Finnhorse Adventures riding holiday in Finland - Far and Ride
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Finnhorse Adventures, Finland




Programmes


• Mini Break

• The Finnish Experience

• Winter Wonderland

 

Reviews



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.

Arisa K.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Finnish Horses (aka Finnhorses).

Nature of horses:

Hardy, sensible and calm.

Height of horses:

Approx 15hh on average.

Weight limit:

Potentially up 120kg / 18st 12lbs - please let us know in advance if you are over 100kg.

Tack type:

English. Some Western saddles are available on request.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

This destination 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 the dream of their owner, Anne, to start breeding Finnhorses and use 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."

Anne and her Finnhorses are based at Harjun Oppimiskeskus, also known as Harju Horse Centre. This one of the leading government-run horse research and education centres in Finland and is home to a range of fantastic equestrian facilities including spacious indoor and outdoor arenas, great forest areas for trail riding and a cross country course. Whilst the programmes are focussed on exploring the countryside on horseback, guests are able to add on riding lessons, jumping or even trying out the riding simulator. Accommodation and meals are taken on site and other activities are available on the property and in the surrounding areas.

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 noticed appreciation for native breeds. On her return to Finland she found a new love for the Finnhorse and so her dream began. Anne's husband, Jouni, also takes part in the rides by lighting the fires at lunchtimes, helping to prepare the lunches and looking after the guests.

See Programmes.

 

Food & 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).

The grounds of Harju are very scenic with gardens and a pond area. There is a café (open in the summer) and a horse-drawn vehicle museum on site. Guests have use of the gym and sauna free of charge everyday and can enjoy a guided tour of the new paddock paradise system.

Breakfasts and dinners are served in Restaurant Aura on site - they offer delicious Finnish cuisine with a focus on seasonal, fresh and local produce.

Lunches are mostly eaten outdoors during your riding day, either cooked over an open fire or in the form of a picnic. Occasionally you may eat lunch back at the restaurant, depending on your schedule that day.

 

Activities

There are many options available here as Harju has great facilities and is well-located. On site you can visit the horse-drawn vehicle museum or use the gym or sauna. For an additional fee you can have a go on the riding simulator or take riding lessons, rent a rowing boat or descend their rock-climbing wall. The Salpa Line hiking trail also runs through the estate.

Off-site but nearby there is a golf course, a shopping centre and the charming town of Hamina.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Finnish.

Health requirements: General good health and fitness recommended.

Age limit: 12+

Tuition: No.

Included: Transfers from and to Hamina, accommodation, meals (with juice and milk) and riding.

Not included: Flights, insurance, soda/alcohol, tips.

 

Travel Information

The easiest way to travel here is to fly to Helsinki and then take a bus to Hamina - there is a new motorway connecting Helsinki to St. Petersburg and the drive is generally around 1.5 - 2 hours. Your hosts can collect you from Hamina and take you to Harju for your stay.

Airport: Helsinki

 

Programmes


Mini Break



This is a four night programme with three days riding in the forests on Finland's native horses. This is a shortened version of 'The Finnish Experience' ride. 

Day 1 - Sunday:

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 - Monday:

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). 

Approximate riding time today: 3 - 4 hours. 

Day 3 - Tuesday:

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.

Approximate riding time today: 4 - 5 hours. 

Day 4 - Wednesday:

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. Departure after riding. 

Approximate riding time today: 2 - 4 hours, depending on your wishes. 

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. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: 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.
Type of ride: Based stay with daily trails.
Total riding time: 3 days.
Departure dates: 2021: Available all year with Sunday evening arrivals (can be Monday evening on request, please enquire). If you want to stay over the actual weekend, this is only possible from 1st October 2020 to 30th April 2021 (the accommodation is used for weekend weddings in the summer time).
 
Pricing: 2020-2021:

675 per person.

Price includes Hamina transfers, 4 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals with soft drinks and riding.

Single supplement (if travelling alone or for those who just prefer their own room): 81

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.



The Finnish Experience



This five night programme includes five days riding on trusty Finnhorses. You will explore beautiful forests, quiet villages and sites of historic interest, as well as reaching the seaside. 

Day 1 - Sunday:

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 - Monday:

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). 

Approximate riding time today: 3 - 4 hours. 

Day 3 - Tuesday:

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.

Approximate riding time today: 4 - 5 hours. 

Day 4 - Wednesday:

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. 

Approximate riding time today: 2 - 4 hours, depending on your wishes. 

Day 5 - Thursday:

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. 

Approximate riding time today: 3 - 4 hours. 

Day 6 - Friday:

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.

Approximate riding time today: 2 - 3 hours. 

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. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Confident novices to experienced riders: riders should already have experience of riding at walk, trot and canter to participate in this programme.
Type of ride: Based stay with daily riding.
Total riding time: Riding on 5 days, varied hours.
Departure dates: Available all year.
 
Pricing: 2020-2021:

1237 per person.

Price includes Hamina transfers, 5 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals (with juice and milk) and riding.

Single supplement (has to be paid if travelling alone): 144

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.



Winter Wonderland



This is a wintry adventure with trusty Finnish Horses and hopefully some snow! Activities are dictated by the weather and whilst late December, January, February and March are usually cold and snowy, nothing can be guaranteed so please go with an open mind and ready to enjoy some fun riding, whatever the weather. If conditions become unsuitable for outdoor riding then your hosts will organise activities using the two indoor arenas and the riding simulator to keep you busy.

Day 1 - Arrival:

Transfer from Hamina in time for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 - Vahtivuori Trail and Sleigh Ride:

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. 

Approximate riding time: 3 - 4 hours. 

Day 3 - Snowy Forest Trail and Lesson:

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.

Approximate riding time: 2 - 3 hours. 

Day 4 - Morning Ride and Departure:

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. 

Approximate riding time: 2 - 3 hours. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: 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.
Type of ride: Based stay with daily trails.
Total riding time: 3 days.
Departure dates: 2020 - 2021: Available throughout winter - please contact us for availability. Best changes of snow are in the second half of December, January, February and March.
 
Pricing: 2020-2021:

675 per person.

Price includes Hamina transfers, 3 nights of twin/double room accommodation, all meals with soft drinks (juice and milk) and riding activities.

Please contact us for single supplement - this 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.