Dressage Ride, Spain

3-6 NightsBeginner to AdvancedFrom €1,525 EUR?Tour costs €1,525 EUR which is approximately $2,448 AUD

Learn to dance to the majestic rhythm of the Andalusian horse on one of these dressage-based itineraries in Spain!

If you say ‘YES’ to this ride in Spain, you’ll be staying in Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalusia, Spain. Every night and stolen moments during the day {when you’re not in the saddle} you’ll explore this hilltop town that sparkles with noble palaces and majestic Mudéjar churches.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s talk about the riding. Andalusia is the birthplace of Spanish horse culture, so it comes as no surprise that on this riding itinerary, you’ll not only be mounted on the revered Andalusian horse, you’ll actually learn to dance to its majestic rhythm with the help of highly trained teachers that are adept at teaching to every ability and level. With three different programs to choose from depending on your interests and the level in which you want to take your riding to throughout the week, whether you’re a happy hacker or highly trained Dressage enthusiast, you won’t feel out of your depth and regardless of ability, you’ll leave feeling more confident as a rider.

Out of the saddle, the Spanish cultural highlights are crazy good – one morning you’ll be front-row spectators to watch the famous Andalusian Stallions perform and your last evening will involve a road-trip to nearby Seville to experience a typical Flamenco Dancing show. Your hosts and guides, the Garcia family, open their 16th century Hacienda, and allow you to live and breathe their way of life – not only on an equestrian level but also in the food, lively evening entertainment and colourful village life of Carmona.

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:The majority of the horses are Andalusians or Andalusian cross breeds, there are also a few Warmbloods.
  • Pace:The pace varies from a walk right through to a canter when the terrain allows.
  • Weight Limit:Maximum of 95kg / 210lbs.
  • Type of tack:English dressage saddles.For guests booked on the Train & Trail program, you will riding in general purpose saddles while on the trails, and Spanish Vaquero saddles covered in sheepskin when on the beach ride.
  • Seasons:The Hacienda is open to guests all year round except for the Christmas/New Year holidays and two weeks in August.
  • Group size:Maximum of 8 riders
  • Time in Saddle:On average from 3.5 to 4 hours daily.
  • Riding Ability:Suitable for all riding abilities.
    Please be advised, if booking a dressage-only program outlined below, we recommend you be of intermediate to experienced ability and have a keen interest in Classical Dressage.
  • Accommodation:Superior hotel accommodation at Alcázar de la Reina in the heart of the historic centre of the old part of the city of Carmona, just a ten minute drive from the Hacienda.
    *Please note, solo guests will be accommodated at nearby Hotel Posada San Fernando where there will be no charge for single supplement.
  • Ride Length:7 days, 6 nights with 5 riding days. There are also 3-night (Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday) or 4-night (Sunday to Thursday or Tuesday to Saturday) stays available for the Train & Trail program.
  • Inclusions:Accommodation, breakfast and lunch each day, dinner on the first evening only, guided visits to Jerez and Donana, and riding. Transfers to/from Santa Justa Train Station. Transfers from your hotel to the riding centre each day.
  • Exclusions:International or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory); staff tips (please budget for around 10% of the ride price); dinner from Monday to Friday - your hotel accommodation is within walking distance of many bars and restaurants in Carmona so you’ll have your pick of amazing places to eat; tickets for the horse show in Jerez (€27) and the Flamenco Show (€35).

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

Departing Total

Train & Trail Ride
3 nights with 2 riding days.
Arrive Sunday, depart Wednesday
Or arrive Wednesday, depart Saturday.

€780 EUR ?Tour costs €780 EUR which is approximately $1,252 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire

Train & Trail Ride
4 nights with 3 riding days.
Arrive Sunday, depart Thursday
Or arrive Tuesday, depart Saturday.

€1,035 EUR ?Tour costs €1,035 EUR which is approximately $1,662 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire

Train & Trail Ride
7 days, 6 nights with 5 riding days.
Arrive Sunday, depart Saturday.

€1,525 EUR ?Tour costs €1,525 EUR which is approximately $2,448 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire
€880 EUR ?Tour costs €880 EUR which is approximately $1,413 AUD - Non RiderEnquire

Intensive Training
7 days, 6 nights with 5 riding days.
Arrive Sunday, depart Saturday.

