Archive for the ‘questions’ Category

Pony Trekking Weekends In The Yorkshire Dales

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Pony Trekking In The Yorkshire Dales

The vast stretches of countryside that make up the beautiful and ever-reaching Yorkshire Dales will envelop you and take you on a whirlwind adventure, that is a Pony Trekking Weekend!  For all up-and-coming equestrian enthusiasts, this is not one to be missed!  The Yorkshire Dales acts as a wonderful set to play your part on a pony trekking adventure holiday.  40 acres of grounds and 26 acres of woodland means that you are spoiled in the Yorkshire Dales.  Although this holiday is for children who are eager to ride, lessons and hacks can be arranged for adults, and non-riders are most welcome too!  The staff on site are there to educate, encourage and evaluate your child’s progress so that they take the steps to become a successful pony rider – the sky is the limit!

The Beautiful Yorkshire Dales

Accommodation is in the form of a self-catered cottage situated right next to the stables so that you are never too far from your horsey friend, and so that you can make yourselves comfortable and properly settle in during your horse riding holiday.  Facilities include both an indoor and outdoor riding arena and all levers of rider are most welcome.  If you are a more confident rider and there is something in particular you may wish to grasp the technique of, just tell our staff and they will be more than happy to work on it with you throughout your stay.  Stable management courses are also available for beginners, where children will also learn safety around their pony, how to tack up, etc.

This pony trekking holiday can be invaluable to those who are willing to take it seriously and are keen on horses, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Horse Riding Holidays Travel Tips

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Once you have decided which horse riding holiday you intend to go on, Equestrian Escapes has a few more tips for you, too…

When going away on a horse riding holiday, don’t take too much with you!  Especially if you are an inexperienced rider, do not spend a lot of money on equipment that you may never use, or that you may never use again.

In Spring, Autumn and especially in the summer months, it can get very hot, so to avoid feeling sweaty and sticky all the time, try to stick to natural fabrics, especially cotton. There are many fantastic new products on the market, including full cotton seamless underwear, which is a blessing for the trail rides. Don’t forget about fine cotton socks, too.

 

 Trousers
Of course, nothing beats the comfort and protection that proper cotton breeches or jodhpurs afford for riding, but if you don’t intend to ride much after your holiday, you can get by with cotton tracksuit bottoms or leggings.

Tops
Should be fairly fitted, and it is better to have at least half sleeves for protection to the shoulders against sunburn or low hanging branches on the trail riding holidays. Even in the summer, they are just as cool and for the ladies, are much more “supportive” and comfortable so you can concentrate on learning in your classes. If you come in winter, it’s good to bring tops you can wear in layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts and vests. Sometimes it is quite cold and suddenly it gets hot, so it’s good to be able to add or subtract quickly.

Whatever your experience, whatever the holiday, Equestrian Escapes are here to help make your dreams come true…..

Equestrian Horse Riding Holiday

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

These four words are absolutely vital to our philosophy here at Equestrian Escapes. When we consider a new package, or putting a new destination onto our list of “To be scouted…” we ask ourselves a few questions to help determine whether it is suitable for our style. Our style of course being linked closely into our desired impact on the customer and the overall quality and delivery of the Equestrian Escapes product range.

Question number one.

Is is fit to be an Equestrian Escapes Horse Riding Holiday? Now by fit I mean does it tick those oh so necessary boxes that we know our customers need. Have we got those vital three C’s? Comfort, Culture and Climate. I heard you laugh! I’ll admit, we let our various England, Wales and Ireland venues slip under the bar with the weather reviews but this is for two very good reasons. One; we know our own land. Two; we have seen living testament over the past few decades to the amount of dedicated riders and horse lovers who are completely willing to brave gale force 27 winds and an icey bout of rain in England. And do you know why they do it? Simple. These people love their animals and these conditions only make you enjoy the good weather more. So needless to say, we launched our domestic range and it still is a smash hit. People love a good UK riding holiday. That’s the kind of holiday they want more often than not, given the current economical climate.

Question two.

When are we getting out to this new possible destination to have a thorough look at the available accommodation, riding centers and restaurants? We refuse to reccommed something to our customers unless we know it’s good. First hand sampling of all you will encounter, bar the unpredictable… for instance, no we did not test the air for possible traces of volcanic ash. Within reason, but with dedicated dilligance. That is how we always aim to operate when considering new destinations for your next horse riding holiday.

