Christiane Slawik Photography & Riding Workshop in Italy

Learn about a special workshop focusing on equine photography at Castellare di Tonda in Italy, where an interest in horses and beautiful images is the only requirement.

by Jess Morton
photos by Christiane Slawik and her wokshop participants

In September we had our autumn Christiane Slawik photography and riding workshop at Castellare di Tonda in Tuscany, Italy. It was again a really fun week, with a great mix of people from all over the world–– the uniting factors being a love of horses and photography.

Castellare di Tonda estate was once the property of the noble Florentine family ‘Strozzi’ during the renaissance period is now entirely dedicted to responsible tourism. Horse play a huge part in the estate, though now rather than breeding fine coursiers; the estate breeds Quarter and Paint horses, and runs riding holidays though the Tuscan countryside.

Christiane Slawik Workshop Tuscany

Liberty shots in the fondo chiuso with Franco and Marco. Our horses had a great time chasing around their buddies in the name of photography.

The weather started out fabulously for the equine photography workshop, but we did have one thunder storm midweek, causing us to change the liberty shoot in our top arena to a ‘wild west in Tuscany’ session out in the turnout field, using our semi-wild retired horses and breeding stock.

Again we visited the Murgese Farm in La Spezia to photograph these magnificent black horses in liberty. It was a highlight of the course, and the horses seemed to remember the drill from last year and put on a fabulous show.

Murgese Farm horses Itlay

During each workshop, there is a special excursion to a Maremmano breeding farm (Spring course) and a Murgese Training center/Stud (September course). These unique Italian breeds can be photographed in their full glory at two very special sites.

A special feature of this course, is the excursion up to photograph Murgese horses (the only Italian baroque breed, and very rare in northern Italy… even rarer outside of Italy). Our friends at Gottero ranch have an amazing selection of some of the best Murgese horses in the country and an amazing location where we can photograph them.

Below are some of the wonderful images and adventures captured during the special workshop.

tuscany horses italy

Riding is an optional extra during the course with rides going out on mornings when there are no planned photo shoots.

Christiane Slawik Equine Photography Workshop Italy

On our lake shoot we expected a day of rain, instead the weather suprised us all. It was spectacular, sunny and warm – and our bbq in front of the stables was a great success. Here we all are post photo shoot enjoying the Castellare wine while Alessio and Jawad prepare the bbq.

Christiane Slawik Workshop Tuscany horses

Marco and Hidlago made a great team in the riding/sunset shoot.

Tuscany horses at sunset

Sunset shots above the vineyards with Antonio and Hidalgo.

Great people, great riding, and a whole lot of lovely photos at the end to remember it by. If you’re keen to join us at Castellare di Tonda next year, we will be holding the course the same week in Septemeber of 2015. Get in touch if you are interested in joining us!

Learn more about Castellare di Tonda's Tuscany riding holidays. Check out other great special weeks and riding clinics on Equitrekking Travel Deals.