Luxury Dressage (La Donaira) riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Luxury Dressage (La Donaira), Spain




Programme


• Intensive Dressage

 

Reviews



A completely luxurious stay in the heart of rural Spain - you will arrive here as a guest and depart as a friend. The facilities are just fabulous and the whole place is almost engineered to help you feel relaxed and completely at one with the natural world. If you are a lover of fine horses, fine food, fine wine and fine hosts, then this is absolutely the place for you!

Natalie (Far and Ride), Feb 2017
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Lusitano

Nature of horses:

Highly schooled, willing, versatile and intelligent.

Height of horses:

15-16hh

Weight limit:

100kg

Tack type:

English (stock saddles with a high pommel are available for novice riders)

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This beautiful farm, hidden in a conservation area about 25kms from the small town of Ronda, offers the combination of spectacular dressage lessons on their home-bred horses with extremely high levels of accommodation. The farm is 100% organic and features a spa and spring water pool as well as offering high standards of dressage.

Their horses are almost exclusively Lusitano and many have been bred and raised on the farm. There are four stallions and three geldings which are highly schooled in dressage, plus an AngloLuso cross who is also available for dressage lessons. They have an additional seven horses which are available for trail rides across the 250 hectares of farmland. Together with the breeding stock of mares and youngsters there are some 60+ horses on the farm.

Dressage lessons are conducted in English with one of the two riders/trainers and there are up to two riders in each lesson. There is both an outdoor arena (35m x 65m) and an indoor arena (20m x 40m), together with a lunging area and round-pen. One of the trainers is also an expert in natural horsemanship and he is responsible for handling all the young horses and will gladly share his methods and knowledge with you - introducing you to horse psychology, join-up and lunging at liberty (without reins).

You can choose to concentrate entirely on dressage or to include some hacks through the farm as well - the decision is yours and you do not need to decide before you travel.

This luxurious eco resort is a haven for lovers of the countryside and their philosophy is that "All the world's problems can be solved in a garden". Relax and unwind in this haven of tranquility interspersed with glorious Lusitano horses.

Natalie from the Far and ride office has been to visit this destination and would be happy to tell you more about it.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

The Cortijo (renovated farmhouse) is located within 250 hectares of pasture and woodland. Nestled in the heart of the valley in which the farm is contained, the property afford wonderful views across the ever-changing surrounding landscape. Within the property, there are eight beautifully appointed suites, as well as a large living space and a quaint country kitchen and dinning room. Above the cortijo can be found a beautiful outdoor natural pool, which is fed by mountain spring water, a sun deck with loungers and umbrellas, as well as a fully equipped spa.

Riding guests will be accommodated in one of the Cortijo rooms, but there is also the option to stay in one of a number of luxurious yurts as well. The yurts are 8m in diameter with an interior area of 50 sq metres - plenty of space for two guests while still maintaining intimacy. All the rooms and yurts have been tastefully furnished and decorated by your host, with the emphasis placed on encouraging a calm atmosphere and allowing guests to feel part of the landscape.

The natural spring pool is fed solely with water from the mountains above the property and the filtration process through sand and vegetation keeps the water fresh and clean without the use of chemicals.

The spa contains an 18m indoor infinity pool, a Turkish bath, a sauna and a plethora of massage, wellness and beauty treatments which can be booked by guests as well. Use of the spa facilities is included in the price of your stay and only treatments are at an additional cost.

If the Cortijo/yurts are full then your hosts also own a small hotel in the village, which has been beautifully designed. If you are staying in the hotel then they will collect you each morning and transfer you back each evening.

Most of the food you will enjoy here has been grown and produced within the confines of the farm. There is a small herd of rare Pajuna cattle, some dairy cows, a flock of 300 sheep, many chickens and mixed poultry, as well as 2 hectares of vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. There are also 3 hectares of vineyards, olive trees and beehives. The farm produces a lot of it's own organic wine, olive oil and honey for use in the kitchen and at meal times.

Breakfast is typically served between 8.30 and 10 am.
Lunch is between 2 and 4pm.
Dinner will be served from 8pm.
Coffee, tea and other drinks are available outside of these times - just ask!

