Spain, Andalusia dressage - NEW
Our new dressage gem is located in sun-drenched Andalusia, close to the coast and only an hour from Seville. José Manuel couldn't find a better place to finally realize his dream of creating a dressage center. The goal was to build a personal facility where every rider and horse is unique and taken care of in the best possible way in order to thrive, develop and feel good.
The equestrian center is located on the outskirts of the town of El Rocio which is a horse lover's paradise. All roads consist of sand and there are no traffic lights, street markings or sidewalks. The feeling is to be in the wild west in the 19th century. There are even bars with tables at rider's height, where you can put your glass and sit and enjoy your drink on horseback.
Many riders from Madrid and Seville have their summer houses here, as most properties also have a stable. From the street it looks like a normal residential building, but when you walk in you will find horses stalled in the same house where the family lives.
José Manuel studied early with a dressage master, but at the same time trained as an engineer with a focus on nature and the environment. However, after a few years of work in the adjoining national park, his passion for horses and dressage took over, so he returned to training horses and riders. Now he and his wife Maria have taken the step of running their own dressage center. Here you can ride on well-trained Spanish horses, PRE (Pura raza Espanola), PRE crossings and Lusitanos. There are both geldings and stallions, and you obviously have the opportunity to try both piaff and passage.
They have also chosen to focus on the food composed by a master chef and prepared from local quality ingredients. You are also offered a good wine for lunch and dinner. Enjoy José Manuel's dad's home grown tomatoes, freshly squeezed orange juice and eggs from the farm's chickens. The house is lovely with 6 meters in ceiling height, and there is an apartment as well as four nice double rooms upstairs.
Within 15 minutes by car you can enjoy a 30 km long golden beach and El Monte, a nearby village is also worth a visit. If you want to experience the beautiful art of dressage in a homely, warm environment, you should go here.
Accommodation & food
The accommodation is newly renovated and spacious. You will be met by an enormous common area with 6m in ceiling height. Here is an open kitchen and several comfortable sofas. On the second floor there are four comfortable double/twin rooms with nice bathrooms.
The owners take a pride in serving food of high quality. A master chef compose and cook the food which is delivered to the farm. Maria then put the finishing touches before it is served. The breakfast consists of freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurt, bread, eggs, coffee and tea. Lunch is always three course meals and for dinner it is a lighter meal. A good local wine is served with both meals.
The horses are Spanish horses, PRE (Pura Raza Espanola), PRE crossings and Lusitanos. There are 14 horses available for lessons and there are both geldings and stallions, from a couple of young horse up to older well trained horses. You will have the chance to practice movements such as shoulder in, half pass, change of leg, piruettes, piaff and passage. The horses are 160-166 cm high and are mostly ridden with a regular snaffle and sometimes a baby pelham. There are suitable horses for both the very experienced rider as well as riders with less experience.
The saddles are comfortable english dressage saddles but you also have the chance to try a traditional spanish dressage saddle.
There are alos a few mules used as carriage horses. There are several small pastures so that all horses can spend time outside every day.
Week program - dressage intensive:
In this program you will get 2 lessons per day. Total 10 lessons in one week. You can always exchange a lessons for a hack out. All horses are used to hacks.
Weekend program – dressage intensive
In this program you will get 2 lessons per day. Total 5 lessons in one weekend.
You will ride your first lesson Thursday afternoon, and after that you ride two lessons per day Friday and Saturday.
You can always exchange a lessons for a hack out. All horses are used to hacks.
Departure Sunday morning. If you arrive too late for a first lesson on Thursday you can ride your last lesson Sunday morning instead.
