Type of horses:
Various breeds including 2 Arabs, local breeds and cross breeds. Most of the horses are small and forward-going though there are a few slower options (but not too much in between!). Choices are quite limited.
Nature of horses:
The horses here are mostly forward-going though there are a few more steady options.
Height of horses:
14 - 15.2hh
90kg (approx 14 stone 2lb or 198lbs)
English - some of the tack here is very basic as it is not easy to source in the area.
This destination is set in the natural beauty of the Kupres Plateau and is a lovely way to see some untouched landscapes and a little known part of the world. There are vast expanses of open space, including fields, magnificent forests, mountain lakes and rivers, to be explored and you will receive a friendly welcome from the hosts. This riding destination is extremely good value and an insight into the rural life of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a hidden gem for horse riders. Most of the horses are forward-going, though there are some steadier options available, and your hosts can alter the riding to suit your requirements. Riding here is generally of a fast pace (which is fun!) so riders here should be willing and confident to canter, or at least to have a go!
There are around 13 horses (though a few are too young to be ridden out yet) on the farm and several foals, all of which are well loved by the owners. The horses are mostly domestic mares and Arabs, with some cross breeds, all of which are sure-footed and excellent for the environment. Although life here is quite different to that which most of us know, the horses are well fed and kept on pasture in the day and in stables at night (during winter they are often stabled full-time because of the snow). They are only shod when necessary and you will find that mares are sometimes ridden with foals in tow, as the hosts find that this is a good way to get them moving and used to the terrain. Mate and Marko grow their own hay and oats with which to feed the horses in the winter time.
This destination is a great option for those on a limited budget who want to explore somewhere new and who like adventurous riding. It is not a luxury option but although simple, it will show you the true region and the warmth of the people. The countryside is stunningly green when there has been plenty of rain and there are many beautiful sights to see. Riding is arranged according to the wishes of guests and your hosts sincerely hope that you will want to visit them again and again. This is also a superb destination to learn to ski in January and February - the slopes nearby are ideal for this and Mate is a great teacher. Other things to do in warmer months are swimming, hiking, cycling and rafting, to name just a few.
Both Holly and Sarah from Far and Ride have visited this destination (both in Feb 2011 for riding and skiing, Holly in summer 2012) so please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Accommodation is in one of two cabins (small houses on the farm) which have one double bedroom, one bedroom with two beds, a gallery area with single sofa bed and a double sofa bed in living area. There is also a mini kitchen area (fridge, sink and hob), toilet and shower. In addition, 2km further away there are three double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms available.
Please note that other guests may also stay in the cabin at the same time as you, unless you specify that you wish to be alone (something which may incur an extra cost). The two bedrooms are separated but in the case that there are other guests at the same time, you would be required to share use of the shower room and communal areas.
Next door to these cosy cabins, which have a log burner and TV, is another cabin which is the social area. This has a big coal cooking area, a bar and lots of seating. Here you eat your meals and socialise in the evenings - Mate and Marko will often go home before you go to bed and you can shut up the bar whenever you are done. PLEASE NOTE: you will find that the locals and other guests smoke heavily inside the bar area. There is a big extractor fan over the coal cooking area so it's not too bad, but you must be comfortable with this to enjoy the trip!
Outside there is a covered seating area with fireplace/cooking area and some chairs and a hammock.
Cabins now have free internet for the guests!
Food here is in the traditional style and homemade. Breakfast consists of items like bread, cheese, ham, jams and honey with juice and tea/coffee. You eat this in the accommodation cabin before you head to the stables or out to ski. Tea, milk and sugar are generally provided and they will buy you anything that you need. Lunch is a variety of pies, stews, goulashes and similar, always served with bread and sometimes with salad or vegetables. There are also local dishes like meat wrapped in cabbage leaves. Dinner is usually something grilled like fresh fish, chicken or sausages. The hosts are happy to find out what the guests like to eat and prepare something suitable but please bear in mind that this destination is heavy on bread, meat and potatoes!
