Anybody into horse riding...

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Sus
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Anybody into horse riding...

Post by Sus »

I spent some time looking at horse riding last year, mainly in the Vallespir valley, and wanted to share a couple of experiences and recommendations:

Riding lessons
I joint the Centre Equestre in Amélie-les-Bains to take some lessons.There are 2 instructors, Nicolas and Pierre, both very knowledgable in the usual disciplines as well as "d'équitation ethologique". They give lessons from complete beginners to competition level and also start young horses. I had been riding on and off but had never the time to take proper lessons and I am also interested in working with young horses.
I learnt a lot and ended up taking some of the Galops exams which was great for improving my riding. In addition, you will learn a whole new set of words ("jarret or apophyse zygomatique" - anyone?!) The club has also a lot of social activities. You need to speak French though as there is no other language spoken.

Riding outdoors
I also tried out several organisations that offer riding outside as that is really what I am interested in. I can recommend Chevaux du Buac in St Laurent de Cerdans. The owner, Josse has a large herd of horses for any rider and knows the forest/mountains around St Laurent like the back of his hand. A half or a whole day ride is a real treat! Best to be comfortable trotting and/or canter to get the best out of this.

Chevaux de la Tramontane in La Llagonne
I also went on a 2 day ride with Yves from this organisation. When I booked this, I thought this might turn into a Fawlty Towers experience but it turned out to be one of the highlights of my year. The countryside in the Capcir is particularly stunning and being on a horse, you can cover much bigger distances than on foot. We stayed in a Gite overnight rather than in tents as we wanted to have the facilities and thought that we might appreciate the softer bed! In the evening, the hosts cooked dinner for us and also for some other folks from the village. It was truly a special experience, very friendly people and the riding was outstanding. We will be back this year for a 3-4 days ride. A spattering of Catalan can be helpful in addition to French, after the wine and dinner, all languages were possible...

I would also be interested in riding the Ronde de Canigou and stay at Gites on the way. If anybody is interested, please ping me.
VioletHernandez
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Post by VioletHernandez »

I love riding them. It is a wonderful experience.
Sus
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Re: Anybody into horse riding...

Post by Sus »

Sus wrote:I spent some time looking at horse riding last year, mainly in the Vallespir valley, and wanted to share a couple of experiences and recommendations:

Chevaux de la Tramontane in La Llagonne
I also went on a 2 day ride with Yves from this organisation. When I booked this, I thought this might turn into a Fawlty Towers experience but it turned out to be one of the highlights of my year. The countryside in the Capcir is particularly stunning and being on a horse, you can cover much bigger distances than on foot. We stayed in a Gite overnight rather than in tents as we wanted to have the facilities and thought that we might appreciate the softer bed! In the evening, the hosts cooked dinner for us and also for some other folks from the village. It was truly a special experience, very friendly people and the riding was outstanding. We will be back this year for a 3-4 days ride. A spattering of Catalan can be helpful in addition to French, after the wine and dinner, all languages were possible...

I would also be interested in riding the Ronde de Canigou and stay at Gites on the way. If anybody is interested, please ping me.
I went back for another 3 day ride with Chevaux de le Tramontane and this year we rode up to the Lacs de Carlit and stayed in the hotel at the Lac des Bouillouses. It was superb. The countryside is stunning and there are many half wild horses/cows on the plateau. We met a herd of about 10 mares with their foals and an impressive stallion, he must have been at least 17 hands, our guide told us that he was born up there and has lived in the wild all his life. He was not impressed with us though :evil: ! I can thoroughly recommend the rides, they have become our special treat every year.
SteveB
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Post by SteveB »

Sounds great! I used to do a bit of riding with my late wife, but haven't done any for over 20 years, and it would be good to take it up again on one of my visits to the area

Do you know anything about the Centre Equestre at Maureillas?
Sus
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Post by Sus »

SteveB wrote:Sounds great! I used to do a bit of riding with my late wife, but haven't done any for over 20 years, and it would be good to take it up again on one of my visits to the area

Do you know anything about the Centre Equestre at Maureillas?
Sorry but I didnt visit the one in Mauriellas, if you do go riding with them, please share your experiences. I am not sure whether you are familiar with the French riding federation (ffe.com), they list all riding centres registered with them and you can search them by postcode.
dsd
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Post by dsd »

SteveB wrote:Sounds great! I used to do a bit of riding with my late wife, but haven't done any for over 20 years, and it would be good to take it up again on one of my visits to the area

Do you know anything about the Centre Equestre at Maureillas?
Where are you situated when you come down? If you want a few lessons to get back into the swing of things and then go trekking, there's the Can de Loste in Montesquieu. They have a riding school based there but also great trekking with Jean Michel, some shorter local rides but also several day treks when they transport the horses by lorry up to the mountains or over the border.
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