Archive for the ‘riding holidays Italy’ Category

Words From Eduardo

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Dear Equestrian Escapes,

I recently travelled to Slovenia and came across some horses that reminded me of a horse-riding holiday that I booked through you.  I went alone, to Barcelona and had the most wonderful time.  I remember especially that the horses were so healthy and well looked after, and Barcelona itself was so pretty.  I am currently travelling around Europe on business, but when I return I think I may just ring you to book a well-deserved horse-riding breakItaly, perhaps this time!  Or perhaps I should try something entirely different?  Maybe the side-saddle?…….

I look forward to speaking to you on my return,

Many thanks,

Eduardo (Horse Expert)

Equestrian Escapes’ Horse Riding Holidays

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Equestrian Escapes’ Horse Riding Holidays

If you are looking for a holiday that is a bit different, and carries with it a sense of adventure, why not book a horse riding holiday?  Equestrian Escapes offers a wide variety of horse riding holidays, from Peru and Spain, Portugal and Italy, to the Uk and Ireland.  You can even take your horses with you on holiday, and learn new tricks together.  You can design your own riding plan to suit you from lessons, short hacks, half day rides to full day rides.

Riding in Berkshire

Accommodation is also varied, from pretty little B&Bs, to log cabin, quiet country hotels, to luxurious full board hotels and spas.

Here at Equestrian Escapes we are happy to discuss your perfect holiday.

A PROPER Castle

Friday, May 14th, 2010

My Father used to love old buildings, and whilst growing up my parents used to take us around old broken down ruins and French Chateaus often tumbling down the hill side.  The usual scenario would be that we would be driving in some remote area of France, a grey wreck would be seen in the distance and Dad would decide THAT would be the picnic spot.  So, the usual climbing through thorns, and having to route around for the odd dock leaf because of stinging nettles everywhere, would ensue.  This could take a while, but Dad was dedicated.  Upon arrival, as it were, you were then made to perch on some mossy damp stone that had once been a chimney, and marvel at the arches as you munched on your bacon roll.

So, now that I was married, I thought it would be nice to stay in a proper castle.  And where better than Italy?  It really was a delight to feel the warmth of the place, and not have to zip your Musto right up to the top to prevent wind chill.  The surroundings were a complete sensation, and the castle was sheer luxury.

The Perfect Italian Castle Retreat

The beaches were as beautiful as advertised and not crowded so it was such bliss to canter along, before having the most delicious lunch.  Whilst I was thinking this could not get better, the vineyards stretched out before us, and the whole setting was breathtaking.  And that was only day one!

The most amazing holiday I have been on, a real experience, and something I would certainly suggest to anyone who is passionate about beautiful scenery, good food, luxurious buildings and above all, horses!

Many thanks, Jan Richards

Romance in Italy

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I fell in love on a horse riding holiday… I went alone, needing to get away from my work, and just to give myself a break. I decided on Italy, the country of love! Beautiful valleys sweeping away into the distance, the sound of running water from my Juliet-style balcony, the warmth of the sun on my face, and a waiter at my door with a large bottle of Dom Perignon (courtesy of the man in room 42).

Not to far from the castle at all

A beautiful Italian afternoon

I am not normally in the habit of accepting champagne from random men, but what the hell, I was on holiday, alone, and I wanted to let my hair down. The telephone on the side table started ringing and stopped as I gingerly picked up the receiver. “Hello?” Something swept over me as I heard this deep and husky voice from the other end of the line and butterflies flitted in my stomach. My breath quickened. I put down the phone slowly, all the while smiling to myself. The man from room 42… Hector, we arranged to meet just before sundown to ride out to the large lake at the bottom of the valley. He assured me the view would be breathtaking, and he would organise a picnic supper together by the lake. It all sounded very romantic! I decided that such an occasion meant a hair wash and tore into the bathroom to explore the soaps and other perfumed goods that you find in swanky hotel bathrooms.

Slightly tiddled from the champagne that I had managed to consume single handed, and nervous about my appearance as I made my way down to the stables. A little early, there was no one about apart from the grooms and I helped to tack up the dark mare that I was to ride. Over my shoulder came a dark shadow and I spun around to find myself gazing into deep hazel eyes, with gentle crow’s feet framing his lashes. I was shocked, stunned, and knew I should have shaved my legs! A basket picnic hamper, as promised, was saddled up with us, as well as deep red tartan rugs and some oats for the horses.

Hector was right, the scenery was spectacular and even to this day I remember every minute detail as we trotted down to the vast grey lake. The sun was setting, but the air was light with a slight breeze that played with my fringe. He commented on it, and carefully swept my hair back and behind my ears. I thanked him, but still he lingered close to me. At that moment, both of us astride gleaming dark mares, we shared a moment that will stay with me forever. And for our twentieth wedding anniversary next year, we are going back to Italy, back to the country of love, back to the many sweeping forests, back to the vast grey lake, back to the gleaming horses, and back to where I fell in love with my Hector.

