Stirring Horse Riding Holiday Spain

Take part in this awe-inspiring horse riding holiday to discover the remarkable Andalusian scenery and immerse yourself completely in the ranch culture. Furthermore, this horse riding holiday is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and share the story of your ranch life. During this horse riding holiday, you will participate in the day to day running of a ranch and explore on horseback the heart of the stunning area of Alpujarra Hills and Sierra Nevada Mountain. Enjoy the spectacular highland areas of Spain on horseback riding like you have never had before!

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 90 kilograms / 198 pounds
  • Horse Height Range: 14 to 16 hands
  • Tack Type: English tack, Western tack available on request
  • Horse Breed: Andalusian horse, Andalusian-Arabian cross horse, and Cobs horse

Meet the instructors

Sarah
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Highlights

  • 5 hours' working on the ranch per day
  • Approximate daily riding time: 2 hours
  • Complimentary use of horse riding equipment
  • Services of a professional riding instructor
  • Tasty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 13 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


13 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: German, Spanish, English
The maximum participants in the group is 15
Airport transfer available:
Federico Garcia Lorca Airport (US$52 per person)
Airport transfer available:
Málaga Airport (US$104 per person)
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Horse riding
  • Kitchen
  • Multilingual staff
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance

During this horse riding holiday, you will either stay in a basic casita (like a little dormitory with two single beds) or caravan accommodation with shared cooking and bathroom facilities. The accommodation is normally sharing twin bedroom with another although the private bedroom can be arranged when available. The accommodation provides bed linen, towels, etc.

The kitchen is shared with some of the farm help too. There is no hot water in the kitchen so that you need to boil the water to wash up. There is also an outside compost toilet and a hot shower in a separate building which is used by all on the ranch. Normally, there is a minimum of six people staying.

However, if you prefer to choose accommodation near the ranch and come up each day for your riding and tuition, you would not have to part take in the volunteer work. Obviously, you would then pay for the accommodation you have chosen. Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre can help you choose accommodation near the ranch.

Program

You will indulge your passion for horses in this unique working horse riding holiday as you participate in the day to day running of a ranch and explore on horseback the heart of the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain. Your five hours per day will be spent for working on the ranch which includes mucking out, cleaning tack, exercising the horses, and helping with children's lessons. In return for your work, your food and basic accommodation will be provided and two hours of each day can be enjoyed with taking riding lessons, trekking out, and participating in schooling horses and stable management.

If you opt for trekking, you will follow the old Moorish mule paths and valleys where the horse, mule, or oxen still to this day pull the plow to harvest the Earth’s crops. It will be an opportunity to discover the remarkable Andalusian scenery and to immerse yourself completely in the culture where even today, the tradition remains very much part of everyday life. Since this is a working holiday, therefore, you will need to be reasonably fit and healthy to work with the horses on a day to day basis as the work can be physical.

The riding center often has full-day trail rides or three and four-day treks and you may get some opportunities to join those. Whatever your level, you'll be able to get involved with all aspects of the horses and riding. Each day of the ride, you’ll pass through different terrain from mountain pastures and pine forests to almond and olive groves.

For the more experienced riders, there are challenging trails on offer in the glorious mountain scenery of the Sierra Nevada. Whatever your level or the pace of riding, taking a horse riding holiday here in the Sierra Nevada mountains is one of the best riding opportunities Spain has to offer. There are plenty of opportunities to canter or gallop. Although the terrain is mountainous, Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre has ensured the route will give you opportunities on each and every ride if you are already competent at the walk, trot, and canter.

Itinerary

Please note that this is a typical itinerary for each week but may vary depending on the start time of year.

Day 1: Arrival

You will arrive and settle to the camp, then meet the other guests and horses.

Day 2

You will wake up and have breakfast before 07:30. Thereafter, you will feed, water, hay the horses, as well as muck out followed by barebacking some horses to the meadow. After that, you will enjoy your coffee break at 10:00. Then, you will tack up horses for a two-hour trail ride and ride out with the guide.

Afterward, you will need to untack the horses, wash down, and have your lunch. You will then bareback the horses from the meadow followed by feeding the horses at around 16:00. At 18:00, you are free to explore the rest of the day such as taking out the horse to explore the area on a horseback, walking down the mule track to town, working on a horse in a school, etc.

