Tag Archives: horse riding holidays

Want to improve your riding or horse-handling skills? Discover our week-long intensive training course

Riding holidays in France
Get closer to horses and learn valuable skills with our intensive training

Have you hankered after a week-long experience which would allow you to spend as much time as possible with horses?

If so, our intensive training week would be an ideal experience for you. It’s back by popular demand in 2018 after two courses in May and September 2017 and will help you learn about horse care, bonding with your horse, and riding skills.

For the week starting May 5, 2018, we’re offering you our all-inclusive, bespoke intensive riding workshop holiday.

Alongside the long, leisurely rides for which Château de Laumière is famed, you’ll receive a one-to-one training programme which we tailor specially to your individual needs.

You’ll be able to spend the entire day handling and working with horses.

This is ideal for riders who want to learn more or those who want to improve their confidence.

For some riders, a fall or a scare can knock that confidence in the saddle.

Our highly-qualified riding instructor Tanya will help you overcome your fears. She is calm, sympathetic, and has years of experience.

The intensive course will give you valuable skills including:

  • Groundwork – the basis of riding and handling skills, with lunging, join-up, long-lining, and work on the ground.
  • Dressage – our manege is the perfect place to learn and hone dressage skills, especially if you’re interested in competitions.
  • Jumping – always wanted to jump but have never learned how? Perhaps you need a refresher after a break of several years. Come to our intensive course where our experienced instructor will show you what you need to know.

Whatever you need, we’ll tailor our course to help you. It’s all about helping you to enjoy horses and riding.

Our course is for all levels of rider, not just those who are very experienced, and you can attend whether you own your own horse or not.

It’s about developing your skills the way you want to take them. Whatever you want to do more of, we’ll help you achieve that.

We’ll be offering the usual morning ride, with intensive sessions in the afternoons.

Our intensive training week always starts with Tanya discussing the group’s needs, them formulating the training.

You’ll enjoy the beautiful countryside, riding trails free of traffic, authentic local cuisine, and relaxing atmosphere, too!

Meet our horses…

We have a horse to suit every rider – from traditional French Mérens horses to thoroughbreds.

Here are a few of them:

Hope – An Arab/Mérens cross standing at 14.3hh. A beautiful horse with a wonderful character.

Ursala – A beautiful Heinz standing at 14.3hh. A safe, comfortable, and kind horse.

Rocco – A Portuguese standing at 15hh. Bags of character and a sense of fun, but a safe ride.

Chico – An Andalucian standing at 16hh. One of our most popular horses, who loves our visitors.

Atila – A Lusitanian standing at 16.3hh. Likes to show off skills in dressage.

Nao – A Mérens standing at 15hh. A sensible and comfortable horse.

Would you like to book a place in our intensive training week? It’s worth doing so soon – they tend to go quickly. You can contact us here.

Meet the new guys in the team

Just to bring you up to date, we’ve been busy around the country adding new members to the team for this year.  Here goes –

Some of you will already have met our first arrival who came in September last year 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

DSCF6578He travelled well and was very calm after his journey of around three hours.  Off to his paddock for a rest and then hopefully ready for a light workout in the school tomorrow.

DSCF6660He took it all in his stride and he and Tanya got on very well together

Love this guy-Tanya & AtilaWhat a star and Tanya’s face says ‘I just love this guy!’

He’s gone on from here and they have competed very successfully in several dressage competitions through the winter season.  He’s up and going and ready to accompany rides this summer.

Our second new arrival came just before Christmas.  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.  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

JpegWhen they finally got home it was too dark for photos so here he is saying good morning to Atila over the fence this morning – Tonnerre.

2It’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.  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.  Sun was shining and a lovely lunch followed by finally seeing a really beautiful girl.  Having ridden her and talked over Tanya and Chris set off next day yet again with trailer and when they got back Ursala had arrived.

DSCF7203Out of the trailer and looking around

DSCF7214Starting to fit in with the team working with Chloe

DSCF7319These new guys are now getting along very well with the existing team and as usual everyone is looking forward to seeing you all very soon

Here’s one New Year’s resolution that will be easy to keep

A (slightly belated) happy Christmas and heartfelt wishes for a wonderful New Year from everyone here at Château de Laumière.

We hope that you are enjoying the festive season. Did you have a white Christmas where you are?

Now the gifts have been unwrapped and the delicious Christmas dinner enjoyed, we have entered that leftover turkey-filled lull that precedes the night before the morning after that is New Year’s Eve.

For many people, it’s traditional in the week between December 25 and January 1 to lazily browse the post-Christmas sales online, or doze gently in front of the big movie of the day after eating one (just the one) mince pie too many.

But it’s also a time for looking ahead. New Year is coming fast and, after all the festivities, it is all about change and improvements. Resolutions often focus on losing weight, or gaining fitness, learning a new skill, or taking up a new hobby. It may be something even more radical – planning a life-defining career change, for example.

Of course, some resolutions are easier to achieve than others.

Deciding on a summer holiday venue can be a very pleasant way to spend a few family hours between now and the fast-approaching day you have to return to work after the festive holidays.

