Archive for January, 2010

Equestrian Escapes

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Another sun soaked day

Almeria coastline

With 2010 well underway and a wider list of destinations available for Portugal, Equestrian Escapes has embraced the new year. We have high hopes for the coming months, with plans to add a list of riding holidays and short breaks to France in the near future.

We still aim to deliver a tailor made experience, focused around riding, involving equestrian culture and breathtaking scenery. Our Riding Holidays have already won the acclaim of more than happy customers. Horse enthusiasts return time and time again to experience what they have already learnt to be a reliable source for new and exciting breaks, short trips and full blown holidays.

If you would like to plan a longer vacation abroad, we recommend adding two trips together and we will create a new combined itinerary just for you.  For example, take the Short Break Mountain Trial Ride in Spain. A four night, three day exploration through the forest tracks, ravines, valleys and bridle-paths of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And following straight after, either drive or take a two hour train to the Epona Equestrian centre near Jerez. The Epona Trail and Train Riding Holiday is a great chance to hone your skills in both riding and dressage. Remeber this is an example, you could switch these around, use completely different holidays, in different countries if you wished.

Check out our other recent news article on New Year Horse Riding News 2010

Ride the unspoilt beaches of Portugal, Brand New 2010

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

The newest holiday made available by Equestrian Escapes has a five day, four night itinerary. This latest of our extensive range of Horse Riding Holidays has been scouted by one of our very own BHS qualified experts. This means one thing, quality is guaranteed. Our past customers put it best themselves:

“Dear Sarah
I had a simply brilliant short break – thank you for all your help and careful planning. I really fell in love with Marco (my hack mount) and I wanted to bring him home!
Just what I needed and will do this again!
Kind Regards

The cliff tops

The angular cliffs align in natures dance

Beach Riding Holiday Portugal £330

Day one

Arrive at either Faro or Lisbon Airport and drive for two hours to the beautiful Alentejo coastline. Porto Covo is your direction, and once you’ve settled into either a rural cottage or luxury hotel… Your ready for your first ride. This first ride is chiefly to get aquainted with both the area, and your new steed.

Day Two

After a good nights sleep and a healty amount of anticipation it’s down the stunning cliff paths leading right down to the beaches. Here you’ll have a chance to soak up the sun, and a bit of scenery, before returning to the stables. This leaves you with the rest of the day to kick back or explore. For those who wish to really experience the culture on offer, Vilanova de Milfontes or Zambujeira are nearby fishing villages, teaming with the Portuguese way of life.

Day Three

Today presents a more challenging task, in the form of a four hour ride down the costal paths of the region, heading all the time for Porto Covo. This is a place where the streets end in the salt water, and every beach boasts it’s own unique veiw of the sea with the sand and rocks as its frame.

Day Four

This day is largely open to your specific interests. You can choose to travel out and see more of the area which lies undicovered by English tourists. Alentejo is a world apart from the popular holiday destinations of Malaga and Benidorm. Or alternatively you can book morse riding for today. Both come highly reccomended!

Day Five

Alas, the day has arrived on which you must return. With nothing but the bags you brought and the memories you’ve borrowed from the coast, you depart home. Needless to say the scenery in coastal Portugal will give the exceptional shropshire countryside a big run for its money.

For Equestrian Escapes news see New Riding Holidays for 2010

New Year Horse Riding News 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

In the run up to Christmas we have been working very hard at increasing our range of products. Our UK portfolio now offers additional tours in Berkshire, including riding in the Windsor Great Park. You will be staying in a relaxing Spa hotel where you can treat yourself to a massage or a swim in the hotel pool. Another new UK break takes you to Shropshire where you can follow in the footsteps of the legendary horseman Jack Mytton through spectacular riding country. Also Ride the unspoilt beaches of Portugal, Brand New 2010.

Jumping is a fantastic pastime

A nice day for jumping

Our full list of UK riding breaks is now quite extensive and there is something for everyone whatever your level of riding. We can offer tuition, scenic hacks, beach riding or any combination.

