Doñana Dressage & Trails riding holiday in Spain - Far and Ride
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Doñana Dressage & Trails, Spain





Horses



Type of horses:

Spanish horses, PRE, Lusitanos and PRE Cross and mules used as carriage horses

Nature of horses:

Height of horses:

16-16.2 hh

Weight limit:

Tack type:

English Dressage saddles, traditional Spanish Dressage saddles. Mostly snaffle bridles

 

Travel Advice



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

Ride 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.

See Programmes.

 

Food & 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.

A master chef prepares the meals offsite 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.

 

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.

 

Further Details

Languages: Spanish and English

Age limit: 18 (but 10 years if accompanied by an adult)

Tuition: Yes

Included: Horse riding as per programme and full board accommodation.

Not included: Flights, transfers, travel insurance and drinks not with meals.

 

Travel Information

Flights are to Seville which is 90 km away but it is possible to fly to Faro (170 km) or Malaga (300 km).

It is possible to arrange a transfer from Seville. The price for return journey is 190 euros a car return (1-4 persons) and 240 euros (4-8 persons).

For Malaga it is possible to organise a transfer although it about 3 hours from the stables. Price is 360 euros return per car (1-4 persons), 580 euros (4-8 persons).

For Faro transfers it is 310 euros return per car (1-4 persons), 430 euros (4-8 persons). Faro is about 2 hours from the stables.

Airport: Seville

Alternative Airport: Malaga

 

Programmes


Doñana Trail



Your host has planned an amazing route through the protected area of Doñana. Doñana is very important because of its four ecosystems. You will explore all four ecosystems on horseback -  the marsh, forest, dunes and beach.  You will enjoy riding in this area - a biosphere reserve of over 126,000 hectares. It may be possible to spot an endangered species such as the elusive Iberian lynx or the imperial eagle. You will certainly encounter deer, wild pigs and the fantastic bird life which live here.

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



Minimum group size: 3
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Experienced
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6-7 hours a day for 5 days
Departure dates: 2020: 16-22 February, 8-14 March, 12-18 April, 10-16 May, 22-28 June *. This is a special date "saca de yeguas", 20-26 September, 18-24 October, 15-21 November, 13-19 December
 
Pricing: Price per person sharing

£1288 (groups of 3-4 persons)
£1159 (groups of 5-8 persons)

It may be possible for a single room with a supplement

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.



Weekend Programme



Weekend programme – Intensive Dressage

José Manuel recommends classic dressage as he considers what is best for the horse.  He has studied their anatomy and is completely opposed to the so-called rollkür, where the horses are bent in an unnatural way. He is very committed and understanding when instructing, so it is really possible to talk to him 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 will ride your first lesson Thursday afternoon, and after that you ride two lessons per day Friday and Saturday.

You can always exchange a lessons for a hack out. All the horses are used to trail riding in this wonderful countryside.

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

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

Maximum number of riders is 8 per week.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Novice to experienced
Type of ride: Tuition
Total riding time: 3 nights; 5 lessons
Departure dates: 2020:
Dates available to suit with Thursday arrivals - departing Sunday.
 
Pricing: 2020:

Price per person sharing £558 *

It may be possible to have a single room (with payment of a supplement)

* Special promotional price of £515 valid for all stays taken before the end of February 2020.

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.



Dressage Week



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.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Novice to experienced
Type of ride: Tuition
Total riding time: 6 nights; 10 lessons
Departure dates: 2020:
Dates available to suit all year round - preferred arrival day is Sunday.
 
Pricing: 2020:

Price per person sharing £1116 *

It is sometimes possible for a single room (with payment of a supplement)

* Special promotional price of £1030 valid for all stays taken before the end of February 2020.

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.



Dressage/Trail Programme



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.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Novice to experienced
Type of ride: Tuition and Trail
Total riding time: 6 nights; 5 lessons and 5 trails
Departure dates: 2020:
Dates available to suit all year round - preferred arrival day is Sunday.
 
Pricing: 2020:

Price per person sharing £1116 *

It is sometimes possible for a single room (with payment of a supplement).

* Special promotional price of £1030 valid for all stays taken before the end of February 2020.

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.