Equestrian Holidays in France – What You Need to Know

Riding TrailFor horse lovers there are many locations in France that are great for an equestrian getaway. France is a large and diverse country so in order to plan an enjoyable holiday you will need to consider a number of things in advance. Thoroughly looking into these considerations will give you the confidence that all your needs are met so you can just enjoy the ride when you arrive at your holiday destination.

Riding Facilities

First, look at the availability of riding stables and hire facilities in the area you plan to go. There are a lot of good quality riding establishments in France but they are not evenly spread across the country and all offer varying levels of service. Do your research and find out what a place offers before you book. How much are their hire charges? What breeds do they keep in their stables and what is their availability? Is instruction offered? If you do not speak French you should also enquire whether English speaking instructors are available. These are all questions you should ask – and do take a look at customer reviews if possible so you can compare experiences from other holidaymakers.

Horse Riding Trails

You will also have to look at how well set up your destination is for riding horses. For instance, is there an established network of well-maintained riding trails or bridle paths, or will you need to spend a lot of your time riding on the edge of roads? This is an important consideration as it can be intimidating riding on unfamiliar roads, especially if you are taking your own horse and they are not used to local traffic conditions.

The Terrain

It is also worthwhile considering the terrain of the area you’d like to visit. France has a very varied range of riding environments and this is one of the things that makes it such an appealing destination; but there is a world of difference between the gentle fields of Normandy and the foothills of the Pyrenees. The season you plan to travel also makes a huge difference. Some areas of southern France experience only gentle variation between the seasons, whereas other areas have big differences between summer and winter conditions, for instance in mountainous areas or on the Atlantic coast. In some areas horse riding facilities may only be open at certain times of the year.

Your Riding Ability

Were you born in the saddle or is this your first time on a horse? Do you enjoy a gruelling challenge through isolated terrain or a gentle amble along well-trod paths? France offers both a challenge to experienced riders and plentiful opportunities to people just starting out horse riding, as well as families of mixed abilities. When planning your holiday it is important to be candid about your level of ability and to plan a holiday that is fair to you and to your horse.

For an unforgettable horse riding experience in Southern France or to find out more about equestrian holidays, get in touch with us today. Take a look through our website to see details of our horses and our wonderful Château.