€1,730 EUR ?Tour costs €1,730 EUR which is approximately $2,777 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire
€880 EUR ?Tour costs €880 EUR which is approximately $1,413 AUD - Non RiderEnquire

Classical Dressage & High School Training
7 days, 6 nights with 5 riding days.
Arrive Sunday, depart Saturday.

€2,240 EUR ?Tour costs €2,240 EUR which is approximately $3,595 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire
€880 EUR ?Tour costs €880 EUR which is approximately $1,413 AUD - Non RiderEnquire

Rafael Soto Clinic
7 days, 6 nights with 5 riding days.
Please enquire for specific dates.

€2,450 EUR ?Tour costs €2,450 EUR which is approximately $3,933 AUD - Twin Share ?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same gender.Enquire
€880 EUR ?Tour costs €880 EUR which is approximately $1,413 AUD - Non RiderEnquire

*Please note, solo guests will be accommodated at nearby Hotel Posada San Fernando where there will be no charge for single supplement.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Accommodation, breakfast and lunch each day, dinner on the first evening only, guided visits to Jerez and Donana, and riding. Transfers to/from Santa Justa Train Station. Transfers from your hotel to the riding centre each day.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
International or regional flights and travel insurance (compulsory). Staff tips (please budget for around 10% of the ride price). Dinner from Monday to Friday – your hotel is within walking distance to restaurants in Carmona so you’ll have your pick of amazing locations to eat.Tickets for the horse show in Jerez (€27) and the Flamenco Show (€35).

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments.

Why is the price quoted in EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 1

    When it comes to epic landscapes, culinary feasts and afternoon siestas, Spain certainly knows how it’s done, and this week is all about exploring the country from another angle, with some tuition thrown in for good measure. You’ll be picked up from Santa Justa train station in Seville at 4.30pm and escorted to your hotel in the nearby town of Carmona, one of the famous white villages of Andalusia. Carmona is the oldest continually inhabited village in Europe and as you stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, you will feel and breathe the spirits of ancient cultures (Iberians, Visigoths, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors), in the innumerable examples of their architectural influence in the churches, towers, palaces and mansions as well as in the inherited customs.

    After you’ve settled into your hotel, you might find you’re keen to discover the pleasures of the Spanish afternoon ‘siesta’ after a tiring journey. A refreshing dip in the on site pool might also be a popular choice to stave off any jetlag you might have. This evening you’ll be joined by one of your hosts, the wonderful Garcia family, for a welcome dinner at an adjoining restaurant. After some friendly conversation, you are free to spend the rest of the evening at your leisure, and to relax before the beginning of what will be an unforgettable week.

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 2

    You’ll be collected from your hotel this morning and driven the short distance to the 16th century hacienda (equestrian centre) where you’ll be introduced to the trail horses. The Old Hacienda Ride is up first, and it’s a relaxed hack around the surrounding countryside, through olive groves and stands of eucalyptus trees. Depending on the season, you could see fields of sunflowers, wheat and cotton, as well as melons and water melons in late summer. The ride takes you past impressive 16th and 17th century Haciendas and Cortijos, which have stood here since the days when Cervantes rode these same trails, collecting olive oil taxes.

    You’ll return to the equestrian centre for lunch. This afternoon will be your first opportunity to experience a dressage lesson (1 hour) given by one of the hosts. Every single instructor at the equestrian centre is qualified by the British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and the Spanish Equestrian Federation and when
    it comes to dressage, the knowledge they have gathered (having trained under many masters of various nationalities) has allowed them to form their own training and teaching techniques, where learning and enjoyment is the main priority. Your hosts can cater for riders of all levels from beginners to advanced, so you don’t have to be a Grand Prix dressage rider (that I am definitely NOT). But even if you’re a happy hacker or new to dressage, you will enjoy brushing up on your riding foundations and will benefit from every lesson you receive this week.

    Beginners will benefit hugely from the lessons because, although things are kept simple, you know that your basic skills will be correct and solid, enabling you to pursue whichever discipline you choose down the track. For the more experienced riders, you’ll be given guidance towards riding your horse in a correct outline, straightness, balance, rhythm etc. As the week progresses, lateral movements such as shoulder in, travers, renvers, half pass, and depending on your riding level and ability, flying changes or pirouettes will be added to your lesson.

