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Doñana Dressage & Trails

Overview

The Doñana national park is a paradise for horses and horse lovers. As one of the most important wetlands of continental Europe, the region is well conserved and steeped in rich cultural heritage. Situated between the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, Doñana is now a labyrinth of tracks and w…

Highlights

  • Patient & kind very experienced dressage instructor
  • Highly trained Spanish horses
  • Top class Spanish style accommodation
  • Riding though forest in Donana Park to the beach
  • Riding in fabulous town of El Rocio like no other

Essential Facts

  • 4 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group (10 in camp)
  • Average of 2 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs

Description

The Doñana national park is a paradise for horses and horse lovers. As one of the most important wetlands of continental Europe, the region is well conserved and steeped in rich cultural heritage. Situated between the provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz, Doñana is now a labyrinth of tracks and waterways which have shaped marshes, ponds and streams, interspersed with native pine forests, sand dunes, beaches and spectacular cliffs too. This range of habitats offers a diverse home for many rare and endangered species of bird life. All this ends in miles of beautiful and pristine white sand beaches stretching between Matalascanas and the mouth of the Guadalquivir river.

However, above all this is a place where the horse is still king! Within the park boundary there are still over a thousand wild horses living free - the native Marismeña breed; the ancient ancestor of the horses first taken to the new world by Spanish conquistadors, as well as being one of the founding breeds of the modern Andalucian horse.

In this glorious setting Jose Manuel has realised his dreams and is now offering some wonderful programmes at his new equestrian centre which is located on the outskirts of El Rocio. This is a town like no other and perfectly suited to horse riders and not cars! The town is close to the coast and only an hour from Seville. The roads here are sand and you will see horses and riders making the most of the sandy open roads. Everywhere here has been made easy for the horse riders including bars with tables to put your glass when you are sitting on your horse enjoying your drink. There are horses everywhere!

José Manuel studied early with a dressage master. He also studied for a degree in Environmental Science which proved invaluable when he worked as a guide in the park showing visitors around this fantastic place with its diverse terrain and amazing flora and fauna. However his passion for horses and dressage took over, so he returned to training horses and riders. He instructed for many years at Donaira in Spain but his heart remained at Doñana so he returned home. Now he and his wife Maria have their own family business with their own dressage centre. Here you can ride on well-trained Spanish horses, PRE (Pura raza Espanola), PRE crossings and Lusitanos. There are both geldings and stallions and there are 14 available for lessons. You will have the chance to practice movements such as shoulder in, half pass, change of leg, pirouettes, piaffe and passage. There are suitable horses for both the very experienced rider as well as riders with less experience.

Horses & Riding

Tack

For dressage lessons, the horses are ridden in English Dressage saddles and snaffle bridles, although double bridles are available for more advanced lessons. For the trail, the horses are ridden in traditional Spanish Doma saddles, which are comfortable for long hours and again have either simple snaffle bridles or traditional Doma bridles with curb bits.

Horses

Spanish horses, PRE, Lusitanos and PRE Cross. You will also find mules used as carriage horses.

Riding

There are 4 itineraries:

  • Doñana Trail is a based ride
  • Dressage Week is a based ride
  • Mixed Programme is a based ride
  • Weekend Programme is a based ride

Ages

18 years (but 10 years if accompanied by an adult)

Health

General good health recommended.

Weight

100kg / 220 lbs / 15st 10lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

A master chef prepares the meals off-site using local quality ingredients. The meals are finished and served by Maria. You are also offered excellent wine to accompany your lunch and dinner. You will enjoy José Manuel's dad's home grown tomatoes, freshly squeezed orange juice and eggs from the farm's chickens.

Breakfast will consist of coffee, tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, eggs and yoghurt. Lunch at home is always a three course meal and dinner will be lighter. On the trails lunches may be a picnic en route.

Accommodation

The accommodation here is new and built in typical Spanish style. The entrance leads you into a very spacious room which is open plan. It is furnished with very comfortable sofas with a dining area and every facility you need for a relaxing stay. There are four double bedrooms upstairs that each have a fabulous well thought out bathroom. From the second floor you can look down on the beautiful room below. There is wifi.

