Yuletide Greetings

December 12th, 2013

I hope you enjoy reading the below message from one of our fabulous providers in North Devon.

I hope you are all well and enjoying life and having fun with your riding. The summer was lovely here, the going perfect the sky clear so we had some wonderful views, great canters and leisurely picnics. I hope you all enjoyed your summer too.  The horses all seemed to have fun with the better going and are now enjoying their time off. We are starting to look for a couple of new horses for next season so the older ones can do a bit less.

Next year we are trying something new to help keep costs down for you, make the riding a bit easier for horse and rider and give the riders time to do some sightseeing should they want to.  Our holidays will consist of fifteen hours riding per week, full board with picnic lunch for six nights at just £695pp. 

We have noticed that some of our guests have given up riding for various reasons, we are happy to take non riders and would love to see you again even if you aren’t riding. There are lots of things to do round here, from walking our fantastic coast paths, to swimming in the sea (if you are very brave.) There are stately homes to visit, cute villages, two interesting local zoos, wild woodland, the open beautiful open moorland, or you can just chill out with a good book.  If you would like to have a short ride the horses are happy to oblige.

We are starting our popular special bargain breaks from the 18th March or 1st week of March if the weather is good to the last weekend of April. These breaks include two nights B&B one dinner one lunch and two days riding for three hours per day (weather permitting.) Other meals/longer stays by arrangement.   

Amanda, Liz, Megan and I are still here but young Stef has left to do other things, she still pops up occasionally though. She has bought Kabrit our beautiful black arabian who she named Moss. He wasn’t really happy to carry people he didn’t know, so as he got on so well with Stef we thought it was better for him to be in a one to one relationship as it were.
I had a bit of a scare this year and had to have a tricky operation, luckily it all went well and I am now enjoying my recovery and can’t wait to get back in the saddle.

We look forward to meeting you all next year and hope you have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

North Devon Trail ride

World Equestrian Games packages selling fast

October 22nd, 2013

305 days and counting!

No not the Christmas countdown (that’s much less, eek!).  We’re talking about the countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

Our packages to the Games have been selling like proverbial hot cakes.  Eventing and Dressage packages in particular have proved popular but we do still have some packages left.  Packages include tickets with preferential seating to the discipline of your choice, a variety of accommodation options, return coach travel from the UK and internal transfers whilst in France.  Pretty much everything really – we do the organising, you can just enjoy it all!

Tickets will be going on sale to the general public some time in November.  However, the seats being sold will be ‘Category 2’ i.e. not preferential.  To ensure the best seating you will need to book with us.  If you have any questions or queries about the event, our WEG packages or indeed any of our riding holidays, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01829 781123.

World Equestrian Games Normandy 2014

October 4th, 2013

Earlier this year Equestrian Escapes were approached by Alltech and offered the unique chance of becoming the UK’s official ticket and travel partners for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy 2014.  After some deliberation we decided to accept the offer.  The task ahead seemed rather daunting as this is a totally new venture for us but we all agreed that if we could combine our expertise in coach travel with our knowledge of equestrianism and riding holidays we would be able to create perfect all inclusive packages for the UK market.

For those who are unaware the World Equestrian Games are the major international championships for equestrianism, and have been held every four years since 1990.  WEG runs over two weeks and, like the Olympics, the location rotates to different parts of the world.  Riders and horses competing at WEG go through a rigorous selection process, and each participating country sends teams that have distinguished themselves through competition as the nation’s best in each respective discipline.

The World Equestrian Games include eight of the FEI’s ten disciplines: combined driving, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, paraequestrianism, reining, show jumping, and vaulting. Following the success of team GB at London 2012 the interest in equestrianism, people learning to ride and in particular riding holidays rocketed, and therefore we are hoping to see many of our WEG packages sell out within the first few months.  The eventing and dressage have already received a huge amount of interest.

We are offering tailor made packages to include executive coach travel to and from the UK, return Dover-Calais ferry crossing, tickets to the discipline of your choice, internal coach transfers whilst in Normandy plus a range of accommodation to suit all tastes ranging from camping to a 5* Spa Hotel.  We also have VIP packages where we can offer luxury accommodation in a private Chateau, fully serviced with staff plus VIP seating for the discipline of your choice.  Please see the following link to find all our packages – WEG 2014.