Sometimes picnics are taken for lunch (meat and bread of course!). You will find that the meals are freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients - you certainly won't go hungry here! They also make their own cheese and guests can sometimes get involved in crayfishing and mushroom picking during their rides (in warmer months). These goodies are then cooked up for your next meal.
Drinks are not included in the cost and the host is happy for you to pay for these in Euros. As a rough guide, a beer (0.33l) or juice is usually about 1€, a bottle of wine can vary from 2€ - 20€ depending on the quality. If there is something in particular that you prefer to drink then just let us know and Mate or Marko can get some in for you. You help yourself to drinks in the bar area and keep a tally and pay at the end of your trip, it's very casual and easygoing. You can try some local schnapps and other home-brews!
Your hosts also organise skiing, paragliding (for those with experience who have their own equipment), rafting, motorcycling or just the usual cycling. These activities cost extra, unless someone in the group does not want to ride, in which case they can follow on a motorbike. There is also the chance to try shooting some arrows in a "Robin Hood" style competition. These activities are undertaken at your own responsibility!
Languages: English (Mate and Marko speak English to a conversational level), Croatian
Health requirements: None specific
Age limit: 12+ for riders out in the countryside.
Included: Accommodation, food and riding (approx 3 - 5 hours per day).
Not included: Flights, insurance, transfers, extra drinks, extra activities (such as rafting) and souvenirs.
Transfers can be arranged from either Split airport (150km, approx 2hrs), the airport in Sarajevo (140km, approx 2hrs) or from Zadar. The cost of this can be calculated and agreed before departure, depending on the number of people, but it is usually around 70 euros per person for a return ticket from Split or Sarajevo. We would recommend flying into Split, as these flights are more readily available in general.
easyJet often has great deals for flying into Split from the UK, as does Croatia Airlines.
Ryanair now offers exceptionally good value flights from London Stansted to Zadar. Zadar is a little further from the destination and transfers cost more, but it can still save you money because the flights are so cheap!
If you need any advice on flights then please don't hesitate to ask.
Alternative Airport: Sarajevo
This package offers a combination of skiing and horse riding. Kupres is a beautiful destination for riding but is also a well-known ski destination. The ski resort you will visit is about 10km by car from your accommodation and the riding stables.
Day 1: Arrival
Days 2 - 7: Horse riding in the mornings, skiing in the afternoons.
Day 8: Departure.
Riding in winter is limited in accordance with the snow levels but it is usually possible to ride around 1 or 2 hours each day. Skiing is generally for approximately 3 hours each day. There are no specific hours to this programme - if you just want to ride one day and then only ski the next day, that is no problem.
If you are a complete newcomer to skiing then that is not a problem - your hosts can teach you! Mate and his friends are excellent ski instructors and, in fact, they taught Holly from Far and Ride to ski from scratch.
The package includes seven nights of accommodation, all meals, ski tuition (if required), rental of ski equipment, transfers to and from ski resort and horse riding. You just need to pay transfers from and to the airport and then for your ski pass each day, usually around Ä10 - Ä15 euros.
If there is an extreme amount of snow then you can ski more and if there is less snow than usual then you can ride more!
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||5|
|Ability description:||Confident Intermediate and above - riders must be capable of walk, trot and canter in open countryside, controlling a forward-going horse (though steadier options are available). You can be of any level for skiing, including a complete beginner.|
|Type of ride:||Based stay with trail rides.|
|Total riding time:||Dependent on your wishes, usually 6 mornings with 1 or 2 hours per day.|
|Departure dates:||Available from 25th December - early March. Confirmed dates you can join others in 2013: 16 - 23 Feb (2 spaces), 23 Feb - 2 March (4 spaces). Get in touch if you'd like a different date!|
A seven night, six day holiday with riding on the 1200m Kupres Plateau, a beautiful area of Bosnian countryside. This is for intermediate riders and above who are looking for an extremely good value holiday with good horses in a little known part of the world. There is some lovely countryside to be seen and a warm welcome at the farm where you spend nights in a small cabin.
