse, constantly pushing him/her to go faster; though today she has slowed down considerably and has become the perfect horse for children as well as adults.

Her training from Spain was rather basic and there are various hints that might suggest that she was mainly used for pulling carts. It was also obvious that she had never been on treks in a terrain like Tuscany, however she learned quickly.

It also became apparent that she had not spent much time in an arena - she learned very quickly and then when it was time to introduce her to jumping.... It was obvious that she had never tried to jump before in her life nor did she have a natural talent. But Zurina liked jumping - and via her enthusiasm she even got good at it - though not that quickly.


She is the leading female of the group and keeps the others under control plus constant supervision. Recently however she has had some problems with the younger mares in the group; Barizja wants to take over the leader role, but does not like the responsibility. Lisa it trying by showing her strength, but lacks experience. However together with her right "hand" in the group, Pioggia, she is still in control, which is apparent when decisions have to be made. Plus Pippo only takes orders from her.


Zurina is a PRE and was born in 1998. She is flea-bitten light-grey (grey with tiny spots of black, brown or red hair), with a dark grey/black mane and tail.  For news of her arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Pioggia - the long legged andalusian - living at Villa Stabbia

A very long-legged Spanish lady indeed – Pioggia means rain in Italian.

Although her story is unknown, it has been possible to piece together some bits and pieces of information and most likely she worked with bulls in Spain for quite some years.

As she has sign of a baddish injury on her hind legs, she may have been wounded and then sold off, as she most definitely went through a very rough period thereafter, changing owners frequently.


When she came to Villa Stabbia, she was extremely skinny and her hooves shoved that she had been malnourished for at least 6 months - if not more. In addition she has scars showing bad treatment.

It took Pioggia a couple of weeks to realise that she was going to stay here at Villa Stabbia - but then she bloomed – and became our lovely playful and happy teenager. Miss Ever-Happy.

Piogga is always in a wonderful mood and charms everyone with her warm, gentle and kind nature. A true princess.

Usually she serves as Zurina’s maid and bodyguard, but when off-duty she loves to spend time with her girl-friends Lisa and Barizja.


Due to her previous work, Pioggia is well schooled for dressage, but loves a good long trek. Especially if it involves some speeeed! Though it is not her favourite, she has a really good technique in jumping. Pioggia gave birth to Paquita the 11th of July 2013 - her first foal, and also the first foal born here at Villa Stabbia.

Pioggia is a PRE and was born in 1999. She is dapple-grey. As she gets older, Pioggia will most likely turn white. For news of her arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Barizja - the Wielkopolska - Polish warm blood - living at Villa Stabbia

Barizja was for a long period the youngest in the group and at times it seems she still behaves like it. Barizja is from Poland and came to Villa Stabbia July 2008.

A strong horse was needed and as the preference here at Villa Stabbia is for mares, that was what we were looking for. She was chosen from the simple fact that she was the mare with the biggest behind. That she turned out to be the most sweet and kind horse - well that might also have been one of the reasons she moved in.


She was first introduced to western, however only on a base level. During the summer of 2011 she was re-trained for dressage and can perform this at a much higher level. In 2012 she started jumping lessons - and as it turned out it is by far her favourite of all the disciplines.

She is the strongest of our horses and can carry experienced riders up to 85 kg. She is the only one of our horses that are only ridden by adults.

Barizja has an un-obtainable dream – she wishes she was a miniature horse. This way she could rest in our arms and get lots of cuddles all day. Weighing towards 600 kg this will always just remain a dream -  but she still tries. No other horse loves cuddles as much as her – well maybe Lisa … and Zazu … and Paquita … and ….

She quickly formed a strong friendship with Zazu, who still remains one of her most trusted friends. Of the mares, she prefer to spend time with Lisa, and should Lisa be in one of her playful moods, Barizja will most definitely join her.

Barizja is a Polish Warm blood and was born in June 2005. She is almost equally coloured dark brown and white with a long white broad blaze. For news of her arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Lisa - the halflinger - living at Villa Stabbia

Though born the same year as Barizja, she is 4 months older than her dear friend.

With the many children at the riding centre a pony was needed. It was rumoured that a really nice haflinger was for sale not too far away - up in the mountains. She totally took us by surprise with her independence yet forthcoming nature. Full of energy yet sweet and calm when close to people.

