EQUESTRIAN CENTER OPENED IN CORFU
On the extraordinarily beautiful island of Corfu, The Silva Project www.thesilveproject.org, for 16 years has been dedicated to saving and restoring the pure blood line of the rare, ancient breed of the Greek small horse called a Skyrian. The combination of their small size and charming personality were ideal for young children to learn to ride, as well as therapeutic riding. The Silva Project is proud to announce the years of effort put into the restoration of the pure bred Skyrian horse has achieved many successes and is still ongoing.
The visionary founder of The Silva Project, after many years of effort, planning and design, is delighted to now announce a new beginning. The SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER has already opened. The opening of this equestrian facility offers new and unique opportunities for horse and nature lovers in Greece, and for visitors from other countries as well, to enjoy equine and nature related activities on the island of Corfu. Not simply dedicated to advancing the sport of horseback riding either for competition or pleasure, the SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER strives to provide teaching, learning and a deeper appreciation for the true nature and psychology of the magnificent, noble animal that is Equus, the horse. Riding lessons, in both English and western disciplines, and taught by professionals, are offered at this new center. But, beyond the human activity of riding horses, imparting wisdom of the horse itself, without it being encumbered by a human riding it, is a major focus of this new facility. Mutually successful interaction with horses is a life enriching experience for both the horse and the human. Additionally, the SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER has the only covered arena on Corfu and one of only several in all Greece.
Situated on a lovely, wooded mountain top, in the area known as Kalafationes, on Kerkyra, the SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTR offers a variety of equine and nature related activities intended to be fun, unique, informative and inspiring for all visitors. Guests can view a demonstration of the magical horse handling and training techniques knows as horse whispering, made famous by the hit movie The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford. Mentorships and extended seminars in these gentle methods of working with and training horses are offered. Even visitors coming for a few hours can try their hand as horse whisperers. These special programs are created and overseen by internationally acclaimed and highly respected American horse whisperer and trainer, Franklin Levinson. Franklin now lives on Corfu with his wife, Ilona Staikou, also a professional trainer for many years. Franklin and Ilona offer their combined wisdom and talents as equine professionals and dedicated advocates for the advancement of the horse/human relationship, to all guests at this new facility.
Additionally, a varied menu of unique attractions and activities is offered. Visitors can enjoy refreshments in the gourmet coffee bar overlooking our beautiful, organic kiwi farm and the surrounding, majestic wooded hills. They can take a lovely, guided nature walk and view the many unique animals that will be living at this facility. The center will offer Greece’s one and only hay-wagon ride. Children can enjoy pony rides on rare Skyrian, Greek small horses, led by one of our staff. Guided trail riding, with an accompanying riding demonstration, assure our guests a safe and fun time astride one of our well-trained horses when out on the trail.
One of the most unique activities offered is the specially designed ‘Family Fun With Horses’ program. This highly specialized program, created by Franklin Levinson, was designed specifically for families (children from 8 years of age up are welcome), families without children and those interested in learning more about the true nature of horses. It is a fun filled, exciting, informative and inspiring experience for humans and horses to have together. This program allows participants an opportunity to have an actual hands-on voyage into the world of the horse itself, without riding the horse. The ‘natural’ world of the horse is based on successful relationships within their group (herd). At the core of these relationships are mutual feelings of trust, respect, confidence in their leader and excellent, clear communication. A strong, stable bond is always present between all members of that group. This same sort of bond is what supports human families to function well and run smoothly too. Participants will learn and practice the best communication skills to develop this special connection and to assure a mutually fun and positive experience for all, including the horses. These are the same skills required of successful relations is all areas of human endeavor. Horses are not mean, vicious or devious. They respond to kindness, compassion and appropriate, skillful leadership (not bullies or bosses). The ‘Fun With Horses’ program teaches lessons not only in equine behavior and language, but more importantly, life lessons for humans regarding the values of: compassion, kindness, good leadership, clear and honest communication, being a team player, self-awareness and a host of additional qualities that we humans value highly, including how to play and have fun at any age.
Also created by Franklin Levinson, ‘The Corfu Horse Whisperer Experience’ is offered to anyone desiring a deeper and more thorough understanding of the wisdom and methods behind successful, yet gentle, effective training of horses. This wisdom is based on acquiring accurate knowledge of horses, proper communication skills with them, and a one-step-at-a-time approach to developing a deep bond with the animal that is based on mutual trust and respect. Once this bond is established firmly, the relationship between horse and human moves to a higher level and the advancement of successful training of the horse becomes assured.
An additional aspect of THE SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER is to offer therapeutic horsemanship. Therapeutic horsemanship, which includes therapeutic riding for children and other individuals with physical and/or learning disabilities and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), which is a non-riding activity done with horses, designed to assist individuals with similar challenges, who prefer not to ride for one reason or another, is offered at this new center, by appointment. The therapeutic ‘riding’ programs are overseen by Luciana Ramos Rosa Palavitsinos. Trained in Brazil in Therapeutic Riding for many years, Luciana is considered an expert in this field. She has dedicated herself to assisting children and other individuals dealing with physical and mental challenges, through specific exercises and actions while riding horses. Franklin Levinson is considered an original innovator of Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL). He has created his own EFL programs, created courses to teach the EFL process in three countries and was keynote speaker at the first EFL conference held in N. California over 12 years ago. These two equine assisted therapies; Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) and the therapeutic riding programs, make the therapeutic offerings of this center especially unique and provide many possibilities and avenues to benefit the lives of all participants.
As an adjunct service the SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER offers livery (boarding) and training of private horses and ‘train the trainer’ seminars.
The developer and staff of the SILVALAND EQUESTRIAN AND LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER wish to publicly thank all those who have supported and assisted in the creation of this new facility. We wish to express our gratitude to all lovers of horses and those who support the well-being of these wonderful creatures. We especially wish to thank those equine professionals who continue to provide compassionate, appropriate equine teaching and communication, the dissemination and publishing of good information about horses and the Greek Equestrian Federation. We thank you one and all and hope you will visit us on Corfu soon.
Please note: advance reservations will be required for many of the equine activities.
Please visit: http://silvalandcorfu.blogspot.com/; www.silvaland.gr, www.thesilvalproject.org and www.WayoftheHorse.org and/or call + 30 694 700 4784, +30 695 947 8828, +30 6951979623 (Europe) or (970) 300 1868 (US) for more information.