Is it fair to have just one horse?

November 18th, 2014

You may have seen our recent Facebook post ‘horses are like chocolates you can’t have just one’. We asked our followers whether this statement was true and were completely overwhelmed by the response we had! Stories about how many horses you all owned came flooding in thick and fast and we found it so hard to pick our favourite that we ended up with three winners! It has made us think though, is it fair to have just one horse?

When we make the decision to buy or re-home a cat or a dog we don’t automatically think ‘he/she might get lonely, I must get two’. The same applies with a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster. But it seems different with a horse. Why?

In Switzerland you can’t have ‘just one’. You must have more than one horse kept together or the government will come along and remove your horse into their care. This ensures that horses are kept in a more social environment, a way of putting the horse’s interests first.

Out of the 300 comments that we received on our Facebook post our three winning stories came from the following equestrian enthusiasts and horse lovers!

“My daughter (she’s 21! ) rescued an appi gelding and he is the whole world to her she was asked to take on a little spotted mare too and said yes! Then she took on another rescue cob ! And believe it or not rescued an old mare which was losing the fight for life! So we have four all rescues all very different but they all mean so much to us and they will all live the rest if their lives happy and healthy xxx”

“Ok on behalf of my daughter niamh who is now 12 . Nearly 13
Niamh had Alot of problems with mixing with other children at nursery then at school but she loved animals esp horses she has a few lessons then we looked to get one on loan. We advertised and after a good few months found jubilee. He was 25 then but still jumping etc . He became her best friend and she suddenly had lots to tell her peers etc at school . She was diagnosed with aspergers syndrome and peoples thoughts feelings and meanings were a mystery to her but not jubilee. She understood him .. They became a fantastic team soon he taught her how to ride really well and through shows and gymkhana she overcame lots of social problems. We owe him so much he is now 32 and still does some showing bringing home ribbons everytime . He follows niamh round like a dog and my grandson now rides him occasionally as niamh now has a 15hh mare Cleo who she also loves to bits but everyone will always have a special place for jubilee he gave niamh a life. . Of course I then got my own horse to ride with niamh. .called nova who after losing my dad n my brother close together gave me a reason to get up n keep smiling .. precious gifts horses are xxxx”

“Had one…. Got bought another as a wedding present as first one getting older and retiring, 2nd one very soon went lame and ended surgery, rescued another so I could ride…. She turned out to have health issues, moved yards to my own ace (fatal) and took a pony with me who was 3rd ones best friend and YO didn’t want any more…. Then got offered another rescue that owner didn’t want…. Now upto 5….. Was then given another as a house warming present (another rescue)…. This one was only little and needed a friend so another rescue arrived!! Then decided I needed another that I could actually ride properly so bought a nice youngster…. He has since bust 5 ligaments in his leg so no more riding for him….. So I then had to get another youngster!! Phew….. Currently have 7 of them…. Lost 2 due to old age.”

Having read some of the comments above what do you think? Is it fair to have just one horse? If you would like to buy one of our fine bone china mugs please contact us at info@equestrian-escapes.com £5 plus £2.50 p&p. They make lovely stocking fillers.
mug

 

FEI European Championships 2015

November 13th, 2014

Following the huge success of The World Equestrian Games in Normandy this year all of us at Equestrian Escapes are very much looking forward to the 2015 FEI European Championships. We are running two packages next year, one to Blair and the other to Aachen.

Blair

Blair

The European Eventing Championships will be hosted in the stunning setting of the ancestral Blair Castle, unique among the castles of Scotland for its renowned history and fascinating past. Dates for our exclusive package are 9th -14th September 2015. Set in the magnificent highlands of Scotland the Championships are an ideal getaway for any horse enthusiast! Prices start at £495pp.

The European Dressage Championships will be held in the fabulous spa city of Aachen, Germany. From 11th – 17th August 2015 you will witness the top dressage riders and horses from across Europe in this magnificent equestrian display. Prices start at £750pp.

Aachen

Be part of Equestrian dressage history and support your favourite riders and horses!

If you’re interested in attending Blair and or Aachen next year contact Lindsey or Sarah on 0044 1829 781123 or email us at info@equestrian-escapes.com

 

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

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