Balena, our grandfather’s horse!

Balena, our grandfather’s horse!

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Balena, our grandfather’s horse!

Do you know that feeling of freedom that only a few times in life can you savor?
Here, our horses are this for us.
Beauty, feeling, freedom but also true friendship.

The horse accompanied our Grandfather during the transhumance. When he had to move his flocks from VillagrandeStrisaili (Biddamanna) to Castiadas it was necessary to cross 10 municipalities: Arzana, Gairo, Osini, Ulassai, Ierzu, Tertenia, Villaputzu, Muravera, San Vito, Camisa.
Its name was Balena (Whale), a funny name for a horse from the Sardinian hinterland but its coat was gray like the skin of these beautiful cetaceans.

Always a friend, it carried on its shoulders the weight of food supplies prepared by our Grandmother.
Among these provisions could not miss the Pistoccu, a typical Ogliastra’s bread that has the character of long- term storage.
But at this, we’ll talk later …

Along the way there were stops for resting, but not only. It was in fact necessary to take care of the flock: by checking if all the sheep were safe and paying special attention to the pregnant ones.

It was also necessary to practice milking. To ensure that the milk did not get damaged, we used to light a fire where a cauldron (Caddàrgiu) was placed above; this last was filled with milk for the production of cheese.

Today the traditional practice of transhumance is a candidate to become the intangible cultural heritage of humanity Unesco.

Its candidacy has been proposed by Italy as a leader together with Greece and Austria. In this regard, an international evaluation process has been formally launched by involving a body of independent technical experts in preparation for the subsequent decision from the Unesco Government Committee planned for November 2019.

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