Itineraries

Doñana Trail Standard accommodation.

Dressage Week Standard accommodation.

Mixed Programme Standard accommodation.

Weekend Programme Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

It is recommended you hire a rental car in order to enjoy the area. Seville is one hour away and it is then possible to visit Doñana park, beaches and vineyards' There is a deserted 30km beach just fifteen minutes by car. The village of El Monte is also worth a visit.

Travel

The closest airport to the riding stables is Seville, which is 90 km away. We can organise private or group transfers from the airport at an extra cost (please see individual itineraries for costs).

However, it is possible to fly to Faro (170 km) or Malaga (300 km). Faro is about a two-hour drive and Malaga is about a 3-hour drive away. Guests arriving at either of these airports may prefer to hire a car and self-drive to the stables or we can provide private transfers from here at an extra cost (please ask for a quote).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

You will arrive in time to enjoy a delicious dinner and learn something about Donana.

Days 2 to 7

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

You will ride for about 6 hours every day and return to your comfortable accommodation every night to relax. Your horse will be taken care of at the end of the day's trail and you will return to your mount after breakfast to continue the trail.

Each day will be different but you start and finish at the finca. Breakfast will be at 8 and you will start the day's trail between 9.30-10.00. You will ride until its time for your picnic at around 2.00 pm. Perhaps you may take a nap before you get back in the saddle for another two hours trail ride.  You will leave your horse at the end of the ride and you will be taken back to the finca for relaxation and a delicious dinner at around 9.00 pm

Some of the special trail dates include the Saca de las Yeguas in June - a shorter 5 ngihts itinerary where you will have the opportunity to witness the famous horse round up which happens in this region os Spain every year. The mares are bought into the centre of El Rocio town to be checked over and blessed at the main church. It is a long standing tradition in this region and an amazing sight to behold.

Christmas and New Year trail dates have also been planned for the end of the year, where guests will be treated to a wonderful party together with your hosts and a fitting celebratory meal as well. *supplementary costs payable.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in twin/double rooms, with private bathrooms, at the beautiful home villa.

Experience Experienced

All riders should be experienced, comfortable at walk, trot and canter on a forward going horse.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Accommodation for up to 10.
Departure windows

June 23, 2021 - June 28, 2021  ("Sacas de las yeguas" Week. Traditional round up of wild horses)

Oct. 3, 2021 - Oct. 10, 2021

Oct. 17, 2021 - Oct. 24, 2021

Nov. 7, 2021 - Nov. 14, 2021

Dec. 19, 2021 - Dec. 25, 2021  (Christmas Trail (*supplementary cost))

Dec. 27, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022  (New Year Trail (*supplementary cost))

Pricing

2021/2022
Per person, 6-8 persons in the group, sharing rooms
£1430 $1980 €1700
2021/2022
Per person, 8-10 persons in the group, sharing rooms
£1180 $1630 €1400
2021/2022
Per person, 4-6 persons in the group, sharing rooms
£1685 $2330 €2000
Included 6 nights accommodation in twin/double rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals and 5 days of riding as per the itinerary.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, drinks at bars outside of meal times, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £160 $220 €190
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (1-4 pax)
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £200 $275 €240
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (4-8 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 25.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room. For those willing to share, there is no extra charge provided a room sharer is found. There is one single room available at no extra cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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.

Days 1 to 7

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

In this programme you will enjoy ten lessons a week. It is possible to exchange a lesson for a hack (see dressage/trail combo).

The horses here are both geldings and stallions. There are some younger horses as well as older experienced well trained horses. You will get the opportunity to practice movements such as shoulder in, half pass, change of leg, pirouettes as well as piaffe and passage. Most of the horses are around 16 hh and most are ridden with a snaffle.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in twin/double rooms, with private bathrooms, at the beautiful home villa.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Suitable for all riders, from novice to experienced. Those with prior dressage riding experience will gain the most from this programme.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 3, 2021 - Jan. 1, 2023  (Dates to suit, subject to availability, with arrival strictly on Sunday - departing Saturday.)