Lisa spent 2 years as a therapeutic horse at Dynamo Camp near Pistoia - the first summer camp in Italy to be structured specifically for children with serious or chronic illnesses who are currently in therapy or in post-hospitalization convalescence.

Hence she is wonderful with children and seeks their company (and cuddles) at every opportunity.

However Lisa was never ridden that much, hence her training started from zero.

She is steady and fast on treks and are currently used for lessons for riders with some experience or for what she prefers - small treks around the fields with children.

Lisa is pretty easy going when in the group. She goes along with all the other horses and although her friendship with Barizja is stronger, she often spends time with Pioggia, Zazu and even Zurina.



Her obsession is however food. She eats everything. Eatable or not - down it goes. Which is why nobody leaves anything unattended within her reach - as she will start chewing away. Like she did with several pairs of reins, a saddle, girths, jackets, whips, brushes, sponges ........

Lisa is a Haflinger and was born in April 2005. She is palomino coloured with a thin white blaze. For news of her arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Ghibli - the tall andalusian - living at Villa Stabbia

Ghibli - a then 4 year old stallion - came to Villa Stabbia September 2013. 

Having searched for a long time for a strong horse, Ghibli appeared out of the blue. He was everything we had been looking for - tall, strong built, Spanish PRE, young .... only slight problem was that he was skinny, undernourished, lacking muscles, after having spent his last three years in a field with not that much food. However, after vaccinations, castration, lots and lots of food and some ground work, he soon started to show his potential.

Ghibli is a Pura Raza Española, born on the 8th of April 2009 in Cortona, Arezzo - Tuscany. He is rather tall for his breed, 166 cm when he came in October 2013, 170 cm in February 2014, and still growing. His mum was part of a group of PRE horses imported from Spain, where the intention was to start a breeding program of horses for mainly shows. However after a year or two - the idea was abandoned and the horses were more or less forgotten. Until they were all sold off - lucky for us. Gibli's real name is L Uno M Silver - but Ghibli fits him so much better.

Ghibli is one big warm heart, kind and calm is the best way to describe him. His true soul-mate is Spiky. They arrived together and have been inseparable since.

His training was equal to zero, never seen a saddle, never tasted a bit, never done anything, not even used to be tied or groomed. So the first many months were spent feeding him, teaching him the basics and for him to slowly getting used to the idea of being ridden. He is still undergoing basic training, hence he is only ridden by the staff at Villa Stabbia

Ghibli was born in 2009 and is dark greyish brown. As he grows older, he will slowly become more and more grey, which has started on his face already. For news of his arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Spiky - the pale appaloosa - living at Villa Stabbia

Spiky caught of course our attention first of all due to his beautiful and unique colouring. However he totally captivated us with his trusty, curious and calm character.

Very light on his feet and quick to move away if anything seems slightly scary - but he is also incredibly curious - so will return almost immediately to check out, what could possible be so scary.


Spiky had just arrived in Italy from Holland, where he was born. His full name is Spiky van Pippi's Farm. Spiky's mum is appaloos and his father - well very pretty according to his mum as Spiky was not planned. His dad is a Dutch Warmblood though.

Spiky arrived here at Villa Stabbia together with Ghibli - and they have become inseparably friends. Like his best mate, Spiky had never worn a saddle, hence his training started as soon as he arrived.


Spiky was born April the 26th 2009 and at birth palomino coloured. With time he has become a palomino leopard appaloosa colour; whitish with palomino spots all over.

For news of his arrival at Villa Stabbia - click here




just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Paquita - the sweetest andalusian living at Villa Stabbia

After 11 long months, Pioggia's long awaited foal was finally born - in our own garden. Paquita di Villa Stabbia, the first foal to be born here, and Pioggia's first as well.

At birth, Paquita resembled much more her father Edil VII, a bay PRE - Pura Raza Española, having his colour and star though not his hind white sock, however she slowly started to change colour to dark grey and has become the much wanted mini-copy of Pioggia.

Not surprisingly, Paquita is very spoiled and accustomed to be handled and cuddled. Actually she seems to think it is our duty to spend most of the day just telling her how pretty she is and scratch her all over.