Question three. If we have aquired good answers to our first two questions then…

How soon can it be up on the website and available to you? How soon can it be ready? We want it sooner. The way we see this near final stage of the riding holiday process is that you could be going on your single holiday of the year in three weeks time. That’s right you, the customer. So what if you’d like to go to Madrid with your family of four this year on a riding holiday, you have already seen the standard we work at and would rather find yourself a new location than a different tour operator. That is customer loyalty, and that is what we strive to achieve. We want our relationships to strengthen over time with our customers. You should feel both confident and excited about your trip just knowing that Equestrian Escapes are the people who have been with you each step of the way. It is an Equestrian Escapes horse riding holiday and you should expect no less.

The Equestrian Escapes Logo

In the future, this will be further recognised as a symbol of honesty

Dear Sarah

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write to thank you for organising the most fabulous holiday for my husband, Ben and son, Oli.  It was a total and complete all-round success!  They both just loved it – I really can’t be sufficiently effusive or grateful. 

Of course, as you predicted, the highlight was Alfonso.  He was clearly charming – attentive, kind, enthusiastic and an expert with his horses.  Both boys raved about the riding and Alfonso’s skills.  He clearly looked after them well beyond what was expected. 

The hotel worked well and they both enjoyed being in Jerez and seeing the horses.

Thank you Sarah – it was a wonderful experience that I know Oli will remember all his life.

I’m just hoping to find an excuse to go myself as I’m hugely jealous!!

All the best,

Lucy”

That testimonial was recieved just today (21/4/10). It is an unprompted thankyou from yet another happy customer about the horse riding holiday she bought for her husband and son.

Lets get started on your tailor made trip, contact us.
Alternatively seek some riding holiday advice from our qualified staff.

Or just ring us at your leisure on: 01829 781 123

Searching, far and wide…

Friday, April 16th, 2010

A gentle walk through Cheshire

As a girl, I was always one for fairytales.  At a young age it was the dream of living in a castle, locks of blonde hair down to my waist, the perfect complexion with no freckles, pretty pink flowing dresses, and a Cinderella-style horse and carriage as my favoured mode of transport

I soon grew up.  But with this, the dream never really went away.

My mother was born and brought up in Africa, and upon moving to England at an early age, soon became obsessed with the horse.  She used to spend hours showing me how to check their feet; ways of running ones hand down their legs to feel for any lingering trouble, and always to avoid ragwort!  These have stuck with me, somehow, and by puberty my interest was huge, among other aspects.

When it was time to leave home and ‘find myself’, and I decided to combine my Mother’s favourite things; Africa and horses.  I knew that I had to go to the Masai Mara, to experience that life, and to try to see what my mother loved.

It was booked, my mosquito repellent was packed, and I was away! 

What first struck me was the heat, and I marvelled how these beautiful, healthy horses could bear it as they whisked at the flies with their tails.  They moved so elegantly, and the sound of their hooves on the famously red African soil was enchanting.  As we rode over the Masai plains, dust flew up behind us, in a dream world that was such bliss and could not be further away from the world I lived. 

In the evenings, the Masai would dance to us as we sat around a large log fire, watching the embers crackle as their feet hit the ground to the rhythm of the beat.  The horses took no notice, and went about their grazing business nonchalantly.  

At sunrise we prepared our horses and set out at a gallop to watch the sun come up and slowly touch the landscape with her white light.  The beauty was utterly enthralling, and the sheen on my horse was breathtaking.

My Mother was right.  Her fairytale had come alive before me.

I became obsessed with my experience, and addicted to finding such beauty again.  I rode out in Peru, New Zealand, Ireland, Tuscany and even The Road of Bones in Far East Russia, but nothing met my expectations.

 It was not until I found Equestrian Escapes and their Cheshire Horse Riding Holidays that I was satisfied.  The horses gleamed, and their friendly faces shone out from the pristine stables that were their home.  Who would have thought I would find what I was looking for almost on my front door step? A UK riding holiday!  I was amazed, and entirely impressed.  Never had I seen such care given to these beautiful animals and from this a kind of mutual respect between the horse and the rider united us together.  The rolling green hills and wonderful sounds of the birds made me feel like I was in a bubble, like Africa, and so far away from everyday life.

Equestrian Escapes Staff

Friday, April 9th, 2010

A question often asked is what experience do the Equestrian Escapes team have with horses?

