Tag Archives: Horse riding in France

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.

Get the true taste of Lot during your French riding holiday

French holidays
Quercynoise melons are famed for their quality

France is famed for its delicious dishes and succulent ingredients – and the huge diversity of its regional cuisine.

Visitors to the Château de Laumière will be able to sample the authentic taste of the Lot during their stay. Here are a few of the dishes and ingredients which will tempt your taste buds:

Aligot

This is a dish typical of the Occitane region, which originated as food for pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia.

It’s a fondue-like combination of mashed potatoes and cheese made with butter, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and cream. It has a smooth and elastic texture.

It is often made with Tomme de Laguiole or Tomme d’Auvergne cheese, though mozzarella and cantal can be substituted for them, and it is a dish beloved of local people in the area. Often, it is served with roast pork or Toulouse sausages and Auvergne red wine, and is a favourite at village celebrations and in street markets.

The dish originally included bread instead of potatoes, before the vegetable was introduced into France.

Salad Quercynoise

Most French regions have their own speciality summer salad – such as salad Nicoise on the Riviera.

The Quercy is the ancient province which combines the Lot, part of the Tarn, and part of the Garonne.

In the Lot area, you will find the delicious speciality salad is Quercynoise, with locally-grown walnuts as the essential element of this dish.

It is often served as an hors d’oeuvre with winter meals as well as a light lunch or side salad in summer.

Our version of the salad consists of lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing, jambon du pays (traditionally-cured ham), sliced smoked magret de canard (duck breast), lardons, gesiers (gizzards), walnuts, hard-boiled egg, and tomatoes.  With the addition of a slice of foie gras on toast, it becomes a Gourmand Quercynoise.

 

French riding holiday
Melons are grown widely in this area

Quercynoise melon

Quercy’s clay and limestone soil and warm climate is perfect for growing mouth-watering melons.

The clay helps the melons retain water and feeds them vital nutrients. They are often grown by small, family farms and they are a key part of the local economy.

They have banded together to form the Interprofessional Syndicate of Melon du Quercy, allowing the area to gain official recognition for the quality of its melonsas a Protected Geographical Indication.

Every fruit is identified by the Melon du Quercy sticker, and its orange-coloured flesh shows it is high in vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamins B and C.

Holidays in France
Duck breasts

Duck

France is famed for its duck dishes. They include magret de canard (or duck breast) and cuisse de canard or confit de canard (a duck leg cooked slowly and preserved in duck fat).

Foie gras is also a sought-after addition to several French dishes.

Often, duck gizzards cooked in duck fat (a confit) are added to salads.

Truffles

During the summer, highly-prized white truffles are sold in the markets of the Lot region. They are often served grated in omelettes or with foie gras.

Time to plan your next riding holiday in France?

Take a look at our prices and our availability here.

 

 

5 of the prettiest villages and towns to visit during your French riding holiday

French riding holidays
The picturesque streets of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Lot has some of the prettiest towns and villages in France, perfect for a visit during your riding holiday.

Here are our top 5:

Visit the narrow, picturesque streets of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. In 2012, it was voted ‘The Favourite Village of the French’ and has been awarded the status of being one of the most beautiful villages in the country.

Part of the village is a listed monument, and it is an excellent village to wander around on foot.

The streets are lined with buildings made from golden-coloured stone. Many are charming craft shops or art galleries.

Art-lovers should visit the Rignault Museum, named after the painter and collector who was the site’s owner in the early 20th Century. It has temporary exhibitions of contemporary and modern art alongside the museum’s own collection.

You can also visit its impressive Gothic church built in 1522.

The village clings to cliffs 100 metres above the River Lot, and there are impressive views.

Look for the lock and mill of Aulanac, and the villages of Tour de Faure and Calvignac.

You can get fine views of the village itself by walking up the Peyrolerie.

Walk down to the river, and you can stroll along the tow path next to the river – a path which was carved into the rock face in 1847.

Look out for the beautiful reliefs carved on the rock walls of the towpath. They were created in 1985.

Along that towpath, you’ll come to Bouziès.

It is known for its fine suspension bridge spanning the river between impressive cliffs.

It’s a busy base for tourists taking trips along the river – an excellent way to see local villages. It is also a wonderful base for anyone looking to explore nearby caves.

Walking under fortifications created during the 100 Years War, you’ll leave Bouziès under the “Castle of the English”.

Nestled in the heart of Cahors vineyards, the medieval village of Puy l’Evêque clings to a rocky promontory overlooking the River Lot.

Wander around its lanes and steps and spot its historic sculptures. There are streets named after its medieval trades – nail makers, dyers, and boatmen.

Walk down to the old quayside which was once abuzz with industry. At the top of the village, there is a 13th Century tower and the church of Saint-Sauveur, which dates to the 14th and 15th Centuries. Explore its Gothic nave.

You can take a boat trip or watch local ceramics being made.

Cahors is a town built by medieval merchants and bankers.

It has an impressive bridge, the 14th Century Pont Valentré fortified against the English in the 100 Years War, which has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site.

Cahors also has many medieval townhouses.

Its cathedral has a Roman-style entrance, attractive frescoes, and a cloister.

The Museum Henri-Martin tells the story of the town’s history in its artefacts.

Cahors is in wine country, so you will be able to buy excellent local wines, and it is famed for its beautiful gardens.

In Villefranche de Rouergue, founded in 1252 by Alphonse de Poitiers, there is a chequerboard network of streets all leading to the main square in the tradition of Bastide towns.

They were built on commerce and their position near the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostella.