She spends most days out in the field, getting used to the hilly terrain and just enjoying life.

Pioggia herself chose the two horses she trusted enough to spend time with Paquita. Zurina was an obvious choice, also since Zurina immediately assumed the aunt role.


The trust that Pioggia placed in Zazu was however a surprise. He fell totally in love with Paquita the very moment he saw her, and has since spent many hours grazing by her side or running up and down the hills with her just having great fun.

Paquita di Villa Stabbia was born on the 11th of July 2013, 30 min before midnight. She was brownish at birth with a white star. Later she turned dark grey, but will most likely become dapple gray like her mother. For news of her birth at Villa Stabbia - click here




just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices

Private Horses Stabled at Villa Stabbia - and those who have moved on

Imperatore or just Impe amongst friends. An Arab/Maremmana/English Thoroughbred gelding also born in 2007. He moved in at Villa Stabbia in June 2013 and was especially liked by all the mares, but as soon as Ghibli and Spiky came to the farm, the three young guys formed a true gang. These days however he shares the paddock with Wince - those two guys spend ages playing together.  Best way to describe Impe is - very tolerant and open to all, horses or humans.

Impe is chest-nut coloured with a long white blaze and two white socks.


Wince Ro or just Wince arrived in December 2013. A very young Haflinger from 2011 with so much to learn. Though young, he has a strong character and does not happily concede to the older horses, but being full of energy - Wince is constantly looking for someone to play with. Luckily he shares the paddock with Impe.

Wince is palomino coloured with a long white blaze


Giana is a Brandenburger mare from 1995. Giana was for many years a broodmare before being used for mainly treks and some jumping. Being 175 cm tall, she is the tallest of all the horses, besides being the oldest. Giana's strong mother instinct means she is the perfect "grandmother" for Impe and Wince. Tolerant yet always in control. Giana is an extremely sweet, calm and gently horse, that goes along with every horse in the group. 

Giana is chest-nut coloured with a long white blaze and three white socks.


Asso is a Murgese gelding from 2007 and the last private horse to move in.Asso has spent most of his time doing dressage and treks - so a perfect match. He was a bit hesitant at first to meet all these new horses, but has settled in and divides his time between his love for Giana and playing with Impe and Wince 

Asso is totally black, with black mane and tail.


Nabiria was only three years old when she came to Villa Stabbia in January 2005, but being a Maremmana mare, ever so strong willed.

She was slowly introduced to dressage, which she seemed quite adapted for, though her strength was trail rides. Nabiria was incredible secure on her feet and with an energy that left most other horses trail behind.

Unknown to us when buying her, she had shown tendencies for sweet itch, an allergy towards mites that makes the horse scratch and scratch. During the summer this allergy intensified and although it became manageable during the winter, we did not want her to go though another summer suffering due to her allergy.

Nabiria moved away from Villa Stabbia in April 2006. Today she lives in a mountainous area of Emilia Romagna, where she is used for trail riding competitions by time.

Nabiria (Maremmana  mare) was born in 2002 and is dark bay without any marking.


Dukakis was already an elder gentleman, when he arrived here at Villa Stabbia in October 2006. He had a strong but ever so sweet and gentle character and managed to stand his ground against the others in the group, despite being quite a bit shorter and slight in build.

Dukakis was at first accepted by all except Zurina. She refused to have him in the group, however after working his charm on her for a week, she allowed him to stay. In fact - they were often seen grazing close together, Dukakis admiring the beauty of Zurina and her tolerating him......

Unfortunately Dukakis had quite a few injuries the last years he stayed at Villa Stabbia, all obtained when playing in the group. The last one, a broken jaw, caused us to rethink what was best for him. At the age of 24, his hearing was failing and he didn't always notice when the mares warned him, hence he was often pushed around by them.

Dukakis moved away from Villa Stabbia in September 2013. Today he stays at a sheep farm, where he, together with another chest-nut coloured arab (even same age), spends his time eating the grass, looking pretty and being available for cuddles whenever one of the residents of the farm have time.

Dukakis (arab gelding) was born in 1989 and is chest-nut coloured with a long white blaze and a white sock.





just ask us for more info. - Click here for booking  -----   Click here for horse riding prices