Well, my name is Emma Shore and I own a horse called Wee Welsh Lady (Lady). I have been working at Equestrian Escapes for the past 3 years on a part time basis whilst studying at University. Lady is a Welsh Cob x Throughbred. I compete with Lady most weekends in BSJA showjumping competitions. To date I have won many prestigious competitions.

I got Lady 7 years ago and she had never done any show jumping before. She had previously competed in working hunter classes to a high level and qualified and competed at many of the top shows.

She was the perfect horse for me as I was only 13 when I got her so we could both start in British Novice classes and slowly progress together. Soon after this I had qualified for the British Novice and Discovery Championships in Lincolnshire. Unfortunately because I was still at school I couldn’t compete in the Discovery as it was during school time. However, I went and competed in the British Novice. I qualified for the final in which I came 2nd. I also won the under 21 qualifier but didn’t jump her in the final as we wanted to save her for the British Novice.

After this success I qualified for numerous other championships including the Scope 1.15 metre class. At Scope I qualified for the main ring in the 1.15 metre. This class was inside and there was a fountain in the ring and Lady hates water. I was slightly worried that there was a fence that looked like it was jumping straight into the fountain and I was correct to be worried. I fell off and ended up breaking my finger. However, after this I came 3rd in the Star of the Future class.

Additionally, she won a Welsh Master Championship as well as numerous 1.15, 1.20, 1.25 and 1.30 classes. In August 2009 I won 2 championships at Aintree Equestrian Centre.

Lady was having a rest during the winter of 2009 when she jumped put of her field onto the concrete yard. When she did this she slipped onto her hock and cut a large area of her hock down to the bone as well as cutting her coronary band on her front hoof. She was rushed to the vets and underwent an operation. She had to have her hock thoroughly washed to try to avoid infection and she had stitches in her front hoof. She then had to have 4 months box rest whilst the wound healed and all the time we didn’t know whether she would ever recover. About 2 months ago I started riding her again and getting her back to fitness. She has now been to 4 shows and she has been placed 3rd in 2 competitions and 1st in 2 competitions of which one was a 1.15m Amateur Championship qualifier. I am now aiming at building her up to larger competitions including the 1.20m HOYS qualifier and numerous championships.

Our cyber horse world

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Equestrian Escapes has duely noted the absolute need for businesses today to play the 21st century game. Cyber space.  The optimal goal is not what you may think… money, money, money. But to deliver a great service or product, and using the web in its different ways is most vital in finding your perfect customers. Because they are out there, and they are looking for a product that will make them happy. So is the nature of our capitalist, consumer ruled soceity.

So how is Equestrian Escapes using the web today? And how can you be involved?

1. www.Equestrian-Escapes.com

This is the headquarters of Equestrian Escapes on the web, if you will. It was the first website we launched and has managed, over time to help us build a loyal following of happy customers who can easily browse our itineraries at their lesiure whenever they want. EquestrianEscapes.com has been up and running for three years now. Click on the link above to read about our extensive list of horse riding holidays.

This photo appears on the E.E. website

Equestrian Escapes to Bournemouth

2. www.EquestrianVacations.co.uk

This is the blog you are currently reading. We have written over fifty full length articles describing our itineraries and a wide vareity of other things. Our blogs are written mostly by our staff but we have included articles that have been volunteered by customers and friends of Equestrian Escapes. For example we have had a number of talented writers take us through each step of their holiday and kindly let us post it as an article, with links, onto our blog. EquestrianVacations.co.uk has proved to be an invaluable source when it comes to letting people know what we’re up to both on the scene, and behind it.

3. Horse Riding Holidays Equestrian Escapes on Facebook

This Fan-page on Facebook is a little base that we have recently been using to let our friends, family, colleagues and fans gather in one convenient address to hear about recent news and events. We have been using facebook to alert people to our newest of holidays and we upload our favourite photos of horses that we have taken in the UK and abroad. At the time of writing this article, our facebook page has 157 fans.

4. Equestrian Hols on Twitter Twitter Bird

This is our most recent cyber venture. Twitter, brought into the limelight by the likes of Stephen Fry, is an extremely popular internet communication site and a massive forum on which people can write short notes to the Twitter world and their own accumulated “followers”. Followers are people who have selected your account, for example Equestrianhols and decided that they want to be alerted whenever you post something new. We only began Tweeting here at Equestrian Escapes a few days ago but already have double figures of followers! Click on the link above to visit our Twitter page and start following now.