If the UK weather is getting you down we have also added new tours to our European list. Why not have a look at a break in the sunny Andalucian region of Spain, Riding Holidays Andalucia. We can design a bespoke tour to meet your individual requirements or one of our set itineraries may catch your eye…

An Exceptional Shropshire Weekend

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Friday Evening

I arrived towards the end of the day at my Riding Holiday in Shropshire, similar in beauty to the Cheshire Riding Break. The setting sun casting everything into a fading orange and purple landscape. Not to return until the early hours of the morning. Despite my excitement in anticipation of the coming days, I still wished that I could go for one last canter around the woods. I had after all planned this weekend break carefully, left work promptly at four pm that Friday and managed a quick gallop before the sun set. Alas it was rapidly becoming far too dark and would only be deemed irresponsible if I was to risk the safety of both myself and my horse Julio just for the sake of a trot and canter which could be saved for tommorrow.


After a good nights sleep in the farm house (not a minutes walk from the stables) I woke, feasted and began my day. Starting with the canter through the forest, I briefly stolen a taste of the previous evening. It didn’t disappoint! Ever since I was little I’ve particularly enjoyed riding in the forest. It gets me thinking, and I feel it’s nice to share something as time worn and traditional as riding. Just as our forefathers would have done countless times throughout England’s history. We stopped for a pub lunch and let the horses relax and doze in the orchard before the afternoon ride. Needless to say this is one of my favourite Horse Riding Weekends in the UK.


The following day we rode the famous bridleway named after Mad Jack Mytton, an eccentric horseman. This was most enjoyable, especially whilst hearing tales of Mad Jack himself, who led quite an extraordinary life. We didn’t pay a visit to the nearby town of Ironbridge in the end, opting instead for a few cups of tea back at the farm house to wind ourselves down.

Upon leaving I was relaxed, no longer stress ridden from work, and nearly sad to say goodbye. It was definitely a weekend I shall be repeating in the near future.

A long windy country road

The vibrant countryside

Spend Your 52 Weekends Wisely

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The first Sunday Times of 2010 proudly recommended how it’s readers should make the very most of their few and far between Weekends this year! With exciting breaks lined through all the seasons, Equestrian Escapes Riding Holidays acheived a warm spot in the beggining of August. 

The 6th – 8th was set aside for our Shropshire Riding Break, a hack along the long-distance bridleway named after a local horse fanatic, the infamous Mad Jack Mytton. The Eloquent Shropshire Weekend is Equestrian Escapes very own custom tailored weekend break in which you can ride the very same bridleway. 

This serves as a good example of the  standard that Equestrian Escapes offers. With over 60 breaks available and more on their way, check out our Sitemap for Horse Riding Holidays that will suit you.

An Interesting Tale

Mad Jack famously won a bet by riding into a respected hotel in Leamington Spa, the Bedford Hotel. He rode up the grand staircase, onto the balcony and jumped, clinging to his steed for dear life, over the diners enjoying their meals in the restaurant below and through a window back onto the street. 

Mad Jack Mytton

Memories of a warm Tuscany, prompted by the big chill…

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Seven days in the sun seems like a far and distant time from our little frozen island. However, the trip left such a firm imprint on me that I can recall it clear as day. A Medieval Castle Tour of Tuscany! I remember stepping off the plane into the warm nostalgic atmosphere of Tuscany. This same relaxing ambience is responsible for that special place where I hold Tuscany in my heart. A trip I shan’t forget soon, nor willingly.

The Adventure Begins

On the first day we were transferred to the magnificant castle in which we were due to stay for the start of our holiday adventure. The food there was sublime, and accompanied by a fine red wine which complemented the meat well. As we had spent the majority of the day travelling I was extremely tired and retired early, keen to be well rested to make the most of the next day.

After a hearty breakfast we set out on our first ride, destination Lake Bolsena! Having heard about the lake’s particular beauty, the way it rests in the heat of the land, a hub of life and ripples, I was keen to get going and arrive already! But the wait was far from lenghty and my impatience soon quashed. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I don’t believe the heat permits this rule in Tuscany. Everything’s a little slower and you have time to really soak in your surroundings. We trotted along some ancient tracks trodden by many a steed and these old routes led us to the lake… and it was not a disappointment. To the extent that I acutally stripped down to just my shorts and swam for a while. What a nice change it was from my life at home. Drifting in a lake in Tuscany!