    Dinner tonight is NOT included in the price but your hotel is within walking distance to many restaurants and tapas bars in Carmona so you are free to choose where and when you eat.

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 3

    An exciting day is planned today – you’ll enjoy an early breakfast before being collected from the hotel at 8.30am and driven to Jerez de la Frontera in the province of Cádiz, approximately 1.5 hours away. Jerez is internationally renowned for its production of sherry and brandy. However, the main attraction of the day will be the visit to the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre (The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art) to watch an equestrian performance titled, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” (ticket price €27 payable direct upon arrival). Here you will have the privilege of seeing the magnificent Andalusian stallions at their best, at home in the breathtaking setting of their 18th Century palace and the riding hall. They will be performing piaffe, passage and the airs above the ground (courbette, capriole, etc) in a spectacle of light, music and colour, comparable only with the famous Spanish Riding School of Vienna. Fernando (ride leader and driver) is well known at the school and is good friends with many of the world famous riders. His daughter Vivi (head instructor), trained at this school for four years and frequently performed in the show.

    After a mesmerising performance, you’ll return to the equestrian centre for your afternoon lesson (1 hour) where you’ll brush up on the things you learnt yesterday and continue to learn and improve your school work or dressage.

    Dinner NOT included and to be enjoyed at your free will in Carmona.

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 4

    After breakfast and a quick transfer to the Hacienda, you’ll mount up and set off across the Spanish countryside for the Roman Bridge. Today’s ride promises to be a scenic wonder as you’ll be riding through a landscape patch-worked in different crops, still rotated year by year as they have always been, with wide headlands of uncultivated land separating one field from another and providing a natural bridleway across country. The variety of wild flowers, butterflies and birds makes this ride truly memorable. Along the way you may come across the river, full and flowing in spring, cool and shallow in summer, a natural haven for wildlife, with abundant vegetation all year round. Splashing through the shallows, terns and grebes, you’ll emerge at an old Roman Bridge and shady eucalyptus grove. After a break where you’ll have the chance to take some beautiful photographs, you will ride back to the equestrian centre for lunch. Your lessons will again be this afternoon after lunch.

    Dinner NOT included and to be enjoyed at your free will in Carmona.

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 5

    Today after breakfast you’ll set off early to the seaside village, where sturdy Spanish horses, all in Spanish Andalusian cowboy tack (montura vaquera), will be waiting to take you on a beach ride. The ride takes you on an unforgettable route through the Donaña Natural Park bordering the National Park of the same name, one of Europe’s last true wilderness regions and one of the largest wildlife reservations in Spain. You’ll be riding over the golden dunes, brushing through fragrant wild lavender, rosemary and thyme. The area is home to many species (some protected), such as fallow deer, boar, fox, lynx, imperial eagles, kites, vultures, storks, flamingos and herons. You’ll ride down the steep dune to the beach and then it’s time for the horses to wet their legs and for those who want to, a canter through the surf.

    After the ride, you’ll head back to the equestrian centre for lunch. Your final lesson for the week will be held this afternoon so don’t hold back. If you have any questions or you want to try a particular movement, now’s your chance! You will notice the difference in your riding from the first lesson on Monday through to your last lesson today, and will take these newfound skills home with you to put into practice on your own horse or the horses you’re able to ride if you don’t have your own.

    Dinner NOT included and to be enjoyed at your free will in Carmona.

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 6

    You set off across open country for the last hack of the week, through olive and orange groves, past farmers working the land. How strange, in a region where there are no bridle paths the horse can wander anywhere as long as you have respect for the crop. In all the years your hosts have been riding through the area, they have never had a farmer object to them crossing his land. Quite the contrary in fact, the farmers are actually very pleased to see riders roam through on horseback for in Andalusia, everyone understands and loves the horse.

    You’ll return to the equestrian centre for a final lunch (the famous paella & equally- famous sangria to accompany it) then bid a sad farewell to your terrific horses who you’ve had the pleasure of training on all week.