We are very excited and proud to be the UK’s official ticket and travel partners for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy 2014. If like us you missed out on London 2012 get in touch today to be part of WEG 2014!

Snow in March!!

March 26th, 2013

With a cold chill still in the air the majority of our 2013 bookings so far have been for Spain and Portugal, hardly surprising really! We are still working really well with our top selling luxury centre in Antequera Malaga, and our Tailor made Algarve riding holiday sold out in a matter of weeks. As a result we have three brand new offers; the first is in Almeria, Southern Spain. Here you stay on a traditional Spanish ranch nestled between the Sierra de las Estancias and the Sierra de los Filabres mountain ranges. We have a 1 week special offer running at the moment for £395pp including accommodation, all food and riding. Fly into Almeria, Alicante or Murcia.  

The second is a luxury small holding in the picturesque region of rural southern Alentejo, Portugal. Here we offer instruction on beautifully trained Lusitano horses with a top Portuguese instructor. Set in breathtaking countryside here you can relax and unwind at this five star family run equestrian centre. Fly into Faro from most UK airports.

Our third riding package is again located in Portugal along the Western coast of the Algarve. Our stable is idyllically situated in a wonderful natural park, with excellent temperatures all year round. Here we can offer beach riding all year round, hacking, lessons and surfing. Choose to stay in one of the onsite eco bungalows or a nearby 4* spa hotel on the coast.

Altough there is still snow on the ground in the UK the met office is promising better weather conditions, and perhaps with any luck we’ll get a proper summer! The sun is currently shining in Cheshire and we have a full book for the Easter weekend. Wiltshire proves to be another top seller along with beach riding in North Wales and North Devon.

If you want to talk about any of the mentioned holidays contact Sarah, Lindsey or Lou on 01829 781123 or email info@equestrian-escapes.com

 

 

Happy New Year

January 18th, 2013

Happy New Year to everyone, I hope that 2013 brings you all that you are hoping for including of course, many hours of equestrian pursuits! We have had a busy start to the year with lots of bookings received already across all of our carefully selected short breaks and longer holidays. As always I must remind you that if you are thinking of taking a horse riding holiday in Europe this year, then book your flights as soon as possible as they do nothing but get more expensive! The low cost airlines start off with the cheapest fares and then as the plane fills the price goes up and up! Our centre close to Malaga proved hugely popular last year, no surprise really as the accommodation is 4 star plus and the horses and facilities are probably the best I have ever seen in Spain! We have a new riding holiday in Portugal this year, located in the popular Algarve region access from the UK is easy into Faro airport.

The Castle in Italy has provided top quality riding breaks for us for over 5 years now, the thought of staying in a castle with beautiful gardens, a lovely pool and fabulous riding is a tempting thought!

Back in the UK we continue to have exclusive rights to ride on the Rushmore Estate and demand here through 2012 has persuaded the owners to build a charming log cabin in their gardens so now you can be even closer to their lovely horses. Here at our home base in Cheshire we opened The Country Lodge in September of last year, this beautiful property has 3 double bedrooms, a huge living area and 3 bathrooms. The quality of the riding we offer here is superb (although I say it myself) but if that isn’t enough have a look at our testimonials page and you will see I am not the only one that is of this opinion!

As always myself (Sarah), Lindsey and Lou are always available to assist you, you can call us for a chat 8.30 – 6.30 Monday to Friday and Saturday morning. We have designed and written 90% of the holidays on site, these are all unique to Equestrian Escapes and we really do know these holidays. As instructors and riders ourselves we understand ability and confidence levels and it is our aim to match you with the perfect break and the perfect equestrian partner to share it with!

Call us now to request a brochure on 01829 781123.

 

Our horses January 2013

Our horses January 2013

 

Koda the miniature horse

December 11th, 2012

In the Yarrambat Veterinary Hospital just north of Melbourne Australia you will find a very special little horse named Koda. Koda is a miniature Horse who was also born a dwarf. Standing at just 59cm tall, if Koda the horse wants an equal he has to turn to the veterinary cat for company! He is so tiny visitors often think he’s a stuffed toy. The American miniature horse who suffers the double-whammy of being born a dwarf has had a bout of health problems caused by his size, but after substantial multiple surgeries is now recovering and enjoying the life of a pampered pet.