There are arcades which are topped by Renaissance and Gothic houses. Visit the impressive Notre Dame Collegiate Church and the nearby Carthusian monastery completed in 1459.

Are you ready to organise your next French riding holiday? Book here.

 

 

 

Two Upcoming Events for Riders

Own Your Own Horse Week – 27 May

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Do you ride regularly but not actually own your own horse?  Is it your dream or are you just curious as to what’s involved?  Well for week commencing Saturday 27 May you can make that dream come true for a week.  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.  img_20160503_084405

 

 

 

Training Week – 16 September

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Last year’s training week was a real success and we were asked to think about another one this year.  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.  We have looked at the diary and can now say that we will offer this for week beginning Saturday 16 September.  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.  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.  It’s for riders of all levels – horse owners or not – and as with all of our rides it’s tailored to you.  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.  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.  11870817_1787696334790436_6895041293615577366_n

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.

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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

A Poem for Laumiere – by Karen Whitehouse – July 2014

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:

“I wonder what it will be like there” we said while flying through the air…….
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 day……..
“We are running late” we said on the phone………
To this lady who was letting us stay at her home
“Don’t worry” she said you will “still be fed”……..
And then you can relax in a comfortable bed
We arrived in the village, not knowing where to go……
And then we spotted this….. magical chateau!
“There it is we cried” and then we sped up the drive……..
There, Lynda, Tanya and Chris, were waiting for us to arrive……

The next morning we watched Tanya leading the horses with pride…..
I bet she was wondering……..”can they really ride??”……
We went down to the stables in a rush…….
We wanted to get started and give the horses a brush
Tanya chatted to us about our past…….
To match us with the right horse so we could have a blast
Kez – lively, me – fast, Jayne – steady and Bev – sensible
Tanya’s knowledge of her horses was incomprehensible
And as we led them out to the block, ….we still didn’t know what we had got….
Off down to the ménage for her to view our trot……..
I think we all passed….. when we saw her smile
We then rode through the countryside for mile after mile….

After our ride we got back to the yard……
We were greeted by the dogs, standing on guard
Lynda was creating another gastro delight…….
Could we fit in a cuppa….I think we just might…….
Off to lunch then to meet with our holiday crew…
All the veg on the plate, in the garden it grew
Delicious and tasty, a culinary delight! …..
Lynda,…..you have got the menu just right! …
At 8 we all met and Chris served the aperitif….
With nibbles and treats, it was beyond belief…….
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 had……
And getting back into riding is not just a fad! …..
We could quite easily jump back on a plane…..
And spend some time with you again! ….
The horses were cared for and loved to the core…..
The food was fantastic we could eat more and more
The rooms were comfortable and really clean!….
The chateau itself was sublime and serene……
Thank you All it was really ACE!!!!……
You really do have a fabulous place!………
We will get together and visit again………
With love from us all – Kaz, Kez, Bev and Jayne xxxxxxxxxx

Catching Up at Last! Part One – Our New Arrivals

A lot’s been happening around here this year and we thought it about time to tell you about it .

Just before we opened in April a new member of the team arrived and here he is  the first time Tanya rode him out obviously thinking ‘What’s all the fuss about?  I can do this’.

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Chico

Meet Cacique – alias Chico – he’s a 16hh, 7 year old Andalucian

He’s a really unflappable, comfortable ride and he has become VERY popular as  the season has gone on, so much so that once a guest has ridden him there’s not much  chance of anyone else getting him that week as they don’t usually want to give him up – bribery and a certain amount of coercion often takes place!

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Echo de Laumiere

 

 

Next we had a BIG surprise on 24 April, just 2 days before we opened. Tanya came running in jumping about saying ‘Guess what, we have a baby in the paddock!’ Lesse had produced the first of our 3 expected foals almost a week early.   Here is what we all saw when we went out.  A beautiful little bay filly who didn’t know the word shy and came almost right up to us to say hello.  There was then lots of discussion about a name which this year had to begin with an ‘E’ and as all our foals are ‘de Laumiere’ it could only have 6 letters.  Finally we decided on Echo

After this the next couple of weeks until the other 2 arrived went very slowly until we almost started to wonder if they were going to come at all. Then hey presto!on 12 May Lucy produced a very dark (almost black) little colt which everyone wanted to call Ebony but as Hope had been this colour we knew he would eventually go grey so this wouldn’t be quite right.  Just as we were moving to other names the French translation of Ebene was suggested so that when he goes grey we can call him Benny – good idea don’t you think?

Ebene was just settling in and on 14 May Peaches presented number 3, a super little chestnut filly.  This one was much easier because we all took one look at her little pointy ears and said Elf

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Ebene de Laumiere

 

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Elf de Laumiere

 

 

 

 

Well, that was quite enough excitement for a while and as we thought the last of this year’s new arrivals. How innocent can you be? In July, after quite a bit of correspondence, a fairly long drive to meet them and a great deal of discussion before a final decision was made our equestrian family increased with the arrival of 4 Exmoors and here they are

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Willow, Eiderdown, Dovetail and Galaxie

They have settled in very well and are now all quite happy to be handled and the general idea is that Tanya will work with them through the winter with the aim of introducing something quite exciting next year but to find out what that is going to be you will just have to watch this space!

French Riding Holidays For a Group

Why not get a group together for your riding holiday?

Everything is more fun if shared with friends or family so why don’t you get a group together.

Group of 6 people – one person free

If you have a special occasion to celebrate – maybe a Birthday or Anniversary – come and celebrate with us and we will include aChampagne aperitif before dinner by candle light

For information of prices, please go to bookings page link from the menu above.