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Tarn Western Ranch

Overview

The ranch is situated about a 20-minute drive from Castres in the department Tarn located in natural surroundings with deciduous and coniferous forests and jagged rock formations. There are countless granite rocks which appear to be scattered randomly over the area. There are many natural lakes and…

Highlights

  • Western riding in amazing diverse unspoilt countryside
  • Well schooled sensible horses
  • Home cooked meals, barbecues & campfires
  • Friendly, family run ranch
  • Great area for walking and spotting wildlife

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Description

The ranch is situated about a 20-minute drive from Castres in the department Tarn located in natural surroundings with deciduous and coniferous forests and jagged rock formations. There are countless granite rocks which appear to be scattered randomly over the area. There are many natural lakes and flowing streams, although sadly visitors to this area are not allowed to swim in these waters. This nature reserve is approximately 102 square kilometres in size and is known for its special rock formations.

The ranch itself is situated on 20 hectares of land where horses are able to graze happily in a natural environment.
The horses live in freedom and they are happy and fortunate to be able to live in this natural way, They have lots of space and live outside, except when the weather is too bad when they all have their own stable. They have a breeding programme here and older horses enjoy a wonderful retirement. Here there are other animals including dogs and many cats and also chickens. Some cats live around the main house and some at the stables.

Jan Henk Oosting started these riding trail adventures many years ago before relocating his ride base to the Tarn. Jacqueline, his daughter, shares her father's passion for horses and has been working with him since 2006. She is the trail guide, takes care of the horses and treats guests to her delicious home cooking. Since the beginning of 2016 she has fully taken over the company from her father but he is still present and helps Jacqueline to create a wonderful horseback experience.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The tack is mainly Western and the horses are ridden in the Western style. However, there are some English saddles available if guests would prefer.

Horses

The horses are a mixture of both local and typical western breeds, such as paints. They have a variety of characters and temperaments to suit different riders and great care is taken when matching partnerships for the week. Many of the horses are homebred and have lived their whole lives with the Oosting family.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Ranch Adventures is a based ride

Ages

Riders aged 16+ are welcome.

Health

Guests should have a fair level of fitness and good health for their stay, be capable of being in the saddle for several hours at a time and be happy to walk short distances on foot when needed.

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

There is a lovely little home-style restaurant on-site at the ranch where you will be able to enjoy your meals during your visit, mostly cooked by Jacqueline. Dishes are freshly prepared each day using delicious and seasonal local ingredients. You can be sure to sample plenty of typical regional specialities.

Some specific dietary requirements can be met, but please check with us if you need anything catered for as some ingredients will be difficult to get hold of.

Accommodation

The guest accommodation comprises four spacious double rooms. The rooms are simple but each room has its own shower room and toilet, a sitting area and air conditioning. Single rooms are not generally available and you will share a room with another guest of the same sex. If the week is not fully booked it is possible to have a room of your own and there will be an extra cost to pay for cleaning.

The restaurant/bar, stable block, and swimming pool with lounge deck are all within walking distance.

Itineraries

Ranch Adventures Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Although no specific non-riding activities are provided, the area is lovely for walking as well as sightseeing. Non-riders are welcome to accompany friends and family to this destination and will be able to relax by the pool during the day. We would recommend hiring a car if travelling with non-riders, or if you wish to explore the local area when you are not riding.

Travel

The ranch is located about a 20-minute drive from the city of Castres which has a busy train station. A transfer is available from the train station to the ranch and transfer times are arranged to co-ordinate with the arrival of guests. There is only one transfer a day and if you arrive at the station no later than 17.00 there will be time to relax before dinner.

There are many flights to Toulouse and there is a bus from the airport to Toulouse train station and you can take the train to Castres from there to get the transfer. From Castres, it is about a 20-minute drive to the ranch.

Of course, it is also possible to book a rental car at Toulouse airport and drive to the ranch (about 1.5hrs drive from Toulouse). This is a great option if you wish to look around this beautiful area when you are not in the saddle.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Friday

Riding: No riding.

You are welcome to arrive at the ranch from 16:00 hrs. If you are taking the transfer from Castres, if you arrive before 17.00 you will be free to explore the ranch, meet your fellow guests and settle into your room.

In the evening a delicious 3-course home cooked meal will be served in the restaurant.

Day 2 - Saturday

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

After breakfast, you will get detailed tuition about the basics of riding with a western saddle and how to handle their horses.

Your hosts will demonstrate how to tack your horse with a western saddle and there will be plenty of opportunities to share your experience and ask any questions. You will be able to discuss your preferences for horses and make sure you are happy with your mount for the week - and your partner will remain yours for the next few days.

After lunch, you will be able to enjoy your first ride out in the countryside.

Day 3 - Sunday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today, after a leisurely breakfast, you will enjoy a full day's ride (4-5 hours) across the plains and through the woods. You will stop for a tasty picnic lunch in a beautiful spot offering fantastic views.

On your return to the ranch, you will help to settle the horses and relax before another delicious home-cooked dinner.

Day 4 - Monday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you will ride again for the whole day (4-5 hours) stopping for a tasty picnic lunch in another beautiful spot! The route will take you along a different trail with the chance to explore a new landscape.

Again, on return to the ranch, you will have time to relax before being treated to another lovely home-cooked dinner.

Day 5 - Tuesday

Riding: No riding.

Today is a rest day for both you and your horse. After breakfast you can either relax at the ranch by the pool or go for a walk in this beautiful area - you can spend the day as you please. Guests who have their own cars can go sightseeing and visit several interesting locations in the area.

You might like to visit the town of Castres which is about a 20-minute drive from the ranch. The town of Albi is about a one-hour drive from the ranch and the beautiful cathedral Sainte-Cécile of Castelnau-de-Montmiral which is 32km west of Albi.

Guests without their own transportation can be taken to Castres and pickup again later om the day (included with the transfer costs).

Day 6 - Wednesday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After breakfast, you will bring your horse in from the field and groom and saddle your companion ready for today's ride. Another stunning trail route through the countryside to discover a new part of the local area. Of course, you'll be looking forward to your usual tasty picnic lunch stop today.

Dinner back at the ranch in the evening.

Day 7 - Thursday

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After breakfast today, you will prepare your horse for another full day of riding. As this will be your last day of riding, you will enjoy an evening BBQ and celebration back at the ranch - a chance to share your many adventures and experiences with your new friends!

Day 8 - Friday

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast today it is, unfortunately, time to say 'goodbye' and make your way back to the airport and home.

Your hosts hope that you will have had a unique and enjoyable experience!

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders should be at least intermediate level; confident riding at all paces in open countryside. You will also be expected to help groom and prepare your horses for riding each day, including bringing them in from the field when needed. Help can be provided with these tasks, but you should ideally have some prior experience.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: May 19, 2023 - Sept. 29, 2023  (Friday arrivals and departures)

Pricing

2023
Rider; sharing
£930 $1125 €1050
* Single rooms are not possible unless there is an odd number of guests and no one to share with.
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared twin/double rooms, all meals during your stay and daily riding.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, drinks, towels, other activities, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Train station transfer €50
Paid locally
Return transfers from Castres train station also include transfer into Castres town on your free day.
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.