Koda and the cat

Koda and the cat

Brave Koda has had lots of surgery to correct his stumpy, buckled legs but that hasn’t helped his peculiar face. ‘His lower jaw juts out and he has bulging eyes, upturned nostrils and a wrinkled nose. He had a punky look, a fuzzy forelock and his mane stuck up like a mohawk,’ Dr Lynch said.

Koda’s poor health prognosis left Dr Lynch with little doubt he should be put down, but after the surgeries Koda looks set to live a long and fruitful life. Veterinary nurse Karen Stephenson, 23, was astounded by the resilience and spirit of the pint-sized pony. ‘I’d never seen a miniature horse and I just thought him amazing,’ she said. ‘I fell in love with him as soon as I saw him and thought he deserved a go at some good quality life, so I took him on.’

Dr Lynch has performed about £5,000 worth of leg surgery on Koda, but his total vet’s bill is expected to top £15,000. The next step is extensive dentistry to remove protruding adult teeth that won’t fit in his little mouth. He has recovered well from every operation so far. ‘He’s very brave and takes his medicine like a little man’ said Dr Lynch. ‘He’s everyone’s friend but he’s also got a very naughty streak and he’ll chew just about anything’.

Koda is not expected to live a completely normal horse life but there is hope that with the help of his human friends at the Yarrambat Veterinary Hospital that he will see two decades.

 

Koda

Koda

 

 

Horse Riding Articles

November 30th, 2012

In an office full of equestrian experts it only seems right that we should be relaying our equestrian knowledge back to you and as such we have designed a light hearted and informative A to Z of horse related articles. We will be posting two articles a week to our ‘horse riding articles’ page which you will be able to read through as and when you please. So far we have written articles A – F, D and E are to be published next week! We start with ‘A is for Aids’. This article details the true aids which are generally considered to include the voice, hands, legs and seat. Artificial aids include whips or spurs. We then continue onto ‘B is for Bits’ where we explain the function of the widely used bit, the snaffle.  ‘C is for Canter’. In this article we go into detail about the sequence of footfalls in all three gaits, walk trot and canter.

 All of our equestrian experts are chomping at the bit to offer you advice and expertise about all things equestrian and we hope that you will find our new horse riding articles page informative and interesting. Keep an eye out over the winter months for the complete A to Z of equestrian facts designed to increase your knowledge of the horse world.

Canter

Canter

Sir Alfred Munnings

November 23rd, 2012

Sir Alfred Munnings has long since been hailed as one of the greatest equine artists of all times. On 14 November 2012 an exhibition of his work went on show at The Richard Green Gallery in Bond Street, London. Early next year a feature film entitled Summer in February is due to be released, it tells the story of the early part of Munnings career including his tragic love affair with his first wife Florence, famously depicted in the painting Two Lady Riders Under An Evening Sky. The equestrian fraternity who has long since recognized the brilliant way in which Munnings painted horses is avidly awaited the  release of the film which stars Dominic Cooper as Munnings and Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame, as his friend Gilbert Evans. The producer of the film, Jeremy Cowdrey, has expressed surprise that no such similar film has ever been made, he explained ‘Munnings as a personality and character was so interesting and lively he bounced off the pages of the novel and Dominic Cooper who plays him in the film, just bounces off the screen’. Here at Equestrian Escapes we just can’t wait, Downton Abbey and horses, does it get much better!

Miss Millicent Baron on Magpie

The Sir Aldred Munnings Art Museum in Dedham Essex has lent 25 works to the Richard Green Gallery for the exhibition currently showing in London, including Miss Millicent Baron on Magpie, arguably one of the best examples of Manning’s work that first demonstrated his true understanding of the personality and anatomy of a fine horse (and lady!). In addition to his paintings of beautiful horses and ladies set in spectacular English countryside Munnings was also employed as the official World War 1 war artist to the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. During the war he painted many scenes, including a mounted portrait of General Jack Seely entitled Warrior in 1918 (now in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa). He bravely worked on his canvases close to the German front lines and even came under shell fire as his unit was forced into a hasty withdrawal. In 1918 he painted Charge of Flowerdew’s Squadron in what has become known as “the last great cavalry charge” here Gordon Flowerdew was posthumous awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in this successful engagement with entrenched German forces.