Pricing

2021/2022
Non-rider, sharing
£1095 $1515 €1300
2021/2022
Rider, Sharing
£1095 $1515 €1300
* Single rooms sometimes available (supplement payable).
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals and 10 dressage lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, drinks not with meals, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Extra Night £210 $290 €250
Paid to Far and Ride
Extra night and departure on Sunday; based on shared twin/double room accommodation.
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £160 $220 €190
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (1-4 pax)
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £200 $275 €240
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (4-8 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 25.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room. For those willing to share, there is no extra charge provided a room sharer is found. There is one single room available at no extra cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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.

Days 1 to 7

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

On this programme you will enjoy both the discipline of dressage with a top class instructor  José and some trail rides in this fabulous area.

The horses here are both geldings and stallions. There are some younger horses as well as older experienced well trained horses. You will get the opportunity to practice movements such as shoulder in, half pass, change of leg, pirouettes as well as piaffe and passage. Most of the horses are around 16 hh and most are ridden with a snaffle.

So you will have one lesson a day and then you will enjoy a trail ride - a perfect combination.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in twin/double rooms, with private bathrooms, at the beautiful home villa.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Suitable for all riders, from novice to experienced. Those with prior dressage riding experience will gain the most from the lessons.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 3, 2021 - Jan. 1, 2023  (Dates to suit, subject to availability, with arrival strictly on Sunday - departing Saturday.)

Pricing

2021/2022
Non-rider, sharing
£1095 $1515 €1300
2021/2022
Sharing
£1095 $1515 €1300
* Single rooms sometimes available (supplement payable).
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals, 5 dressage lessons and 5 trail rides.
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, drinks not with meals, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Extra Night £210 $290 €250
Paid to Far and Ride
Extra night and departure on Sunday; based on shared twin/double room accommodation.
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £160 $220 €190
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (1-4 pax)
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £200 $275 €240
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (4-8 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 25.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room. For those willing to share, there is no extra charge provided a room sharer is found. There is one single room available at no extra cost on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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.

Days 1 to 4

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

José Manuel practices dressage following classical training techniques which he considers to be the best for his horses. Following many years of studying their anatomy and way of going, he has become completely opposed to the modern so-called practice of rollkür, where the horses are asked to work in an over-bent and unnatural way. He is very committed to his training and incredibly understanding when instructing - you will easily be able to talk to him and ask questions if you do not understand. He also speaks excellent English.

In this programme you will get two lessons per day. A total of five  lessons in one weekend. You can always exchange a lessons for a hack out if preferred. All the horses are used to trail riding in this wonderful countryside.

You will ride your first lesson Thursday afternoon, and after that you ride two lessons per day Friday and Saturday. Departure is on Sunday morning. If you arrive too late for a first lesson on Thursday you can ride your last lesson on Sunday morning instead.

There are suitable horses for both the very experienced rider and for more novice riders too.

The lessons are held with a maximum of 2 riders per lesson.

Accommodation

Each night will be spent in twin/double rooms, with private bathrooms, at the beautiful home villa.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Suitable for all riders, from novice to experienced. Those with prior dressage riding experience will gain the most from the lessons.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 7, 2021 - Jan. 8, 2023  (Dates available to suit with arrivals strictly on Thursdays - departing Sunday.)

Pricing

2021/2022
Non-rider, sharing
£545 $755 €650
2021/2022
Sharing
£545 $755 €650
Included 3 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, drinks with meals & 5 dressage lessons.
Not included Flights, transfers, travel insurance, drinks not with meals, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £160 $220 €190
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (1-4 pax)
2021/2022 - Seville Airport Transfer £200 $275 €240
Paid to Far and Ride
Per vehicle return (4-8 pax)
2021/2022 - Single Supplement 25.0%
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room. For those willing to share, there is no extra charge provided a room sharer is found.
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.