Together for the region is the grant program of U. S. Steel Košice, which for fifteen years has supported life in communities and especially activities for children, care for the environment or increasing safety in everyday situations. In particular, projects that can bring together people across several sectors for a common purpose: public, non-profit and private, have a chance to succeed.
The civic association Herbidus convinced the evaluation committee with the project The most beautiful view of the world is from the horse's back. The newly built circular riding hall was planned to be fenced off with panels and dumped with sand to increase the safety of young riders in training. They have already achieved several successes in domestic and foreign parkour races.
Anna Rákayová, chairwoman of the association, says: "In the village of Silická Brezová in the district of Rožňava, with the help of the municipal office, we managed to create a small equestrian area with horse housing, a circular riding place for children, with the reservation of a grassy riding hall for parkour and with conditions for tourist riding. Such an area brings to the village an interesting sports and recreational activity for children and adults, and due to its ecological character, it is suitable for the protected area of the Slovak Karst."
Contact with horses and riding allows children to stay in nature and have a positive effect on their musculoskeletal system. In addition, it teaches responsibilities about the entrusted animal and allows them to integrate into the community of people with a love of sports and animals. "Like any sport, horseback riding also has its risks, and the most common injuries arise in beginners and off-road. This risk is greatly reduced by training in a fenced roundabout," explains Anna Rákayová and thanks U. S. Steel Košice for its support also on behalf of children whose hobby are real horses.
According to the chairwoman, the area of the riding hall was modified with the help of the partner SANAS s.r.o. Rožňava, which also provided sand to the surface of the riding hall. Six volunteers undertook to dig it up, who worked a total of 56 hours of volunteer work over eight days. The tool was lent by Noctem s.r.o. Silická Brezová. The construction of the enclosure from the purchased panels was led by Adam Icsó, and Marek Hutník, an employee of U. S. Steel Košice, who has a weekend house near the equestrian area, also contributed to the construction with his volunteer work.
The steelmaker Marek Hutník says: "I joined the project because I was attracted by its basic idea. It is supposed to be natural to help people, so I appreciate that the civic association Herbidus is interested in contributing to the development of the region. Knowing the environment and being close to social issues as well as topics related to the development of tourism, I am happy to be a part of this project." As a person who likes animals, he was also impressed by the fact that the project combines love for them with therapy.
The securely fenced sand circular riding hall was completed at the end of September, and equestrian training has since continued 3 times a week. In the future, they plan to expand the area with an educational gazebo with a training riding barrel, and also arrange a saddle for storing sports equestrian supplies.
In the cover photo, from left to right: volunteer Ján Icsó from Noctem, Anna Rákayová, chairwoman of Herbidus and Marek Hutník, volunteer from U. S. Steel Košice together with his wife.