Munnings who died in 1959 aged 80 enjoyed an outstanding career and will no doubt be associated with equine painting for many generations to come. If you would like to ride in the beautiful English countryside in the footsteps of Munnings join us on one of our carefully designed horse riding holidays

Escape to Andalucia

October 9th, 2012

When booking a holiday to Malaga I struggled to shake images of booze addled Brits staggering half naked from bar to beach leaving behind a trail of cigarette butts and towels with union Jacks on them.  All it took to convince me that Malaga had shaken off this awful stigma was the taxi ride from the airport. I was delighted by the combination of a friendly taxi driver and endless mountains and valleys which punctuated my journey, reassuring me that this place was a far cry from the Costa Del Sol of the 90’s.
Our accommodation was absolutely beautiful. We were greeted by welcoming staff and ushered into spacious, contemporary bedrooms which were decadently furnished. Thoroughly exhausted from my travels I took a quick supper whilst lounging on our outside terrace and bid the other guests good night.


The quality of the riding the following morning (and afternoon, and every other day, come to think about it) was absolutely uncompromised. I was able to greatly improve my riding technique during our lessons and then spend the afternoon whiling away the hours enjoying relaxing treks through mountains, valleys and alongside awe inspiring lakes. By the end of the week I was even ready to engage in one of the adrenaline inspired canters through the countryside that I had previously only managed to spectate, with a mixture of jealousy and apprehension.


By the end of the week I felt that I was just about settled in to Malaga life and I was in no way ready to leave, so I decided to extend my stay by an extra night. This proved not to be enough, so to my accountants dismay I booked myself in for another week near enough the moment I stepped through the threshold of my home back in the UK.

For more information regarding our holidays to Andalucia call Sarah on 01829 781123.

Equestrian Summer Vacations

September 19th, 2012

Sadly summer is drawing to an end but what a success it has been so far. We launched our brand new 5* riding package in Antequera close to Malaga and that has been a huge hit. Riders are required to fly into Malaga from their chosen airport; we then collect them and take them to their luxury Cortijo accommodation boasting spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Daily rides include dressage or jumping lessons and trail rides plus half board accommodation. The owners of the Corjito are English, there is a Spanish cook who lives on site, the horses are privately owned and very well schooled and are often competed by the girls who also live at the centre. You can stay from 3 nights to 1 week arriving any day of the week all year round! Jessica wrote the following about her recent trip out to Antequera: I had a fantastic time in Antequera it was a perfect mix of relaxation and action packed! The riding was the most scenic I have ever done and I have fallen in love with Andalucían horses! The staff were very welcoming and made sure that I had a brilliant time organising an exciting and diverse itinerary. I have never eaten so well – the food was fantastic and I got to try lots of Spanish tapas. It was an amazing few days and a great way to explore an area of Spain which is so beautiful and unspoilt. I did not want to leave, it was like a big family and I will definitely come again! Thank you! Wiltshire, also one of this year’s most popular destinations saw the launch of their new ‘adult summer camp’. This exclusive and very unique camp offers 4 adults the opportunity to spend 1 week on the famous Rushmore Estate with our host Angie and her horses. Rides include lessons, pub rides and beach rides as well as all meals. We successfully ran 3 camps this year and hope to have next year’s dates very soon. This is what Anja wrote about here recent trip to Wiltshire before booking for New Years Eve: I am now back from the adult camp last week with Angie and I thought I would drop you an email to let you know how it went. I can honestly say that Alexander and I had an absolutely fantastic time and have never felt so spoilt and relaxed on holiday before. Angie is a spectacular host and her horses are just magnificent. The rides we went on were just fabulous and was the best way of de-stressing from a city job! We ate loads, rode loads and made some great friends. We both felt like we’d known Angie all our lives. As such, we were hoping for a return visit over the New Year weekend. Would it be possible – It’s clear to see how eager we are! Regards If you like the sound of the two packages above and are interested in escaping the British winter this year then all you need to do is find a flight to Malaga, give us a call and we’ll do the rest. Alternatively if you would prefer to stay in the UK then call us for next years adult camp dates and keep your eye out for our Christmas and New Year offers including a very special one in Wiltshire…! info@equestrian-escapes.com / tel. 01829 781123

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