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Finnhorse Adventures

Overview

Wonderful host Anne offers trail riding through beautiful countryside on Finland's only native horse, the Finnhorse or Finnish Horse. These cold-blooded forest horses are calm and sturdy with numbers sadly in decline - it was Anne's dream to preserve and start breeding Finnhorses, using them for tr…

Highlights

  • Trail riding adventures on rare Finnhorses
  • Riding available all year round
  • Comfortable accommodation set in a 960 hectare estate
  • Ride through stunning & untouched countryside
  • A traditional Finnish sauna to round off each day

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 6 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs.
    more info Heavier riders weighing up to 120kg may be accommodated by advance arrangement if they are experienced.

Description

Wonderful host Anne offers trail riding through beautiful countryside on Finland's only native horse, the Finnhorse or Finnish Horse. These cold-blooded forest horses are calm and sturdy with numbers sadly in decline - it was Anne's dream to preserve and start breeding Finnhorses, using them for trekking. Anne says "they have played a very strong part in my country's history, in wars and in peace, building this country with us to what it is now."

There are forty horses living at the facility, twelve of which are Anne and Jouni's native Finnhorses. They are a breeding herd, with a breeding stallion and the rest are mares. The mares all live together in a spacious paddock with free access to shelter - this is their natural habitat and suits them best of all. The stallion lives next to his mares with the possibility to interact with them over the fence. Anne has ridden all her life and competed in show jumping to a national level. 15 years ago she moved to the UK, riding eventers as a hobby, and it was here that she learnt to appreciate native breeds. On her return to Finland she found a new passion for the Finnhorse and so her dream to preserve them began. Anne's husband, Jouni, also takes part in the rides by lighting the fires, helping to prepare the lunches, and looking after the guests.

It's possible to ride in this area throughout most of the year - in the warmer months, you can also swim in the sea or perhaps take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage (extra cost). In the wintertime, it's often possible to ride in the snow, try romantic sleigh rides, or take a riding lesson in the indoor school or on the riding simulator (extra costs)! There is no better way to explore Finland's famously clean and picturesque nature than on the back of a native horse.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English. Some Western saddles are available on request.

Horses

Finnish Horses (aka Finnhorses).

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • The Finnish Experience is a based ride
  • Mini Break is a based ride
  • Winter Wonderland is a based ride

Ages

12+ years

Health

General good health and fitness recommended.

Weight

100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs. Heavier riders weighing up to 120kg may be accommodated by advance arrangement if they are experienced.

Food & Accommodation

Food

Breakfasts and dinners are eaten at the restaurant, whilst lunches are generally enjoyed whilst out on the trail, cooked over an open fire. Soft drinks, including juice and milk, are included with your meals. Other drinks, such as sodas and alcohol are available to buy locally.

Accommodation

Guests are accommodated in private apartments within the grounds of the 200 year old Harjun Hovi manor estate. The picturesque grounds are home to beautifully landscaped gardens, a modern equestrian facility complete with cross country course and a well-developed hospitality sector. There is a cafe and restaurant for guests to enjoy, as well as a gym, two saunas, a frisbee golf course and ample grounds and hiking trails to explore on foot. During the summer months, the manor is host to several cultural events including concerts and performances in the natural amphitheater created by a rock wall in the forest.

Bedrooms are twin or double, either with en-suite or family rooms with shared bathroom facilities (depending on the group).

Itineraries

The Finnish Experience Standard accommodation.

Mini Break Standard accommodation.

Winter Wonderland Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Driving a horse and cart is possible, as is fishing, renting a rowing boat and mountain biking. In winter time it is possible to try sleigh rides and ice skating.

Travel

The easiest way to travel here is to fly to Helsinki and then either drive or take a bus to the nearby town of Harmina. Your hosts will organise transport for you from Harmina.

There is a new motorway that connects Helsinki and St-Petersburg in Russain, which passes right through Harmina.

Testimonials

Arisa K., Nov. 27, 2019

I had a great time in Finland. Anne is very kind person, and her family is great as well. This trip is my memorable time. I'm sure I never forget this memory. I could experience spending time with gentle horses.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Your first ride today takes you into the 100 hectares of old forests which belong to the riding centre. These are typical, old, Finnish pine forests which are home to a variety of wildlife including elks, deer, foxes and birds of prey. Lunch today will be eaten outdoors, cooked over an open fire at the Vahtivuori, a scenic rock face rest point.

In the evening, guests can enjoy the other activities offered by the centre, such as the riding simulator (additional cost).

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today's ride follows village and forest trails to the Salpa defence line and the old WWII bunkers. Lunches are eaten outdoors again today, this time at the Bunker Museum in Virojoko village. For those with an interest in history, there is the chance of a short guided tour in the museum.

Day 4

Riding: 2 - 4 hours

You will continue to explore the vast forests surrounding the riding centre, stopping for lunch on the open fire. When returning to the centre there is the chance to try out a few of the cross country jumps if you'd like to (fences start around 60cm). Today is quite a flexible day depending on the group's wishes. In the evening you will relax in the traditional Finnish sauna and can go swimming in a nearby lake.