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

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.

The story so far…

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Two thousand and ten brings nothing but positive thoughts for the hard workers here at Equestrian Escapes. Behind the scenes we have been chipping away at a long list of tasks all working towards bringing new holidays to the table. Whilst at the same time, balancing our efforts to keep the customer service high and managing the business as it rapidly expands. The last of these points being the most crucial.

Riding Holidays throughout Europe

 

Equestrian Escapes started providing quality, tailor made horse riding holidays only three and a half short years ago and is now the proud partner of a significant portion of the wide market share of horse riding holidays in Europe. This proves Equestrian Escapes is here to stay as a healthy competitor doing its vital part to help drive down holiday prices and keep the bigger horse holiday businesses on their tippy toes.

With the UK finally completing that long climb out of the recession we are all so eager to forget about, it definitely is time to enjoy our compliments and rewards made possible by you, the customer. Not in the sense of a massive profit margin (because our holidays are designed to compete with the best) but rather, our horsey experts are in this business because of one thing – they love riding. If our Managing Director Sarah Caplan had not followed her unfaltering passion for riding and continued to sustain her excellent skills and knowledge up to this point then there really is no doubt that Equestrian Escapes would not be standing this tall.

Our success in this business comes down to one of our main key points of practise. That is taking the sweet time and effort to scout these holidays and scrutinise their every detail for you. Now that sounds like a luxurious job doesn’t it? Not as much as you would think. These horse riding holidays all have various options and can be tweaked and tailored to suit your party at any point. So if there are many variables then that means one thing… we have been there and tested them. So when Sarah goes for instance to Barcelona or Madrid, she visits the hotels, goes on all of the rides and meets the people who will be dealing directly with you. Whilst all the time assessing the quality of what she is seeing and how it is going to help you make the best of your holiday.

But despite the hard work it pays off. Every day we get more testimonials from happy customers just wanting to drop a line, or little note to say thank you or a full account of their holiday and how truly great it was. Usually ending with how they don’t want to wait until next year to travel with us again.

It certainly is a positive time at the moment, everything is coming together and the hard work is paying off. So not for the last time, thank you.

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.

Medieval Castle Tour

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

 

The architecture is bold, it describes the period it was built in with expertise

Castles in Tuscany hold a reputation among historians around the world

We have recently returned from a new tour in Tuscany, Italy. We are always looking for tours that are just a little bit different and the Medieval Castle Tour certainly fits the bill. During your holiday you will be staying in two medieval castles and a fortress. The first castle we stayed at was a splendid 17th century castle complete with a fairy tale turret. The riding is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders and you spend about four to five hours in the saddle each day. The scenery is spectacular as you follow ancient tracks and pass through vineyards and around the hillsides. The horses that we rode on The Medieval Castle Tour were a mixture of haflinger, appaloosa and maremanno, they all had excellent temperaments and looked after us very well! One highlight of the castle tour were the lovely picnic lunches laid out on the hillside and in shady glades. The horses were happy to graze quietly while we rested and prepared for the afternoons ride. All too soon we came to the end of the medieval castle tour and retuned to our starting point. We celebrated with a farewell dinner and said farewell to our new friends. This was one of my favourite historical riding holidays.

Or if you fancy something a little closer to the coast… read about the Beginners Beach Ride in Andalucia.

Horse Riding Holidays Italy

Saturday, November 14th, 2009


In October we went to try a new horse riding holiday in Italy; Tuscany to be more precise. The accommodation for this riding holiday is in a series of castles which provide for a real ‘fairytale’ setting. As we drove up the long sweeping drive to the ‘home’ castle we had our first taste of the truely wonderful location that we would be enjoying over the coming days. Our rooms were spacious and elegantly furnished and that evening as we feasted on traditional Italian cooking we really began to look forward to the start of our horseback adventure. On the first day we rode to Lake Bolsena, returning to the castle again in the evening. This gave us a chance to become acquainted with our horses, we also we had the opportunity to paddle along the shores of this impressive lake that sits in a volcanic crater. The following day we continued our castle riding tour following the roads laid by the very first Italians inhabitants, The Etruscans. The wonderful towns of this region are built from the tuff rock hills providing spectacular results for example Sorano and Pitigliano. This whole area oozes a rich cultural and historical heritage. We rode through the “Vie Caves”, ancient and mysterious Etruscan pathways carved out of the rock, experiencing the unchanged scenery that the Etruscans did thousands of years ago. Each day was punctuated by a wonderful picnic lunch, washed down with local Italian wines. Needless to say a seven day riding holiday was gone in a trice but the pictures of this wonderful adventure will remain with us for ever! This riding holiday was arranged by Equestrian Escapes. For this and other great horse riding holidays please visit the riding holidays website

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