Time Flys By Once Your Settled In

The very next day we visited another lake, this one formed inside a volcanic crater with traces of human settlements from the pre-etruscan era. Having passed the lake we cantered up a tree lined path which later revealed some stunning views over the land. Having completed another great day of riding we returned to the castle for some serious chow.

Over the next three days we toured Sorano, every moment viewing scenery that stands as a testament to the sheer age of the land. For instance the paths weaving their way through the towering ancient rock. Cut by ancient man in a time long forgotton.

The path less trodden

All this was broken into perspective by a few healty picnics and the occasional rest stop. Each night staying in an ancient castle or fortress. The castles were really a highlight of the trip, their architecture was astounding. I couldn’t help but think back to my first trip to Portugal, an expertly planned venture organised for me by Equestrian Escapes who later became my standard go to tour operator whenever I wanted a mixture of relaxation and riding.

All Good Things…

Having departed Sorano, we moved down and up the other side of the Stridolone Valley, past an ex-convent and into the heart of the Tuscany countryside where we spotted pheasent, deer and the occasional wild boar! With that we returned to our proud castle for a final meal and good nights sleep. Departing in the morning was ever so painful and I’ve felt a longing to return ever since. Truely a favourite of Castle Riding Holidays, a unique and timeless trip.

2010 – A Snowy English Countryside Ride

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

A happy new year to all! I decided given the quaint and silent beauty of the snow, that is to say in my neighborhood of England (the lovely Cheshire), that I would once again brave the elements with my most capable and favourite companion Alfozo. Alfonzo is a shire horse, the extra weight gives him that extra edge in the sometimes icey and devious snow. His mane is a beautiful chesnut brown and all over his muscular body he is riddled with patches of beige.

It wasn’t untill we were a full half hour away from our delightfull country base that I felt the -8°C chill down the back of my neck that the crystal clear image of a steaming hot chocolate warmed my very soul. With a click and gentle tug on the reins Alfonzo began to take his indecisive passanger home, however he did so happily, not attemting to guilt trip his oldest friend. Willington Hall, a beautiful country house hotel deep in the heart of cheshire is far from the hustle and bustle of many a Brits everyday life. Memories of a warm Tuscany, prompted by the big chill… are however quite the contrast to this snowy excursion

A snowy country road (on horseback)

Needless to say I’ll be advising my closest, nearest and dearest to enjoy Riding Holidays Cheshire specificly! This is available as a package from Equestrian Escapes.

Equine World Record Breakers

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Whilst indulging my equestrian passion during a Riding Holiday in Bournemouth my mind began to drift from the lazy swell of the sea to an article I recently stumbled upon in Horse & Hound. It had the most astounding picture attached, which held Freddie Wettach in the centre, hovering, having jumped an unofficial record breaking height of eight feet, three and a half inches!

8ft 3 1/2in

Despite the reading of the article not being particularly recent, I found the picture had been permanantly embeded in my head. Such a spectacular sight it is to see my equine hero acheiving such a monumental feat with a man clinging onto his back for dear life.

I glanced around me along the beach longing to find an obstacle to jump in order to emulate the vision now imprinted on my brain. My eyes fell on a neatly stacked pile of deck chairs and my mind took over…… I was rapidly hurtling on my fine steed towards the group of deck chairs alongside which lay a large umbrella and a watercooler. With little time to take evasive action and command my beautiful black Warmblood clear of the innocent furniture. Rangolf (the german steed) made the necessary calculations and commited to the most electrifying jump of my forty three years on the planet.

In what I likely suspect was a record attempt of his very own Rangolf launched himself at the very same angle of an airplane at take-off and for a moment time froze still. I found my head racing with all my most cherised memories. My first hack on a riding weekend in Cheshire. The summer of 2009 in which I chiefly lived in Windsor, riding daily in The Great Park. And numerous childhood memories long since forgotten.

At this point I looked below me to see the sheer height that we had reached and I realised there was a very good chance I could make it. Rangolf had done me proud. We landed in the sand but inches away from the watercooler. Snap! Just like that I’m pulled out of my daydream and back to the Bournmouth Beach Ride. I thought this new anecdote is faintly reminiscent of Mad Jack Mytton’s story published in the article Spend Your 52 Weekends Wisely. Eager not to be left behind I urge my horse forward as the instructor shouts time for a canter, did she realise I had just broken the world equestrian high jump record (even if it had been just in my mind!)

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