Day 5

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Your trail today will follow scenic paths past some lakes and on to the seaside of the Gulf of Finland. The horses can be taken to cool down in the sea before you enjoy your lunches in a log cabin at the beach. This is a narrow stretch of sand which allows the horses to enter the water safely and to wade, but the beach itself isn't long enough for riding on. It is however a great chance to see the sea and to enjoy a different view.

Day 6

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

This last day includes a morning ride through the forest to the local bird watching tower, a chance to view the beautiful landscape from a different perspective. Lunch today is served in the restaurant at Harju before you depart for home.

NB. Since this programme runs through the winter months, the weather can prohibit trail riding. In such cases you are able to ride in the indoor arenas and participate in other horseback activities.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in two charming, country style houses at Harju Horse Centre. They comprise double bedrooms, a living room (with TV), shared bathroom/shower facilities, separate toilets and a modern kitchen with tea/coffee making facilities (and cooking facilities).

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Confident novices to experienced riders: riders should already have experience of riding at walk, trot and canter to participate in this programme

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Flexible, arriving Sunday)

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1170 $1630 €1375
Included 5 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals with soft drinks , 5 days riding and Hamina transfers.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, premium soda and alcoholic drinks, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £136 $190 €160
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement has to be paid if travelling alone
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Your first ride today takes you into the 100 hectares of old forests which belong to the riding centre. These are typical, old, Finnish pine forests which are home to a variety of wildlife including elks, deer, foxes and birds of prey. Lunch today will be eaten outdoors, cooked over an open fire at the Vahtivuori, a scenic rock face rest point.

In the evening, guests can enjoy the other activities offered by the centre, such as the riding simulator (additional cost).

Day 3

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today's ride follows village and forest trails to the Salpa defence line and the old WWII bunkers. Lunches are eaten outdoors again today, this time at the Bunker Museum in Virojoko village. For those with an interest in history, there is the chance of a short guided tour in the museum.

Day 4

Riding: 2 - 4 hours

You will continue to explore the vast forests surrounding the riding centre. Lunch will either by eaten on the trail, cooked on an open fire, or in the centre's restaurant.

Day 5

Riding: No riding.

Departure after breakfast.

NB. Since this programme runs through the winter months, the weather can prohibit trail riding. In such cases you are able to ride in the indoor arenas and participate in other horseback activities.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in two charming, country style houses at Harju Horse Centre. They comprise double bedrooms, a living room (with TV), shared bathroom/shower facilities, separate toilets and a modern kitchen with tea/coffee making facilities (and cooking facilities).

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Novice to experienced: Finnhorses are calm by nature and Anne has some very easy horses in her herd, suitable for novice riders. We recommend that you come with some experience to make the most of it but the trip can be adapted to suit your needs. Generally the rides include walk, trot and canter.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Available all year with Sunday evening arrivals (accommodation is used for weddings over the weekends in summer months))

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£635 $885 €750
Included 4 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals with soft drinks , 3 days riding and Hamina transfers.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, premium soda and alcoholic drinks, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £77 $107 €90
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 - Vahtivuori Trail and Sleigh Ride

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Your first ride today takes you into the 100 hectares of silent, old, wintry forests which belong to the riding centre. These are typical Finnish pine forests and home to a variety of wildlife including elks, deer, foxes and birds of prey. You can hope to see some wildlife tracks on the snowy paths as you ride your trail.

Lunch today will be eaten outdoors, cooked over an open fire at Vahtivuori, a scenic rock face rest point.

In the evening your hosts will take you on a romantic open sleigh ride under the Northern starry skies.

Day 3 - Snowy Forest Trail and Lesson

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Ready for a canter in the snow? Today you will head into the snow-clad forests in search of the perfect powder for a memorable blast! Lunch today will be served outside again or, if it's very cold, in the warmth of the restaurant.

In the evening you can choose to have either a riding lesson in the indoor arena or to try out the riding simulator.

Day 4 - Morning Ride and Departure

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Your last day includes a morning ride through the forest to the local bird-watching tower, a chance to view the beautiful wintry landscape from a different perspective. Lunch today is served in the restaurant at Harju before you depart for home.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in two charming, country style houses at Harju Horse Centre. They comprise double bedrooms, a living room (with TV), shared bathroom/shower facilities, separate toilets and a modern kitchen with tea/coffee making facilities (and cooking facilities).

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

Beginner to experienced: Finnhorses are calm by nature and Anne has some very easy horses in her herd, suitable for novice riders. We recommend that you come with some experience to make the most of it but the trip can be adapted to suit your needs. Generally the rides include walk, trot and canter.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Nov. 30, 2021 - March 31, 2022  (Best chance of snow is second half of Dec, Jan, Feb or March.)

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£635 $885 €750
Included 3 nights accommodation, meals (with juice and milk), transfers to and from Hamina, 3 days of riding.
Not included Flights, drinks, insurance, tips and personal expenses.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.