Horse riders, like golfers, often want to include their favourite past-time in their holiday plans. That is where we come in.

4At the luxurious and tranquil Château de Laumière, we pride ourselves on offering perfectly tailored horse riding holidays. You can while away hour after more-than pleasant hour trekking along miles and miles of pristine car and real life-free trails, surrounded on all sides by stunningly beautiful countryside.

When you’re not on your horse taking in the perfect riding country, or enjoying the delicious meals prepared for you at the château, you can relax – drink in hand – by the pool or in the restful gardens, soaking up the sun in a cornflower-blue sky and gazing out over an idyllic landscape that only the Lot department of southwest France can supply.

We think it’s the perfect recipe for a holiday. We hope you do, too.

And don’t forget – if you book your luxury horse-riding holiday at Château de Laumière before you go out for your New Year’s celebrations on December 31, you can enjoy your 2015 holiday in our peaceful and beautiful corner of southwest France at 2014 prices.

There. That’s one resolution successfully fulfilled – and before New Year, too.

A Nostalgic View Of May From December

Christmas is coming; the nights are closing in,
Big coats are needed…
And gloves, hats, scarves and things.

Cowslips carpet the fields around the chateau
Cowslips carpet the fields around the chateau

It’s probably fair to say that we won’t make a fortune writing verses for greetings cards – but while early December has brought a wintry chill to the air that has us dreaming of a cosy Christmas in front of a warm and crackling log fire at Château de Laumière, it also has made us a little nostalgic for the feel of the warm spring sun on our faces.


The château welcomes guests for horse riding holidays from the end of April – and those who are lucky enough to be able to arrive early in the season are treated to nature reawakening in the hidden Garden of Eden that is our little corner of southwest France.


Pyramidal orchids are a common sight
Pyramidal orchids are a common sight

By the time the first guests of the year arrive, wild daffodils envelope the surrounding fields in their cheery gold and white hues, and the trees are bursting with blossom.


Along the sides of the roads around the château and in the fields purple orchids start to bloom in May, to be replaced in by swathes of pyramidals as the month progresses; while the pretty, delicate cowslip is everywhere.


Riders enjoying one of the morning hacks with Tanya in May will often spot wild deer or boar along the trails, while red squirrels – so rare these days in the UK – are a delightful and common sight.


Meanwhile, bird watchers will have a field day.


The unusual-looking hoopoe
The unusual-looking hoopoe

The wonderful hoopoes return in May from their winter migration and are usually nesting by May, and we normally have half a dozen nightingales serenading us in Château de Laumière’s gardens.


Ornithologists will be delighted to discover that they’re not the only birds to make their home in the chateau. A pair of barn owls nest here every year, while redstarts – which are as common as sparrows – compete with swallows for bird real estate in the stables.


Believe us when we tell you – location, location, location is just as important in the bird world…


A nightingale caught on camera by one of the chateau's guests
A nightingale caught on camera by one of the chateau’s guests

In the fields surrounding the chateau throughout the summer from May, we often see cattle egrets, with their distinctive white plumage making them easy to spot in among the cows and grass – and buzzards, black and red kites, sparrow hawks, honey buzzards and kestrels patrol the skies looking for prey.


There’s no wonder we’ve gone a little whimsical about May right now. You are, of course, welcome to join us next spring to enjoy the natural wonder.


Remember: if you book your 2015 horse riding holiday, whether it’s in May or any other time, before December 31, 2014, you can look forward to a wonderful and relaxing luxury equestrian break in France next year at this year’s prices.

Five Reasons Why Horse Riding is Good for Body & Mind

Ride & RelaxThere are numerous ways to get fit and many forms of exercise to explore. However, few sports give quite the same level of benefits across the board as horse riding does.

From the purely physical through to lifting our mood, we explore here just five reasons why we firmly believe horse riding is such a great activity for your mind and body.

1. Great for Your Heart

Horse riding is a great physical workout for the whole body. Not only are you burning calories at a rate of approximately five per minute, but you are also strengthening muscles and working on improving your cardiovascular system.

2. Perfect Balance

Horse riding is also highly beneficial for your levels of balance and stability and will, over time, improve your levels of flexibility and co-ordination. It is a full body workout to guide a horse where you want it to go.

3. Train Your Brain

Research has shown that learning a new skill is great for the brain, and if you are new to horse riding then, there is a lot to learn. Even for the more seasoned rider, every outing provides opportunities to stretch yourself mentally as you encounter fresh terrain and new experiences.

4. Bust That Stress
Contact with animals is now established as an excellent way to decrease our stress levels and consequently lower blood pressure. Apart from the time spent riding your horse, there is also the additional contact when you are caring for him. The rhythmic grooming of a horse is a great stress buster, and it also increases the bond between the two of you.

5. Feeling of Connection

Riding can offer a wealth of benefits on an emotional level too. Sometimes we all need to get away, with time to think, and the solitude of a solo ride can give you that space. Alternatively when we are riding with others, there is a sense of camaraderie as well as it being a great deal of fun.

You see the world from a different vantage point on the back of a horse and sometimes that is all we need to lift our mood and to help us look at life from a different perspective.