If suitable for the riders, you may sometimes ride up to 40km in a day, passing through small picturesque villages and visiting some landmarks. The countryside is diverse and includes magnificent forests and mountain lakes. Landmarks include Kukavicko jezero (lake), medieval tombstones (stecci) and remnants of an ancient Roman basilica. Nights spent out in the wild can also be arranged.
The programme here is very flexible and you can basically ride as much or as little as you want, usually agreeing with your hosts each evening what you would like to do the next day. You can choose to ride out twice a day, returning for lunch in the middle, or to take part in full day rides with a picnic lunch somewhere. There are also other activities you might like to try your hand at, such as off-roading or paragliding, and these can be incorporated into your day if you like.
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||5|
|Ability description:||Intermediate (comfortable at all paces with experience of the open countryside) - Experienced. Although there are some steadier horses, most of the horses here are forward-going. You do not need to be a technically brilliant rider, just a happy and confident trail rider. If you have less experience then please contact us to see what we can arrange. This destination is not advised for those who are particularly nervous.|
|Type of ride:||Based with trail rides out.|
|Total riding time:||3 - 5 hours per day (approx) for 6 days|
|Departure dates:||Flexible dates all year round. There is snow in the winter so riding is limited (but you can ski instead, please see separate itinerary).|
A seven night summer programme for riding in the beautiful Kupres area of Bosnia. This programme combines super riding opportunities with some tourist visits and relaxation. The riding on this programme is varied from slower riding on the first day with plenty of fast, challenging riding afterwards.
This destination is second to none in terms of hospitality and a warm welcome. For those with a spirit of adventure and a sense of fun, this is the ideal budget holiday where you will make new friends, take part in some adventurous and fast riding and enjoy hearty food and local drinks. They can be very flexible in terms of the schedule.
Day 1: Arrival at Split airport and transfer to the cabin in Kupres (approximately 2.5 hours). Then you will settle in and meet the horses.
Day 2: After breakfast you will prepare for riding and head down to the stables. The first ride is not difficult and you don't go too fast. It lasts for around 3 hours and you ride mostly through the forests. After that you have lunch, rest and then you might like to have a ride in the little round pen or just relax.
Day 3: After breakfast it is time for a fast ride... and in Bosnia fast means fast! During this ride you will canter and gallop a lot. It lasts for about 3 hours and you ride through the open fields where there are no fences. The only barriers are natural ones such as creeks and rivers. Afterwards you will have a hearty lunch and spend the afternoon at your leisure.
Day 4: Breakfast followed by a long ride. Today you will ride over fields, hills and into a forest where you will enjoy a picnic. After lunch you continue riding to a beautiful lake where your hosts will organise dinner for you. If the weather is nice then you can sleep in tents by the lake, a special experience.
Day 5: Breakfast followed by a refreshing dip in the lake. Then you will ride back to the stables in time for lunch and relaxation.
Day 6: Today, after breakfast, you will visit one of the tourist attractions near to Kupres town. This might be rafting on the Cetina river or perhaps visiting the Nature Park of Hutovo Blato (these activities are not included and you should budget in about 30 euros extra for this). Then you head back to the accommodation in time for dinner.
Day 7: Your last ride is a challenging one and you will aim for the top of the Stozer Mountain (1758m). You will ride at all paces and for one part you will need to walk next to your horse. This tour lasts for around five hours, after which is lunch, rest and dinner. This is your final night and you will no doubt make the most of it by sitting in the bar with new friends and some local schnapps!
Day 8: Breakfast and transfer back to Split airport.
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||5|
|Ability description:||Intermediate (comfortable at all paces with experience of the open countryside) - Experienced. Although there are some steadier horses, many of the horses here are spirited and forward-going. You do not need to be a technically brilliant rider, just a happy and confident trail rider who is comfortable riding for long hours. This destination is not advised for those who are particularly nervous!|
|Type of ride:||Based stay.|
|Total riding time:||5 days of riding as per itinerary (sometimes 6 days if you have time to ride on arrival day).|
|Departure dates:||Flexible departures between 1st May - 30th September.|