Day 3

You will spend six hours helping out including help with children's lessons, schooling new horses, and walking dogs. After that, you will have a one-hour lesson and one-hour "join up lesson". At 18:00, you are free to explore the local town for the rest of the day.

Day 4

You will spend approximately five hours helping out including help with tacking up for a ride and schooling new horses, as well as helping cook dinner plus a fast trail ride. At 18:00, you are free to explore for the rest of the day. You could even indulge yourself in some of the treatments this famous spa town is well-known for (open from March to December).

Day 5

Today will be your day off. You could use this full day to check out Granada or beaches or explore the countryside by horseback.

Day 6

You will spend approximately six hours of helping out plus one-hour lesson and one-hour hack.

Day 7

Today will be your day off.

Day 8

For approximately five hours, you’ll be helping out plus enjoying the choice of activities which are jumping lesson / dressage lesson or riding out and exploring on horseback.

About the horses

The center has around 16 well-trained and schooled horses varying in ages to suit the beginner and advanced rider. The horses range in height from the smallest horse at 14 hands to tallest horses which is up to 16 hands and they are mainly Andalusians, Andalusian crosses with one Arab, and also Cobs and ponies. All horses are fully trained to be ridden either Western style or traditional style.

Please note that although the riding school has a wide range of horses to choose to ride, the horses on the working holiday, unfortunately, cannot take riders over 13.8 stone (90 kilograms). Moreover, they type of tack that is used is mainly English tack, although Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre does have some Western saddles.

Instructors

Sarah Vesey
In 1993, Sarah set up a riding center in the beautiful Andalucia region of Spain and has never looked back. She was born in the New Forest, England and has ridden all her life. Sarah owns and runs the trekking centre and is a qualified horse riding guide and instructor and she lives at the ranch with her family.

Location

Lanjaron is famous for its water springs which are dotted all over the hills. Many Spanish come here to drink the water which is said to contain minerals for eternal youth. The towns in the surrounding area are heavily influenced by Gothic and Moorish architecture. While out on the hills, you will be surrounded by almond, olive, and citrus groves which are still tended to by “man and his mule”. This area of Spain really is steeped in history and rich in culture.

The stables are situated on a small plateau at a height of 1,200 meters above the spa town of Lanjaron in the Las Alpujarras region of Andalucia, close to Granada, Spain. Wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, hills, and Sierra Nevada Mountains are evident in all directions. You can even see the coastline of Africa on a clear day.

Since 1980, Lanjaron has celebrated Midsummer’s Eve in honor of San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) with its Fiesta del Agua y del Jamon (Water and Ham Festival) although the ham aspect has been overshadowed over the years by the liquid element. At the stroke of midnight on June 23, the small mountain village erupts into the greatest water fight in Spain and maybe even the world.

Famous for its mineral water, Lanjaron is the perfect destination for this crazy water war. Locals make sure they park their cars out of town in anticipation of the liquid onslaught that attracts revelers from all over the country and further afield. At midnight, participants take to the streets armed with buckets, water pistols, and anything else they can get their hands on. Total strangers soak each other to the skin while ladies spray the crowd with hose pipes from the safety of their balconies, filling up their buckets in the process.

By the time the whistle blows at the end of the fight, there is a river running through the streets and all are soaked to the bone. After a quick change of clothes, the cerveza starts pouring, fireworks fill the sky, and the real party begins. Over the next few days, revelers celebrate the calm after the storm with a feast of mouthwatering jamon (ham) and another product for which Lanjaron is renowned.

Only its ruins remain over a rocky promontory near to the town. It is located about 600 meters of altitude. Its location was superb because, on one hand, it dominated the access road to the Alpujarra and on the other, the one that communicated Granada with the coast. The castle was surrounded by a wall defended by two great towers of rubblework, one to the north, semi-circular, and another one to the south.

Fernando, the Catholic King, conquered the town in 1490. Its Moorish inhabitants rebelled again in 1500, a revolt that was controlled by the Christians after an epic defense. The captain who defended the place preferred to throw himself from a tower before surrender. It participated in an active way against the Napoleonic troops in the Independence War and its inhabitants received the qualifying name of “canoneros” since then. The castle is currently being renovated.