As you can see riding offers a wealth of benefits for your body, your mind and your emotions. Whether you are a novice rider or an experienced equestrian, there is always something new to learn, and the physical and mental benefits never end.

Sounding Good?

If you can now see the benefits of taking a riding holiday in the beautiful, peaceful French countryside then now is the time to be proactive. You could be with us in a matter of weeks so why not get in touch with us and see if we can tempt you?

We offer a range of flexible riding holiday options with each of those options delivering a holiday that can relax or invigorate; it’s your holiday so you can choose the pace.

You can find out more via our website home page or drop us a line and we can call or email you with more details and a few tailored options to suit your ideal holiday.

Our Top 5 Tips For Making The Most of Your Riding Holiday

A riding holiday can offer a wealth of benefits. There is the element of being outdoors, the physical exercise, the beautiful scenery, the connection with your horse and of course the enjoyment of being with other riders on a great vacation.

There are ways however, of making your adventure the very best that it can be. Below we explore five tips for making the most of your riding holiday.

1. Decide On The Type Of Holiday

Riding holidays come in all shapes and sizes, from genteel trekking through beautiful countryside to riding on the beach and then on to more athletic equestrian pursuits. It is important therefore to decide on the type of holiday you want before you even start looking.

You also need to take into consideration the location of the holiday. Do you want to go somewhere short haul like Southern France or would you prefer a holiday further afield?

2. Be Honest About Your Riding Ability

To fully enjoy your riding holiday, it is best to be totally honest about your horse riding ability. If you are a novice and need to gain confidence, then make sure that the holiday organisers cater for new riders and can offer horses that will be suitable. If you are a completely inexperienced rider, then you are also going to need some training when you arrive.

Alternatively if you are a very experienced rider you may want an experience that is going to challenge you a little more. Honesty is the best policy to ensure you get the most out of the holiday.

And of course, any additional riding you can fit in before your holiday to sharpen your fitness and technique certainly won’t do any harm.

3. Make Sure You Are Protected

Wherever you are traveling make sure that the riding holiday organisers hold the correct insurances and adhere to health and safety best practice. Any sport, horse riding being no exception, has its risks, and it is better to be safe than sorry. This is another good reason why you also need to check that your holiday company offers professional instruction from qualified Instructors.

In addition, when you take out your travel insurance, make sure that you declare you are going on a riding holiday so that you have the necessary protection.

4. Dress Correctly

Before you leave for your holiday check with the organisers what clothing and footwear you will need. Also find out whether they provide a hard hat or whether you need to take one of your own. Better to be prepared than to find yourself in a location where it is difficult to purchase the necessary equipment.

5. Enjoy yourself

Above all, the best way to make the most of your riding holiday is to have fun. A vacation is meant to be full of relaxation and enjoyable company so that you return home rested and rejuvenated. A riding holiday is no exception to this, but it also offers the bonus of letting you spend time in the saddle.

Ready to Ride?

If our top-tips have whetted your appetite to take a riding holiday then the first step is to check out our riding holidays here in the South of France. Head to our home page and browse through the information pages or if you’d like to get in touch, you can do so via our contact page.

Is France The Best Place in Europe For a Horse Riding Holiday?

The French SceneryFor us, the answer to this question is very simple: yes, although to leave it at that wouldn’t make for a very interesting blog post! France is a paradise for anyone who loves horse riding. You really only need to come here for a holiday in order to see for yourself, and we are certain you will leave convinced as well.

So here are the top reasons we think France is the best place to go for a European horse riding holiday:

The Varied Landscape

France has an astonishing variety of landscapes to offer horse lovers, with each region offering its own unique character and set of challenges to equestrian holidaymakers. From the rugged coasts and forested valleys of Celtic Brittany to the long dune fringed beaches of the South-West, there is something for everybody here. Our own area in the Lot region of Southern France is a peaceful, verdant country or rivers, picturesque villages and small fields, unspoilt by major towns. Here horse riders can enjoy the use of over 2,000 km of rural chemin rurale with the occasional tractor the only vehicle you are likely to pass.

French Food!

Traditional French food is a truly wonderful thing, and keeps many horse riders coming back to France for their holidays time and time again. Far removed from the pretensions of the big Paris restaurants, regional French cuisine has a provincial sophistication that sets it apart from other national cuisines. The French are justly proud of their cooking, combining as it does a tradition of fine ingredients, well-honed recipes and old fashioned hospitality.

Vineyard Trails

France is home to some of the most famous vineyards in the world. Fine wine is an integral part of French culture with each region having its own distinctive style. What better way to see the wine producing regions than at a leisurely pace on horseback? We certainly can’t think of one!


In contrast to horse riding in England and other European countries, you will be surprised how accessible much of France is to horse riders. In many areas it is possible to ride for hours undisturbed across farmland, past homesteads and hamlets on gently meandering paths, without ever having to navigate through a busy town or main road.

We adore horse riding in France and would love it if you could come and join us to experience it for yourself. Browse our website to find out more about our riding holidays and luxury accommodation options, and send us an email today for more information.