Doñana Trail - José Manuel has planned an amazing route through the protected area of Doñana. Doñana is very important because of its four ecosystems. You will explore all four ecosystems on horseback - the marsh, forest, dunes and beach. You will enjoy riding in this area - a biosphere reserve of over 126,000 hectares. Through the areas with wildlife (with deers, lynxes...). You will ride for about 6 - 7 hours every day and return to your comfortable accommodation every night to relax. Your horse will be taken care of at the end of the day's trail and you will return to your mount after breakfast to continue the trail. Each day will be different but you start and finish at the riding centre. You will leave your horse at the end of the ride and you will be taken back to the riding centre for relaxation and a delicious dinner at around 9.00 pm
Trail dates for 2020: March 8th to 14th, June 22nd to 28th, September 20th to 26th, October 18th to 24th, November 15th to 21st, December 13th to 19th.
Group size: Min. 3 and max 8.
The owner and head trainer is José Manuel who early started to study with a dressage master, but also trained as an engineer with a focus on nature and the environment. However, after a few years of work in the neighboring national park La Doñana, his passion for horses and dressage took over, so he returned to training horses and riders.
José Manuel recommends classic dressage on the conditions of the horses. He has studied their anatomy and is completely opposed to the so-called rollkür, where the horses are bent in an unnatural way. He is very committed and humble as a coach, so it is really possible to discuss with him if you do not understand. He also speaks excellent English.
There are suitable horses for both the very experienced rider and for you who are more of a novice.
The lessons are held with a maixmum of 2 riders per lesson.
Maximum number of riders is 8 per week.
In the south of Spain, Andalusia, and particularly in the province of Huelva, there has been very few numbers of cases since the beginning of the outbreak, and the town of El Rocio, close to the facilities, has been completely spared with no recorded cases. The riding center is isolated with very limited contact with the exterior, avoiding potential exposure.
Nevertheless, they are taking all of the appropriate steps to limite the spread of the virus, including the implementation of the following measures:
-Spraying and desinfecting all luggages & shoes upon arrival at the facilities
-Daily cleaning and desinfecting of the rooms and common areas
-All staff members are required to wear masks and gloves
-All meals will be served outdoors with plenty of space to practice social distancing
-Access to soap and hand sanitizer in all areas
We believe that these measures will be effective in minimizing exposure in order to ensure our clients’ peace of mind when booking.
Ability description: Dressage level 2-5 >>
Included in the price:
Week programs: 6 nights, 5 days riding (10 lessons), full board incl. wine with meals.
Weekend program: 3 nights, 5 lessons, full board incl. wine with meals.
Not included: Flights, transfers, insurance, drinks and extras not mentioned.
Travel: Book flightt/rental car >>
Flight: To Seville airport (90km), Faro (170km) or Malaga (300km).
Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore and pay on spot.
Price: Seville (about 1 hour) 1-4 persons, 190 EUR/ car return transfer. Up to 8 persons 240 EUR/ car return transfer
Faro (about 2 hours) 1-4 persons, 310 EUR/ car return transfer. Up to 8 persons 430 EUR/ car return transfer
Malaga (about 3 hours) 1-4 persons, 360EUR/ car return transfer. Up to 8 persons 580 EUR/ car return transfer
Single rooms: A limited number of single rooms can be booked with a supplement. For price click on "Book on request" under Dates & prices. If you are willing to share room, you will not have to pay a supplement if you are allocated a single room.
Arrival-/departure day: Weekend - Arrival Thursday afternoon for a first lesson, departure Sunday after breakfast. If you arrive with a late flight it is possible to ride the last lesson Sunday morning.
Week: Arrival Sunday around 19.00 for a nice welcome dinner and departure Satruday after breakfast.
Season: All year
Number of rider: Minimum 1 rider maximum 8
Age limit: 18 years if you travel by your self, 10 years old if you travel with an adult.
Rental car: We recommend rental car if you want to explore the area when you are not riding.
Other activities: Interesting sights are Seville (only one hour away), the famous national park La Doñana, vineyards, nice beaches and more. What ever interests you have the owners will help you in the right direction.
Credit card: Not accepted by the riding center. Cash only.
Tipping: Not necessary but appreciated.
Electricity jack: EU standard
Closest village: Located at the edge of El Rocio.
Beach: 30 kilometer beach within a 15 minute drive.
Misc: Riding equipment to borrow: None
Special diet: Inform when booking.
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