Beach walking

A great day to enjoy the sandy coast

5. Folkd.com

Folkd is an article sharing site on which a long standing friend of Equestrian Escapes has been taking his own time to write occasionally. Eduardo a friend of Sarah Caplan has been contributing to Folkd under the amusing alias of EduardoHorseExpert. Click above to browse his short descriptions and links.

6. Hot Frog

This is a directory of UK based businesses. Each registered business has a page on which it can sumbit articles about their product allowing the reader to have an incredibly close look at what it is they are interested in. Most sites do not offer this attention to detail and this is why Equestrian Escapes has laboured to put a few very select holidays onto our page within its listings.

7. Ezine Articles

Ezine is another article shraing website. Our correspondant on this one is none other than Richard Mark who has occasionally dipped in a dropped a line on a recent holiday or travel experience. He regularly travels with Equestrian Escapes. Click above to go directly to Ezine and read his articles.

Check out Equestrian Escapes’ Horse World on our main site. It has all sorts of horsey information and some great photos.

Frequently asked questions:

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

If you have a question you would like us to answer but rather than phone us (on 01829 781 123) you think that others would also find the answer to your question useful, then please just leave a comment at the bottom of this post and we will give you a detailed answer as soon as we next log in.

Here are some questions that we frequently answer to customers enquiring about our horse riding holidays;

Q:“How experienced do I need to be to go on this ride?”
A: For the vast majority of our holidays, not at all. We deal with all levels of rider on a daily basis. All the way from riders who have never rode a horse, to members of Trooping the Colour and army riding instructors (aka the rather experienced!). All of our holidays will be tailored to suit your requirements and where ever possible we will alter the itineraries to fit your desires. For example, if you chose The Magic of Andalucia which contains a fair amount of riding (including some much longer hacks out) and then you rang one of our experts and told them you are a complete novice or had spent little time on a horse beforehand, or even that you used to ride but haven’t in years! Our experts will have a good chat with you, obtain an understanding of your abilities and then help work out the right riding plan for you, with the ideal amount of time on horseback.

Q:“What do you think I should bring with me?”
A: Bring with you the things you usually like to ride with. Wether this is general kit or just a comfortable outfit. There will be riding hats available from the various equestrian centres that will be managing your riding. Also take into consideration how necessary the item is when thinking about lugging it through a possibly hot and busy airport. Do bring some smart/causual wear for a nice meal out in the local village but for the rest of the holiday comfort is key.

A beautiful day in Almeria

The pool available for your lesiure

Q:“What time of year is best to travel?”
A: From an economical point of view you should aim to make your travel plans as early as possible. This is particularly necessary in terms of flights. The sooner your flights are booked, preferably months in advance, the less it will cost you. As for the seasons you should travel in, the same applies again (book in advance!). Between March and July chiefly, even into late August you will have a massive chance of good weather and in some of our destinations this is near guarenteed! Obviously Equestrian Escapes can take absolutely no responsibility for the outcome of the weather, we are a tour operator, not God. For instance Portugal and Spain will be very hot during this period. But as we all know, better weather means more demand, and more demand means a higher price. So there will be higher prices for our holidays (and everyone elses) during the peak months and key holidays.

Q:“Have you any riding experience?”
A: Our staff are all horse involved and have been for much of their lives. Sarah Caplan our managing director has been riding ever since her early childhood and can often be heard recounting her words upon her first sighting of a horse, “That’s for me, that’s what I want to do!” And it was. Sarah maintained her passion throughout her teenage years and even during uni (where many horse lovers can’t find time) in Manchester where she studied Zoology. Now the proud owner of six cherished horses, three of which are foals of varying maturity, Sarah has made the entrepreneurial leap on top of her stable duties (and giving her friends enough attention) to running her own quality riding holiday business. And with that the deal was sealed and it is now what Sarah “does”!

Trail and Train in Spain

Riding in the water, Spain

Q:” How do you test your holidays?”
A: Our BHS qualified director Sarah Caplan has personally been on each of the holidays that we offer. Now, that sounds like a luxurious job at first glance but the reality of going to over sixty destinations whilst running a fledgling company and playing mother to two growing teenagers is something different all together. But the starter years are over and Equestrian Escapes is no longer a fledgling business. Sarah also sees the horses when she is considering adding a new location to our ever growing list of itineraries and rides the available routes to establish whether it is worth paying your hard earned cash for.

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