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A horse parade in Ladin style

Imagine a valley in the middle of the famous Dolomite Mountains.

In the November quiet period, when the summer season is over and the winter season hasn’t already begun, the inhabitants of the Badia Valley are organizing the Saint Leonhard Horse Parade, also known as "Leonardi Ride".

The horse Parade is dedicated to Saint Leonard, who is the patron of horses and horsemen. The “Noriker” and “Haflinger” horses are adorned with shining horse’s harnesses. They are pushing the traditional and colorful carriages. The inhabitants on the carriage and on the horses are wearing traditional costumes. Several bands from the neighbor valleys are accompanying the carriages. An authentic parade in the beautiful scenery of the Dolomite mountains.

The “Noriker” horse is a very strong, and in his character a very quiet and balanced animal. Since around 2000 years, these horses have been kept in the Alpine regions. Over hundreds of years, the horses developed themselves to powerful mountain-horses. This is one of the reasons why they gave big help to the farmers in our regions.

The Leonardi Ride is an authentic, traditional come together of Ladin speaking inhabitants, of 3 neighbor valleys, Gadertal, Grödnertal and Fassatal.

Did you know? The Ladin language spoken in our area is called “Dolomitenladinisch” and is a group of Roman dialects. Ladin is still spoken today in the Gadertal (Valley Badia) and the Grödnertal (Valley Gardena) located in South Tyrol, as well as in the Fassatal (Valley Fassa) which is in Trentino and also in Buchenstein (Fodom) and in Cortina D’Ampezzo, both located in the province of Belluno.

As I grew up close to the Fassatal and didn’t speak the Ladin language, I decided to start with a Ladin language course some years ago. And not just me, but all participants of the course, were really fascinated of this language. It has so many similarities with English, French and Italian and also some South Tyrolean dialect words, that we were really laughing about these words sometimes. During this course we learned the language and we were taught about culture, tradition and habits.

Lasts 8th November, a beautiful shining and warm autumn day, I was there in valley Badia looking at this traditional horse parade and tasting some good typical food. And by the way I trained my Ladin knowledge talking with the people there.

What a great day!

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