Nearby places

  • Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX) - 45 minutes

Features

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Skiing
  • Spa

General

  • Kitchen
  • Multilingual staff

Services

  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance

Food

Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre will provide you with the food for breakfasts and lunches which they ask you to prepare for yourselves. Everyone will take turns to make evening meals and you will be supplied you with the basic ingredients and a mostly vegetarian diet. Where possible, the food is locally produced with many of the vegetables and herbs grown in the school's gardens.

Furthermore, although all meals are provided, Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre also offers a "stop to shop" service with transfers where you will be taken to a large city supermarket if you would like to shop for one hour before arriving at your accommodation. The transfer service costs an additional 10 EUR.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • 1-day Las Alpujarras cheese-making workshop
  • 3 and 4 days of trekking
  • 4-WD offroad adventures in the Sierra Nevada and Alpujarras
  • Alpujarras nature and birdwatching
  • Countryside exploration by horse
  • Full-day trail rides
  • Granada exploration
  • Harley-Davidson motorcycle riding in Andalucia with Thunder Road Tours
  • High-level trekking in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees
  • Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada
  • Ski touring in the Sierra Nevada
  • Snowshoeing in the Sierra Nevada
  • Spa treatment in Lanjarón
  • Visit to Orgiva
  • Walking to Alpujarras and the Sierra Nevada

What's included

  • 5 hours' working on the ranch
  • 2 hours' horse riding (lesson / trekking out)
  • Use of horse riding equipment
  • Service of knowledgeable instructor
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 13 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Flight

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions from Lanjarón

  • Head towards Motril and the coast from Granada.
  • Follow the signs to Lanjarón.
  • Turn right onto the bypass upon reaching the village.
  • Notice a Repsol Petrol Station on your left-hand side just before leaving Lanjaron. At 600 meters past the Repsol garage, there is a left-hand turn with the sign "Caballo Blanco" in the bank.
  • Turn left up this steep concrete track.
  • Continue up for 15 minutes, following the signs to Caballo Blanco.
  • Go under a bridge on a third of the way up to the ranch.
  • Keep left after the bridge. The last sign is on a sharp right-hand bend by a white rock.
  • Head down the track and park where you see the other cars below.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Málaga Airport (AGP). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.

Although Federico García Lorca Granada Airport (GRX) in Granada is the nearest airport, most guests use Málaga Airport (AGP), as there are many more flights to choose from. Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre also provides transfers from Málaga Airport (AGP) at 90 EUR (80 GBP) and from Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX) at 45 EUR (40 GBP). The prices are for each way per car and up to four persons.

Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX) is only 45 minutes away while the Málaga Airport (AGP) is 90 minutes away. You can fly to Granada by using British Airways from London City Airport (LCY). If you are coming out on a long weekend, Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre strongly recommends this airport to maximize your time with them.

If you are flying into Málaga Airport (AGP) and your flight is delayed or even brought forward for any reason, it would be a great help if you could text or call Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre to let them know before you get on the plane. If you book well enough in advance, you can get flights for as little as 50 GBP return. Please note that Ryan Air has a very strict baggage allowance policy so it is well worth checking before you get to the airport.

Arrival by bus

Caballo Blanco Horse Riding & Trekking Centre can also help you with the bus schedules and arrange collection from the bus in the local town of Lanjaron for 10 EUR. A cheap and reliable bus service runs from Granada to the nearby village of Lanjarón takes around one and a half hours. On your arrival at the village, you’ll be collected by your hosts and driven to the house.

You can also get a bus from Malaga to Granada and change for the bus to Lanjarón that takes about three hours. To organize a pick-up from the village of Lanjarón to the accommodation, please call your host Sarah when you are in Malaga or Granada with your expected arrival time to ensure someone is there to meet you. Moreover, a full and detailed directions will be shown on your booking confirmation.

Arrival by train

The train service is usually more expensive and longer than the coach / bus and it is only available from Granada.

Airport: Federico Garcia Lorca Airport Airport transfer available: Federico Garcia Lorca Airport (US$52 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer available: Málaga Airport (US$104 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 17% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

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