It may be hard to believe right now but it’s true – winter doesn’t last forever and we have some fantastic offers for bookings made in January & February.
Own Your Own Horse Week – 27 May
Do you ride regularly but not actually own your own horse? Â Is it your dream or are you just curious as to what’s involved? Â Well for week commencing Saturday 27 May you can make that dream come true for a week. Â Take this opportunity to experience horse ownership in the most ideal surroundings with the reassurance that there is a knowledgeable team on hand to help if needed. Own a horse week enables you to to be as hands on with your four legged friend as you wish to find out what it’s really like to have a horse of your own. Â
Training Week – 16 September
Last year’s training week was a real success and we were asked to think about another one this year. Â Well we did and scheduled it in for the beginning of May – it was full almost as soon as we advertised it and there has been interest shown in another one being added. Â We have looked at the diary and can now say that we will offer this for week beginning Saturday 16 September. Â If you’re interested do get in touch asap.
Some people mentioned that they were a little worried by the phrase ‘Intensive Training’ as they thought it meant it was only for very experienced riders so let me put your mind at rest over this because that really isn’t the case at all. Â It’s more of a usual week with the opportunity to do extra training – riding, horse care, bonding with your horse or whatever you have problems with or want to do more of. Â It’s for riders of all levels – horse owners or not – and as with all of our rides it’s tailored to you. Â There is the usual morning ride then as an addition in the afternoons Tanya can help you to work on any issues that you would like help with. Â She will talk everything over with the whole group at the beginning of the week and work out a program that fits and can be worked on through the week. Â
Just to bring you up to date, we’ve been busy around the country adding new members to the team for this year. Â Here goes –
Some of you will already have met our first arrival who came in September last yearÂ but for those of you who came earlier in the year meet Atila taking his first look around at his new home as he came out of the box
He’s gone on from here and they have competed very successfully in several dressage competitions through the winter season. Â He’s up and going and ready to accompany rides this summer.
Our second new arrival came just before Christmas. Â Tanya and Chris set off at 5.00am with the trailer for what ended up as a 15hr trip to see a very big boy to join the team, namely a Normandy Cob. Â During this epic journey they passed through the volcanic mountains of the Massif Central and here is one of the shots that Tanya took from the motorway
It’s quite amazing what a big horse can do – here’s Chris mounted for the first time in ages and out enjoying time with Tonnerre after only a few days of getting to know him. Â He’s settled in really well and is now waiting to meet you all soon.
For number three we all set off for the day on a trip to look at several horses that we had seen. Â Sun was shining and a lovely lunch followed by finally seeing a really beautiful girl. Â Having ridden her and talkedÂ over Tanya and Chris set off next day yet again with trailer and when they got back Ursala had arrived.
We have started preparations for April 25 already and are looking forward to seeing you all this year.
New Rides – Tanya and I are out as much as possible exploring even more of the countryside around putting together some new rides and additions / variatons to existing ones.
The riding will be different this year as you will now be able to ride every day of the week if you want to. Of course, those of you who like a day off to take it easy can still do so whenever you please – don’t forget you are the important one here because it’s your holiday.
Other additions –
Tanya is spending quite a lot of time with the Exmoors and having drawn up a plan is now chasing Chris to build an agility course. We a very exited about this as there is quite a lot of local interest in it and if all goes according to plan we hope that some of you would maybe like to join in on the odd afternoon. The ponies appear to really enjoy it and are accepting the new challenges very well.
Cross Country also in the pipeline are renovations to the cross country course which in favourable ground conditions will be available for an afternoon workshop.
Dressage Tanya is starting to compete in dressage again attending the early competitions this year and taking two of her regular pupils with her as well. If any of you would like to take advantage of this renewed enthusiasm you can include some additional training help in your time here with us
Natural Horsemanship Just a reminder that Tanya has several years of training and experience in this. All of our youngstock are handled and started using natural horemanship technics.Â To improve your bond with your horse while you are here – why not try a join up
Changes to the weekly programme – whereas before other than breakfast Wednesday was a non riding, lunch or dinner day Â NowÂ there will be a ride with lunch when you return as all other days. There will not, however, be dinner Â ButÂ for anyone not wanting to go out there will be a buffet supper available
Continuing popular events
Relaxing massage – as usual Nadia will arrive complete with table, music and oils on Tuesday afternoon to smooth away all your aches and pains. This is not compulsory but highly recommended by anyone who has had one previously! Naturally this is included in the price of your holiday
Lunch at Monique’s – Extremely popular and after a slightly shorter ride on Thursday you will return to the chateau for a quick change and off to the restaurant for a really good local meal which is also included in your holiday price:
Dessert / Cheese
Wine and coffee
After this return to the chateau where everyone generally disappears for a siesta somewhere shady.