Breakfast will generally consist of a few buffet of freshly made bread, freshly squeezed juice and organic homemade yoghurt together with tea and coffee. Other hot dishes such as eggs, porridge, meats and seasonal vegetables are available for guests to choose and cooked to order. Lunch is usually a buffet of vegetables and salads, accompanied by some light cooked dishes from the kitchen. Dinner is generally a three course affair with plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables, locally sourced meat or responsibly sourced fish from the markets in Cadiz. Vegetarian and speciality diets are well catered for.

There are also regular special dining experiences organised, such as traditional Tapas evenings, which everyone is encouraged to become involved in.

For those on the riding programme, you will find a well stocked kitchen in the break room at the stables. You can help yourselves to snacks and drinks here and spend all day watching the trainers schooling their horses if you'd like!

 

Activities

Alongside the obvious delights of horse riding, there are a number of activities on offer - some on-site, but others within a short transfer distance (payable locally).

There is a popular walking trail which runs right through the farm, to the local village of el Gastor. Guests are also encouraged to spend time walking around the property, to discover the medicinal herb garden, vineyards, olive groves and forests here.

The spa offers a number of treatments as well as the pool and saunas. Yoga sessions are also available for a minimum of 6 guests.

Wine making and tastings, as well as olive oil tastings can be arranged using the farms own produce.

Off site, it is possible to arrange mountain biking, paragliding and hot air ballooning all within a few miles of the cortijo. A little further you can also explore the delights of Ronda, Sevilla and the coastline near Marbella.

 

Further Details

Languages: Riding tuition avaialble in English or Spanish. English, Spanish and German are also widely spoken by your hosts at the farmhouse.

Health requirements: General good health for riding.

Age limit: No specific age limit, but there are no ponies for children.

Tuition: Yes

Included: Accommodation, meals, riding as per programme, use of spa facilities

Not included: Flights, insurance, spa treatments, drinks

 

Travel Information

The farm is situated c. 1 hour from Seville airport and c. 1 hour 20 mins from Malaga airport. There are more flight options from the UK into Malaga airport, with many of the low-cost airlines flying into Malaga, however, Seville has some good options too.

If you wish to explore the area or have non-riders in your group, then you may prefer to hire a car and drive yourself to the farm - we can provide driving directions. Alternative, transfers can be arranged at a cost of c. 180 euro each way (per car, payable locally).

Airport: Malaga

Alternative Airport: Seville

 

Programme


Intensive Dressage



Immerse yourself in dressage on this luxurious eco-resort in southern Spain. Relax in the spa between lessons, or swap a lesson for a trail ride in the beautiful countryside instead. Lusitano horses graze the hillside and the instructors teach formal dressage and some natural horsemanship as well.

Dressage lessons are available each morning and each afternoon, with a maximum of two riders in each lesson. The horses are at different levels of training, up to Grand Prix and each have their specialist skills to suit all abilities. Lessons include instruction in the use of the seat as well as movements such as shoulder-in, leg yielding and half pass. The more advanced horses can perform flying changes, piaffe and passage whereas some of the younger horses will need more guidance from their riders.

You can choose to stay for 6 nights or 3 nights. On a six night programme you have ten riding sessions to use - you can choose to have ten dressage lessons (c. 60 mins duration) or to swap some lessons for trail rides through the countryside (c. 90 mins duration). There is no riding on the arrival/departure days.

In between lessons you can relax by the natural spring pool or use the spa facilities, although beauty treatments are at extra cost.

The day is flexible and the programme of lessons will be arranged with you whilst you are there.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: All abilities can be accommodated
Type of ride: Tuition
Total riding time: 7 days / 6 nights / 5 days riding (2 lessons per day)
Departure dates: 2017: Dates to suit. Open all year round.
 
Pricing: 2017:

6 nights: £1748 per person sharing (Includes 10 sessions)
3 nights: £878 per person sharing (Includes 5 sessions)

Single supplement: £80 per night

You can choose from either a 60 minute dressage lesson or 90 minute hack.
Spa facilities are included (pool, sauna, Turkish bath) but treatments are an additional cost - payable locally.
Drinks are not included, except for water.