    In the afternoon, after a well deserved ‘siesta’, you’ll get changed into your city finery ready to hit Seville for a classical Flamenco Show (ticket price €35 payable direct upon arrival). The show features over 12 dancers of national and international fame, traditional singers and wonderful flamenco guitar. After a short walk, you will arrive at an excellent marketplace providing both Spanish and International cuisine for the last dinner of the holiday and some superb Spanish wine (please note, dinner is at your own expense and is NOT included in the ride price).

  • Train & Trail Ride - Day 7

    It’s time to say goodbye globetrotters (boo!) as you’ll be departing after breakfast. But wow, what an amazing week! From riding through the patch-worked countryside and learning new riding and dressage skills on skilful horses, to watching the Andalusian horses ‘dance’ in concert and attending a traditional Flamenco show, it’s certainly been a week to remember. The first departure to the train station will leave the hotel at 8am and the last will be at 11am.

  • Intensive Training

    This is a six night, five day riding holiday designed for those who prefer to concentrate on improving their riding skills, particularly in the dressage arena, and who want to learn from the highly trained horses and top class instructors at the equestrian centre. The program includes group and semi-private lessons in the morning and afternoon, plus some lunging sessions which are excellent for improving seat, balance and posture. It may also be possible to change one of the lessons for a trail ride at some stage throughout the week, just for fun.

    Just like the Train & Trail ride itinerary, this program also includes guided visits to Jerez de la Frontera to see the famous Andalusian Stallions perform (day 3), and a visit to Seville on the last evening for a typical Flamenco Dancing Show. Tickets for these events are not included within the ride price.

  • Classical Dressage & High School Training

    This is a six night, six day riding holiday designed for experienced riders who have a passion for Classical Dressage and are also interested in the procedures used for training horses to perform at such a high standard. A unique opportunity not easily found at other establishments, guests will have the chance to gain a feel for the sensitive Andalusians, trained to High School level, and to enjoy some of the more advanced movements performed at this level, such as Passage, Piaffe and Spanish Walk. If you are working on establishing these movements with your own horses at home, being able to experience how they should feel and the correct aids to produce such a movement on a horse already trained to perform at this level, is a wonderful opportunity and will further your riding and understanding of High School dressage.

    This program includes a combination of private lessons – one of which will be with Olympic medallist Rafael Soto!!! – semi private lessons (2-3 guests per group), ground work sessions (working on training piaffe, passage and Spanish walk), and lunge sessions where you’ll work on improving the classical seat. You will enjoy 2-3 lessons per day, including a final lesson on Saturday morning before you depart for the train station at 11am.

    Guided visits to Jerez to see the famous Andalusian Stallions perform (day 3), and a visit to Seville on the last evening for a typical Flamenco Dancing Show are included in this itinerary. Tickets for these events are not included within the ride price.

    *Please note, the weight limit for this program is 85kgs. If you are over this, please contact us for a further assessment.

  • Rafael Soto Clinic

    No matter where you’re based, if you’re involved in the Dressage world then the name, Rafael Soto, will probably ring a bell. His charisma has earned him the respect and popularity of Dressage enthusiasts and fellow riders alike the world over, not to mention he is a Spanish Olympic Team silver medallist (Athens 2004).

    This is a seven night, six day riding program (Sunday to Sunday). Throughout the week, the training and tuition consists of:

    – 2x lunging sessions to improve your classical seat 6x group lessons with the equestrian centre’s resident instructors **these lessons will determine the level and most suitable mount for you to gain maximum benefit out of your lessons with Rafael Soto

    – 4x 45-minute private sessions with Rafael Soto. Guests will also have the opportunity to sit in and observe the lessons of the other guests.

    – Guided visits to Jerez (Rafael Soto’s home turf) to see the famous Andalusian Stallions perform, and a visit to Seville on the Friday evening for a typical Flamenco Dancing Show are included in this itinerary. Tickets for these events are not included within the ride price.

    *Please note, the maximum weight limit for this program is 85kgs.

  • The Andalusian Horse

    The Spanish horse, the horse of Andalusia, the star of the spectacle “Como bailan los caballos andaluces” (How the Andalusian Horses Dance), is one of the most noble and the most appreciated animals in the world. Easy to train and truly spectacular in the development of the airs required in Classical Dressage and in the Spanish High School of Riding, the Andalusian is also very beautiful. Furthermore, its good character, elevated movements and an extraordinary capacity for collection make it useful for many different forms of sports and leisure activities. Because of those qualities, the great masters of equitation have regarded it as the horse of highest perfection.