Evening apperos – In the evening we all meet in the salon for a glass of wine (or an alternative of your choice) and a variety of nibbles for a very relaxed time before dinner to chat over the day, talk about anything you may want to do and generally get to know everyone. Don’t forget that for a special occasion – Birthday or Wedding Anniversay – our champagne appero makes this an extra celebration
Outside activities – there are many other activities to do and places to visit in easy reach of us and if you want help with any of them or general advice / directions just ask:
Cycling - there is an excellent hire shop in Limogne and he will deliver and collect the bicycles. Â Both road and off road
Canoeing - several rivers not too far away with companies supplying this. Full day, half day and shorter runs available
Fishing – for any Â keen fishermen who would ratherÂ fish than ride there is some of the best and most varied fishing in France in this area both lake and river. Indeed, this area currently holds the record for the largest carp caught in Europe. Here are some of the fish caught here:
Black Bass, Pike, Roach, Carp, Pikeperch, Perch, Chub, Tench, Barbeau and Rainbow Trout
aÂ temporary Â fishing license is simple to arrange and very inexpensive
Sightseeing - there are numerous towns and villages of interest within about half an hour’s drive and driving is easy here because there is very little traffic compared to the UK
Cahors is the main town of the Lot region with many old buildings, interesting little side roads to wander down, pavement cafes to sit with a coffee and watch the world go by, a weekly market and lots of excellent restaurants.
Villefranche de Rouergue is an excellent example of a 12th century Bastide and is the nearest town and again a very interesting couple of hours wandering round the buildings, shops and cafes.
Saint Cirque Lapopie is a beautiful 12th century village just about 20 minutes drive. Â It really is like stepping back in time to wander through the tiny streets and to bring you back to present time there is a very good wine museum to take a look at. Â After that at the top of the hill there is a pretty good place for an ice cream!
I could carry on but it would become just too much to take in so you really need to come to stay with us and take a look yourself
We received this from one of our guests – another Pam Ayers in the making maybe?? and we thought you might like it too. Thank you sooo much Karen:
â€śI wonder what it will be like thereâ€ť we said while flying through the airâ€¦â€¦.
The horses, The food, would they really care?………..
We picked up the car and started on our way
We had already been travelling for most of the dayâ€¦â€¦..
â€śWe are running lateâ€ť we said on the phoneâ€¦â€¦â€¦
To this lady who was letting us stay at her home
â€śDonâ€™t worryâ€ť she said you will â€śstill be fedâ€ťâ€¦â€¦..
And then you can relax in a comfortable bed
We arrived in the village, not knowing where to goâ€¦â€¦
And then we spotted thisâ€¦.. magical chateau!
â€śThere it is we criedâ€ť and then we sped up the driveâ€¦â€¦..
There, Lynda, Tanya and Chris, were waiting for us to arriveâ€¦â€¦
The next morning we watched Tanya leading the horses with prideâ€¦..
I bet she was wonderingâ€¦â€¦..â€ťcan they really ride??â€ťâ€¦â€¦
We went down to the stables in a rushâ€¦â€¦.
We wanted to get started and give the horses a brush
Tanya chatted to us about our pastâ€¦â€¦.
To match us with the right horse so we could have a blast
Kez – lively, me – fast, Jayne – steady and Bev – sensible
Tanyaâ€™s knowledge of her horses was incomprehensible
And as we led them out to the block, â€¦.we still didnâ€™t know what we had gotâ€¦.
Off down to the mĂ©nage for her to view our trotâ€¦â€¦..
I think we all passedâ€¦.. when we saw her smile
We then rode through the countryside for mile after mileâ€¦.
After our ride we got back to the yardâ€¦â€¦
We were greeted by the dogs, standing on guard
Lynda was creating another gastro delightâ€¦â€¦.
Could we fit in a cuppaâ€¦.I think we just mightâ€¦â€¦.
Off to lunch then to meet with our holiday crewâ€¦
All the veg on the plate, in the garden it grew
Delicious and tasty, a culinary delight! …..
Lynda,â€¦..you have got the menu just right! â€¦
At 8 we all met and Chris served the aperitifâ€¦.
With nibbles and treats, it was beyond beliefâ€¦â€¦.
Chris has lots of roles noticed throughout the day
Dog walking, collecting croissants and even making hay!
Just to make sure you know how much fun we hadâ€¦â€¦
And getting back into riding is not just a fad! â€¦..
We could quite easily jump back on a planeâ€¦..
And spend some time with you again! â€¦.
The horses were cared for and loved to the coreâ€¦..
The food was fantastic we could eat more and more
The rooms were comfortable and really clean!….
The chateau itself was sublime and sereneâ€¦â€¦
Thank you All it was really ACE!!!!……
You really do have a fabulous place!………
We will get together and visit againâ€¦â€¦â€¦
With love from us all â€“ Kaz, Kez, Bev and Jayne xxxxxxxxxx
For 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.
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 â€“ 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.
It is also worthwhile considering the terrain of the area youâ€™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 ChĂ˘teau.