France, Aquitaine - Silver Coast Trail Ride
The Silver Coast Trail Ride begins with a long test ride to make sure you are confortable with your horse. There then follows a four-day trail ride of up to 45 km (25 miles) and 5-6 hours in the saddle each day, so it is important that you are in good shape. This is a fast-paced trail ride where the horses are left in pastures along the road overnight while you are driven "home" to the guest house each evening. The soft sandy roads in the woods invite you to gallop, but you will also face tougher and more challenging terrain, not to forget the wide flat beaches. The canters, gallops in the forest or on the beach are individually done by the riders, starting one by one, or two by two, and very rarely in group.The ride ends in the best possible way, with a half-day on the spectacular beach. Wow!
Day 1 Sunday: Arrive at the accommodation, a charming gite/guest at the equestrian center where you will meet the other guests at a dinner. NOTE. A review of the ride will take place in the afternoon of Day 2.
Day 2 Monday: Breakfast from 08 to 10 o’clock. Then you are dropped to Mimizan Beach at 10h30, to visit and walk through the village and on the beach, to make shopping and take the Lunch in the restaurant of your choice. Pick up time at 13h30 in front of the Tourism office and way back to the Guest House . MEETING at the Guest House at 14h00. The first day ride is on Monday. It is a half-day trail of around 3h 00 in the afternoon,
Day 3 Tuesday: At about 9:00 am, you will start to ride along the coast before continuing inland to discover the Tirelagüe wetland, the Sintias lagoon and Lake Bourg le Vieux. In the afternoon, you return to the coast and ride through the sand dunes before finishing with a ride along the Courlis River. This timing is subject to the tide and it may be that you ride on the beach in the morning instead. Overnight at the farm.
Day 4 Wednesday: You start the day with a ride over a big sandy plain, and then around two lakes. After lunch, after passing through a bird sanctuary, you continue south to the idyllic village of Levignacq. In the afternoon, you reach the beautiful Tireveste Manor House, where you will stay overnight.
Day 5 Thursday: In the morning, you ride through and discover the area known as the Grande Lande and follow the Mézos River to your picnic spot. You then ride back to Lake Bourg le Vieux via the Moulasse wetlands. Same overnight stay as the previous day.
Day 6. Friday. On your last full day’s ride, you ride to the Lac d'Aureilhan, a large lake just north of Mimizan. You ride along the lakeshore and end the day on the beach at sunset. This timing may change subject to the tide and you may ride along the beach in the morning and the lake in the afternoon instead. Overnight at the farm.
Day 7. Saturday. Today, you can enjoy a half-day ride along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, either in the morning or the afternoon, depending on the tide. You then have free time to spend on the beach or to do some shopping in the village before your departure the next day. Overnight at the farm.
Day 8. Sunday. Breakfast and departure.
Note. During the four-day rides, it is not always possible to gallop on the beach because of the high tide. While it's fine to gallop on the hard sand, it is not possible to gallop in the seawater when the wet sand may get in the girth straps and hurt the horses. Therefore, the intention is, on the half-day ride on Day 7, to offer riders the perfect beach riding opportunity, at the right time, to ensure that no one misses out on the wonderful beach experience. The beach is 200 meters (220 yds) wide and fairly empty, so riders can gallop in seawater without restrictions. During the hot summer months, there is sometimes the opportunity to swim in the ocean with the horses, as well.