  • Transfer Information

    Complimentary transfers are available from Santa Justa Train Station in Seville only. Pick up time on day 1 is at 4.30pm (just outside the AVIS rent-a-car office which is INSIDE the station). If you fly into Seville airport you will need to take a shuttle bus to the train station in time for the pick up at 4.30pm, or take a taxi straight to the hotel in Carmona.

    On the final day the transfer to the train station will depart your hotel at around 8.00am. If you intend on flying out from Seville this day, please don’t book any departing flights before 12 midday.

Dressage in Spain - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Kate Riordan

‘I can not recommend this ride enough. I was blown away by the quality of the horses, landscape, food and experiences. Our buffet breakfast was expansive and provided many delicious options, but the standout were the lunches provided by the in-house cooks – each meal was diverse and followed by free-flowing wine and dessert. The horses were all impeccably cared for and trained; they were fit, healthy and very responsive, which made progressing my dressage skills very easy. The highlight of the trip was the beach ride, which I would recommend to anyone interested in beautiful scenery – the view of the trees and ocean from the cliffs was stunning. Galloping along the beach in Spanish western saddles was an experience I will never forget.
On top of everything, though, the most important aspect of this ride were our hosts: Fernando, Jane and Vivi. Within seconds of meeting them, I felt like I was part of the family. They were relaxed, positive and passionate people who truly cared about our experience and satisfaction. Fernando, in particular, is a worldly, knowledgeable man with a killer sense of humour and talking to him during our lengthy car rides to Jerez and the beach made the trips fun and comfortable. I would, without a doubt, suggest this ride to anyone. I will most definitely be back.’

Dressage Ride in Spain - Globetrotting horse riding holidays

Theresa Gonzalez

‘We had a wonderful time on our Train and Trail Ride in Andalusia, Spain. Our trail riding guide was wonderful, as was our dressage instructor, who gave me a lot of individual attention. Hornito was the Andalusian stallion I rode for my dressage lessons; he was excellent and I got to do the Spanish Walk and Piaffe on him! It made my vacation. I also liked trail riding through the olive groves on Bari, who was very forward moving. The lunches were delicious. The hacienda was beautiful. The accomodations were great. The Jerez School was amazing, as was the Flamenco show. My husband is a beginner rider and the instructors were very patient with him, and as a result he did well and learned a lot.’

Globetrotting horse riding holiday dressage in Andalusia, Spain

Laurel Hosking

‘OMG this ride was so good! I had a brilliant time and met so many new faces, all with a common passion for riding. My ride was half dressage and half trail riding – which was a huge step for me as I’ve done very little dressage, but I learnt heaps, had lots of fun, and at no stage felt left out.

I was so nervous about travelling on my own but there was no need to be, everything was taken care of. The accommodation and food were brilliant and we were looked after so well.

Advice to others considering this ride: firstly, try to be riding fit – I was and it paid dividends; pack light and pack your sense of humour; and be prepared to have the best time possible.’

 

Jen Yule

‘Everything about the Dressage Ride was great. Our hosts, the horses, dressage lessons, authentic home-cooked lunches, tapas in the old town of Carmona, our historic hotel, the flamenco show, and the countryside treks were fantastic. Every day was different, with a trip to the ride on the beach, a visit to Jerez’s Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a flamenco show in Seville, and much more. I can highly recommend this destination because it caters for all levels of riders, with such well trained Andalusian horses on which to experience dressage lessons and excellent Spanish crossbred horses for trail rides. Thank you, Globetrotting, for working with the very welcoming Garcia family.’

Jenny Somerset

‘I’m happy I chose this ride as the gentle trails were a lovely contrast to the fantastic lessons. I am a much better dressage rider now and my excellent schoolmaster horse made it all so simple. Fernando made us feel so welcome and the extra activities that were arranged made it really special. The staff were all so friendly and accomodating, they always tried their best to make us happy. I certainly chose the best ride for me. It was amazing.’

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