GALLERY | Hippotherapy and horseback riding on the ranch in the village of Opila: Fly without wings and win without a sword

pool opila rankovce hippotherapy maria duda
PHOTO: Private Archive

When God created the horse, he said to the majestic creature: "I did not create you like any other, all the riches of the earth lie between your eyes, you will carry your friends on your back, your saddle will be the seat of prayer, and you will fly without wings and conquer without a sword. "

horse ranch
PHOTO: Private Archive

After returning from the United States, Maria Duda undertook a series of humanitarian actions, and recently realized her life dream - opened a ranch, ie the first "Green Center" (Green Comfort Center) for horse therapy. Maria's attachment to horses dates back to a very early age, 9 years, or as she says, "When I was brave enough and still not tall enough to 'steal' horses tied up to graze in the fields, whenever my family took me to the countryside on weekends and during the summer months.". The "Green Center" is already open to the public, and specializes in hippotherapy, ie physical activity and interaction with horses.

ranch pool drunk
PHOTO: Private Archive

"Horses are great therapists when it comes to anxiety, depression, developing personal skills, as well as great therapists for people with disabilities. Any time spent with these animals, and with other animals on the ranch, such as dogs and kittens, is a time for self-discovery and focusing on the "now and the moment." the owner explains to us.

ranch horse
PHOTO: Private Archive

The ranch is located in the village of Opila, Rankovce municipality, and it is no coincidence that this location was chosen. This is the place where Maria spent the most beautiful childhood years hanging out with animals when she stayed here during the summer. The environment is enchanting, with beautiful mountains and untouched nature, enough to charge the soul batteries of each individual.

ranch horse
PHOTO: Private Archive

"Depending on the program, whether it is a one-day visit, several days or seven days, and depending on the person and his needs, we adjust our offers. We offer swimming pool, bicycle tour, four-wheeled tour, horse riding, running and picnic with horses, interactivity with all animals, yoga… Guests can also bring their pet. says Mary.

ranch horse
PHOTO: Private Archive

The ranch serves healthy and tasty food, vegan and vegetarian dishes, and among the specialties are basmati rice with curry sauce, sweet and sour and soy sauce, salads and natural tea from mountain herbs, Mexican food, pasta and various types of smoothies. We ask Maria what are the physical and cognitive benefits of horseback riding in children.

ranch horse
PHOTO: Private Archive

"Every child leaves here with a huge smile. Children do not know how to hide if they do not want something, and also when they want something. The physical advantages of horseback riding are that it acts directly on the upright posture of the spine, on tightening the muscles of the legs, abdomen and back, that is why it is recommended as an active therapy for children with special needs. It is also a good exercise for the cardiovascular system and breathing. Riding acts directly on the brain and mental challenges in children with autism, speech problems, cerebral palsy and children with hyperactivity and distraction, because with horses we communicate with and without speech, they have a developed vibration and instinct. Furthermore, horseback riding is useful for reducing stress, increasing the hormone of happiness and pleasure - serotonin, for
increase self-confidence, patience, attention and empathy ", Marija Duda explains in detail.

horse ranch
PHOTO: Private Archive

Thanks to the pool, the ranch is also suitable for people with physical disabilities, and the pool itself is designed for them to have access to a wheelchair. And, when we are already visiting the ranch, the possibilities for interesting excursions in the area are great. The municipality of Rankovce has beautiful bicycle paths, so you can export to the Stone Towers in Kratovo, passing 13 km through picturesque villages. German Mountain is here, the monastery "St. Joachim Osogovski" is at a distance of 23 km, and Lake Otoshnica at only 7 km.

maria duda horse ranch base
PHOTO: Private Archive
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